First up: a disclaimer. We know that being a morning lark or a night owl has been shown to be genetic. The circadian rhythm that our body clocks work to – dictating when we feel alert and when we’re ready to sleep – isn’t wholly in our power.
But, if getting out of bed is the worst part of your day, we promise that doesn’t mean that you’re a lost cause. Here’s how you can coax your system towards the dawn and away from the dusk – becoming a morning time boss who’s ready to dominate the fresh day. (Yes, even on Monday.)
Let’s do it.
If inspiration is what you need, try The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This book promises to help “improve your life” so you experience “deeper levels of fulfilment”, with a “results-oriented”, “game-changer” routine. Or, push it to even greater extremes, with Jeff Sanders’ ‘The 5am Miracle.’ This take promises to help you nail the day before breakfast – by a process of adjusting to getting up at 5am.
f you’re trying to change the snoozing habit of a lifetime, we recommend starting small. You’re welcome to set your alarm a full two hours earlier tomorrow if you like, but we prefer starting with just 15 or 30 minutes, and trying to add in just one extra thing at a time, whether that’s a highly-recommended workout (see below), a proper breakfast, a 15-minute meditation session, or simply a long and relaxing shower rather than a rushed and stressful one. Once that feels easier, try adding another 15 or 30 minutes, and so on.
Not only will this reduce the shock to your system when your alarm goes, it will stop you from waking in total darkness - especially in the summer. After all, it’s easier to become a lark when there’s actual birdsong outside.
Keep timings regular
Try to keep bedtimes and wake up times more-or-less constant in the week and the weekends. We know sleeping in is tempting on a Saturday, but try not to overdo it, as it’ll make it ten times’ harder to stick to your new routine later in the week.
Scientists dub this ’social jet lag’ – when we keep such drastically different hours for two days of the week that we confuse our body clock and disrupt our sleep patterns. Try limiting your weekend late nights and lie-ins to a couple of hours maximum; turning off the TV and phones an hour before you want to hit the sheets, and avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol, too.
Kick start your day
A short, sharp hit of HIIT (high intensity interval training) is enough to kick start your metabolism and start firing on all cylinders before breakfast. Just 10 minutes is proven to be one of the best ways to jumpstart weight loss.
Try a mix of jumping jacks, jogging on the spot, mountain climbers and no-rope jump rope as fast as you can for 40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest, 10 times, and you’re done.
Day time deliciousness
After a workout as intense as HIIT, you need something easy to rebuild your muscles and keep you hydrated, so ditch coffee and try Arla Protein raspberry yoghurt poured over chopped fruit and fresh berries with a sprinkle of oaty, high-fibre granola; a bowl of Icelandic Skyr with walnuts and berries or, for the intolerant among you, overnight oats with Arla Lactofree and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Fill a big mug of hot water with a squeeze of lemon and feel ready to get all of the day’s goals done.