The Early Bird...Hits the Snooze Button?
So the night before you have nothing but good intentions to get out of bed and get to the gym, earning that elusive label "morning workout person". You know, the one person you know who seems like they have it all together by 9am. But the alarm goes off and those good intentions turn into anger hitting the snooze button or more likely just unplugging the clock and getting that extra hour of sleep.
There certainly is something to becoming that elusive "morning person". Researchers at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany, found that night folks tend to be more creative, but the early birds usually have advanced problem-solving skills. Those same skills also meant that morning people were the ones who anticipated problems and minimized them before they became bigger issues—all desirable traits in a candidate for a top position at work. So feeling happier, being more reliable and emotionally stable, while having a lower risk of being stressed and having the ability to better solve problems certainly makes it tempting to get your butt out of bed and hit the gym early.
If you've tried our 6am class before, you know that the warmup is usually the harder part. Once you get moving, the rest of the class feels great. This however is not an overnight transformation as it takes a while to train yourself into rising with the sun. So where to start? Like progression in training or increasing weight in a lift this must be done consistently and progressively. First, move your bedtime and wake-up time 15 minutes each day until you reach your wake up time. Hold this schedule for several days until your internal clock adjusts to this new time.
Secondly, get enough sleep and keep track of what works for you. Neil Stanley, Ph.D., a sleep expert who's studied the area for for 33 years. "Most people need between seven and nine hours to feel at their best, but some need more or less—whatever allows you to feel awake, alert, and focused during the day." Once you determine the ideal amount of sleep you need to functuion at 100 percent, you're more likely to succeed in becoming that "morning person".
Finally, wind down at night. Read a book, get off screens, have a tea, do some stretches etc... Find what works for you. Winding down help shut down your Central Nervous System, which allows you to enter true "deep sleep". This allows you to wake up feeling fresh and ready to go. If you wake up daily and feel exhausted getting out of bed, you're probably not getting much quality sleep. Sleeping pills are a perfect example of this. They knock you out but don't actually allow you to enter deep sleep. I like a supplement called ZMA. It's not expensive, and it has no side effects. Once asleep ZMA helps you ender deeper levels of sleep, allowing you to rest and waking up refreshed.
So get to the gym early, and be a better functioning human for the rest of the day.