There is something very satisfying about waking up early and feeling refreshed, alert and pumped for your day ahead. Unfortunately, though, not all of us are natural ‘morning people’. Some of us struggle to keep our eyes open without a morning coffee, let alone waking up before the sun is high in the sky.

Being an early bird comes with numerous advantages, including having more daylight hours to take advantage of!

Another great plus to being an early riser is that you have an opportunity to tackle your daily workout first thing before anything else can get in the way of your training time. Exercising in the early morning is an excellent way to kick-start your metabolism, stimulate your digestive system and get a healthy boost of happy hormones first thing so that you can make the most of your day!

Not a morning person? Don’t worry, you are not alone! Fortunately, though there are numerous ways in which you can help adjust your internal body clock so that you too can wake up nice and early feeling refreshed and ready for your day.

Here are 10 tips that will help you become more of a morning person:

Aim for consistency: Having a regular bedtime might not always work out as planned, however, the more consistent you are with your bedtime and wake up time, the easier it will become to wake up feeling refreshed at a set time each morning.

Take baby steps: If you don’t normally wake up until 9 am, yet you want to start waking up at 6, then you might find it easier to take it in steps. Try setting your alarm for half an hour earlier every second day until you reach your goal. This way it won’t be such a shock to your system and you will be more likely to stick to your new schedule.

Get your 7-9 hours: If you don’t get enough sleep each evening, it is going to be much more challenging to wake up feeling refreshed and alert. So plan ahead and try to get to bed in time to ensure your 7-9 hours of sleep. Find it difficult to drift off? Avoid stimulants such as tea, coffee or alcohol for at least 2 hours before bedtime and turn off your smartphone, iPad, laptop or tv, as these devices have a blue light that interferes with the production of melatonin.

Allow the natural light in: Your body clock works on a 24-hour circadian rhythm, which can be affected by the changing of natural light. Natural sunlight lets your pineal gland know it is time to stop producing melatonin, which is the key hormone responsible for sleep. So when the natural light of the sun reaches you through your window in the morning, your body begins to wake up naturally. This is why having your curtains open to allow natural light in in the morning will help you wake up earlier, feeling refreshed and alert.

Keep it fresh: If you sleep in a room with all your windows and doors shut, you may find that the increase in carbon dioxide makes you feel a little more drowsy when you wake up. Try to sleep with our window open, or have your door ajar, so that your room can stay ventilated with fresh air to help you wake up feeling refreshed.

Rehydrate first thing: Your body can go a lot longer without food than it can without water, in fact, most people wake up a little dehydrated each morning, even if they don’t realise it! Leave a glass of water by your bed each evening and try to drink it first thing. Not only will this help you wake up and feel refreshed, it will also prevent dehydration which can leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic.

Get up and moving: Even if you don’t feel like getting up and exercising, this is one of the best ways to wake yourself up. After as little as 5 minutes of getting your heart racing and your lungs pumping, you will notice the endorphins and adrenaline kicking in. So plan for a morning power walk, jog or exercise class first thing each morning. Even just 10 minutes of high energy training will help you to feel energized and ready to tackle your day ahead!

Put on some motivational music: There is a lot that can be said for music and motivation. Try setting your alarm with a motivational song to help you wake up, or simply press play on a ‘motivation mornings’ playlist that you design yourself. - Avoid slow or relaxing music though, especially if you are prone to roll over and drift back off to sleep!

Get outside: Once you get up, try to take yourself outside and enjoy some of that fresh air and calm energy that all those ‘morning people’ keep talking about. You might just be surprised to find that there is actually something to it!

Plan a morning activity: A great way to motivate yourself to get up nice and early is to plan an enjoyable activity. Why not join a bootcamp or early morning gym class? Or organize to go jogging or walking with a friend?

If you use these 10 tips, to help you rise and shine feeling refreshed and alert, you will find it a lot easier waking up each morning so that you can make the most of each and every day!