College students and sleep go together like peanut butter and jelly. However, the stress of an academic career makes it hard to get enough zzzz’s each night and even harder to get yourself out of bed in the early morning for class. But what if you knew that becoming a morning person could change your life for the better? Believe it or not, morning people do exist out there—you probably just don’t see them as you lay in bed, relentlessly snoozing your alarm. Learn from those unique and special individuals about the top ten strategies to get going and enjoy the morning and let them inspire you to do the same.
Here are 10 ways to become a morning person so you can soak up all the glory the early hours offer.
1. Get up and get going NOW
When that alarm goes off, don’t lay in bed dreading to get up. Do not fall victim to the habit of checking Instagram and Snapchat or spending forever staring at your phone the moment you open your eyes. After all, you will probably have to check it again later and review what you saw due to your tiredness. “Get up and move right away. Snoozing makes you more tired,” Bryn Mawr College sophomore Christine Siebels-Lindquist said. “After I wake up I try to get out of bed within five minutes to resist the urge to fall back asleep,” St. Norbert College sophomore Grace Brick said. Get the blood flowing right away and don’t you dare shut those eyes again, you definitely fall right back asleep. Make it a habit to get up immediately and put that snoozing habit to rest instead of yourself.
2. Move your body and freshen up
To exercise or to not exercise in the morning remains a huge debate. But if you aim to get your body warm and awake, that morning workout may prove the best way to naturally energize. “My favorite kind of workout to wake me up is a full body workout from the Nike Training App,” Brick said. The app won’t cost you a penny—and it removes the excuse of not having a gym, as it can be done right in the comfort of your room. Showering enhances that energy from the gym even more and lets you feel fresh and ready to go for the rest of your day. “I work out in the morning or shower in the morning and I’m just awake,” College of St. Benedict sophomore Maggie Morin said. Once it becomes a habit, your body will naturally feel “just awake.” The sooner you start the sooner you will succeed and get that natural morning glow.
3. Find some support and inspiration at a fitness class
Planning a commitment for yourself in the morning means others will depend on you to get your lazy self out of bed. “I like to get up and go to a fitness class early. It gives me energy for the rest of the day,” University of Portland sophomore Katie Wjoda said. Not only will the workout give you energy, but if you need some extra motivation, group fitness classes provide a supportive environment. “A fitness class holds you accountable and at some point you have to get up to go,” Wjoda said. Fitness classes may take away the intimidation of working out on your own, and you probably won’t skip a group class as easily as a solo gym session or morning run. Most schools even have free group fitness options at on-campus gyms. If not, recruit some friends and schedule morning group gym sessions together. When someone else knows you snoozed your alarm, resisting the urge will get easier and easier.
4. Make that alarm annoy you even more
If you must snooze once or twice, try to make that alarm even more annoying each time it goes off. “I began waking myself up at 6:30 a.m., by setting alarms that progressively got louder starting at 5:30 a.m. every 20 minutes,” Northeastern University junior Justin Rockmore said. Everyone feels haunted by the sound of their alarm—especially when in public and out of context. The increasing volume of that noise will surely motivate you to get up and make the noise stop. Why go through the misery of hearing it again when you have the power to stop it? Try this and you’ll only have one alarm set on your phone to wake up in the morning.
5. Stop, pause and reflect
Taking a moment to mentally prepare yourself may give your brain the boost it needs to crush your goals each day. “Usually right when I wake up I look at my Google Calendar, read a daily devotion and then get out of bed,” Brick said. If not a daily devotion, at least take a moment to meditate and reflect on your plan for the day or think about something you feel grateful for. Starting your day with a peaceful and reflective moment will calm you and you will feel ready to conquer your agenda.
6. Force some real-life social interaction
Many people will tell you to leave them alone in the morning, but maybe talking and socializing will take away any crabbiness preventing your social interaction in the first place. “If I need to be more energetic than I naturally am, I also try to have a conversation with someone ASAP after waking up. I think that engaging your brain early in the morning wakes you up more—normally it’s a quick chat with my mom while she’s on her way to work,” Brick said. Socializing naturally produces those endorphins and makes you happier, so why not start off your day as happy as possible? College students often forget to stay in touch with home while away at school anyway, so giving your mom a call in the morning will give her a nice surprise and boost of energy as well.
7. Do yourself a favor—just go to sleep
Finding a non-sleep deprived college student poses a true challenge. But to feel good in the morning, no one can argue against sleep as one of the most important factors. “A good morning has to be preceded by a good night’s sleep,” Boston College junior Charlotte Hutton said. “Try to not look at screens two hours before bed.” Although the need to study makes this difficult for most students, many devices have features to help ease the negative effect of the screen’s blue light on your eyes. This will let you get the quality slumber you desire. Getting quality and well-deserved sleep cannot exist without good nighttime habits.
8. Imagine checking off the final box on your to-do list
Everyone wishes at some point that more hours could fit into each day. With the busy college life it seems impossible to accomplish all your daily deeds amidst studying, exercising, eating and socializing. Optimizing time and using those a.m. hours will let you find the time for all of your priorities. “I like waking up early because then I feel as though I can be more productive with my day,” Brick said. Sleeping until noon may seem nice in the moment. However, you may second guess yourself when dinner time comes and you feel like you haven’t done anything productive. “I just love being awake before the rest of campus and getting a good head start on my day,” Boston College sophomore Anna Long said. Let your desire for a productive day and the ability to cross off all the items on your to-do list inspire you to get up and get going ahead of the other snoozers around you.
The Gilmore girls did coffee best. Coffee, coffee and more coffee remain a priority and a favorite beverage of many college students just as it did for Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. The smell of coffee surely will get you out of bed and incentivize you to search for that glorious smell. The caffeine will boost your energy and jumpstart your metabolism. “Apples and oranges also help me feel more awake, and for the love of God, COFFEE!” Hutton said. Coffee naturally wakes you up and the beverage can add enjoyment to multitasking. “I still love to wake up early and make a cup of coffee and catch up on emails or maybe even watch an episode of Friends,” Long said. You can drink it iced or hot, either way it will simultaneously give you a boost of joy and caffeine.
10. Create a ritual that YOU enjoy
Rising early will undoubtedly become a habit in the same way snoozing once did. Creating a ritual around your morning can speed up the process and make you excited about the morning. “I think it’s the ritual or the process involved that makes it a motivation to get up and moving,” Siebels-Lindquist said. No one can tell you the secret ritual that will work for you, but once you find it you will know. Every morning person has their own morning habits that make getting up easy. For some people, going to the gym will work. For others, a cup of coffee will energize, and for some others something as simple as splashing water on their face will do the trick. The importance lies in the ritual of whatever works best for you.