These Are the Easiest Ways to Turn Into a Morning Person

Not everyone wakes up at 6 a.m. effortlessly and gets in a workout before having breakfast. Most of us set multiple alarms and barely get out of the house clothed and on time. What everyone knows, but rarely takes advantage of, is those early morning hours are pure gold. It’s quiet and devoid of typical distractions — one of the rare times of the day you can dedicate to yourself. The hard part is becoming a morning person. It’s not a change that happens overnight, but it’s not something that’s hardwired into your genetic makeup, either.

Your sleep and wake cycle has everything to do with your internal clock. Dr. Tracey Marks, an Atlanta-based psychiatrist and author of Master Your Sleep: Proven Methods Simplified, tells Real Simple most people’s internal clock has 24 hours, but if it’s a little longer, you can easily get pulled in the direction of not feeling tired until later and later each night. Here are ways to beat the cycle to go from night owl to morning person.

1. Utilize light

man drinking coffee in the morning

Leave your curtains open to wake up to light. | iStock.com

Research has shown light may be all your body needs to reset its internal clock. In the summer when it gets light early, keep your blinds open and wake up with the sunrise. In the winter, when it may still be dark in the early morning, make a point to turn on all the lights the moment you wake up so your body feels ready to face the day.

2. Move your alarm clock across the room

man hitting his alarm clock to sleep in

Move your alarm clock so you’re forced to get up. | iStock.com

The idea of waking up to an insistent alarm that isn’t on your bedside table and within reach sounds horrible, and it is. It’s also exactly what you may need to actually get up and out of bed. Putting your alarm clock across the bedroom or even in the bathroom will make sure you get up and get going. Once you’re up and physically moving around, it’s easier to stay that way.

3. Reward yourself

an array of doughnuts

Give yourself something to look forward to. | iStock.com

Remember when you were a kid and you’d wake up at ungodly hours on Saturday just to eat sugary cereal and watch cartoons? The moment your sleepy brain realized it was Saturday you probably jolted out of bed, anxious to get in as much cartoon TV time as possible. Utilize this same trick as an adult. If you love a certain breakfast food, use it to get yourself out of bed. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, don’t be afraid to go a little over the top while making sure you have a dose of protein.

4. Lay the groundwork

Tired businesswoman surrounded by coffee

Hit the hay early. | iStock.com/Poike

You can tell yourself you’re going to get up early, but there’s no way you’re going to follow through if you went to bed at midnight. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night, so adjust your bedtime to accommodate your new wake-up time. Bottom line: Don’t try to get by on minimal sleep. Skipping out on sleep leads to a whole host of setbacks including weight gain, mental confusion, and a decreased memory.

5. Create a habit

Alarm clock on bedside table

Set your alarm clock for the same time each day. | iStock.com

Set the alarm clock for the same time every morning, including weekends. For those of you who relish your lazy Saturday mornings, this may sound like the worst advice you’ve ever heard, but as long as you’re getting enough sleep, your body will naturally form a habit of waking up early (even without the alarm). When you don’t have work to get to, spend more time working out or devote time to hobbies and passions that easily get pushed aside when you get busy.