12 Proven Tips for Waking Up Early
Are you trying to switch from being a night owl to an early bird? Though the transition isn’t easy, with a little dedication, it is possible to become a morning person.
Waking up early can have incredible effects on your well-being. People who start their day early are often more productive, more focused and less prone to stress.
In fact, if you look at the morning routines of successful people, a lot of them wake up around 5:30 a.m. to greet the day. They set goals, exercise, meditate and get a big chunk of work done.
Read on to discover 12 proven tips to become an early riser, wake up refreshed and seize the day well-rested.
1. Synchronize Your Sleep Cycles
Sleep cycles are 90-minute intervals that your brain goes through when you sleep. A good night sleep consists of 5 sleep stages represented by different cycles.
If you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, you’re interrupting the brain’s natural sleep pattern. You’ll feel groggy, fatigued and energy-deprived, no matter how much you’ve slept.
If you want to get up early and well-rested, your wake-up time should be right between two sleep cycles. For example, if you want to get up at 5:30 a.m., you should go to sleep at 10:00pm, 11:30 p.m. or 1 a.m. This way, you’ll complete enough sleep cycles to wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
To calculate your sleep cycles and create a schedule around them, you can use apps like Sleepyti.me or Sleep Calculator.
2. Watch What You Eat Before Bed
Your eating habits might be preventing you from getting quality sleep and rising early.
Eating fatty and sugary foods close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep and cause drowsiness in the morning. Hunger can also lead to poor sleep and morning fatigue.
If you get hungry before bedtime, choose light foods like low-fat yogurt with a drizzle of honey, veggies, a piece of fruit, banana with nut butter, or 1 cup of popcorn.
Have a glass of water before bed and save your favorite coffee for the morning.
3. Develop New Sleeping Habits
If you’re determined to start waking up early, make it a habit to fall asleep at exactly the same time every night.
Then, calculate your sleep cycles and choose an exact time to get up in the morning. Repeat the same pattern every day until your brain gets used to the new schedule.
Forming new habits takes time and you may struggle at first, so be patient with yourself.
4. Disconnect from Technology
In today’s digital era, it’s hard to resist checking your email and social media before bed. But if you want to fall asleep quickly and get up early, you need to unplug all technology from your bedroom.
Tech devices emit high levels of blue light, which can negatively affect your circadian rhythm and decrease the production of melatonin (the hormone responsible for inducing sleep). The more exposed you are to blue light, the harder it is to fall asleep.
Use the time in bed to wind down and de-stress, free of all technology and useless information.
5. Gradually Transition to Getting Up Early
To make the transition to rising early easier, leave your alarm across the room or in another room. This will force you to get up and turn it off instead of hitting snooze. Once you’re out of bed, you might as well start the day.
Another great tip is to set your wake-up time in increments. For example, if you want to get up at 6 a.m., set your alarm to 7 a.m. first. Then, wake up 15 minutes earlier every day, until you reach your goal.
6. Create a Bedtime Routine
Creating a bedtime routine can help you unwind, de-stress and fall asleep faster.
To start, think about the things that relax you. These can include reading a book, listening to peaceful music or taking a long bath or shower. Another option is doing some calming bedtime yoga, meditation and aromatherapy. Perform your nighttime routine in a silent, dim-lit bedroom.
You’ll wake up early, well-rested and refreshed the next morning.
7. Create a Morning Routine
Some of the most successful people in the world are highly productive, creative, and focused thanks to their morning routines.
Start your morning routine at the same time every day and do the same activities to help set the habit. Include a healthy breakfast, exercise and goal-setting in your ritual.
You’ll start waking up early and enjoying your mornings instead of dreading them.
8. Motivate Yourself
As you learn to become an early riser, motivate yourself by visualizing your perfect morning.
Imagine yourself awake at sunrise, visualize the look of your room, the view from your window and the aroma of your freshly brewed coffee. Think about the taste and texture of your breakfast, your morning exercise, and your goals for the day.
This will give you motivation to wake up early and enjoy some me-time before you start the day.
9. Don’t Think About Your To-Do List
When you burden your brain with tasks and to-do lists before bed, you’re forcing it to stay active instead of falling asleep.
Think about your tasks in the morning, when you have more energy and brainpower to tackle them.
10. Sleep with the Blinds Open
Your body starts to produce melatonin (the hormone regulating sleep) in the evening, reaching its peak around bedtime. In the morning, as natural light starts to appear, the body slows down its melatonin production, signaling it’s time to wake up.
To balance out melatonin levels, open your curtains or blinds before you fall asleep to let natural sunlight wake you up.
11. Have an Exciting Purpose to Your Day
Your brain needs to associate waking up early with a positive, uplifting goal for the day ahead.
It can be a full workout to improve your health and fitness, an extra hour to write, spending more time with your family or working on your life goals.
Find something that makes you happy and excited to get out of bed in the morning.
12. Go to Bed Early
If all else fails, going to bed earlier may work for you. In the beginning, your brain will need some time to adapt, but soon you’ll start waking up at your desired time.
Another option is to write down or say out loud the exact time you’d like to wake up the next day. Repeat this several times before falling asleep to make your subconscious remember. With a little practice, you’ll wake up naturally, sometimes before the alarm sets off.
Never Hit Snooze Again!
If you’re on a journey to getting up early and making the most of your day, these tips will help you become a morning person easier.
Want more wellness tips? Check out our blog where we talk about mindful living and well-being.
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Frosina A. Ivanovic is a content marketing specialist and writer. She’s passionate about quality coffee, travel, wellness, and digital marketing. You can connect with Frosina on LinkedIn or her website, Zhillmatic.