How to Become a Morning Person

How to Become a Morning Person

A photo by David Mao.

Hey guys!

If the word “morning” sends you hiding under the covers, this post is for you! Most people claim they’re either an early riser or a night owl. One isn’t better than the other, it’s simply the time you feel the best and most productive! The major difference is that night owls tend to dread mornings so deeply, they often start their days cranky, sluggish and unproductive.

I used to go to sleep at 4am daily (bad bad habit) and it messed with my metabolism so much. I wasn’t able to lose weight or gain muscle and my body felt super stuck…until I changed the way I slept. It wasn’t until VERY recently that I was able to happily wake up 6am to get to my 7am workouts. It took some training, but you can do this too.

Here’s how!

1-alarm clock

1. Set It.

You have to start somewhere, so the alarm clock is step number one. Don’t worry though, you can tear the band aid off slowly! Depending on how much earlier you need/want to wake up (whether it’s to get organized, finally fit in a morning workout, slowly enjoy your cup of tea, make your lunch for work, read a book or have more time to beautify before school or work) set the alarm 15 minutes earlier over the course of several days until you hit the magic time. For example, if you currently wake up at 7:00 but you want to get up at 6:00 a.m., set the alarm for 6:45 for three days, then 6:30 for three days, and so on. This gives your body a chance to reset gradually, taking the initial sting away.


2. Prep.

You really need something to look forward to in the morning. Decide what that dangling carrot is for you, and reverse engineer a way to have it lure you out of the dark and into the light! For some, it’s coffee or tea, for others it’s a green smoothie or a ready breakfast. For others, it’s a workout, audiobook, podcast or the newspaper. Whatever makes you the most happy in the morning is the thing you’re going to prep the night before. If your coffee maker has a timer, set it to brew 10 minutes before your alarm goes off, or at the very least, fill up the water and place the pod in the maker with a cup underneath so that all you have to do is press ‘start.’ If it’s breakfast you want, make overnight oats the night before. If it’s a workout, set all of your clothes out in advance and make sure your water bottle is full and chilling in the fridge. If you’re really feeling ambitious, make your lunch the night before to make your morning even more seamless. Handle all the chores the night before so that you can actually relish the early hours and fill the time with things you like.


3. Meditate.

Yes, even if it’s not your thing, sitting up and meditating for even 10 minutes clears the mind of all your stressful to-do lists, which is a big reason people are overwhelmed by mornings and would rather stay in bed. Calming your mind and body with cleansing breaths and relaxation techniques sets you up for a more productive day. There are several apps that can help you do guided meditation if you’re not a pro at going it alone just yet. The Headspace app is great!


4. List It.

Writing down–or even typing into your phone–your top three objectives for the day suddenly prioritizes everything. Most of us are pretty fantastic at multi-tasking, but studies show we aren’t accomplishing more by tackling too much at once. It’s actually far more productive for us to put our phones on airplane mode, close all unnecessary tabs, and focus on one task at a time. There’s much less stress and distraction that way, and things get done better. So wake up, set your top three goals, and know you’ll tackle them with ease, which should help you look forward to the day with a bit more affection.

5. Set the Tone.

Instead of waking up to blaring BEEPS, set your alarm to your favorite radio station or song! What better way to start the day than to hear Justin Timberlake singing, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Music makes us happy, so hearing joyful sounds as you exit slumber puts you in a better and less resentful mood.

6. Schedule It.

If your goal is to wake up earlier to exercise because you know you can’t do it after work or school, you simply must get an accountability partner for the mornings. See if your BFF will meet you at 6:00 a.m. to jog, or Skype your bestie as you do Pilates. The association you have with waking early to see your favorite person takes the sting out of the early hour, and it also keeps you committed to your workout regimen.

7. Light It Up.

Studies show you definitely need to sleep in a dark room, but as soon as you wake up, let the light in ASAP. Yes, it’s hard on your eyes for a second, but seeing the sun actually lightens your mood and reminds you of all the opportunities that stand before you. If you live where it’s still dark in the early morning, turn on the lights and open a window for some fresh air, if weather permits.

8.  Get Enough Sleep.

You can’t go waking up earlier if you’re not going to go to bed earlier. Being a morning person doesn’t mean you just function on 6 hours of zzz’s instead of 7.  You still need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. As you begin setting your alarm earlier and earlier, commit to turning in that much earlier too.

