Early morning wake-ups can be difficult, as the thought of sleeping in is usually a much more appealing option.
However, waking up early boosts positive health benefits, including better concentration, improved quality of sleep, long-lasting energy, productivity and more.
Waking up early takes commitment, but it’s possible to turn even the latest riser into an early bird.
Here are some simple tips to help you get in the habit of waking up early:
Know your motivation.
If you’re naturally more of a night owl, waking up early is not going to be easy, so you have to be committed to make it a long-term habit. The first few days will probably be hard but eventually you’ll establish a new, healthy sleep pattern.
What’s your motivation? Do you want to get up in time to have breakfast with your family, get in some exercise, or just have a few moments of reflection to be better prepared for your day? Having a motivation to get up will help you wake up early.
Don’t force an early bedtime.
If you want to wake up earlier, you should just go to bed earlier so you can get more hours of sleep, right? Not exactly. Trying to go to bed before you feel sleepy can actually induce insomnia.
Instead, establish a relaxing bedtime routine and to go to bed only when you are truly tired. This way, as your body gradually gets accustomed to your earlier wake time, you’ll gradually start falling asleep earlier at night.
Unplug before bed.
Blue lights from the television or your electronic devices can suppress melatonin production. Insufficient or delayed production of this sleep-inducing hormone may negatively affect your sleep quality.
“Unplugging” from smartphones and laptops about 30 minutes before bed can contribute to a better night of sleep. This practice also prevents you from scrolling through your phone, tablet, or binge-watching your favorite series which stimulate your brain, delaying sleep.
Develop a good nighttime routine.
Initiating a relaxing bedtime routine about two hours before bed can help guard against that by sending cues to the brain that it’s time to wind down.
For example, take a hot shower, read your favorite book, or reminisce about the positives in your day. This can help you unwind and prepare your body to sleep. Taking a warm water shower physiologically prepares your body for sleep.
The warm water raises your body temperature and then as you step out of the shower, it drops immediately. When you sleep, your body experiences a drop in temperature, so a warm bath facilitates this process of sleep.
Avoid sugary energy drinks and caffeine.
Energy drinks and coffee may give you the extra boost you need to get a task done, but ingesting large amounts of sugar or caffeine before bed can make it more challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Limiting consumption of sugary sodas, energy drinks and coffee has been proven to produce healthier sleeping habits. Try switching to water or tea before bed to keep yourself hydrated.
Keep the alarm clock away from the bed.
Keeping the alarm clock away from the bed decreases your chances of hitting the snooze button. Instead of keeping the clock on your bedside table, you can keep it on a shelf or a table on the other side of the room.
When the alarm rings, you’ll have to walk up to it to turn it off. Taking those few steps to your alarm may help you shake yourself out of slumber. It’s annoying, but effective.
Eliminate excuses for sleeping in.
When you’re in the process of training yourself to wake up early, you may feel like sleeping in on a rainy or cold day.
Try to avoid giving in to such excuses, because once you give in, it’ll be difficult to break out of the habit and you’ll have to retrain yourself all over again.
Each time you feel like sleeping in, remind yourself why you were trying to wake up early in the first place.
Be kind to yourself.
If you feel under the weather or exhausted, be easy on yourself and don’t force yourself to wake up too early. Don’t sleep in for the day, but it’s okay to sleep an extra hour to energize yourself.
This flexibility will prevent you from resenting the idea of waking up early.