How to Become an Early Bird

Don’t hate those perky people who rise before the sun. Join them!

Many people prefer to begin each day during the wee hours, and with good reason. The early morning tends to be the quietest part of the day, making it the perfect time to focus on tasks such as exercising, meditating or getting a head start on a project at work.

Plus, research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology indicates that “morning people” tend to excel professionally throughout their careers, exhibiting better grades, strong problem solving skills and proactive, positive attitudes. Other studies found that early risers may work out more regularly, eat more healthfully and be less likely to exhibit signs of depression.

Embrace the Dawn

Becoming an early bird may simply mean making a few changes to your daily routine. Try heading for bed a little earlier every night and following some of the tips listed below to make the most of your rest:

  • Create a sleep-friendly environment. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and free from the glow of electronics at bedtime.
  • Don’t snooze. As soon as your alarm goes off, get up! Make your bed, brew some coffee or brush your teeth instead of falling back to sleep for five more minutes.
  • Get moving. According to the National Sleep Foundation, regular exercise — approximately 150 minutes or more per week — may improve sleep quality at night and energy levels during the day. Just don’t work out too close to bedtime. Give yourself a few hours to wind down.
  • Let the light shine in. Getting enough sun exposure can actually help us sleep better. Spend some time in the sunshine when you have a few free moments.
  • Modify evening meals. Large meals and spicy foods may make it challenging to fall asleep. Stick with small, light snacks as bedtime draws near.
  • Say no to stimulants. Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can interfere with your body’s ability to power down for a restful night’s sleep, so limit your intake of cocktails, sodas, coffee and the like throughout the day.

Remember that making changes takes time and patience. Gradually let your body adjust to new habits.

To find a primary care physician at Texas Health Physicians Group, visit THPG.org.

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