9. Turn Off the Electronics.

T.V., computers and phones stimulate you before bed. To get a more restful sleep with more REM, you need to shut off electronics an hour or more before shutting off the lights. Create a new habit where you read, listen to a podcast or meditate before bed to help you fall into a deep sleep faster. More high quality sleep means happier mornings.

10. No Alcohol Or Big Meals.

Alcohol seriously interferes with sleep, as do heavy meals. Avoid eating a lot right before bed and keep alcohol to a minimum, if at all. You might also want to decrease your water intake leading up to bedtime so that you don’t have to wake up to pee, which disrupts your sleep cycles, leading to crabbier mornings.

11. Shout It Out.

When all else fails, wake up and say, “I’m up, I’m happy and I’m ready for the day!” It might sound cheesy, but I dare you to give it a try and not have it put a small smile on your face. Say it more than once, and loudly if you need to; do whatever it takes for your words to become reality. We are what we think, so if you think you are happy and ready, declare it and watch it come to fruition.

12. Do It Every Day.

It’s actually really important to wake up at the same time every day, regardless if it’s Wednesday, or Saturday. Sleeping in until noon on the weekends doesn’t change your body’s sleep cycle for it to become a routine that’s innate. Feel free to give yourself an extra 30 minutes or so on the weekends, but the goal is to get you so excited to tackle the day, that you won’t want to hibernate on the weekends.

That’s it guys! Are you ready to take the plunge? Early risers tend to burn more calories and get more done in a day, so let that tidbit, and the 12 tips above incentivize you to be the early bird that gets the worm!

Let me know in the comments if you’re a natural early riser or a night owl and what your best tips are!


53 thoughts on “How to Become a Morning Person”

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  1. Cassie says:

    I actually am an early bird, so it’s easy for me to wake up fairly early! I do need my alarms sometimes, and sometimes it is hard for me to get out of bed because my legs feel sore!

  2. Kylie Heng says:

    I’m naturally a night owl, in high school I had 3 alarm clocks: one on my nightstand by my bed, one on my clothes wardrobe, and the last one (the most annoying ringing) in the bathroom. Almost every morning I would get out of bed, turn them all off, and go back to sleep. I know, I was terrible at getting up. I recently had a really bad night because my cats spent the entire time playing on the bed while I was trying to sleep, so I’ve decided to dedicate a half hour before bed as “laser time” to burn their energy and also help me wind down since I won’t be looking at any screens. I hope it helps with my sleep, because I’ve been getting some horrifying nightmares that make me scared to get out of bed.

  3. Aline says:

    I’m not really a night owl nor a morning person. On the weekends when I don’t have to put on my alarm clock I tend to go to bed at 11-12pm and wake up naturally around 9am. But for work I have to get up at 5am 🙁 It’s soo early! And I go to bed at 9-9:30pm. That’s 7 hours of sleep, I’d actually need at least 8 hours of sleep every day, but most often I don’t even get everything done in one day until I have to go to bed again, so :/

    Actually I love the morning hours, but on weekdays I can’t enjoy them because I’m still tired and don’t really have time to do stuff that keeps me going for the day. The only thing I’m doing is that I’m listening to music while I’m getting ready. I’d love to do my workout in the mornings, because I’m doing it on the weekends and it’s awesome, but there’s no way I’ll be able to get up even more early for it. I’m already eating breakfast while putting on my makeup 😀
    Before the summer I had some more time in the mornings and I did meditation for about 10min after getting up which I loved.

    Cassey’s tips are great 🙂 I open my window and letting in fresh air to wake up too. I think I’m going to try and make myself a tea first thing when I wake up.

  4. Kashia says:

    I am actually more productive in the morning. However I start my day sort of guides my entire day. For example, if I workout, I have energy throughout the day and my mood is better. I also love getting up early on the weekends when my family is still asleep.

  5. Eloise says:

    I definitely need to try this out, especially before i start uni again in a few weeks.

  6. Great tips!! Thanks for sharing!! I’m starting a new job next week, so I am going to have to get use to early morning.

    Grace xx

  7. Emily Jo Hood says:

    These are the best tips I’ve read so far. Already putting them in to practice, thanks Cassey!!!

  8. I so love this post. Thanks for sharing these tips. I struggle with this everyday and honestly I hate my alarm tone.

  9. Scarlet says:

    Planning what to do helps you get up in the morning cause you know you planned something for the day and you need to do that. Planning helps.

