There are two types of people: morning people and not-so-morning people. I happen to be the latter. As a junior in college, my parents have been encouraging me to practice the whole “adulting” thing, which may include having to learn to wake up early. As a student who has taken EVERY opportunity to not have to be anywhere before at least 10 a.m. (class, work…anywhere), I already knew that this was going to be a challenge. I did a little research on what type of sorcery these “morning people” do every day, and I tried out their techniques for a week. Here’s how it went:
I set my alarm to wake up at 8:15 a.m. each morning. (For you “real” morning people out there, cut me some slack.) I also opened the blinds, included a multi-vitamin and a little breakfast each morning.
Day 1 – Early to Bed, Early to Rise
As a not-so-morning person, it only makes sense that I feel most alive in the evenings and nights. (I was born on a Friday night at 10 p.m., so I was destined for the nightlife.) But if I was going to make it through a week of early mornings, I knew that I needed to get a little more sleep. Instead of starting my bedtime routine around midnight, I decided to prepare myself to go to bed earlier. I began trying to wind myself down around 7 p.m. with dinner, a hot shower and an episode of Say Yes to The Dress. At 10 p.m. I turned my phone on “Do Not Disturb” and I forced my racing mind to sleep. Despite my early bedtime, I still was not ready to face the next morning.
Day 2 – Avoiding The Snooze Button
As a chronic snooze-r, I decided to try waking up the moment the alarm went off. I placed my phone on the opposite side of the room to force me out of bed when the alarm went off. Once I was up, I had to fight the urge to hit snooze anyway and crawl back into my comfortable pillowed fortress. I took a couple of laps around my apartment to help me wake up, but I felt like a grumpy zombie for the rest of the morning (and early afternoon). This “happy morning person” thing definitely cannot be real.
Day 3 – Stretching
On Day Three, I managed to avoid hitting the snooze button again, I decided to try stimulating my muscles with a series of stretches in the bed, and a few standing poses out of the bed. The stretches were helpful in relieving some muscle tension. If anything, hearing my joints pop woke me up a little, but I was still in grumpy zombie mode during the rest of my morning routine.
Day 4 – Morning Workout
As a fitness instructor, I’m no stranger to the benefits of a good workout—including endorphins and an energy boost. I decided to start my Saturday with a little morning workout to help get me going. I prepped for my workout with another series of stretches, and after getting dressed, I decided to take a little jog for a boost. Running into the morning sun did give me a little boost of energy, but I still wasn’t feeling the “happy morning person” aura.
Day 5 – Musical Selection
I read that listening to music during your morning routine could help make the mornings a little peppier. I created a playlist with upbeat music from my favorite artists, and I let it play while I did my morning routine. While I usually have no probably getting turnt to Rihanna, Beyoncé or Drake, I could not muster the energy to shake my hips or sing the lyrics to any song. Again, I started my day as a grumpy zombie. Shortly after making breakfast, I crawled back into bed and took a Lazy Sunday nap.
Day 6 – Coffee
Day Six was definitely a struggle. After hitting snooze THREE times, I finally rolled out of bed, got dressed and dragged myself into Starbucks. As a self-proclaimed coffee-holic, this definitely wasn’t a problem. With coffee in one hand and confidence in the other, I thought it was the perfect way to start the day. The caffeine kept me energized through the first couple hours of work, but my mid-afternoon lecture, I was already missing my extra morning sleep.
Day 7 – Espresso
Day Seven was my last day (thankfully), but I knew I had to take it up a notch. I was definitely failing at this morning person thing, but I had one last trick up my sleeve. So far, drinking coffee had been the most helpful solution so I was taking it into 2.0 mode. After only hitting snooze once, I woke up, got dressed and headed to Starbucks again. When I approached the counter, I nervously yet assertively asked the barista to give me the strongest drink on the menu that wouldn’t kill me. After a ten-minute wait and a little anticipation, I drank a tall Americano with soymilk and four shots of espresso. (Side Note: The barista offered five shots, but I chickened out.) As I walked into work, half way through my drink, it happened. I felt this overwhelming, energetic feeling of being awake before 10 a.m. I had achieved the “happy morning person aura.” I found the secret, and it is indeed espresso.
After a seven-day trial of morning rituals, I learned a lot techniques to take to the mornings better. Also, as a disclaimer, I am not sure that what worked and didn’t work for me will be the same for someone else. Overall, my best advice on how to become a morning person from a not-so-morning person: DON’T.
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