Even if you compare yourself to a nocturnal creature who only reveals its true persona in the mask of the night, it is possible to become a morning person. If your response to this was something along the lines of “In your dreams” or “Never in a million years”, take comfort in the fact that this is being spoken from someone who considers herself the morning alarm’s ultimate enemy.
For years I have struggled with mornings. I would find it hard to speak before 8:00 am, let alone smile to the alarm’s incessant badgering. As soon as I woke up, my first thought was always when I could go back to sleep. I plotted the murder of mornings and hoped one day that we would all shift the average time for waking up to 10:00 AM.
Waking up at 10:00 AM? Now you can use the phrase “In your dreams”. As much as we would sometimes hope for more vacation time, more play time, more sunshine, or more of pretty much any delicacy, any would not be so valued if we were able to do so all of the time.
As much as we may like them to, mornings are not going away. In fact, mornings will forever exist. They exist for our benefit only if we take advantage of them! “A study published in 2014 found that individuals who consider themselves morning people also perceive themselves as happier and healthier.”
Use Classical Conditioning to Train Your Body to Sleep
Along with physical activity and nutrition, sleep is essential for optimal health. Make sleep a priority. Create a list of relaxing hobbies to do to wind down after a long day and stick to them to train your body to sleep. Use Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning to associate the stimulus, such as reading or meditation, with sleep. It will make it easier to fall asleep at night.
However, these relaxing activities should not include looking at the phone or watching TV. “Light of any kind before going to sleep can disrupt the release of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the brain’s pineal gland that helps maintain our body’s circadian rhythm. “ Therefore, power down your electronics so you can power down your mind.
Plan for Success
Use the time you’d normally be on your phone, watching TV, or answering emails to prepare for the day ahead! Set out your clothes, pack your gym bag, make your breakfast and lunch. It is a fool proof way for the least amount of surprises in the AM!
Be Mindful of Caffeine and Alcohol
“Stimulants like caffeine can stay in the body as long as 14 hours. And alcohol, while it may initially relax you, is metabolized and cleared from your system during your sleep cycle.” Both can prevent you from getting the sleep you need to have a fabulous morning.
Act as Though the Snooze Button Does Not Exist
I was once a user of the snooze button. It tempts you when that first alarm goes off in the morning. The phrase “Just a few more minutes” was a regular in my vocabulary. However, “Without the snooze button, our bodies start to naturally waken by increasing body temperature and releasing hormones like adrenaline an hour or so before our eyes actually open.” The snooze button does not allow us to wake up the way we are created to, interfering with a better morning. Say good bye to your dear friend, the snooze button.
Exercise is a Remedy to EVERYTHING Related to Health
Physical activity helps mood, self-confidence, weight and blood sugar control, diseases, depression, energy levels, and our quality of sleep. “In the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, participants who participated in 30 minutes a day of aerobic activity for four days a week had improved sleep.” Get moving and get a better night’s rest!
Breakfast Really Is the Most Important Meal of the Day!
Eating breakfast activates your metabolism, keeps you energized, and sets the tone for your day. Combine a healthy dose of whole wheat carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats in order to begin the day on a good note and help you make better choices throughout the day! Breakfast is ESSENTIAL for weight maintenance and weight loss.
Your routine in the morning is the start to your day. It can dictate your mood, the start to your metabolism, and ultimately, the rest of your day! This is how to make your morning a success.
Michele Wroblewski, RDN
Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC
1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3
Allentown, NJ 08501