Whether you identify as a “morning person” or not, it’s always a good idea to take stock of your tried-and-true routines and make sure they’re still serving you well. After all, scientists agree that morning people are generally happier — and who wouldn’t want to start off each day a little more centered and grounded? Read on for our best tips on how to learn to love mornings, as painlessly as possible.

1. Snooze no more. Imagine if you could carve out 10, 20, or 30 extra minutes every day to do something you really loved, like free writing in a journal, paging through a pretty magazine, or squeezing in a few sun salutations. All it takes? Sacrificing your snooze sessions. After all, what are you really gaining by giving yourself those extra 10 minutes? Do you really wake up more refreshed? (Probably not.) Because we sleep in cycles that last approximately 90 minutes, snoozing for 10 minutes (or more) can actually throw off your rhythm and make you feel more tired, even though it feels luxurious in the moment. But if you reframe your snooze time as self-care time, you’ll be giving yourself the gift of fitting in more of what you love each day.

Woman waking up and stretching

2. Be proactive, not reactive. It’s tough, but resisting the temptation to feel around for your phone the moment you wake up has big benefits. As scrolling through IG stories and checking texts are technically reactive tasks, you’re unwittingly setting yourself up to respond and react to other people’s thoughts, whims, and needs rather than your own. Instead, try doing something that’s proactive like meditation, deep breathing, or goal-setting. Checking in with yourself first thing gives you the power — not someone else — to decide how you start your day.

3. Bask in the sun. Your cat might be onto something: There’s actual science behind waking up with the sun and bathing yourself in light. Studies show that when sunlight hits your pupils first thing in the morning, it can rebalance your circadian rhythm, granting you with more energy during the day, and encouraging you to get tired earlier in the evening. Ideally, you’d get in a sun-soaked 15-minute walk each morning, but even just a few minutes of morning sun through your blinds can help you rise and shine.

4. Be tough on bedtime. The only way to *truly* guarantee a pleasant morning is by getting enough shuteye — and that starts with going to bed earlier. Set an intention to hit the sack at the same time each night (yep, even on weekends). To find your perfect bedtime, count backward from the time you need to get up while making sure you’re still getting at least 7 hours. (8 is better; 9 is best!) Convincing yourself to stick to a strict bedtime can be hard, so bring out the big guns: apps, reminders, and notifications that badger you into it. SleepCycle (native to iOS) will happily send you phone reminders that it’s getting close to bedtime, and F.lux will start a countdown on your computer.

5. Drink warm lemon water. Sipping warm water with freshly squeezed lemon in the morning can provide a natural jolt to your digestive system, effectively waking you up. In Ayurveda, the sour lemon taste stimulates agni, or digestive fire, which helps the body rehydrate after sleep, increases stomach acid production (so you’re actually hungry for a good breakfast), and stimulates the bowels to start your metabolism. Who needs coffee when you have lemons? Start with 1/2 lemon squeezed into 12 oz warm or hot (not boiling) water first thing.

What’s your favorite morning routine? Tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)