You hear it all the time. “If you want to be successful you need to wake up before everyone else.” but that’s easier said than done. You can’t just snap your fingers and instantly become a morning person, especially not when you’ve been going to bed after 2AM for the last decade. Don’t fret though, there are many tricks you can use to make waking up early a less painful process. You may even find you’ll start to like it. Read on to see our guide to waking up early.
Go to bed early
Waking up early is much easier when you feel well rested. Don’t keep yourself up until midnight and then try to force yourself to get up at 5am. It might be possible, but it won’t be something you can sustain. If your sleep cycle is currently all over the place, try the website sleepyti.me. The app helps you figure out which times are best for you to wake up based on circadian rhythms and the length of sleep phases. You can also slowly work your way to waking up earlier by going to bed one hour earlier than the day before and waking up one hour earlier. Repeat these steps until you’re waking up at your desired time. Not everyone feels energized at the same time during the day which is why it may be helpful to learn your chronotype. Dr. Michael Breus created a quiz to determine what time you’ll be most productive as well as other factors that may help based on your individual needs. Dr. Breus is also the author of “The Power of Now”.
Limit screen time before bed
Do you fall asleep watching Netflix? or binge watching Youtube videos in bed? Many people believe these habits help them fall asleep, and while that may be true, screen time before bed reduces the quality of your sleep. You’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night and feel less rested throughout the day. Reading is a very useful way to unwind before bed but if you really need to listen to something in order to fall asleep, I highly recommend audiobooks. The trick is, once you’ve started the audiobook, DO NOT turn the screen on. You can set sleep timers to ensure your audiobook doesn’t play through while you’re sleeping and you won’t need to turn the screen on to stop the story.
Put your phone across the room
This may just be one of the hardest habits to break. Most of us have become accustomed to using our phones as our main alarm clock in the morning. Using your phone as an alarm in itself is not a bad thing, but chances are it’s sitting within arm’s reach from your bed. The problem with keeping your phone close to the bed is that it’s so much harder to resist the urge to hit snooze when your alarm goes off. Some people aren’t even fully conscious when they’re hitting the snooze button, leading to sleeping in unintentionally. It’s suggested that you keep your phone and alarm across the room from your bed to force you to stand up and walk across the room to turn it off. This makes it less likely to hit snooze and less likely to crawl back into bed.
Put on some music
Immediately going onto social media or watching tv isn’t the best way to start your day productively, which is why turning on some music can stimulate your brain to wake you up and get you going in the right direction. You can play pretty much any music you like and the effects will still remain. Some people can’t handle loud intense music in the morning, but turning on some peaceful music at a low volume is enough to keep them awake and present. If you’re in need of a real jolt you can always turn up the volume (using headphones if other people live with you) or put on some more energetic music. Plus listening to feel good music has been proven to help start your day off on a good note (pun intended).
Make your bed right away
It’s the last thing you want to do once you’ve finally pulled yourself out of bed, but it has been proven to prevent people from climbing back into bed once they’ve spent the time to make it up. Making your bed also starts your day on the right foot by accomplishing a task first thing after you get up which helps keep you motivated. You’ve already got a task ticked off on your to-do list!
Take a cold shower
Not for the faint of heart. If you truly struggle to stay awake in the mornings a cold shower just might do the trick. Some people find a hot shower just adds to their feelings of sleepiness. A cold shower is hard to ignore and many people say they actually enjoy taking cold showers.
Make sure you’re moving throughout the day
We all know exercice is good for us, but when you hit that afternoon slump or you’re having trouble getting going first thing in the morning, a brisk walk around the block with some fresh air can be just what you need. Many people find doing a quick workout or a walk around their neighbourhood in the morning can help them feel more energized and ready to tackle the day. This doesn’t have to be a two hour workout, it can be as little as ten minutes. Quick breaks throughout the day can also help you fight off any sleepiness you may feel throughout the day.
Don’t drink caffeine before bed
Everyone already knows this tip, but putting the principle into practice is much harder than people anticipate. While you may not be guilty of having an 11 pm java, caffeine can stay in your system for up to eight hours. That means if you go to bed at midnight, you shouldn’t be drinking any caffeine past 4pm in the afternoon. Everyone is different, of course, and some people are less sensitive to caffeine than others but as time goes on and the more coffee you drink, you’ll find it takes less and less coffee to keep you up past your bedtime. Caffeine is one of the few substances that works opposite to things like alcohol or drugs. If you drink too much too often, you’ll need larger and larger amounts of alcohol to feel the effects. Caffeine on the other hand requires less and less to get that caffeine buzz and keep you up all night as you get older and consume more.
Think of waking up early as a good thing rather than a punishment
Everything is easier when you’re doing something you want to do. Remember why you’re waking up earlier and the benefits that come from that. You’re ensuring you get enough time in your day to get everything done. Waking up before everyone else is like you’re the only person around, there’s no distractions and you can enjoy the peace around you. Working in a calm peaceful environment will help you get things done to a higher quality because you’ll be able to focus more. You may even find you’re becoming a bit of a morning person once you try it.
Are you a morning person? Or a night owl? When do you get your best work done? Let me know in the comments!