Do you want to start waking up earlier? If you’re not a morning person, life can become challenging – especially if you have work or other commitments.
There’s nothing wrong with being a night owl. But, if you want to shift your sleep patterns, here’s everything you need to know about how to become a morning person:
Is being a morning person genetic?
Our natural sleep wake-cycled is influenced by our circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour schedule that’s also known as our internal body clock. Some people are hardwired to wake up later and they feel most active in the evening or at night.
Research published in Nature Communications found that our internal body clock is genetic. This confirms previous research that found that 24 different genes determine our sleep cycles.
According to Michael Weedon, from the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the study, “Depending on how many of those genes you carry, you can be anywhere on the scale of ‘morningness. But our research showed that the top five percent with the most of those 351 genes go to sleep on average 25 minutes earlier than the five percent who carry the least.”
Author Samuel Jones from the University of Exeter Medical School also stated, “The genes we found to be related to our circadian rhythms tend to be switched on a lot more in the brain and in the retina. This helps us map what parts of the body are important in creating morning and evening people.”
He continued, “We did know that light levels were used to train our body clocks, but we didn’t know that the way we detect them could differ between morning and evening people. This shows that these differences could be happening at a fundamental level – the genetic one.”
Is it possible for a night owl to become a morning person?
It is possible for a night owl to become a morning person, but it can be challenging, especially when they’re first starting to shift their sleep patterns.
Our natural sleep patterns depend largely on our chronotype. However, environment and lifestyle choices can also play a role – and these can be changed.
For example, people tend to take part in activities that reinforce their chronotype. Night owls feel more alert at night, so they tend to socialise or work in the evening or at night.
Because of this, it is possible to gradually change your sleep-wake cycles if you need to by making changes to your lifestyle and slowly shifting your sleep patterns over time.
How to become a morning person
If you want to become a morning person, here are some ways to shift your sleep patterns:
- Avoid light exposure and screen time before going to bed;
- Avoid stimulating activities late in the evening, like exercising, working, or socialising;
- Have an evening routine and stick to it consistently;
- Use calming activities to unwind before bed, such as meditation or reading;
- Create a calming sleeping environment that’s dark and quiet;
- Invest in comfortable bedding and blackout curtains;
- Build a consistent sleep schedule, then start shifting it earlier every few days.