  10. Elishia says:

    I used to be awesome at getting up, but I’m waiting for my work permit to come through having just moved to NYC and getting up is such a chore (when I’m up, I’m out exploring but I could be doing sooooo much more)! Thanks, I’m going to start implementing these right away 🙂

  11. V says:

    One thing that helps me get up and work out is setting my Pilates/yoga mat out alongside my work out clothes!

  12. I’m definitely going to try and give this a go! I’ve downloaded the headspace app and I’ve set my alarm clock 15 minutes earlier than usual! I’m excited to try this out! x

    |Georgia Megan|

  13. Malkah says:

    I start back up to school in one week from today and my school schedule would be me sleeping right when I got home, 3pm, until 12am then start my homework and whatever I needed to do. Then over the summer my schedule has become “sleep at 5 am, wake at 3 pm”. The thing is though with me and sleep, it seems more of that I need more sleep than others, like some easily feel less tired after 8 hours or 9 and if I sleep less than 10 to 12 hours, I feel so much more tired than I need to. What do I do?

    1. Ana Margarida Vieira says:

      That has a lot to do with those aggressive sleep changes your body goes through. We are creatures of habits and constant change in sleeping habits makes our body confuse, leaving us in a bad mood, drowsy and sleepy all day long, or just until you get an adrenaline peak. My advice, and taking into consideration you are fully healthy (because anemia for example, even if mild, might cause chronic fatigue), is to fix a sleeping schedule that must be as strict as possible, setting 10 hours sleep for a start (I feel you’re still under 18?). That includes weekends. Try to shut those electronics for a while before sleeping, as those tend to be the cause why people can’t get a proper profound sleeping stage, when you normally dream. That’s the moment your body most shuts down to get growing, healing and renewal functions going normally. If one can’t get enough REM sleep, then will most likely wake up moody – sleep is about quantity, but is mostly about quality. And IMPORTANT sleep is not a luxury, it’s a need and should be treated as one priority, just like meetings and homework. If you stick to this, you’ll end up doing just fine.

      1. Malkah says:

        I actually do have a deficiency making me anemic for iron, so I get tired more often if I don’t have enough iron.

  14. Denise says:

    These are great tip! I’ve been wanted to become a morning person since I feel like you can accomplish more.

  15. DMS2 says:

    I wake up early to go to work, but can’t manage to go to bed early too. Too many things to do I guess, and few time after work. :/

    1. DMS2 says:

      By the way, I’ve never been able to workout in the morning. My moment is by 7pm. Then I feel super energetic.
      During weekends and vacation I generally wake up at 9-10am without any alarm clock and that feels natural for me.
      Waking up earlier doesn’t feel ok. It doesn’t matter if I went to bed early too. I feel sluggish anyway.

  16. Suzanne says:

    I’m a natural early riser and I love mornings, especially if I don’t have to go to work that day and can do things I want to do for myself❤

  17. Sarah says:

    Love this! So much easier said than done though :/ I used to put my alarm clock across the room so I wouldn’t hit snooze as soon as I turned it off, but I’ve been slacking with that lately. I may try again since I’ve been wanting to fit in a workout in the morning twice a week as opposed to the evening the other days.

    x Sarah

  18. savanah says:

    O yea by the way …I love you Cassey

  19. savanah says:

    I could actually be both a morning riser or nite owl…but I have noticed if I don’t get up before 7am I am cranky…so definitely have to wake up before then

  20. Tabea says:

    But what about the early worm? He might have survived being late -.-
    No but really, I actually love having a lot of time in the morning, and feel great if I get my morning workout in. If I could only convince myself in getting up as soon as I hear the alarm, but I just love rolling around in my bed half asleep. I will keep trying and take in those tipps, thanks Cassey. I tend to sleep way to late, because there is so much interesting stuff on the internet, I love to educate myself. I also usually work out rather late and eat rather late. I only work out in the morning if I know I have plans after work. 7-9 hours? this means I would need to sleep at 10 or 12. I could try maybe 11. I actually love to use a meditation app on my I Pad, It helps me fall asleep within like 10-20minutes that’s really amazing.

  21. Pluiehivernale says:

    I’m an natural early riser… but I do relate with the “I’d rather stay in bed ’cause I don’t want to do the things I have to in my day…” ! It happens sometimes! But my best tip is to get up really quickly, and not think, just move on, so that I don’t realize I’m starting my day, and have no time to think “oh no!”…
    And I have a question… I always wake up to go to the bathroom once per night, and I’d never thought it disrupted the sleep cycles. And I don’t decrease my water intake, as I’m afraid to get a cystitis if I do! So… is it really better to sleep without interruption or not? Knowing that I fall asleep again really quickly.

