Circadian rhythm or sleep chronotype classifies people into morning persons or evening persons. The morning-type people wake up early and are called larks, while the evening-type people sleep late at night (and wake up late) and are known as the night owls. Interestingly, most people do not fall in either of these two categories, they are the neutrals or in-between types and called the hummingbirds. They are active between sunrise to sunset.
The morning type people are the most cherished and thought to be successful and wealthy. It’s generally believed that early risers get to do a lot in a day as they have more waking hours at their disposal. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and Richard Branson have one thing in common – they wake up before 5am – and, as we know very successful in their respective fields.
Genetics plays a defining role in determining your natural circadian rhythm. While there is nothing wrong in being a night owl, it’s possible to change your natural chronotype. Gradual and small changes in daily schedule, like going to bed early or through light exposure can help you in altering your internal clock.
Tips to become a morning person
Here are some healthy habits you can adopt to wake up in the morning.
Get enough sleep – Early risers go to bed early and get adequate sleep at night. Following a schedule of going to bed at around the same time at night helps in falling asleep. It means maintaining a consistent wake-up time in the morning every day, including weekends. Include magnesium in your diet as it improves the quality of sleep as well as its duration. It calms the body and provides relaxation, inducing deep and invigorating sleep.
Reduce phone time after sunset – Blue light is best when it comes from the sky, so avoid using the mobile before bedtime. The blue light from mobiles suppresses production of melatonin, the body’s natural hormone that regulates your circadian rythm. Most people who keep scrolling through their mobiles right till they decide to go to bed have problem falling asleep as scrolling excites the brain, which is not conducive to sleep.
Avoid the snooze button – Skipping the snooze button in the morning will enable you to wake up at the scheduled time. Pressing the snooze button to sleep an extra 5-10 minutes will not help as you end up waking up late. Besides, it weakens your resolve to get out of bed by delaying the waking up time.
Exposure to natural light – Natural light from the sun suppresses release of melatonin, responsible for morning grogginess. Pull back the curtains before going to bed to let sunlight peek into your room in the morning or take a brief morning walk to get exposed to natural light.
Find a reason to wake up – Adopt a morning ritual that gives you the motivation. Wake up, looking forward to your morning cup of tea/coffee or making a great breakfast, listening to your playlist, going to the gym, practicing yoga – the possibilities are endless.
Most people having difficulty in falling asleep are either early risers or the evening types. The morning types or early risers should normally be able to wake up; But due to sleeping problem or inadequate sleep they are unable to wake up early. The night owls are biologically disposed to be active in the evenings; However, with some planning and consistency in habits they can also become morning persons.