Health+Wellness • Article

How to Wake Up Like a Morning Person

Jennifer Nelson

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Turn your night owl tendencies into morning alertness with these tips and tricks.


If you don't jump out of bed ready to go each morning, you likely don't consider yourself a morning person. One study shows about 44% of people may be morning types — productive, high-energy larks that feel their best shortly after waking up.


The night owls, on the other hand, may feel more productive and more like yourselves later in the day or evening. You may find it hard to wake up early, and you typically like to stay up late or even work well into the night. This is called your chronotype, the times of day when you prefer to sleep or when you are most alert or energetic.


Why does it matter? Some research suggests morning people have better health and less depression. Plus, many night owls need to hit the ground running at 8 or 9 a.m., feeling tired and sluggish all day. The question is, then, can you become a morning person?


How to Make Mornings Easier on Yourself

Katherine Hall, a sleep psychologist at Somnus Therapy, an online sleep therapy program to help people suffering from sleep problems, says for anyone wishing they were better at mornings, there are ways to alter the cycle.


“You may not be able to change your biological predisposition, but if you want to sleep better and feel productive in the morning, it all starts with what you do during the day," says Hall, who specializes in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).


Gradually Shift to an Earlier Bedtime

It all starts with healthy sleep habits. If you'd like to go to sleep at a more reasonable bedtime so that it's easier to wake up early, it won't just happen if you hit the sheets at 9 p.m. tonight. Most likely you'd lay there till it got closer to your previous bedtime, let's say around midnight.


Instead, gradually shift your bedtime back by 15-30 minutes each night. If your bedtime was previously midnight, the first night try 11:45 p.m., then 11:30 p.m., 11:15 p.m. and so on each night for 7 to 10 days until you hit your desired new bedtime.


Once you establish a set bedtime and wake time, stick to it daily. Hall says this will help your body gently adjust and ease into the new schedule, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and a lot more productive. Getting quality sleep can increase your energy and your focus, so make sure you are comfortable at night.


In fact, Sleepers who routinely use their Sleep Number 360® smart bed technology can get 28 minutes more restful sleep per night — that's up to 170 hours per year!** 


Get Natural Light During the Day

Increasing the time you spend in the sunlight during the day is beneficial for regulating your circadian rhythm — your internal body clock, which determines when you should sleep.


“Spending 10 or 15 minutes in the sunlight during the day — first thing in the morning, or on a break at lunch, contributes towards a healthful, nourishing light routine," says Hall.


Exposure to daylight will later boost your body's production of melatonin, the hormone to make you feel sleepy in the evening, which is triggered by darkness.


If you're looking for a data-proven way to sync your rhythm, Sleep Number® smart bed sleepers who use the bed's circadian rhythm feature improve their bedtime and wake time consistency by 35 minutes for better quality sleep.**


Create a Positive Morning Routine

If your mornings include some pleasant activities (or your favorite breakfast, for example), you'll have more motivation to get out of bed, recommends Allana Wass, a certified sleep science coach and co-founder & editor-in-chief of Comfybeddy, an Australian sleep product review site.


Here are some breakfast ideas from Sleep Number for an energetic day and restful sleep.


“To get your morning dose of serotonin, you can also play your favorite music while getting on with your daily routines like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, making the bed, or cooking breakfast. Chances are, it will help you feel more energetic especially if you dance along," says Waas.


Use the Power of Neuroplasticity

Kara Latta, founder & chief fun officer of The Playful Warrior, a play and mindset coach, says she changed the story she told herself and created a new narrative to becoming a morning person.


Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to adapt to changes in an individual's environment by forming new neural connections over time.


“Our subconscious mind is very impressionable, so I started telling myself I am a morning person and that I love the morning," Latta says.


For this new narrative, Latta crafted identity statements and a future self-vision of the life she wanted. “My future self is a morning person. I consistently visualize this and created statements around how I'm a morning person to rewire my brain."


According to Latta, the more we hear it, the more we believe it. She now does this twice a day when she wakes up and goes to bed.


Make Morning Me-Time

Syrah Kai, a digital creative strategist who has ADHD, says taking time for herself in the morning helps her feel less like a zombie who just wakes up to log in, especially during the pandemic.


“That's why I make the first thing I do every morning something fun," she says. “I take time to hang out with myself and draw on my iPad, write, edit pictures, read a book, meditate or stretch. There are no expectations. It is 30 minutes of play based on whatever I feel like doing that morning."


Kai says this routine helps her look forward to waking up. You might also enjoy exercise or journaling in the early mornings.


Try these 5 exercises you can do from bed.


Start Slow & Take Care of Yourself

No matter what helps best in your journey to become a morning person, the more positive you are about something, the more motivated you'll be to act on it and the more likely you are to see results.


“As you start your journey to become more of a morning person, you should reward yourself for each of the smaller accomplishments along the way," says Hall.


Order your favorite tea, treat yourself to a morning luxury like a longer shower, or get outside for fresh air or a walk, something that reminds you that being a morning person can be beneficial.


Like diet and exercise, quality sleep has a profound impact on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Because no two people sleep the same, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably and provide proven quality sleep. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night's sleep, and if you own a Sleep Number® bed, log in to your InnerCircle℠ Rewards account to see your exclusive offers, refer friends and more.


*Based on average SleepIQ® data from 8/1/21 – 2/28/22 of sleepers who engaged with their Sleep Number® setting, SleepIQ® data and FlexFit™ smart adjustable base. 


**Based on SleepIQ® data from 6/9/20 to 8/15/20 of sleepers who viewed the circadian rhythm feature vs. those who did not.



Jennifer Nelson is a Florida-based health writer who writes about all things sleep hygiene. She writes for The National Sleep Foundation, Phillips, Tom's Guide, Southern Living, Health, AARP and others.

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