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How to Be a Morning Person, from One Non-Morning Person to Another

Updated on September 18, 2014

Wake up like this...

How some people wake up.
How some people wake up.

...Not like this

How I wake up.
How I wake up.

Mornings Suck

Let's be honest. No one likes to be woken up forcibly by a squawking alarm, whose only redeeming quality is the tiny snooze button that everyone is all too familiar with. Morning people, I don't understand how you can naturally wake up and not want to burrow back into the warm and loving embrace of your blankets and pillows, but I've figured out how to mimic it and trick myself into thinking that I can be a morning person.

With the right music, maybe you'll even get up and dance.
With the right music, maybe you'll even get up and dance.

What's better than waking up to classics?

Best Wakeup Music Playlist

  • Walkin' on Sunshine - Katrina & the Waves
  • U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
  • You're the One that I Want - Grease
  • Shake it Off - Taylor Swift
  • Kiss You - One Direction
  • Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
  • Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Wham!
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash
  • Jump Around - House of Pain
  • Lady Marmalade - Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink
  • Love Shack - The B-52's

Wake Up with Music

My mom decided arbitrarily I was too old for her to wake me up anymore, so in sixth grade she handed me over to the morning Satan and bought me an alarm clock. I used the alarm setting that just buzzes and a noise came out of it like the sound a dropped call used to make (am I dating myself with that comparison?).

I. Hated. It.

Every morning at 7 am, that damn thing would go off and I had to fight every urge I had to throw it against a wall to stop it forever.

In high school, I got an iHome for Christmas one year - maybe my mom's way of making up for the alarm clock from Hell - and I figured out how to set it so that music played instead of just repetitive sounds. If I wanted, I could play music from my iPod or stream the radio. It was as if mornings didn't have to be awful after all, and waking up was no longer one of the Trials of Hercules I had to endure every day.

When you wake up hearing your favorite music or a radio talk show host, it makes you definitely more willing to actually get out of bed and doesn't jar you awake like the electric shock therapy of alarm clock sounds.

Tip: keep the music on the whole time, don't snooze it, because then you'll be less likely to fall back to sleep if it plays the whole time you get ready. Make sure the music is upbeat, too - my go-to is anything with a fast tempo and something I know the words to, so I'm more tempted to sing along and keep myself awake.

Are you a morning person?

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Don't Depend on Caffeine

Rookie mistake. Coffee is sometimes the first thing that we interact with in the morning to get that boost of energy we left behind in our pajamas, but there is such a thing as too much caffeine. I thought that I needed a Starbucks Frappuccino every time I had to do something early, but turns out it actually does more harm than good.

Consuming caffeine to stay awake is not a once-a-day thing; you have to replenish your mug every time you feel the electricity of the coffee wear off, which for some people is multiple times a day. Don't become addicted to drinking coffee or make it your only means of staying awake, because then you're just setting yourself up for a rollercoaster of fatigue that claims all its victims with the last loopty-loop of alertness and a final plunge into head-bobbing and heavy eyelids.

Also something to be mindful of, caffeine addiction is a thing. It can happen to you if you ingest it on a regular basis, be it pop, coffee, chocolate, etc. My friend drinks Starbucks venti drinks every day, sometimes even twice a day, and her habit of doing this for years straight has left her dependent on the stuff. Now, if she goes too long without it - which at this point is a couple hours - she gets headaches that only a swig of coffee can fix.

My personal go-to is caffeinated tea. There's practically no carbs, since it's mostly water, and I let the teabag steep for about fifteen minutes to get the maximum taste out of it. Sometimes I put sugar in it or drops of honey to keep it healthier and more natural, but put in whatever will make it taste good to you - what's life without a little whimsy?

Take a Shower

Assuming you mustered the strength to escape the tendrils of your bed and you have enough time, hop in the shower for a quick rinse or throw your hair in a shower cap to just get your body wet. The warm water will invigorate your senses and nerves to kick start your brain to wake you up almost immediately. The effects stay with you long after you get all dry, and as a bonus you're squeaky clean. Optional: rubber ducky and singing along to your music with your loofah microphone.

Wash Your Face

You ever notice that the people in face wash commercials always look so happy to be alive when they splash water on their face? It's for the same reason why people throw water on someone sleeping to jolt them awake.

