I have never been a morning person. I prefer to spend those early hours snuggled up under my comforter, with a good book or a string of Netflix shows to keep me content until I’m ready to get up. But recently, I’ve been feeling the need to be more productive with my days, as well as be more mindful. I wanted to be able to have enough time in the day to check everything off my to-do list, but I didn’t want anything to feel rushed, hectic or overly stressful. I knew that if I was going to work this habit into my routine, I’d have to start waking up earlier and using my mornings to their fullest potential.
Feel the Rhythm
We’ve all heard of circadian rhythms. These rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that are naturally occurring in the human body. They respond to the light and darkness in our environments (ie: daytime and nighttime), and they roughly follow a 24-hour cycle. Though they aren’t the same as our biological clocks, they work with the clocks to contribute to our overall wellbeing and “routine” (hunger cues, energy levels etc.)
As mentioned in my previous post about my DIY hanging closet, when I moved into my new house, I really only had one specific request: the bedroom I got would have an east facing window. If I was ever going to start waking up earlier, I knew that I’d have to start “rising with the sun”. That meant no curtains or blinds- instead, I would embrace the rays and stop relying on my phone’s alarm clock to wake me.
The first month sucked. I’d wake up around 8 a.m. with the sun scorching the side of my face and making my white walls glow like the gates of heaven. I was cranky and sleepy that first little while, but after four persistent weeks, I started waking up naturally. I started falling asleep earlier, which helped tremendously, and it felt great to have a sleep schedule. I no longer dreaded having to get up early, because I was doing it on my own.
I now wake up at 8 with no alarm, easily earlier if I do set one. The sun is my cue to rise, which feels really natural, and I find it hard to sleep in any later than 10 because of it. I love having mornings to myself- I get so much done while enjoying my cup of coffee, and it gives me a few hours to get my day started instead of starting it at noon like I used to!
Are you a morning person? What tips do you have for people struggling to get into a morning routine?