Growing up, I was naturally an early riser.
I was always first up in the mornings in our house and from very young it was my job to unlock the kitchen door for our domestic/nanny to come in first thing. My Parents say that they used to frequently tell me to go back to bed when I popped into their room very early, to ask them if they were awake.
However as I have got older, I have unfortunately lost this natural ability to rise before or with the sun,
without an alarm clock, and a few snoozes, at all.
My Yoga teacher training frequently highlights the benefits of getting up early in the mornings, and on our last retreat we were up just after 5am each day.
I read this on Michael Hyatt's blog last week, and it further convinced me that I want to become more of a 'morning person.'
He says that 'morning people', tend to:
Make more money
Be more productive
Be healthier and live longer
Be more happy and satisfied in their lives
I mean, who wouldn't want to be a Morning Person?
This weekend I had a chat to my friend Ratna at our Yoga teacher training, who is an Ayurvedic Doctor, and naturally a very early riser.
I asked her for a few tips, and she advised the following:
Ratna: Aim to to be asleep by 10pm and up by 6am, as this is what is most natural for our bodies rhythms.
Which I guess is in line with how we were put on this earth to function before electricity lengthened the hours on our day that we could do things. When people used to rise with the sun and go to bed with the sun.
Ratna: Our bodies immunity levels are most rejuvenated if we are sleeping between the hours of 10 and 12 pm.
Which would make sense as to why I sometimes get run down and sick after a series of late nights.
And as to advice for how to accomplish this?
Ratna: Set your alarm clock for 10 minutes earlier each week, don't try to get up a whole lot earlier at once, as you are less likely to sustain this. And get up early even if you haven't been able to be in bed by 10pm.
Remove all electronic devices from the bedroom, and don't read in bed either.
Interestingly, a few weeks ago, we got an alarm clock to wake us in the mornings and we have been leaving our phones in the living room overnight. I really do think that this has helped me as I find that I am naturally waking earlier! And I think that my brain really appreciates not being overloaded with a massive dose of email, Facebook and Instagram, before I have even stood up.
The reading books in bed I'm not sure I am ready to abandon just yet.
I began my earlier rising regime this week and so far it has been going pretty well. Between 6:30 and 7 am, when I was usually asleep, I now do my my Morning Yoga practice. And I really feel that my days are more calm and thus more structured and efficient as result of this.
Now I need to aim towards rising before 6am. And with the cold and dark of winter approaching....it's not going to be easy.
Are you a naturally early riser or a night owl?