Early birds always seem to get a lot done in a day, have boundless energy, and be extremely focused. So what's their secret? Turns out that a few simple, healthy habits can help you get on track. Just remember that going from sleeping in to rising and shining can take anywhere from 21 days, which is the widely accepted number of days needed to change a habit, to 66 days, according to extensive research from the University College London, so be patient. Here's how to become a morning person and catch that worm day after day:
Be a Planner
You can't wing it while you're building healthy habits. Try adding structure to your mornings by laying out your clothes or getting your lunch organized before you go to bed, so all you have to worry about is showering, drinking coffee, and eating breakfast. This will give you more time to relax and wake up in the morning, which is a great way to start your day.
Adjust Your Thinking
Our minds are powerful. Therefore, changing how you think about your upcoming day can mean the difference between dread and inspiration, according to Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning and contributor at Entrepreneur. His other tips include setting your intentions before bed, starting your day with simple activities (like brushing your teeth) to give your body time to wake up, and sneaking in a workout before your morning shower.
Underestimate the Hours in a Day
At the heart of staying up late is the tendency to overcommit (or distract) yourself until well past bedtime. According to Real Simple and Tracey Marks, M.D., the author of Master Your Sleep: Proven Methods Simplified, we habitually overestimate the time we have, especially at night. Her fix is to pretend that you have one less hour in the evenings. Use that hour to wind down and relax, and when it's time to hit the sack, you'll have less on your mind to worry about.
Eat Foods That Provide More Energy
To feel energized in the morning, you may want to consider switching up your breakfast. Complex carbohydrates, beans and legumes, and protein can help you in numerous ways. Healthy carbohydrates can be found in oats, wild rice, and quinoa, and they can help provide you with a steady stream of energy, according to Women's Health magazine. Try pairing healthy carbohydrates like oats or sweet potatoes with Greek yogurt or nuts. This combination can give your body necessary protein to keep you feeling fuller longer, as well as probiotics, which boost gut health and can positively affect your mood. You can also add healthy fats, such as chia seeds, flaxseed, or avocado, to your breakfast routine to help with digestion, nutrient absorption, energy, and immune response.
Keep the Coffee
Most adults start their days off with a cup of coffee. Luckily, this drink is filled with antioxidants, and rest assured, as long as you're not drinking too many cups a day or consuming it too late, you can stick with your coffee-drinking habit. In fact, you can even use the thought of coffee to motivate you to get out of bed in the morning.
Get Better Sleep
Magnesium is an essential mineral, and being deficient in it can lead to your body having to work harder than it needs to, which could even make waking up harder to do, according to WebMD. Your body needs 300 (women) to 350 (men) milligrams daily, which can be met by eating whole grains, a handful of nuts, and fish like halibut. You can also take ZMA, which is a zinc and magnesium supplement that may lead to deeper sleep, make you more alert, and help your body recover from the day.
Learning how to become a morning person can be tricky. Start by practicing these healthy habits daily, and you'll be well on your way to being a happier early riser.