  22. Yara Miora says:

    Yes Yes Yes!! I am a total night owl too but I’m about to start grad school so Its time to change some habits but this will help 🙂 <3

  23. Pilar says:

    I have the problem that I don’t sleep well knowing an alarm will go off. I wake up every hour panicking that the alarm might go off soon. I now use a wake up light and it works wonders! Wakes me up perfectly on time, has the light on to get me out of bed, and I sleep through the whole night, not anxious about a loud alarm blaring in my face.

  24. Sara Lejon says:

    I have such a hard time with mornings, but the app SleepCycle really helps me. I set a span of time within which I’d like to wake up, and the alarm goes off when I’m in my most shallow sleep. Sometimes I still snooze, but it’s not because I can’t get up, more that my bed is just too comfy… ??

  25. Alaxing says:

    I did this last summer when my family moved into a new house!!! Like I’m literally reading each step and going omg omg omg I did these last summer and let me tell y’all it works. I started to change my habits probably the last week of July. Before that I was staying up til the sun rose playing video games and browsing the web. It took me a week to get adjusted and I felt so good. It carried into the school year but faded Spring quarter as I got overwhelmed with classes?I’ve been ok so far this summer. When I visited California for 2 weeks I was ablee to wake up at 730 am everyday (on vacation sue me) but I got back and lost motivation and am waking up at 9 now. I love mornings so much more because it’s quiet and I can movr at my own pace. I feel like I have so much more time to get stuff done. This seriously is motivating me to start getting back into gear TONIGHT (its 1145 pm?) and you know what I’m going to.???

  26. Jacqueline says:

    These are the exact steps I’m trying to take myself! Seriously, it is WAY more challenging than it sounds when you have no morning person friends. I used to feel ashamed of the fact that I desperately need someone to help and support me to accomplish this feat but not anymore. My husband is working on it too but so far he’s succeeding at it more than I am.
    I’m totally going to blog/vlog about this journey to early rising we’re taking and I’m going to include a link to this post right here when I do. Love you SO much Cassey! ♡

  27. Maria says:

    Hey Cassey, Great post! I’m a natural early riser (I wake up at 4:50, work out 5-6 and then head to school- I’m a teacher). But this post still had plenty for me to use. Sometimes getting up early can be so tough, mostly because I didn’t go to bed early enough the night before. I’m going to try some of the techniques I didn’t know as much about. That should help. I think one of the hardest things is that most of my friends and my husband are the opposite with their schedules. We also like dancing, and studios open for social dancing so late. But that’s OK. I’m working on balance. =) Thanks!

  28. Louise Charlotte Dalsgaard Nie says:

    I’m definetly a night owl these days, did’nt use to be though. After my boyfriend and I moved in to our rented house I’ve had a hard time sleeping, I’ve been anxious – especially when I’m going to bed as I seem to have this irrational fear that I might not wake up again. Also I’ve never been able to sleep in the dark, I am 26 years old and I’m so scared of the dark that I panic if I wake up at night and my BF have turned of my light on the night stand and it’s dark around me. But I did use to fall asleep around 11pm and had a pretty easy time getting up early, but now I’ll fall asleep anywhere between 1 am and 3 am, right now it’s actually 6am and I’ve been up for an hour ‘cuz my BF woke up and got annoyed with me because the computer and lights were on, so he is now sleeping in the livingroom and I’m exhausted from not sleeping properly for weeks and by the thought of having to go to work again from wednesday of, and I’m sad and feel hopelessly lost and alone, which is probably why I’m writing this sad and pathetic comment.

    1. Hilary says:

      You are not alone, love. Wishing you the best <3

      1. Louise Charlotte Dalsgaard Nie says:

        Thank you Hilary <3

  29. I ought to try the shout it out technique!

  30. Joeii Tayllerr says:

    I am definitely a night owl! I workout, study, prepare for the next day all at night. I’m not so much of a morning person because I wake up pretty slowly! I know that letting sunshine into my room when I first wake up really helps me get my day going. I also love preparing for the next day, making lunch and breakfast, and even setting my outfits for the week! Thanks so much for these helpful tips, I need to work on becoming a better early bird! Love ya Cassey! ????

