How to Wake up Early
Author: Jonathan Warren
How to Wake up Early: 5 Tips for Early Rising and Why You Should Do It
For those who spend their nights tossing and turning and their mornings feeling groggy, early risers can be the envy of your life. You might think that’s just who you are, destined for a lifetime of insufficient sleep and unproductive mornings. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Every single one of us can reap the benefits of getting up early in the morning. All it takes is a change-up to your routine. Here’s a list of tips and life hacks that can see you waking up earlier each day.
1. Get to bed on time
The first step to waking up earlier begins the night before. Bedtime routines are totally in your control. Stopping up later will just limit the amount of quality sleep you get each night, so pick an early bedtime and stick to it.
To help you get used to it, you could make the switch in small increments. Chop 15 minutes off your bedtime each week until you hit your target. Over time, you probably won’t even notice those small differences.
Even if you’re going to bed thinking you won’t be able to get to sleep, we’d still recommend getting yourself tucked in. The important thing is what you do when you get there.
2. Keep your phone out of sight
One thing you absolutely should not be doing is looking at your phone, or any other device with bright, shiny lights. There are two reasons for this. First, they stimulate your brain in a way that makes it hard for you to fall asleep. Secondly, the blue lights they emit suppresses the release of melatonin, an important sleep hormone that helps regulate our sleep/wake cycle.
If possible, take away the temptation to have one last check of your emails, or watch one last episode of your latest Netflix binge, by removing all electronic devices from the bedroom. Leave the TV for the living room and put your smartphone in a draw.
The best, most soothing bedtime activity is reading. Grab that novel you’ve been dying to read for years and get through a quick chapter before you go to sleep.
3. Switch up your alarm clock regime
Without the trusty alarm clock, we’d all struggle to get ourselves up in the morning. It might be the most hated item in your bedroom, but it’s essential in helping you make it to the office on time each morning.
A couple of tips to get you started. First, keep it away from your bedside table. When you’re abruptly woken up, it’s all too easy to hit the snooze button and nod back off. Place it across the room so you have to get out of bed to switch it off. Once you’re up, there’s no need to get back in.
Another thing to try is a new style of alarm. Is there a certain type of music that immediately puts you in a positive mood? Having punishingly jarring music might wake you up easier, but it might also put you in a foul mood from the off.
4. Leave that snooze button alone
This point is important, and it needs to be separated from our previous alarm advice. No, repeat no, touching of the snooze button should occur. The only thing those extra 10 minutes of nodding off will bring is a more lethargic morning. Small periods of sleep like that just interrupt your sleep pattern, making it harder for you to wake up when you do rise from your slumber.
Once the alarm goes off, make sure you get up.
5. Maximise that extra time
Once you get up, make it worthwhile. If you find yourself fumbling about the house unproductively, you’ll end up making an excuse to head back to bed. That extra time is yours to do whatever it is you choose; just try to make it something productive. Make sure you get a proper breakfast, read the morning paper, or head out for a morning jog.
Before long, you’ll wonder how you managed to get anything done without the extra time you’ve gained.
6. Avoid drinking too much
Unfortunately, alcohol and a good night’s sleep aren’t compatible. Despite the impact alcohol can have on helping us feel drowsy and drop off, it’s a huge disruptor of good sleep. Evidence shows that the most restful Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep is delayed when you’ve had a drink – leading you to feel sluggish the next day.
It’s also more likely to see you wake up in the night. Alcohol dehydrates you, meaning you might wake up in the night needing some water. It also makes it more likely you’ll snore in the night, which could cause you to wake yourself up.
4 Benefits of getting up early
Now you’ve got a handle on the best ways to wake up early, here are just four of the many ways you’ll be benefitting from springing out of bed that little bit earlier.
1. More time to do whatever you want
If you’re getting up and out of bed earlier, you’re literally adding extra hours onto your day. With more time, you can get more done. Like we mentioned above, it’s important to make use of this time to do something you otherwise wouldn’t have had time for. Fit something you’d always wanted to do into your day, and you’ll discover the true value of getting up earlier.
2. Fit in the most important meal of the day
One of the things you could do with that time is make yourself a proper breakfast. Despite seemingly everyone confirming that breakfast is a vitally important meal of the day, plenty of us still don’t make time to fit it in. With the extra time you now have, breakfast should be somewhere near the top of the list of things you could do with it.
In short, breakfast breaks the fasting period that’s kicked in overnight while you were asleep. When you wake up, you will need good blood sugar levels to get your brain and body functioning as best they can. Breakfast is the fuel you need to make that happen. Without it, you’re more likely to feel sluggish and slow in the morning.
3. Improve your performance
In our own recent study, we found that those who have a better quality of sleep feel more motivated and productive in their job. Simple logic suggests that the longer we are awake, the more tired we become and the more prone we are to making errors as we lose concentration.
The best way to recover from this is to recharge with a good night’s sleep, which can be aided by getting to sleep and then waking up earlier. Plus, get up that bit sooner and you’ll have more time to come around, meaning you’re sharp and ready for work as soon as you hit your desk.
Feel more energetic, creative and productive. It all starts by waking up earlier.
4. Catch the sunrise
There are few more beautiful sights in nature than a sunrise. Sadly, due to our preference for waking up when the sun has already risen, it might be a rare occurrence that you actually see one.
One of the less revered benefits of an early morning is the sights out of the window. Catch the early morning sunrise and start your day off in the best way possible.
We all love our bed but getting up earlier brings it with a whole host of benefits. Physically, you’ll feel more energetic. Mentally, you’ll be more productive and creative. And just generally, you’ll have more time do all the things you previously had no time for. So, get those alarms set!