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6 Easy Steps to follow in the morning

Routine neat, smart applications, full meals and a lot of proteins, but lots of determination –

whatever it takes to transform a night owl tired in an energized person. Ready for the


Always you suspect that if you can be able to wake up with an hour or two earlier each

morning, your day would be different? Had you always believed the cliché who claims ‘the

early bird gets the worm’? It turns out you’re right.

Christoph Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg,

Germany, found that morning people are often more successful than evening people

because, as a group, they tend to be proactive. A recent survey conducted by The Guardian

confirms this idea, reporting that many CEOs of successful companies are up by 5 a.m.

But what if you’re more of a night owl than a morning lark – is it possible to change your

ways? Yes, but it will take work, says Dr. W. Christopher Winter, Medical Director for the

Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Canter in Charlottesville, Va. and spokesperson

for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Your genes determine what we call your

‘chronotype,’ which is if you are a morning or evening person,” says Winter. “It’s often similar

within families, but it can be influenced to a certain degree.”

Changing your chronotype takes about two weeks, but you have to stick with it. If you slack

off, you’ll drift back to your natural tendencies, Winter cautions. He offers six simple tips for

adjusting your internal clock:

1. Put yourself on a morning schedule, but don’t sweat bed time.

Wake up, exercise and eat at the same time every day, says Winter. The body likes to

anticipate what’s happening, and will settle into a routine. But don’t worry about your

bedtime: “People get hung up on setting a bedtime, but that’s a mistake because it can

cause stress,” he says. “The bedtime will sort itself out because you’ll be tired. The most

important piece is to not slack off on the wakeup time.”

Winter says the problem occurs when you drift back to older patterns during weekends and

vacations. Sleeping in on weekends tells your body that your early morning routine is just an

arbitrary schedule and that it should stick to its chronotype. To become a morning person,

it’s important to get up early on weekends, even if you are out late the night before.

2. Use a smart alarm.

The snooze button was designed to allow people to go back to sleep for a few minutes

without re-entering a deep sleep cycle, but it can hinder your transformation into an early

riser, says Winter. “There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but if you want to wake up at a

certain time you’re not in a cognitive state of mind to make a decision about whether or not

to add nine more minutes of sleep,” he says. Instead, Winter likes to use a smartphone

alarm app, such as Smart Alarm or Math Alarm, that requires him to solve a math problem to

turn it off or set it to snooze. “Solving a problem makes your brain awake enough to make an

informed decision,” he says.

He also likes to use his music library to play a random song as an alarm. “You can become

callous to the same song or sound on your alarm,” he says. “Different songs will be a novel

stimulus and that can be helpful.”

3. Let in the light.

Whether it’s natural or artificial, light is significant because it tells the brain that the day has

begun and sends signals to the body to stop making melatonin, the hormone that helps

regular sleep, says Winter. “If it’s dark when you want to wake up – say 5 a.m., for example

– you can fool your brain into thinking the sun is up by using bright indoor lights,” he says.

4. Get some exercise.

Winter says exercising first thing in the morning helps wake up the body. Researchers at

Appalachian State University found that morning exercise lowers your blood pressure,

reduces stress and anxiety, and helps you sleep better at night. Winter says exercising in

bright light is best. He suggests going for a morning bike ride or jog, or taking the dog for a


5. Have a protein-heavy meal.

Skip the bagel and go for eggs or yogurt, says Winter. Protein facilitates wakefulness, he

says, while carbohydrates promote sleep. “Protein increases your dopamine levels, which

help make you ready for the day.”

6. Avoid the urge to nap.

Winter says falling asleep earlier may be difficult in the first few days, and you may have a

strong urge to nap, but you should fight it. “Capitalize on sleepiness as a way to go to bed

earlier,” he says. “If you nap, you’ll destroy your natural stimulus for sleep.”

The post is based on an article from the magazine Entrepreneur

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