Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, the way you spend your morning can determine how your day pans out.
So what can you do to help get yourself out of bed and set up for the day? Blinds specialist Thomas Sanderson* set out to determine what you need by analysing how the world’s high-flyers start their day.
It seems the common factor determining a successful morning routine is sleep. However, anecdotal evidence suggests it’s more a case of quality over quantity. Take former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – the Iron Lady famously got by on a mere three hours of sleep a night.
To get a better understanding of the role of sleep we spoke to Lisa Artis, spokesperson at The Sleep Council, who claims: “Getting a good night’s sleep is not only good for your health and well-being, but it helps you wake up in the morning. Practice good ‘sleep hygiene’, including keeping regular hours and make sure you’re sleeping on a supportive bed.”
So what exactly are the bedtime and morning secrets of these movers and shakers? And how can studying these habits help the average person acclimatize to the darker mornings, now the clocks have gone back?
It appears that high achievers do all share one thing in common: rise early.
Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue rises at 05.00 each morning to head to the tennis court before starting her day.
Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington insists on a pre-bed “sacrosanct ritual,” which consists of leaving electronic devices in a separate room, a hot bath, chamomile tea and changing into sleep-friendly clothes. She doesn’t use an alarm but wakes naturally, before embarking on 30 minutes of morning meditation or yoga.
Most successful people also get at least six hours, as demonstrated by Richard Branson who does this so he can exercise and spend time with the family, which improves his frame of mind before business. Former President Barack Obama also gets by on six hours, so he can fit in a morning workout.
So what can you learn from the experts, in order to make the most of your own morning routine? Here are a few tips to jump-start your schedule and in the process, maximise your energy and productivity the next day.
- Buy a sunshine alarm clock. It should brighten gradually to simulate daylight and influence your own body clock.
- Consider installing shutters for your home – they’re ideal for blocking out light, noise and other disturbances that can affect a good night’s sleep.
- Set heating to come on at a certain time in the early morning, so it’s warm when you get out of bed.
- Perfect a sleep routine that works for you, but try and keep to the same time for nodding up, turn off your phone 30 minutes before you go to bed, and keep your room dark, quiet and cool.