Rise and Shine
College is an incredibly diverse place, but one characteristic is pretty static: sleeping patterns. Wake up late, stay up late, wake up later to compensate, stay up later to get everything done. If that doesn’t sound like the most successful routine, that’s because it isn’t. However, transforming into a morning person—while not exactly easy—is incredibly rewarding. You’ll be more productive, energetic, healthier, and happier! So here’s how to become that girl who leaps out of bed every morning.
- 1. Get Enough Sleep
Yes, this is obvious. But it makes the list because far too many students don’t get in their nightly seven to eight hours. Not such a big deal, you say? Sleep has a direct impact on our learning and memory, metabolism, mood, cardiovascular health, and chances of disease. So if you go to bed at a reasonable hour, not only will you be much more capable of waking up early, but you’ll be doing your body some serious good. If it seems like this may be a challenge for you, try establishing a calming “ritual” you perform every night before bed, like reading a novel or writing in a journal. Avoid screen-time, as the artificial light from phones and laptops can interfere with your biological rhythms. You may also want to consider drinking some “sleepy-time tea,” like chamomile, or taking a warm bath.
- 2. Make a Yummy Breakfast
While grabbing a granola bar and a banana is always an easy a.m. option, knowing you’re about to taste something delicious can be a great motivator for throwing off the covers and getting up. Try whipping up pancakes with a chocolate peanut butter frosting, making a green smoothie with spinach, frozen fruit, and dates, or cook a veggie breakfast skillet on the stove. However, if you don’t have the time or energy to cook in the morning, there are plenty of meals you can prepare the night before. My favorites include overnight oatmeal, frozen breakfast burritos, and parfaits. This technique works—I’m always happy when my alarm goes off because I get to walk into the kitchen and indulge in a heavenly meal.
- 3. Do Some Quick Meditation
I could go on and on about the physiological benefits of meditation—increased gray matter! decreased sensitivity to pain! Faster information processing! Oh my!—but one of the pros about doing it in the morning is that you’ll feel much more focused and awake. It even helps your memory, emotional stability, and focusing abilities… All things that night owls can maybe (cough) use some help with in the morning. Download a meditation app like Stop, Breathe, and Think or Calm, or simply close your eyes and focus on your breathing for five to ten minutes. It may seem like a big chunk of time to put aside each day, but think of it as an investment with huge rewards.
While you may never anticipate the brrrng! of your alarm with joy, using these three techniques will make those hours after you first wake up much more manageable. I’ll see you in the morning!