  31. Lotte Infomorph says:

    I thought, uh oh, it’s a link to another listicle… but no! Until the world changes to operate on our nightowl schedule, these are great ideas to put into practice.

  32. Melissa Hoffman says:

    One thing that I like to do is I keep a journal next to my bed, and if you’re anything like me… the time you go to bed is the time your mind RACES!! which can obviously make it difficult to sleep. When, however, these endless nighttime thoughts come to your mind pick up the journal and write down EVERYTHING you are thinking about because then phsycologically your brain “lets it all out” allowing you to get some sleep 🙂 Hope this tip helps some of you! And great points Cassey!! I definitely am going to try the one where you wake up and immediately say today is going to be great!! 🙂 You’re so inspirational!

  33. Ariana Garbers says:

    I am a more of a morning person although it can be tough to get out of bed some mornings. These tips really helped me! Thanks Cassey I can always look to you for brightening my day!!<3

  34. Joanne says:

    I am a night owl. I feel like I can do more when everyone else is sleeping and the house is all quiet. But I do want to wake up earlier too. Great tips! I will try some of them! 🙂

  35. Nikki says:

    I consider myself an early morning person even though it’s not always easy…I will def try these tips out they look super helpful! 🙂 I love the idea of waking to my fave song playing on my phone, but how do I go about setting that up???

    1. Aline says:

      I have the alarm clock app ‘Rise’ where you can pick any song you’re having on your phone to wake you up or you can pick some tunes which are included in the app 🙂

  36. Veronica says:

    I wish I would be able to decide at what time I wake up and exercise it out! These are all great tips and I love them but I’m not sure how to incorporate it in the 5 am wake up calls from my 2 year old and the feedings every 3 hours for my 7 month old. When they let me sleep until 7 it’s a blessing.

  37. Katheryn says:

    I’m up at, now, 5:30. (Longer commute) I do “Abs is a Flash” and the “Back, butt and arms”(pushing grasshopper) while the coffee is making. I use a french press, so the abs while the water boils, the grasshopper while it brews. Then, to the bathroom to curl hair, make up and get ready. I teach at 8:00 and my students wonder how it is that I can be so perky so early in the day. This gets me up, awake and raring to go every day.

  38. Becca :P says:

    I have a hard time putting my phone down before bed. I’m generally not too attached to it, and I don’t get anxiety without it. In fact, I often like not having it on. Some days I forget about it and read all day long.
    But I like to keep my phone on until I go to sleep because I want to talk to my friends. Night time is when I message people most and I feel like I will miss out, even though I’d love to put it down otherwise.
    I have a hard time sleeping, so maybe I should just start letting my friends know I turn my phone off at 8:30? Should I try taking a break from my phone for a week and see if I enjoy it? Because the only problem with putting it down is that I lose the ability to plan walks and bike rides with my friends

  39. Nessa says:

    I cannot say how much I needed these tips. I have been trying to get up early for months and it just hasn’t been working well. Some I had tried but wasn’t being consistent in. Thank you so much for these tips. Hopefully it can help me get motivated and manage to get those workouts in in the morning!

  40. I want to be an early riser SO BAD!! If I make it a habit of prepping clothes/food from the night before and going to bed by 10pm, I can do it. Up until this August, my MBA classes met until 10pm, and I wouldn’t get home untl about 10:30…then I had to wind down before bed. My schedule has changed, so I’m going to take advantage of it and get my AM workout on!

  41. Firzanah Firdaus says:

    Awesome write up Cassey! I’ll be starting University soon so I really need to get my sleeping patterns right & squeeze in working out in the morning now! Love you so much <3

  42. I’m a total night owl! One thing that really helps me is my sunrise simulation alarm clock. It has a light that gradually gets brighter and brighter starting a half hour before the time I’ve set the alarm. Then at the time of the alarm, it also has birds chirping that get louder and louder. I find I feel so much better waking up in a bright room, and it’s especially helpful through the winter when the mornings are so dark.

    1. Angélica Maria Molina says:

      That’s cool! I just searched up what that lamp was! It seems interesting. Maybe I could invest in one. I think that could be helpful for someone like me lol thanks 🙂

    2. savanah says:

      yea I would really like to know what it is or called?

      1. If you Google or search on Amazon for a “sunrise simulation alarm clock” or “sunrise simulator” a lot of different ones will come up. There’s all sorts. Mine is Phillips brand, but there are others that make them as well. I bought it when it was on sale at London Drugs, but you can get them at different stores or online.