How to Wake Up Earlier

Alarms on iPhone - Photo credit Skye Harmony (Flickr)
Alarms on iPhone - Photo credit Skye Harmony (Flickr)

Lets face it we all do it, we set the alarm with the best of intentions, knowing this is the time we need to get up but then the alarm seems to ring hours before we’re ready to rise. This leads to hitting the snooze button approximately 15,467 times and eventually we’re running late.

Establishing an early morning routine can be tough, which is why it’s a good idea to ease into waking up early. Adapt gently so that you don’t give up in frustration.

I’ve gathered a few simple strategies to help you successfully wake up earlier and make the transition a bit easier.

Alarms on iPhone - Photo credit Skye Harmony (Flickr)
Alarms on iPhone – Photo credit Skye Harmony (Flickr)

Go to bed early.

This is an obvious one if you plan on waking up earlier. If you haven’t gotten as much sleep as you need, it will be impossible to get out of bed and your head will remain groggy throughout the day. Going to bed early requires discipline, but the earlier you wake up, the sleepier you’ll feel at night. Set yourself a bedtime, it will help your body clock adjust and help you rise in the morning.

No Phone Zone - Photo credit Karen (Flickr)
No Phone Zone – Photo credit Karen (Flickr)

Turn off electronics.

Avoid stimulating screen time right before you go to bed in order to get the most out of your sleep. Turn off the TV and laptop. You should also try to break the habit of checking your phone once you get into bed. The screen’s blue light mimics the brightness of the sun, which tells your brain to stop producing melatonin, an essential hormone for a good night’s rest. If possible, try spending an hour or so winding down before bed by reading a book or magazine you enjoy.

Set your alarm for one minute earlier each day.

If you usually wake up at 8am and you want to start waking up at 6:30am, start by moving your alarm back by one minute per day. Your body will barely notice the difference. If you think one minute is too short, alternatively you can also do this in 10 or 15 minute increments.

Don’t hit snooze.

Sure you might go back to sleep for a few minutes but this can actually make you feel worse. By hitting the snooze button you’re telling your body to do the opposite of what it’s trying to do and that’s get you ready for the day. You’ll end up feeling groggier than if you just stayed awake.

Jump out of bed.

Once you’re out of bed and moving, it’s a lot easier to stay up. It’s hard to press the snooze button when your bladder is full so drink a lot of water the night before. Drinking a glass of water will also replenish the water you lose by sweating and exhaling through the night. Also try keeping your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room. This can help get you out of bed if you find it hard to get up in the morning.

Early morning breakfast - Photo credit topsynette (Flickr)
Early morning breakfast – Photo credit topsynette (Flickr)

 Create an early morning routine.

Give yourself a good reason to get out bed, whether it’s a hot shower, a cup of coffee, catching the news or by planning a good breakfast. Easing gently into the day makes it a lot easier to get up. Exercise first thing in the morning energises your mind and body and boosts your fitness. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or intense, just a few minutes of basic yoga can be enough to wake you up. If you’re feeling energetic, fit in an early morning run while the streets are empty. However, don’t choose exercise over the sleep you need!

Keep goals in mind.

Remind yourself of why you want to wake up early and what you aim to accomplish in doing so. It’s easier to feel motivated to get up when you have a goal to think about before going to sleep.

What are your tips for waking up earlier? Leave a comment below.

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