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It’s time to consider putting the night owl to bed and taking steps toward becoming more of a morning person.

If you’re a night owl, you could be contributing to some potential health issues later on. You need to rest at night, even if that takes your body some time to adjust. Try this experiment to see if you truly are a night owl: Attempt to go to sleep at 10:00 pm and wake up at 6:00 am. The following night, try going to bed at midnight and waking up at 8:00am. Which one makes you feel better and more rested after waking up? It’s the same amount of sleep but you might notice you feel better when you go to bed at 10:00 pm. The hours of sleep before midnight could potentially change your hormonal health because that’s generally the optimal time for hormone production.

Let’s talk about ways to put that night owl to bed and start being an early bird. Let’s try to make it easy as possible. After all, it doesn’t pay to be up early if you’re feeling drained throughout the day. Here are some tips to ease yourself into becoming a morning person.

7 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person

1) Go to Bed Earlier

Are you thinking, “Well, that’s easier said than done, you know”? While it’s a valid point, the body needs a decent amount of sleep. Among many reasons to support the early bird gets the worm adage, research has shown that going to bed between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm is the optimal time for the most restful sleep. [1] This idea aligns with the body’s natural circadian rhythm regulating the daily sleep-wake cycles.

Going to bed around 9:00-10:00 pm may coincide with a natural dip in overall body temperature and the timed release of melatonin (the sleep hormone) that usually occurs in the evening. Ideally, this release of melatonin should make it easier to fall asleep and may support more restful sleep. You may find that you feel more rested if you go to bed earlier, even with the same amount of sleep. The best thing about it is it’s free and can do so much to improve your health.

2) Create Healthy Nighttime Rituals

As it gets closer to bedtime, start shutting electronics down and easing into a reliable pre-sleep routine, such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, reading, or taking a soothing bath. Aside from putting the electronics to sleep before bed, try minimizing artificial lights and avoiding activities or conversations that may excite the nervous system. When you start regular nighttime rituals, your body will know when to sleep.

3) Don’t Stress About Sleep

Everyone knows how important it is to get sleep and to get to bed early. However, try to avoid stressing about it. Increasing your stress can cause an increase in cortisol, which is a stress hormone that will keep you up at night. [2] If you can, try minimizing stress about your sleep and try instead to develop healthy sleep habits and to reduce your stress as much as possible before bedtime.

4) Let the Morning Light In

Natural light can help regulate your circadian rhythm and align it with the natural cycle of the sun, so feel free to let the light in! [1] It’s best to sleep in total darkness and wake up naturally with the morning sun. If you live in an area with longer periods of sunlight or have streetlamps and other artificial lights streaming through your window at night, it’s best to close the curtains. Consider purchasing a sunlight alarm clock and try to spend a few minutes outside each morning (and throughout the day) to expose your eyes to natural light.

5) Put your Priorities First

This may be challenging but try to put your priorities first all day and especially in the morning. Avoid rigid morning schedules based on what’s most convenient for you. Morning schedules are difficult because life happens unexpectedly, especially if you have children. If you always put your priorities first, you can adapt to whatever life throws at you while making sure you are maximizing your enjoyment of the morning. It’s much easier to jump out of bed to work on something important to you, whether you find enjoyment through exercise, artistic expression, a peaceful moment with some coffee, etc.

6) Exercise in the Morning

Speaking of exercise, start your morning with some physical activity to get the heart rate up and prepare your body for a much better day. Morning can be the most beneficial time to exercise during the day as long as you’re paying attention to your health and where you are in your monthly cycle. It doesn’t take long to get the blood moving.  Research has shown that a little morning exercise can support your mood, thanks to increased endorphins, and it could even facilitate healthy cardiovascular function and gut health. [3]

7) Practice Consistency

Think you can’t be a morning person? You would be surprised at how efficiently your body can adjust when you consistently give it what it needs. That means shutting down early and making sure you are getting plenty of sleep regularly. It also means fueling your body properly with healthy foods and minimizing your stress levels as much as possible.

The Early Bird Gets Healthy

It might be challenging, but we all owe it to ourselves to give our bodies what they need to encourage healthy function. That includes restful sleep! You may acclimate to the change over time and be the morning person you always wanted to be, but it won’t happen overnight. If you’re finding that it’s more challenging than it should be to fall asleep and stay asleep, it might be beneficial to test your hormone levels and organ health. Find a Wellness Way clinic near you and schedule a consultation with one of our doctors or health restoration coaches to make sure your body is fully equipped for adequate sleep and overall health.

Practicing beneficial sleep habits is free and can dramatically improve your health. Take little steps towards becoming a morning person and eventually put that night owl to bed!

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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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