Get Up Earlier to Reframe Your Life

If you’re the type of person who never gets to see the sun rise, you may want to consider recalibrating your sleep schedule closer to the circadian rhythms set for us by the sun.

Numerous studies have found “morning people” tend to be happier, better organized, conscientious and less vulnerable to depression or anxiety. It’s not clear exactly why, but it may be related to being able to get more sleep the night before.

If you’re thinking about resetting your body clock a bit, remember these tips:

Remember why you’re doing this

It’s much easier to stay on track when you remind yourself exactly why you’re putting yourself through this (temporary) torture. It’s probably a very good reason: adjusting to a new work schedule, working out first thing before the day can get away from you, or just having more quiet time for yourself. Stay focused on it.

Shift your alarm earlier gradually, if you can

Half-hour ranges usually work best. If you’re currently getting up at 8 a.m. and want to move that back to 6:30 a.m., start out with a 7:30 a.m. alarm and stick with it until it feels pretty natural, hopefully in a week or two. If you must make the change abruptly, try going to bed and getting up 15 minutes earlier every day.

Honor thy bedtime and morning alarm

Once you know when you’re going to be getting up and when you need to go to bed, make them as sacred as you can. Don’t stay up late to hang out longer at a party or to binge on the rest of this great season of whatever show you’ve gotten wrapped up in. Don’t even slip on the weekend — there’s no easier way to undo any progress you’ve made.

Go dark, then light up

Keep your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible for undisturbed sleep. As soon as you need to wake up, open the shades, get outside and/or turn the lights on (if you’re up before the sun) to bring a wakeful and cheery beginning to your day.