The snooze button is my worst enemy. If you’re anything like me, you hate mornings with a vengeance, too. It’s just so HARD to leave my comfy bed, and get out there and face the day. I’m way more productive in the evenings, when I’ve got some caffeine in my veins and maybe a workout in. I always thought being a morning person was never going to be in my future, especially since it’s kind of accepted in society that some people love mornings while others just… don’t.
But apparently, that isn’t entirely true.
A paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reveals key differences in personality traits between morning and evening people, and also suggested a person’s proclivity for the morning or evening can change over time. This means that as your traits change, the time of day when you’re most productive can change, too.
Pretty cool, huh? We spoke to experts and read several studies on this subject to help you ALSO change your ways and become a morning person. After all, the early bird gets the worm.
Here are five personality traits associated with morning people, as well as tips on how you can get them:
It’s no surprise morning people are more diligent and hardworking than the rest of us… I mean, they’re the ones who have more goddamn time all day.
The study showed morning people score higher on the conscientious scale than non-morning people, which shows they are more focused on their goals.
NYC SoulCycle instructor Matt Miller – who teaches 6:30 am classes twice a week – says,
It’s a matter of committing the time and energy to figure out what works and doesn’t work in terms of bedtime, diet, morning routine, etc that make the early morning alarm start to become easier.
I think if we give ourselves something to look forward to, even if it’s very simple, we can really change our whole outlook on the morning.
In short, focus on your goals and what would work to help you achieve them.
If it’s a morning workout you’re after, find a fun playlist. If it’s a work project, figure out WHY you’re excited about it.
It’s easier to focus on your goals when you actually look forward to them.
The study also showed those elusive morning people actually score lower on the extroversion scale than night owls. This is possibly because early mornings tend to be very quiet, whereas evenings are filled with socializing and happy hours.
Now, I personally don’t find extraversion a bad thing, and I have no desire to force you into being something you’re not.
However, having quiet time has proven beneficial by allowing introverts to be less apt to addiction, less likely to try risky behaviors and more focused on self-improvement.
One easy way to get into the habit of appreciating your alone time is through meditation… even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Jeff Sanders, author of “The 5 AM Miracle,” says,
If you want to free up just 15 minutes of time each day to meditate, read or check your email — wake up just 15 minutes earlier tomorrow and use those minutes for that activity
In time, you’ll begin to appreciate the calm of mornings, and it’ll make sure you self-reflect and focus on yourself for once.
It’s been shown night owls tend to be more likely to possess the “dark triad” of personality traits: namely psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism (sheming and conniving).
On the other end of the spectrum, morning people are more agreeable.
While it’s kind of hard to teach you how to be a BETTER human being, the self-improvement tactics above could help you become more aware of your actions. The more you self-reflect and realize what you’re doing, the less likely you are to allow yourself to hurt other people.
A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that morning people are definitely more proactive. They’re more energetic and driven than the rest of us, which is kind of obvious because they’re working at full steam before we’ve even given our morning coffee enough time to kick in.
Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine, says,
Evening people are more likely to be up at night when much of the working world has gone to bed; texting their friends, surfing the web or playing with screens of various kinds.
They often pay for this in the morning, when they have a hard time waking up and only feel like their brains are fully functional by midday. They are more often procrastinators and dreamers.
I’m sorry, evening people: You have to give up those bad habits if you want to sustain this morning thing.
Instead of wanting to wake up early AND procrastinate at night, focus on your goals and make your nights a time for you to recuperate instead. Dr. Rosenthal suggests setting a fixed bedtime and sticking to it, so that you’re not watching Netflix at 2 am.
Is it shocking to you that night owls are prone to unhealthy habits like excessive smoking, drinking, or substance abuse? We’re also way more likely to skip our workouts in favor of happy hour… because it’s dark, we’re tired and it’s been a long day.
To get your life back on track and become a little healthier SLOWLY, nutritionist Khushboo Thadani says,
Restriction requires willpower and let’s be honest, willpower is a finite resource and eventually runs out. It never results in a meaningful, long-lasting change. For long-term success and to leave you feeling both empowered and motivated, retrain your mind to focus on adding in healthier habits rather than subtracting.
Even small additions like moving an extra 30 minutes daily, supplementing each meal with a source of lean protein, scheduling 20 minutes of down time each night, eating a serving of greens with every meal and drinking more water during the day all translate to long-term results.
You definitely won’t want to ruin your progress once you’ve started with a late-night drinking binge, anyway.
It’s worth noting, though, that all people aren’t classified as total morning or evening people. In fact, about 70 to 80 percent of the population can have tendencies for both… or even neither.
But if mornings are seriously NOT your thing, give the tips a try: Maybe hitting the snooze button will soon be a thing of the past.