You may be like many people around the world and dream of waking up early to get your work and chores done in the beginning of the day. Over and over again we are told that the most successful people in the world tend to be early risers. So, how can you start waking up early in the morning?
If there is an easy answer to this question, I’m sure you wouldn’t even be still reading right now. While there’s no one word answer to satisfy anyone, there are definite, proven methods that you can use to help you wake up earlier. No matter who you are and how much you currently hate mornings, you can begin to be an early riser if you’ll pay attention and give these methods a try.
Developing Better Sleeping Habits
Before you can start to wake up earlier, you need to consider how well you are sleeping in the first place. It’s unfair to expect your body to adjust to an earlier wakeup time if you aren’t allowing yourself to sleep the right number of hours at night. If you currently sleep at 2am every night and wake up at 10am in the morning, you won’t have much flexibility to adjust your wakeup routine.
Waking up earlier almost always means you have to sleep earlier as well. In that above example if you were to start waking up at 6am you would only be giving yourself 4 hours of sleep instead of the recommended 7.5 hours.
How well are you sleeping? Do you find it easy to fall asleep or is it difficult? Sometimes you will be unable to adjust your bed time until you start to wake up earlier, but you need to consider this before you try to start a new wakeup routine.
What keeps you up at night? Is it something important such as extra work, time with your family, school projects, or anything else that is vital? Or, is if entertainment, electronics, and other non-vital activities that keep you awake? If you have a great reason for staying up late than perhaps you should rethink your early morning plan or see if you can reschedule that activity to make to work with a new wake up time. If your reason is not particularly useful or vital, go ahead and cut it out if necessary to start waking up earlier.
Having a Good Reason to Wake Up
Why do you want to start waking up earlier? There are many good reasons such as increasing your productivity, getting yourself into a better mood, finishing your work earlier, etc. but what is your reason for wanting this? Figure it out before you start, because that will serve as your motivation to keep you going. Changing your wakeup routine requires discipline. If you don’t have a reason to do it, you won’t feel motivated to continue long enough to make the change permanent.
Think about your reason for wanting to wake up earlier in the morning and make sure it’s the last thing you think about at night and the first thing in the morning. Go ahead and writing it on a paper on your ceiling if you have to, just don’t forget why you’re doing it! Giving yourself some motivation and a reason to be excited in the morning is exactly what you need to start moving and keep up your progress with waking up earlier.
Steps to Waking Up Early in the Morning
So, now that you know why you’re doing it and understand the importance of your sleeping habits, let me go over some of the best steps on how to wake up early in the morning.
1. Go to sleep earlier
This goes back to what I mentioned earlier about the sleeping habits. You cannot expect your body to consistently wake up early in the morning if you are not willing to go to sleep earlier as well. Don’t sacrifice sleep in order to be an early bird. You can’t have it all and stay up very late while also waking up early!
If it helps, set yourself a bed time and stick to it. You can even put an alarm on your phone to remind you if you have to. You might find that at first it’s difficult to get to sleep earlier, but as time goes on if you are consistent with waking up earlier you will start to feel tired sooner than you used to.
2. Become accountable
Do you have a trustworthy friend or family member that can help keep you accountable for your early morning wakeups? If there is someone you trust that already wakes up early, you might devise a system with them where you will call them when you wake up and if you don’t call by a certain time they should call you. This puts responsibility on you to get up and make that call.
Accountability can be very motivating for many people. Don’t worry if you can’t find someone you know personally to hold you accountable, there are actually online groups who are focused on that exact thing. Find a group and join up; they will help to keep you waking up at the right time each morning!
3. Wake up properly
No one wants to be miserable when they wake up in the morning. Do you usually feel awful with an early wake up? That might be due to you waking up in the wrong part of your sleep cycle. Waking up during your deep sleep phases makes for a very poor wake up that leaves you feeling groggy, cloudy, and usually quite awful.
You can influence your body to wake up well if you use the right tools to wake yourself up. That will probably mean investing in a new alarm clock. One of the best types of alarms that works well for many people are wake up light alarms. These alarms turn on a dull light about 30 minutes before your set wakeup time and will gradually increase the brightness of the light until it reaches its maximum brightness. This action mimics a sunset, which in turn prompts your brain to go into the lightest sleep cycle. The alarm will then sound and you will be more prepared to wake up.
There are other alarms that also do something similar. For example, you can get apps that will record the movements you are making at night and will try to determine the lightest part of your sleep cycle. When they find that time closest to when your set alarm is scheduled, they will wake you up. The only downside to those apps is most of them require you to put your phone near you in the bed, which can lead to you accidentally damaging your phone.
The point here is that if you can wake yourself up in a more pleasant way that won’t stress you out so much, you will feel better in the morning and it will be easier to get up.
4. Get out of bed
With that being said, the next step is to actually get out of bed. There’s a difference between someone that can wake up to an alarm in the morning and get out of bed and someone that will hit the snooze button repeatedly before getting up.
Did you know snooze buttons and that extra 5-10 minutes of sleep are not helping you at all? You won’t have enough time to get to REM sleep, a deeper sleep state, so you are actually just ruining your rest instead of improving it! Snooze buttons and lazing around in the warm sheets are actually just time wasters. You have to figure out what to do to get yourself out of bed and stay out.
For some this means setting another alarm to go off on the opposite of the room about 1 -2 minutes after the first. If you don’t get up and turn it off, you’ll risk waking up anyone else in the room or just disturbing yourself a lot. Others have found success with alarm clock apps that require you to get up and take a picture of something specific that you designate. Some people even train themselves to get up immediately when the alarm goes off.
Whatever works for you is what you should be doing. Don’t force a habit you hate on yourself, but make sure whatever you’re doing is effectively getting you out of bed and keeping you there.
5. Have an active morning routine
To take more advantage of your morning wake up, try to start off your day with something active. If you don’t, you might end up falling back asleep or wasting your newly found morning hours. Don’t stress about doing yoga or taking a jog if you don’t want to. Something as simple as a few minutes of jumping jacks and push-ups can do the trick as well. Get your blood pumping and your heart pounding and you are more likely to have a productive, enjoyable day.
Waking up early is not just for the morning birds. It can be for you or for anyone else with a bit of discipline and the right habits. Take these steps to heart and start planning how to wake up early in your own life!
Do you have any experience trying to wake up early? What would you say others should or shouldn’t do to make it easier? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear what you have to say about this topic!