Centr Team

5 science-backed ways to hate mornings less

Centr Team

Good morning! Oh, we’ll take that grunt to mean you’re not much of a morning person, then. We hear you. It can be a struggle to wake up and embrace the promise of a new day when you’re working the late shift or just naturally more of a night owl.

Work, school, medical appointments – life is set up for early birds. And if you’re the type who doesn’t hit your stride until, ooh, some time after lunch, it can come across as lazy.

We know that working nights can “disrupt the synchronicity of the body's systems”. New research has found that this is the reason many night shift workers face an increased risk of obesity and diabetes. But it’s not only people working the night shift: anyone whose sleeping and waking hours vary wildly (maybe you party through the end of the week, then catch up on sleep all weekend) has an increased risk of health issues.

But I’m a night owl! What can I do?

We all have different sleep patterns and preferences – known as chronotypes – but if you have grandparents who are up at 5am and eating dinner by 5pm, or teenagers who want to sleep all day, you know they are not set in stone. Your chronotype can be influenced by social pressures, seasons, where you live, and genetics.

That gives us a clue that it is possible to take a little more control of when you need to sleep and adjust your chronotype – not only for better health outcomes but to move more clearly through your days.

We turned to science to find methods you can use to tweak your sleep-wake cycle, feel more awake in the morning and seize the day!

1. Start the day with sunshine

Draw those curtains open wide and soak it all in! Or better yet, do a lap around the backyard or the block. As the sunshine hits, you’ll get an increase in serotonin, which boosts mood and helps get you calm and focused for the day ahead.

You may have heard of light therapy boxes, used to mimic natural light for those suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). They may help some people who can’t get real sun in the morning but talk to your doctor before investing.

Open those curtains and kick off your day with an energizing morning meditation in the sunshine.

2. Declutter before going to bed

Stuff equals things to do. Lots of stuff means clutter. And clutter causes stress. So before you go to bed, clean and organize the space you will spend most of your time in during the morning – whether it’s your bedroom, the kitchen, or your desk, channel your inner Marie Kondo and get rid of the clutter. Then you can awake to a clean and calm scene that gives you the mental space to think clearly and get focused on what matters.

3. Save the newsfeed for later

You wake up, immediately reach for the phone and start scrolling through your news alerts or social media feed. And there it is: yet another infuriating, sad, alarming, or frustrating story you just didn’t need. Science tells us that not only is bad news in the morning bad news for your mood, but it can impact your performance at the office and in the gym, too.

If you must have your morning scroll and won’t save it for later, at least try to follow some more positive and constructive news sources.

4. Try a morning meditation

Before you venture out into the world to be viciously attacked by the glare of the sun, tweeting birds and perky morning greetings (how very dare they?), take a few minutes to sit and get centered with a meditation. In doing this, built-up stresses can be released, energy increased, and your health positively affected. Not sure how to do it? Try starting your day with Sergio’s Seize the Day meditation or affirm what’s important with Setting Priorities.

5. Sleep better, wake better

It’s the most obvious thing in the world: mornings will be easier if you get better quality sleep. But sometimes that can be the hardest thing to achieve. Luckily your old friend Centr is here with tips to optimize your nightly rest.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and catch that worm, early bird!

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