• Is it possible for a night owl to transform into a morning person? Coach Adrian Gonzalez did it himself and has a 6-step plan to help you get there too

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Could it be that you are a diehard night owl, and you enjoy all the mileage there is to being a night person? But what if told you that there is another segment of the day, that can produce wonderful results for your wellbeing, but sometimes because we are adamant in our way of thinking, we are unable to give ourselves the opportunity to try it?

If you don’t give yourself the chance to embrace new habits and new things in life, how can you delight in all its beauty, the variety that this life has to offer us?

So, let me introduce six really quick ways to become a morning person even if you think you're a night owl:

1. Recognise those morning benefits

Studies have shown the differences in the behaviour between a morning person versus a night owl. For example, morning people are willing to be more agreeable, optimistic, stable, proactive, conscientious, and satisfied with life. 

Night owls, besides good qualities like creativity, extroverted and intelligence, also exhibit more negative qualities like being pessimistic, neurotic, and depressed. 

Research shows that the early sunlight enjoyed by morning people helps to produce serotonin which is a natural antidepressant. 

2. Change your behaviours

New habits start with new behaviours. It could be that you are only a night owl because you have established a series of patterns and behaviours performed at night that keep you awake. The night also has a special silence that can aid in concentration, while the rest of the world is resting. 

Especially if you are burning the midnight oil on unproductive activities, or those that don't make you feel good, it's time to adjust your behaviours. For example, suspend the habit of watching movies or checking the internet before going to sleep, or as I like to suggest in my coaching, set up a before-sleep routine.

3. Establish a before-sleep routine

First, set the time that you would like to be in bed sleeping, then set an alarm 30-40 minutes before that time, which will notify you once your before-sleep routine begins. 

The routine will consist in setting up everything so you can be relaxed and dedicated to entering your sleep mode. It could consist of putting away your electronic devices, turning off the TV, putting on your pj’s, practicing a breathing technique, maybe putting on some relaxing music… you choose. 

The important thing is that it is consistent, and you respect it so you can have the number of hours you need to rest well and start enjoying the benefits of a productive morning.

4. Your body will balance the clock

You might say to yourself that you cannot wake up early because you go to bed late. Well, guess what? Set the alarm and get up sleepy, start your morning ritual and your day, and when it comes to the night, your body will balance and implore you to find a bed, so it compensates for your early wakeup. 

If you go to sleep late again, do it again – set your alarm early again, get up sleepy, and by the second next night, as soon as you touch your bed, you will fall as sleep as early as you can. From there, your body will balance its internal clock until you get used to your new routine.

5. Set some morning habits

Set yourself morning habits that will help you improve your health, knowledge, and attitude. Try not to include work tasks, because the idea is to develop a time for you, like a special moment, a morning shelter, or as I like to call it, a morning Zen.  

For instance, this could be: a quick exercise routine, creating a gratitude journal, reviewing your to-do list, listening to a podcast, watching short motivational videos, etc. But it is important that this routine is consistent every morning, with discipline and conviction.

6. Live the experience

I used to be a night owl, and that was because of my position as a creative director divided my day in two. During the day I had to make decisions, coordinate meetings, follow-up with customers, and review the team’s ideas, and the only peaceful time was when I went back home after the day ended. Late in the night night I would find myself with a little peace, so I could focus on the main concepts of a particular campaign. But once I became a business owner, I realised that I needed to be more productive. I experimented with myself and I discovered a whole new world and fantastic outcomes, which I invite you all to try and test as well. 

You may say: “sorry, I am a night person, always have been, I know myself and I will never change” – well, I used to say the same. It wasn’t until I lived the experience of it that I was able to discover the variety of privileges that the early morning brings.

So, this New Year, try to make these changes, and give yourself the opportunity to make positive upgrades and become that better version of yourself.

Adrian Gonzalez is a life coach and author of Morning Zen: Empower Your Life by Transforming Your Mornings

Further reading

4 morning habits for a productive day

Why does physical exercise improve mental health?

How to start an early morning yoga routine without losing sleep

The power of taking a pause: why slowing down is far from failure

6 tips for a well-stocked mental health toolkit