I know when I wake up, my face feels puffy, especially around my eyes, and washing my face with warm water and a facial cleanser seems to wipe away all the night's impurities that were left on my face. Hate to break it to ya, but you sweat when you sleep and all the oils you excrete from your body accumulate on your face and settle in your pores. That's where acne comes from, and it's a pain in the ass to deal with. If you already have a face wash you use, then use that in the morning since most of them say you can use it twice a day anyway. Otherwise, feel free to pick one up next time you make a trip to the grocery store.

It's especially helpful if you wear makeup because it removes all the oils that built up while you slept from your face and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth, rather than oily and sleep-deprived. Also recommended if you forgot to take your makeup from the night before or didn't wash your face before you went to bed. Piggy.

When you don't have enough time to take a shower or rinse off your body, scrubbing your face with a gentler cleanser will suffice in waking you up and getting you clean. The rest of you may smell, but at least your face will be glowing.

Have Something in Your Stomach

I'm pretty much nauseated every time I wake up early. Maybe it's because I'm never naturally awake at that time of day, but even thinking about trying to eat breakfast makes me gag. But, I quickly realized that when I didn't have food in my system and had to wait for lunch - or worse, when I didn't eat at all - I was draaaaaaggggggging. By the time noon rolled around, I'd practically be passed out at my desk at school or leaning against the wall at work. I had no energy and my body revolted every single time until I basically collapsed.

I tried everything I could for breakfast. I had no appetite, so anything thick or dry like oatmeal and granola bars was like licking sand. Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches were the only actual food I could take on the go and not make me dry heave (I eat the sausage, egg, and cheese kind).

On days when I don't want to eat anything, and I can't even force myself to eat a Jimmy Dean thingy, I drink Carnations Breakfast Essentials. It's easy to make and just as nutritious as eating something of substance, which, for me, is perfect. It makes getting through the day a lot easier; at the least, you make it to lunch without the horror-film grumblings of a hungry tummy.

On the plus side, eating in the first 20 minutes when you wake up jumpstarts your metabolism and helps you lose weight. Food for thought. Pun intended.

For this yoga, you don't even have to leave your bed

Motivation for us non-morning folk


There's hardly a better feeling than stretching your muscles in the morning - it feels so good you make baby dinosaur noises. It gets the blood pumping and your body more ready to take on the day, or to at least get out of bed.

Not all of us have the flexibility of spaghetti, but yoga has many different levels for all variants of experience, whether you're a beginner or you can twist into a pretzel. The only reason I suggest yoga is because the stretching is specifically designed for blood circulation improvement and accurate muscle attention with the least likely chance of getting yourself hurt. Leave it to the professionals.

Some people, whom I'm not fully sure are human, actually like to work out first thing in the morning. A light jog around the neighborhood; pumping iron in the gym; doing Pilates at the crack of dawn. I only wish I had the willpower that they must have, even if it was once a week or any more frequent than zero times ever. I barely have the energy to roll out of bed let alone run distances or lift things. People who do this: SHARE YOUR SECRET.

Fake It 'til You Make It...Through the Morning, That Is

I'm not a morning person and I never will be. But I can fake it every day that I have to, and you can, too.

If you have to get up for work or school or whatever else your schedule demands of you, you can do it, I promise. It's not so hard after that first leg swings out from under the covers and you slug your way to the bathroom. Take a tip or two from me and your mornings will improve the first time you implement them, I guarantee it. They're not going to be your favorite time of the day, hell no, but they won't be completely unbearable anymore, either.

If you don't have to get out of bed for anything, then settle in with something on Netflix and stay in the warmth of your pajamas and comforters. I, and every other person who has to wake up before the sun, envy you. You're living the dream.

In the meantime, I'll drink my Carnations milk and sing along to One Direction while I enjoy the city's sunrise.

A beautiful Pittsburgh sunrise.
A beautiful Pittsburgh sunrise. | Source


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    • Ally Lewis profile imageAUTHOR

      Ally Lewis 

      4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Great, let me know how they work for you! I don't think I'm full-fledged morning person yet, but I'm slowly working towards it.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I always say I'm not a morning person, but that really only applies to days I don't have to go to work. On workdays, I get up as quick as I can and start moving to get fully awake. If I ever find myself dragging, I'll try some of your tips.

    • Ally Lewis profile imageAUTHOR

      Ally Lewis 

      4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Maybe that'll happen to me someday Bill! I'll let you know if I ever prefer getting out of bed!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sorry, Ally, but I'm a morning person. It all changed for me after college when I had to work for a living. Now I can't get out of the habit. I couldn't sleep in if I wanted to. :)


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