Is your daily routine plagued by the thought of the dreaded early morning start? Maybe you’ve become accustomed to lazy mornings, or you usually sleep in as late as possible before you head off to work.
Whatever the case, adapting to being a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed individual before midday can be a huge advantage for those wanting to fit study around their other responsibilities.
Before you throw your hands up in despair, crying, “But, I’m not a morning person!”, here are a few things that could make a difference to how you start your day.
Motivation to become a morning person
A study by Northwestern University found people who were exposed to more early morning sunlight had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who gained most of their rays later in the day. Another study found self-declared early birds tended to have higher grade point averages (GPA) than night owls, as reported by WebMD.
While this is all well and good, if you’re an online student, the motivation to make the most of your mornings can centre around getting your study done early to fit it around work, or to free up time to spend with your kids.
Even smaller changes like using your morning coffee time to go over your notes or do your reading can make a big difference to the structure of your day. If your job allows you to work remotely or flexibly, see if you can coordinate an earlier start or finish time a couple of days a week – giving you a valuable hour or two in the afternoon to study (and avoiding the peak hour traffic!).
Making it happen
Go to sleep earlier
This is an obvious one, but if you’re going to get up earlier and feel more refreshed after a night’s sleep, it’s important you adjust your shut-eye to allow for this. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep at night, avoid using screens in the evening – the blue spectrum light they emit can mess with your all-important circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle.
Set a consistent wake-up time
Consistency is key to retraining your body to get up at a decent time, lessening the chances of falling back into your old ways. Set an alarm and try not to snooze through it. If you find yourself prone to the latter, put your phone or alarm clock on the other side of the room before you go to sleep, and you’ll no choice but to get up on time.
Make a routine
Jumping in the shower and brushing your teeth first thing in the morning can go a long way to helping you feel refreshed and alert, as well as helping you to establish a productive morning routine. You could even do something crazy like go for a walk! The exercise can release feel-good endorphins to leave you feeling energised to tackle work, family and study in the day ahead.