Simple Changes To Make To Your Night Time Routine
Now that Christmas is over, many of us are starting to look towards the summer and the warmer weather already.
But the one thing many don’t look forward to is the sun rising earlier.
The thought of early mornings make some of us want to crawl back under the duvet and hide away from the world…
You’re not alone.
In fact, I used to be on team ‘Night Owl’ for years.
From the get go I was a nightmare to get out of bed in the morning before school.
I don’t know how my parents did it, they deserve an award.
As I grew older, waking up early didn’t get any easier.
By the time secondary school came, I’d struggle to get out of bed to get to school on time, all through my sixth form and college years, and ‘early’ bed time for me would be around 1am.
Even in my adult life I found it hard to get to bed before 1am.
I wanted to be a morning person, but I just couldn’t do it.
I remember asking my friends and family – “How do I become a morning person?”
And all I got back was the same thing: “You’re just a night person, it’s too hard to change.”
But I thought that couldn’t be right…
There’s got to be a way to turn things around so it becomes easier to wake on a morning, and not be downing 4 coffees before midday…
Because the coffee surely isn’t good for you, and I was sick of not wanting to get out of bed on a morning.
So I stopped making excuses, and over a few months, I turned a corner…
And it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Because now I can wake up early, have time to play with my kids before making my way to the office, enjoy an extra hot latte before 9am with a good book, and finally have lasting energy to see me through the day.
And because I’ve heard a lot of patients in the clinic lately commenting on how the sun wakes them up too early when it comes to summer, they feel tired by the time they get to work…
I want to share some actionable tips with you, to help make mornings easier…
There are two main components of becoming a morning person: getting to bed earlier, and then waking up earlier.
Let’s tackle both…
Tips On Getting To Bed Earlier:
When I decided to take the leap and transition into a morning person, my first thought was: “this isn’t going to be fun.”
We can make up excuses, justify and rationalise anything and everything to ourselves.
So when you realise you’re responsible for what time you get to bed, you can turn it around.
Here’s how I did it:
First, I focused on small, incremental changes.
A big mistake most people make when they decide to get up earlier is this – they go from waking up at 8:30am to waking up at 6:00am.
They set a few alarms on their phone, go to bed at their usual time, and then battle with themselves for a week to get up at 6:00…
Or worse, ignore their alarm, over and over and over.
Instead of doing from waking up at 8:30 to 6:00 right away, I went from 8:30 to 8:15 for a week.
Then from 8:15 to 8:00 for a week, then to 7:45, you get where I’m going…
By slowly adjusting my sleep schedule, my body didn’t argue with me, and I could actually allow my body to wake up earlier, naturally, without feeling like I desperately wanted to hit the snooze button.
The next step was this:
Going to bed earlier.
For starters, the reason I was always up so late was because I was sitting at my computer staring at bright light until 10 minutes before bed, or watching TV and then struggling to fall asleep.
So I set myself up to win by making a few changes:
* I started reading fiction books in bed.
If I read non-fiction, I’d get too excited and come up with all sorts of ideas that would keep my cogs turning all night.
So instead, I read fiction that wound my mind down and helped put me to sleep.
Still a great tip I use today.
* I committed to no TV after 10:30pm.
I set alarms to make sure I stuck to it, and now I’ve set it back earlier to no more TV after 10pm.
* I get tea earlier.
As soon as I get in, it’s tea time.
This means no rushing around cooking late at night, and having to wash up the dishes late at night.
(Also, so I don’t get shouted at for leaving dirty plates laying around.)
Eating earlier has definitely played a big role in getting to bed earlier than I used to.
I realised my struggle was not with getting up, but rather with going to bed earlier.
Making a commitment to get to bed early is a crucial part of the process.
So, take away tips: stop staring at bright screens.
Put the phone down.
Turn off the TV.
Get off your computer.
And pick a good book to read.
Getting to sleep earlier is just half the battle.
But these actionable tips should help you fight the early sunrise battle when it comes, and help you feel more ready to take on the day.