Morning sunshine: How to be an early riser

Want to be an early bird? Here are six tips to help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up fresh as a daisy, first thing in the morning.

Want (or need) to start waking up earlier in the morning?

If you’re a night owl, changing your sleep schedule and resetting your internal alarm clock are possible – with a little commitment.

Here are some tips to help you become an early bird.

Get the right amount of sleep

You’ll never enjoy the morning if you don’t get a good night’s sleep.

For some that means a solid nine hours of uninterrupted shut-eye, while six will do for others. The Sleep Health Foundation recommends seven to nine hours for most adults.

One way to figure out how much sleep you need is to take note when you’re on holidays. The number of hours you sleep in the second week of your break can be a good indicator of how much rest your body really needs.

Don’t hit snooze

You may get about five to 10 minutes of fragmented sleep if you keep hitting the snooze button, but you’ll probably wake up groggier than when the alarm first went off.

Instead of trying to sneak in 10 minutes of extra sleep in the morning, try going to bed 10 minutes earlier.

Be consistent

You don’t have separate internal clocks for weekdays and weekends, which means you have to stick with one.

Sleeping in on weekends to compensate for a lack of sleep during the week will throw out your slumber schedule, making Monday mornings even worse than they need to be.

Try to keep your schedule fairly regular by getting up and going to bed on the weekend within an hour or so of your weekday schedule.

Don’t take work to bed with you

Learn to leave work worries at work. Take 15-30 minutes before you leave to reflect and unload the day’s worries and plan for the next day. A mindfulness exercise may help.

Think before you drink

Avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime, as studies show it can delay sleep onset and disturb a deep slumber.

The same goes for alcohol. While it may help you to fall asleep faster, alcohol causes sleep to be fragmented.

Salute the sun

Gentle exercise like yoga can help you get the day off to a good start, and give you a good motivation to get out of bed.

Begin in mountain pose, standing with your feet together and arms by your sides. As you inhale deeply, bring your arms up over your head. Then, as you exhale, bend your torso forward, sweeping your arms down until your fingertips rest on the ground just in front of you.

Bend your knees if you can’t reach the floor comfortably. Now slowly straighten your spine and look up, taking a deep breath in; then exhale and drop your head down again.

Read more about the power of a good night’s sleep, and how to get your kids into a good bedtime routine.

Written by Nikki Yazxhi