A mere 10 percent of people have the “early morning” chronotype… that is, only ten percent of the population can be classified as a “morning person.” However, just because you fall into a different sleep pattern–night owl or somewhere in between–doesn’t mean you can’t train yourself to be the early bird that snatches the worm (and gains countless hours). Read and find ways to rewire your sleep patterns, tips for getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and a case for waking while the world sleeps.


Why Be an Early Riser?


Recently, Forbes compiled a list of the benefits of being a morning person. They included better grades and performance reports, heightened assertiveness (the good, confident kind), increased problem-solving skills, health benefits (with more time to exercise) and even better quality of sleep. Rising early can also be an ideal routine for more introverted folks who long for some quiet, alone time at some point during the day.


Ways to Train Your Brain and Body:


Quit taking naps


Sorry, nap people. Your long siestas might actually be impeding a good night’s sleep. The longer you nap, the more likely you are to wake up during the middle of the night. Therefore, try to limit your power naps and snooze sessions to less than 25 minutes. Set a timer on your cell phone if you must. (Just make sure your ringer is something pleasant. No abrasive alarm blasts!)


Exercise Throughout the Day (And Early if You Can)


Wear your body out and you’ll be running to bed at the end of each day. By getting your sweat on around 7 AM or so,you’ll increase your body temperature, which will boost your energy throughout the next four to five hours. Plus, you’ll lower your blood pressure, making it easier to fall asleep later that night.


Diet for Good Sleep


Don’t eat foods high in protein late at night. It takes your body a lot of energy to digest heavy-duty stuff. Likewise, avoid really sugary foods, alcohol, and coffee! Give your body optimal conditions for achieving great sleep. If you really need a late evening warm drink or snack, try making some decaffeinated tea and something light, like fruits or veggies.


When You Wake Up:


Avoid checking your email first thing. Give your mind and body a moment and take time to check in, breathe deeply, and greet the day. Some people even opt for meditation and “intention setting” in the early hours.


Drink a big glass of water. Hydrate your organs! Seriously, it seems common sense, but drinking a 12 oz. glass of water can really help your body out. After All, there’s a good chance you’re a bit dehydrated after sleeping for (hopefully) eight hours. Drink water. Ward of premature aging. It’s a wonderful thing.


If you have children, put them on an itinerary. It’s important to establish a routine, so they can be more independent getting ready for school.


Eat breakfast and exercise. Now is the time to kickstart your metabolism by exercising and fixing a healthy, high-protein meal!


There You Have It…


By getting up early, you’ve already accomplished more in your day that those who choose to snooze! You also ensure you make time for important rituals. Your life is more balanced, you feel more centered, and you’re off to a great start!


What are your sleeping patterns? Sound off in the comments!