We’ve all heard outlandish reports about successful people like Apple’s CEO Tom Cook who voluntarily get up at 3.45 am. These morning people, ranging across iconic names like Michelle Obama and Richard Branson, paint a picture of before-dawn peace and its link to overall success, making us feel that if we sleep past 6 am, we’re guaranteed to be failures.
Certainly, studies have shown that self-proclaimed ‘morning people’ tend to be persistent, self-directed individuals who have a better sense of wellbeing and are, interestingly, far less likely to suffer from issues like depression. These are tempting benefits, but with the scope of wakeups for even morning people varying by a good few hours, and with many studies suggesting that waking up too early for our personal needs can actually be detrimental, a great many questions surround what it actually means to be a morning person.
After all, while we tend to put a great deal of weight behind times, isn’t a morning person simply someone who is bright and raring to go whenever they do choose to wake up? There’s undeniably something to be said for the time and peace possible at 4 am, but if you’re a zombie come your 9 am work start-time, can you really call yourself a morning person? We don’t think so. In fact, there’s some pretty strong proof that you really don’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn at all to enjoy the title and benefits of morning people. Keep reading to find out all about it.
Feeling good means waking up when you’re ready
While most of us typically get by on eight hours of sleep, some individuals can survive from just six hours while others need nine+ to function in the same way. This points strongly to the fact that feeling good in the mornings is more about waking at a time that works for you than competing to get up before the sun rises. In this sense, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re up at 4 am or 8 am, as long as you feel rested when you do.
The power of mornings is in what you do, not when
Far from sitting in bed and scrolling through endless social media feeds, morning people are all about getting up, getting ready, and spending those all-important hours after waking up on things that make them feel good, be that workouts, time in nature, or just a decent breakfast. As such, even if you don’t want to change your wakeup time, learning how to deactivate Instagram and fill even your hour of free time in the mornings with more wholesome focuses is sure to make a significant difference to how you feel, and how easily you fit the label of ‘morning person.’
The best-laid plans can be made in advance
Many morning people pin their success on the fact that they’re able to properly plan their days with to-do lists, visualizations, etc., and there’s certainly something to be said for planning. But, as everyone knows, the best-laid plans are often those that are made in advance, meaning that it’s just possible that being a morning person isn’t about getting up earlier at all but simply means planning your tasks for the next day either before you finish work or at some point during the evening. And, that’s possible without a dawn wakeup in sight!
Self-care can fit in with you
While we all like the idea of getting up in the dark and spending a few peaceful hours practicing yoga or meditating, even these things are unlikely to leave you calm if you’ve had to cut your sleep short to achieve them. Rather, you’ll feel tired, groggy, and begrudging after just a few days of trying to make this work, none of which is a feeling you want towards your self-care practices. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is possible to fit these self-care focuses into a morning routine that works for you. Ten-minute meditations are great for this purpose, as are in-the-moment practices including skincare routines and even eating breakfast, each of which you already make time for in your mornings! By bringing awareness to these activities, and really appreciating the process, you should be able to feel the benefits of morning-based self-care with none of the compromise that you’ve been tricked into until now.
We truly can all become morning people if we want to, and as you can see here, you could even achieve that goal without having to compromise on your much-loved lie-ins!