5 Tips to Wake Up Earlier

Not everyone is a natural morning person. Some people like to sleep in and get a few extra Z’s. Have you ever heard of ‘beauty sleep?’ Extra rest is definitely okay, unless your schedule no longer allows for it.

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Maybe it’s a new job or you’re going back to school after summer break. Whatever the reason, if you’re not used to waking up early, the change can be difficult. Most people don’t enjoy getting less sleep. Fortunately, there are ways around this that don’t involve missing out on much-needed rest. There’s more to it than going to bed earlier.

Making a few simple changes to your mornings can make a big difference. Starting to make these changes may seem daunting, but in reality, it’s not that difficult. Here are some tips to help yourself wake up earlier and conquer the day.

1. Plan a schedule

A way to feel more ready for the day ahead? Using a schedule should be your first move. Scheduling is the perfect way to plan what you need to do and then plan your day accordingly.

Just write down what you know you need to do the next day and assign the tasks to different times of the day. It can make your days easier because you can visualize what your day entails. You also won’t have to figure out what task to do next right now. If indecisiveness dominates your days, adding this form of structure can help you stay on course.

You don’t have to go crazy planning. Some people aren’t great programmers, and that’s okay. This might be enough if you only want to think about the future the day before. There are no rules to break here.

When making your schedule, remember to allow enough time for each task. Also, be realistic about how much you do in a day. The point is not to overwhelm yourself. it’s to make your life easier. One thing you can plan ahead of time is a morning routine (see #2). Seeing what you need to do in the mornings can help give you a sense of order.

2. Create a morning routine

One of the secrets to waking up earlier is to follow a routine. A morning routine can be as simple or complex as you like. If you’re new to the idea, your best bet is to go easy on yourself.

Making a routine is simple — make a list of the activities you need to accomplish in the morning. For example, the first thing you might do when you wake up is brush your teeth. Then you can take a shower. Basically, you map out what you’re going to do and give a turn.

There are different aspects of the morning routine. What kind of breakfast do you want? This may seem like a loaded question, but think about it. Do you want to exercise? Make a nice breakfast? Time to journal or meditate? These are things to consider when planning a routine for your mornings.

Perhaps most importantly, remember to make your routine realistic. If you’re not used to morning runs and coming home to a green smoothie, don’t wait until tomorrow. It may take some time to adjust, so start small. For example, go for a short run on your first day and maybe prepare your smoothie the night before.

Whatever you choose to include in your new routine, make sure it’s not overdone. A routine is about simplifying your time, not adding extra stress. If you lie awake at night dreading everything you have to do when you wake up — it won’t help. Go easy!

3. Avoid the snooze button

When you’re trying to make yourself wake up earlier, it can be so tempting to hit snooze. The extra five or ten minutes might feel like it would do you good. However, this way of thinking is actually the opposite of reality.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, snoozing can be harmful to your sleep health. You might be conditioning your brain to expect those extra minutes, which would be counterproductive. The short period of sleep isn’t actually restful, so it’s a waste of time. You may feel even more sleepy afterwards.

So how do you stop relying on the snooze button? A little self-control can go a long way. Do your best not to be tempted to take those extra few minutes. Extra minutes that are not useful, if you remember. Try counting 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — and get out of bed.

Get up and do some jumping jacks. Splash your face with cold water. Anything to get out of bed and feel a little more energized. It may be difficult at first, but your body will thank you later.

4. You have something to look forward to

It may seem silly, but anticipating something you enjoy is one of the simplest ways to pick yourself up and deal with it. If you have an activity planned and you’re looking forward to – it’s less tempting to stay in bed. It’s simple psychology, but it works.

Think of something that would motivate you to get up. Is it a delicious breakfast? Maybe a refreshing run outside? Or, maybe it’s a delicious cappuccino that helps give you that caffeine boost. Whatever it is, having something that gets you out of bed is great.

If you haven’t used this method before, it might be worth a try. First, however, consider how long this rewarding activity will take. You should factor it into your morning schedule. Or, you may need to adjust your wake-up time.

If you think a hearty breakfast sounds like it will wake you up, give it a try. And, there are steps you can take to make the process easier on yourself in the morning. Having to make a full breakfast from scratch can take some time. Instead, prepare some things in advance to make cooking faster (see #5).

5. Prepare the night before

Another step you can take to help yourself wake up earlier is to prepare in advance for your morning routine. The less you have to do right out of bed, the easier it is to get everything done. This can help you feel less stressed in the morning.

For example, preparing meals for breakfast can free up your mornings. By cooking breakfast the night before, all you have to do is reheat it. Or, if you don’t want to make it all ahead of time, just prepare a few parts of it ahead of time. Let’s say you want an omelet, but you don’t like the taste of reheated eggs – prepare yourself to have a fresh omelet by chopping as many vegetables as you want to add to the omelet. If you want to add meat, such as bacon or sausage, cook them the night before. Now all you have to do is throw it all in a pan in the morning.

How about a little less effort? Even simply laying out the products you will use or the clothes you will wear the next day can help. Picking out your outfit the night before can save time in the mornings, especially if you’re indecisive. If you wear makeup, lay out what you’re going to use in your drawer or vanity. You’ll have less reaching and searching to do when using everything. This can really help with the foggy morning brain too.

Don’t be hard on yourself

It’s important to remind yourself that making adjustments can be difficult. Especially if you’re not a morning person, changing your wake-up time can be extremely difficult. It may not be smooth from the start, and that’s okay. Don’t put yourself down for any struggles you may feel during the process.

Nobody said being human was easy. Remember to give yourself some grace. Use the tools around you — make a schedule, prepare a reward, prepare the night before. Whatever it takes to achieve your goal, be sure to use it.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Cottonbro; Pexels? Thanks!

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