We all know that person. The one who’s a complete grouch in the morning, who “just can’t function” without coffee, or snaps at everyone until noon. Maybe we are that person, and think that’s just how we’re wired – some people are just born morning people, right? Well, not exactly. While some people have been shown to be more productive in the morning, and others late at night, there are ways that you can start your day off alert, optimistic, and ready to go.

  1. Don’t snooze! Studies have shown that disrupting sleep before you actually get out of bed can disturb your REM cycle – and we all know that REM sleep is the good stuff! REM sleep stimulates the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for learning, thinking, and organizing information – pretty important stuff for our daily lives. So instead of hitting the snooze over and over, get up with the alarm. (It is ok to groan while you do so).
  2. Stay consistent. While the weekends were made for sleeping in, avoid the temptation. Sticking to your sleep-wake cycle will help you in the long run – no recovering from too little sleep, no sleep binges, just your regular, consistent resting periods.
  3. Let There Be Light! Whether you keep the blinds open all night, or use a wake-up light, studies have shown that exposure to light in the mornings can help you in a number of ways, from reducing the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder to even helping you recover from jet lag.
  4. Get Pumped. The hardest part of going to the gym is actually going. It can be hard to convince yourself to go work out, especially at the end of a long day. But morning workout routines take care of that conflict, and help you wake up. Exercise boosts energy – so do it in the beginning of the day, and see how great you feel afterwards! Plus, its hard to growl at someone after sweating it out on the elliptical.
  5. Eat Your Wheaties. Just because you’ve downed a cup of coffee or three doesn’t mean that your body is ready for the day. Taking time for breakfast not only gives you more time to wake up before heading to work, but it comes with a whole host of health benefits, including reduced risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and improved brain function. Also, people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, or even lose extra pounds. So do yourself a favor, and take 15 minutes to feed yourself before running out the door.

So the next time someone tells you that you’re such a bear in the mornings, consider following my advice. You’ll feel better, and your coworkers will no longer cower in fear as you enter the office each day.

Image Credit: Eneas De Troya