Are you a night owl or an early bird? If you’re the former, you may want to give rising early a try.
Numerous studies have found there are several benefits to setting an early alarm. One discovered that women who were early risers were less likely to develop depression. And people who have tried it for themselves report feeling less stressed because they have more quiet time to themselves that they can use to work out or catch up on emails.
However, becoming an early riser doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience for your body to adjust to the change. Here are some tips on how to wake up early in the morning and reap the benefits!
Start Going to Bed Earlier, Gradually
This is perhaps the toughest step in becoming an early riser, particularly if you’re used to burning the midnight oil. But getting up earlier requires retraining your mind and body and this takes time.
If you’re unable to get sleepy until midnight, then trying to hit the hay at 10 PM will probably have you tossing and turning for the next two hours. Try instead getting into bed a half hour earlier and getting your body acclimated to the change.
Start Getting Up Earlier, Gradually
Likewise, you won’t be able to just spring out of bed an hour or two earlier than your usual time if you’re not getting enough sleep. While there are some famous people that manage to get by on just a few hours of sleep (President Donald Trump is one), most of us do need the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel our best.
Trying to wake up significantly earlier when you’re going to bed at the same time will only result in you hitting the snooze button several times in a row. The whole point of being an early riser is to have enough energy to get stuff done and that won’t happen if you’re exhausted.
So when it comes to waking up early, it’s best to do it gradually; 15 minutes earlier until you’re used to it and feel refreshed during the day, then try getting up 15 minutes earlier than that.
Stay Away From Technology At Least One Hour Before Shuteye
One of the best habits you can implement to help you fall asleep sooner is to stay off of the computer and all mobile devices at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from the LED screens of such devices mess around with your body’s melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm, or your natural sleep/wake cycle. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, you might want to consider OTC sleep aids.
A melatonin dip can make it harder to get drowsy and fall asleep. Turn off all devices, including your TV, and use the time leading up to lights out to read a book.
Create a Nighttime Routine
After the technology has been turned off, you may want to give yourself a nighttime routine to get your mind used to the idea of powering down for the day. This may include prepping your lunch for the next day, meditating, journaling, reading a book, having sex, or any other offline activity.
Having a bedtime routine often helps kids drift off to dreamland, so there’s no reason why it can’t help adults do the same.
Make Sure You Don’t Have a Sleep Condition
If you suffer from insomnia or sleep apnea, you’ll want to address these problems before attempting to alter your sleeping pattern. If you snore, this can affect your quality of sleep. A sleeping condition will make it pretty difficult to get enough quality sleep and feel refreshed when waking up early.
Take the NHS sleep apnea test to find out if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
Avoid Caffeine After Noontime
If you want to become an early riser, you will most likely need to avoid any kind of caffeinated beverage after lunchtime. That’s because caffeine’s energetic effects tend to linger in the body for up to six or seven hours after consumption. Having a cup of joe later in the day may make it impossible for you to sleep later.
Likewise, you’ll want to stay away from alcohol just before bed. While alcohol is a depressant and therefore often used to help fall asleep, you may end up wide awake later during the night.
Instead, you should eat a light but healthy snack and drink water or decaffeinated tea before bedtime. Avoid heavy meals a few hours before turning in for the night.
Make Yourself a Delicious Breakfast
Sometimes waking up earlier is easier when there’s a reward in it. Making yourself a hearty breakfast can entice you to roll out of bed sooner and can start an effective morning routine. It’s also a must since a protein-packed first meal provides energy to power you until lunchtime.
Cold Water is Your Friend
Never underestimate the power of cold water’s awakening sting. A splash of cold water after shaving or a blast of it as you’re about to shut off the shower can invigorate you and wake you up. Thomas Jefferson, an early riser himself, supposedly sat with his feet in cold water while planning his day as the sun came up.
Remember That There’s Nothing Wrong With Being a Night Owl
If you’ve been following the above tips and attempting to convert to being an early riser but find that you just can’t do it, understand that there’s nothing wrong with going to bed and waking up later. Accept that this is your body’s natural sleep/wake cycle.
Besides, Winston Churchill loved staying up until 4 AM and sleeping until noon. Rock stars are notorious for partying into the wee hours of the morning and sleeping through the sunrise. Although many of us have daytime jobs and don’t have the luxury of sleeping when we want to, sometimes it’s better not to try to fix what isn’t broken.
This is How to Wake Up Early in the Morning
Becoming an early riser takes discipline. If you find you enjoy it, it can open up a whole new world of free time to devote to a side business, hobby, or exercising.
Here at Let’s Be Game Changers, we love helping people live their fullest and healthiest lives and reaching their potential (like teaching you how to wake up early in the morning). Read our latest happiness posts for more content on how to be happier and healthier through your sleeping and lifestyle habits.