The sun is setting later, and it’s rising earlier.
And if the thought of early morning’s make you want to crawl back under your duvet and hide away from the world…
There’s no doubt about it when I say, you’re not alone.
In fact, I used to be on Team ‘Night Owl’ for years.
From the get go I was a nightmare to get out of bed in the morning before school. I don’t know how my Mam did it, she deserves an award.
And as I grew older, waking up didn’t get any easier.
By the time Secondary School came, I’d struggle to get out of bed to get to school on time, and all through my sixth form years, an ‘early’ bed time for me would be 1am.
Even in my adult life I found it hard to get to bed before 1am.
I wanted to be a morning person, but I just couldn’t do it.
I remember asking my friends and family – ‘How do I become a morning person?’
And all I got back was the same thing: “You’re just a night person, it’s too hard to change.”
But I thought that couldn’t be right… There’s got to be a way to turn things around so it becomes easier to wake on a morning, and not be downing 4 coffees before midday, because all that coffee surely isn’t good for you, and I was sick of not wanting to get out of bed on a morning,
So I stopped making excuses, and over a few months, I turned a corner… And it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Because now I can wake up early, have time to play with my kids before making my way to the office, enjoy an extra hot latte before 9am with a good book, and finally have lasting energy to see me through the day.
And because I’ve heard a lot of our patients in the clinic lately commenting on how the sun wakes them up way too early, so they feel tired by the time they get to work…
I wanted to share some quick actionable tips with you, to help make mornings easier…
So, maybe you’ll become a morning person too 😉
There are two main components of becoming a morning person: getting to bed earlier, and then waking up earlier.
Let’s tackle both…
Tips On Getting To Bed Earlier:
When I decided to take the leap and transition into a morning person, my first thought was, “this isn’t going to be fun.”
You see, we can make up excuses, justify, and rationalise anything and everything to ourselves. So when you realise you’re responsible for what time you get to bed, you can turn it around.
Here’s how I did it:
First, I focused on small, incremental changes.
A big mistake most people make when they decide to get up earlier is this – they go from waking up at 8:30 am to waking up at 6:00 am.
They set a few alarms on their phone, go to bed at their usual time (probably midnight or later), and then battle with themselves for a week to get up at 6:00… or worse, ignore their alarm, over and over and over.
Instead of going from waking at 8:30 to 6:00 right away, I went from 8:30 to 8:15 for a week. Then from 8:15 to 8:00 for a week, then 8:00 to 7:45. You get where I’m going…
By slowly adjusting my sleep schedule, my body didn’t argue with me, and I could actually allow my body to wake earlier, naturally, without feeling like I desperately wanted to hit the snooze button.
The next step I put into action, was this:
I went to bed earlier.
For starters the reason I was always up so late was because I was sitting at my computer staring at bright lights until 10 minutes before bed, or watching TV and then struggling to fall asleep.
So I set myself up to win by making a few changes:
– I started reading fiction books in bed.
If I read non-fiction, I’d get too excited and come up with all sorts of ideas that’d keep my cogs turning at night. So instead, I read fiction that wound my mind down and helped put me to sleep.
Still a great tip I use today.
– I committed to no TV after 10:30pm.
Only Fools and Horses kept me up late too many nights. So I set alarms to make sure I stuck to it, and now I’ve set it back earlier to no more Fools and Horses, or episodes of Gavin and Stacey, after 10pm.
– I eat tea earlier.
As soon as I get in, it’s tea time. This means no rushing around cooking late at night, and having to wash up the dishes late at night so I don’t get shouted at for leaving dirty plates laying around 😉
Eating earlier has definitely played a big role in getting to bed earlier than I used to.
I realised my struggle was not with getting up, but rather with going to bed earlier.
Making a commitment to get to bed early is a crucial part of the process.
So, take away tips: Stop staring at bright screens. Put the phone down. Turn off the TV. Get off your computer. And pick a good book to read.
Getting to sleep earlier is just half the battle. In next week’s article, I’ll get onto the other part of the equation – getting up earlier!
Until then, these simple actionable tips should help you fight the early sunrise battle, and help you feel more ready to take on the day!
Do you have a bad back right now, or know someone who does? Here’s a free special report with 9 top tips to keep active with less back pain, just go to this website to get your free copy: www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain
You might know Paul as an expert Columnist who writes weekly health articles for TWO of the North East's biggest daily Newspapers, The Northern Echo And The Hartlepool Mail, he is a regular Speaker at Industry Seminars around the globe and a Radio Personality, often heard on the BBC. Paul has been an expert guest on dozens of Radio shows and regularly interviewed in newspapers, magazines and trade journals all over the world, including the Guardian.
Paul’s background included working extensively in the Premier League with a Top Professional Football Team, and since quitting his job in Professional Football in 2007, his Physio Practice has become the fastest growing in the UK and biggest in the North East. So successful, that companies like BUPA, ASDA, The Vela Group And Coast & Country, repeatedly retain his Physio company's services to keep healthy their own staff and workforce. Paul Gough Physio Rooms is now a large multi-physio, multi clinic speciality practice in Darlington, Durham, Guisborough and Hartlepool.
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