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Mornings are hard. Many of us wake up groggy and grumpy, hissing as we open the shades and are assaulted by the white-hot rays of the accursed sun. We stumble through the first few hours of the day, knock back two or three cups of coffee, and finally become productive around noon.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if your mornings could be—gasp—happy?

You might claim that you have an innate hatred of the morning hours, or that you’re more of a night person, but in reality, only two in ten people are truly night-owls.

As for the rest of us? We’re morning people in disguise.

The reason most of us hate the wee hours of the day with such intensity is that we’re not sleeping correctly.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “But my day is just too busy to get in a full night’s sleep,” and for many people, that’s a valid complaint. But even if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot control the number of hours you sleep, you can still control the quality of that sleep.

In essence, you can re-forge yourself into a morning person by taking a few key actions. Let’s find out how.

Create Your Cocoon

Sleep hygiene is the foundation of good-quality sleep that will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, sleep hygiene is the collection of practices and habits that contribute to great sleep quality.

One of the most important aspects of good sleep hygiene lies in making your bedroom a cocoon of quiet calm.

At night, this should be a place of peace, calm, and quiet. If you live in a bright, noisy city, shut out those neon lights and the sound of the crowd by purchasing light and sound blocking curtains. These are drapes which are lined with thick material that can insulate your room from sleep distractions.

Make sure that your bed is comfortable, clean, and right for you. Different people need different mattresses—where one might need a firm surface, another might need something softer. Invest in a high-quality pillow and a mattress of correct firmness, and you’ll sleep much more deeply.

Finally, close your bedroom door to stress. If you’re arguing with your spouse, for example, don’t take it to bed. Settle things outside the bedroom, or agree to pick things up in the morning.

Treat your bedroom as a sacred place of sleep, and you’ll soon associate it with peace and comfort, which will help you get great sleep.

Slowly Change Your Bedtime

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to raise the quality of their sleep is to suddenly try going to bed hours earlier. If your body has grown accustomed to going to sleep at 3 am, and you switch things up, getting in bed at 10 pm, you’re going to be in for a frustrating night.

Your body gets used to things. In this scenario, you’ve programmed it for a 3 am bedtime, and it will resist going to sleep at 10, no matter how tired you are.

Instead, try moving your bed time about 15 minutes each night until you reach your goal. This might take a while, but you’ll avoid the alternative—one frustrating night that will likely make you quit the struggle to go to bed earlier.

If you give yourself time to adjust, though, you’ll be far more likely to create a lasting change that results in a better sleep experience.

Ban Electronics From the Bedroom

Did you know that the type of light emitted by many electronic screens can interfere with your sleep? It can.

Most screens emit short-wavelength-enriched light, which is a fancy way of saying that it has a high concentration of blue—much moreso than natural light.

This blue light effects our natural levels of sleep-inducing hormones. Scientists think that this is the case because our bodies have adapted to the blue light of the daytime sky, taking it a cue to remain wakeful.

Exposing yourself to this kind of light at bedtime can give you that cue, telling your body that it’s time to be awake. This has serious consequences, and can throw off the body’s internal clock, making it much more difficult to sleep, and lowering quality of sleep when it does come.

The best policy is to simply keep electronics out of the bedroom, and to stay away from screens for at least an hour before bed time. Read, meditate, or converse, but avoid that blue light before bed.

Create a Routine

Human beings thrive on routine. These habitual motions allow us to move on a sort of biological autopilot, giving us a chance to put our amazing brains to other uses.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t take the time to design routines that truly benefit us. We just fall into a pattern of doing what’s easiest and brings the most immediate pleasure. And if you want quality sleep and the great mornings that come with it, this is a problem.

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