Tips and tricks for becoming a morning person

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We've all been there: You hit the snooze button for a third time while attempting to pry yourself from your bed. You're still not feeling the effects of the coffee four cups in, and you're just not very chipper in the morning. Not everyone is cut out to be a morning person, but here are some tips and tricks to start your day in a more positive way.

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Give yourself a reason to wake up

Pre-arrange something that it would really hurt to miss. Did you sign up for a new workout class? Did you schedule an early work call? Did you tell your mom you would talk to her in the morning? Even just having an idea of everything on your plate for the day might be enough motivation to get yourself out of bed in the morning, so take some time to write out your daily schedule the night before.

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Give yourself a treat

Motivating yourself with something you like may make the morning seem more bearable, and you might be surprised at the number of fun things there are to do before noon. Maybe you baked some awesome protein-packed muffins that you can't wait to eat. Maybe there's a workout routine you have been dying to try, or you may want to stop at that new coffee place on your route. Set yourself up in advance with something positive to motivate you to get out from under those covers.

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Get the right amount of sleep

This may come as a shock, but to be a morning person, you need to be rested! Go to bed at a responsible hour and get the amount of sleep you really need per night, according to doctors.

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Set the mood

It's generally agreed upon that quality sleep means quality mornings. Spend some time figuring out the environment and atmosphere that gives you the best sleep - this usually means turning off the electronics. Maybe try out a white noise machine or find what temperature helps you doze off. Do what you need to do to get quality sleep.

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Watch what you eat

You may be unintentionally eating or drinking something that is messing with your sleep. Be careful of accidental caffeine and avoid eating things that may be spicy or acidic - they could disrupt your digestion and keep you up at night.

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Go slowly

Becoming a morning person isn't going to happen overnight, so you need to work up to that new wake-up time. Gradually set your alarm earlier and earlier each day, as doing it all at once could end up causing frustration.

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Establish a routine

Once you are at your ideal wake-up time, you can start adjusting other parts of the routine. Changing the time that you go to bed may prove frustrating if you aren't tired, but sticking with your early wake-up can give you more time to do things you enjoy during the day - and leave you appropriately tired at bedtime.

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Stick to it

Once you have achieved the perfect bedtime and you are waking up with time to spare, you can't slip back into old patterns during weekends or vacations. There will, of course, be exceptions - life happens, after all - but generally, it's smart to keep your routine pretty regular instead of allowing yourself a noon wakeup on Saturdays.

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Don't take naps

You're going to get tired during the day while you're adjusting - it's inevitable. Skip the nap, and instead leverage that fatigue into an earlier bedtime.

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Try a 15-minute plan

If you're still just not tired at bed time, try the 15-minute rule. It's simple: Move your bedtime up by just 15 minutes a night until you are at your desired snooze time.

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Remember: You snooze, you lose

If you're really having a tough time laying off the snooze button, you can buy an alarm that doesn't have one at all. If you use your phone as an alarm, try putting it in a place far enough from your bed that you actually have to get up to turn it off.

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Don't choose a buzzer

Pick a better sound for your alarm than a blaring horn. A bad tone could easily start you off on the wrong foot in the morning. 

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Let the light in

A loud alarm isn't the only way to wake up - another option is using light. There are lamps that you can set on a timer, or you might choose to open the shades right when you pop out of bed. Light lets your body know it's time to get moving.

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Make it automatic

Doing the same things in the same order every morning will make your routine easy and almost mechanical. You may not even have to think too much about waking up anymore, it will just happen.

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Plan ahead

Don't make your morning routine too complicated. Packing your gym bag and your work lunch the night before, and maybe even planning your breakfast, are easy ways to take some thought out of your morning. Keeping it simple will keep it manageable and less stressful. 

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Eat breakfast

Your body needs fuel, and breakfast is that fuel for the morning. One cannot live on coffee alone.

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Eat the right breakfast

Your body will thank you when you start the day with a balanced meal. Make sure you get all the nutrients you need in the morning by avoiding these common breakfast nutrition mistakes.

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Take some time to yourself

Getting an early start in the morning means you can take a little bit more time to yourself for your thoughts and your planning. Alternately, checking something off your to-do list before work can you give you more freedom to enjoy the afternoon.

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Get moving 

Planning that workout for before work as opposed to after work could help to boost your energy levels in the morning and help you feel more awake.

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Cut yourself some slack

You may backslide on your quest to becoming a morning person, and that is OK. The road may not be a straight path, but there are plenty of techniques to try. Don't push yourself too hard if you're still having trouble getting to bed, though, because there are some serious things that happen when you don't get enough sleep.

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