I think we can agree that sleep is one of the best things ever, just as your bed is probably of your favorite things ever. It’s warm, soft and comfy- this is why you probably find it really difficult to get up in the morning.
Waking up early has so many advantages, one of them being the fact that you will have more time to do the things you love, more time to spend with your family, or more time just for yourself. It also means that you are setting up your intentions for the day to come; you won’t be in a rush and you won’t feel stressed, knowing that you are on time and on schedule.
I wasn’t always a morning person, in fact I was quite the opposite- I’d stay up all night and only leave myself about twenty minutes to get ready before I was out the door. My morning routine has definitely changed quite a bit over the last couple of years and now, even though most of the I’m very busy- I have all the time in the world to do the things that really bring me joy.
1. START THE NIGHT BEFORE
Okay, so probably one of the most obvious things I can tell you right now, is to go to bed early and get more sleep, right? Well it’s not really that simple. I’ve been a night owl pretty much my whole entire life. When I was college, it was impossible for me to study, write or do any school-related work during the day. It wasn’t until 10-11 pm that I was finally able to concentrate. I’d stay up until 2-3 am, and as you can imagine, I could barely function during the day because of how little sleep I got. When I decided to start going to bed early, I found that I just could not fall asleep. If you’ve been going to sleep this late for years and years, it’s hard to go “cold turkey” and just try to go sleep at 10pm. Start by going to bed a half an hour earlier for a week, then try doing an hour, an hour and a half, until it becomes a habit. I also always make sure to have water on my nightstand so that I can drink it the first thing in the morning (your body just went for hours without water so it’s necessary to rehydrate it, this also helps my body to wakeup a little) and I also take magnesium right before going to bed, which helps me relax. If you find it hard to fall asleep at first, you can also try having some chamomile tea.
2. WATCH YOUR DIET AND CAFFEINE INTAKE
One of the biggest differences that I noticed after going plant-based, was how easy it became for me to fall asleep and how well-rested I feel each morning. Avoid eating heavy, fried foods and try not to eat right before going to sleep. Most importantly, try to avoid sugary drinks- you’d be surprised how many of them have a very high caffeine content. I used to go through an entire case of Redbull a week and while it did help me stay up at night to get things done, it made me feel super sluggish in the morning and the only thing that’d make feel better was… more Redbull. Same thing goes for coffee. If you consume a lot of coffee during the day- especially late afternoon- you will find yourself feeling too “wired” to fall asleep. Caffeine is also a vasoconstrictor, which means that it compresses blood vessels, reduces blood flow, and also increases your heart rate and blood pressure. As I mentioned before, we don’t replenish our fluids at night, which results in dehydration- this paired with caffeine’s vasoconstriction effect results in slow blood flow- which will make it difficult for you to stay focused and function properly.
3. COME UP WITH A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Give yourself at least an hour to wind down, before going to bed. This will help you relax and will let your body know that it’s time to go to sleep. Chances are, you are very busy during the day, you’re running around, working, going to school, taking care of your home, etc. Your body is in constant go-go-go mode, which is why it’s so important to try and slow down at night. During this time of year, I also love leaving the windows in our bedroom opened during the day- it fills the room with that cold, crisp air and getting under the covers feels super cozy. It’s also hard to go sleep when your mind is racing, so make sure that you’re not going to bed stressed- do some breathing exercises, have some chamomile tea.
4. FIND A REASON WORTH WAKING UP EARLY
I just told you about how I could only concentrate at night during my college days, because it was just so quiet and calm. I’ve also discovered that early mornings are just as peaceful. Getting up early means that you will have more time, just for yourself. You can get in a little workout, read a book with your tea/coffee, make big breakfast for yourself- all before everyone else gets up and starts making noise. Getting an early start to your day also means that you won’t be in a rush which can be stressful and no one wants to start their day feeling stressed. I personally love getting up early because I find it much easier to write during early mornings.
5. START SLOW
If you usually get up at around 7am, don’t think that you can form a habit of getting up at 6am in just a few days. Start by getting up 15 minutes earlier, and as it becomes easier and easier, you can then change it to half an hour and so on.
6. PUT A PAIR OF SOCKS ON YOU NIGHTSTAND
One of the main reasons why I always found it so difficult to get up was because I always feel cold in the morning, especially my feet. When I hear my alarm clock go off at 5.00 am, the first thing that I do is put on my socks, I do it even before I open my eyes properly. It might seem a little weird, but this really works for me. :)
7. FIND AN ALARM SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOU
I’ve read countless articles on how to get up early and pretty much all of them mention either not hitting the snooze button or placing your alarm clock/phone across the room. Neither of these things have worked for me. Placing my phone across the room only made me feel angry the minute the alarm went off and I realized it’s out of my reach. Usually I’d turn the alarm off and go back to sleep anyway. I also don’t have trouble with snoozing my alarm- it goes off at 5.00 am, but I usually don’t get up until around 5.30 am. It takes me about 15 minutes to open up my eyes for “good” :) . I just have my alarm go off every ten minutes, I also use this app called Alarm Clock Extreme and have it set so that I cannot turn the alarm off until I solve a simple math equation- this has worked really well for me.
8. DO SOMETHING THAT YOU ENJOY, FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
Right after brushing your teeth, that is! ;) It’s hard to motivate yourself to get out of bed early if you know you have to do something you dread. Make sure that one of the first things you do as soon as you wake up is something enjoyable, something you will look forward to every morning.
9. GET UP AT THE SAME TIME, EVERY DAY
It’s the only way to form a habit. I don’t get up at 5.30 during the weekends though, but I do only sleep in until about 7am or 8am. If you keep at it, eventually your internal clock will reset and you will notice that you won’t even need an alarm anymore.
10. GET GOING, AS SOON AS YOU OPEN YOUR EYES
Who doesn’t love their bed? Especially in morning, when it’s all nice, warm and toasty. This is why a lot of us fail so miserably when it comes to getting up early; as soon as our alarm goes off, we mute it and go back to sleep. This is why it’s so important to get going as soon as possible. I find that once I make it to the bathroom and brush my teeth, going back to sleep is out of the question.
Do you guys like getting up early or do you find it difficult to do?