It’s a pivotal moment, and it happens every day. Your alarm, whether radio, iPhone, or analog, plays the tone that will begin your day. You have a choice to make: will you snooze it, or use it?
When you’re waking up early, it is unbelievably easy to talk yourself into hitting that button. After all, won’t the extra few minutes of sleep do you good? And then just a few more? Until you’ve lounged a bit too long and you’re rushing out the door — a frantic, still-groggy start to your day.
Or, you can try to “become a morning person”. Okay, what?
So much goes into that decisive moment, the one where you’ll either succumb to the snooze button or begin your day. To help you fight the fatigue first thing in the morning, I’ve broken down that wake-up-prep; the night before, the actual sleep, and the morning (aka the big, productive morning you’ll have once you’re up early!).
Whether you are breaking your circadian rhythm for a new job with early hours, need more time in your already-busy day, or simply feel that early risers are more virtuous; a little practice and these helpful tips should have you happily up with the birds in no time.
Follow this simple steps and watch yourself become a morning person:
Step 1: Prepare the Night Before
Even the cheeriest of early birds have a hard time rising after a late night. Getting prepared for the day ahead and getting to bed early are arguably some of the more difficult tasks on this list, but they’re key to your morning success.
Get ready. Make your morning that much easier by moving “morning chores” to the evening. Make your lunch, pick out your clothes, or take a shower before bed. Just because your new routine will give you more time in the morning you should have to wake up and make a turkey and mustard sandwich for lunch. I, for one, refuse.
Drink water. Often times when you’re tired (or hungry!), it’s really a call for water. Sip H2O during dinner, have a cup of tea, and keep a glass by your bed. If nothing else, it’ll get you out of bed in the morning to use the bathroom. Which is somewhat relieving.
Have a ritual. Getting to bed earlier can be just as tough as waking up earlier. But getting into a nighttime routine is a good way to tell your body it’s time to wind down. Change into pajamas early, brush your teeth when you’re finished eating; putting as few task between you and your sleep is the best way to get there. For a little fun, go as far as to take a few moments to do “turn down service” on your bed a few hours before hitting the hay.
Set an intention. I can’t actually tell you why you should wake up earlier. But luckily, if you’re reading this, you most likely have a motivation to wake up before the sun. Whether it be dedicating time to a hobby, working out, or working in general, identify what it that is worth the wake-up, and internalize it before you close your eyes to sleep.
More often than not, my excuse for the snooze button is that I got poor sleep or not enough of it. On nights when I get a full eight, I don’t exactly feel 100% the moment I open my eyes, but telling myself I slept well helps me move on to the awake part of my day.
Step 2: Sleep Well
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just getting into bed early. Achieving sustained, quality sleep takes a few more variables.
Love your bed. It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep in a bed that’s well… too hard. Or too soft, for that matter. In need of a new mattress? Check out our well-researched decisions (aka we napped on these).
Stay warm enough. People sleep best between 65 and 70 degrees F. Depending on the season, that might mean grabbing an extra blanket or opening a window to achieve your perfect temperature for z’s. Anything but putting on socks, because that’s super weird.
Lights and notifications off. How do get expect to get that golden REM sleep surrounded by blinking and buzzing objects all night? Keep your phone face down, laptop off, and try to eliminate any other lights (ideally, electronics in general), no matter now small.
Step 3: Get Up and Go
The moment of truth. Anyone can set an alarm for the crack of dawn, what will happen when it goes off that will make you a true early riser? And if you win the battle against staying horizontal, how can you keep from getting up on the wrong side of the bed?
Force yourself to get out of bed. Sorry, this is the way it has to be. Set that alarm across the room so that when it’s time to get up, you actually have to do that.
Lights! Most of us live in places where “getting up early” means “before the sun” for a good chunk of the year. But most of us also probably have electricity, so flip all of those lights back on to tell your body that it’s time to start moving for the day.
Do something. For me, and many others, my day starts by making coffee. The benefits of doing so go far beyond caffeine. It’s an easy enough task to do without too much thought or exertion, but it gets me upright and moving. By the time I’m pouring coffee from my French Press, I’ve accomplished my first task of the day, early in the day. And I get a cup of coffee.
But don’t do everything. If the intention you set the night before is to wake up and do a super hard task, you may be met with dread and frustration. Starting simple; brushing teeth, making coffee, taking out the dog; these will give you the motivation to accomplish harder tasks later in the morning. For me, that’s picking out my clothes for the day.
If you think you’re going to become a morning person, well, overnight? Keep dreaming. Remember that in changing your morning routine, early can just be earlier than before. Start in increments of 15 minutes earlier than your usual wake up time.
If you give these tips a try, I’d love to hear how they go! Do you have any tips to add? Reach out on social media or in the comments below.