5 tips to wake up earlier

Not everyone is a natural morning person. Some like to sleep in and get a few extra Z’s. Ever heard of ‘beauty sleep?’ Taking some extra rest is certainly okay, unless your schedule no longer allows it.

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Maybe it’s a new job, or you’re going back to school after the summer holidays. Whatever the reason, if you’re not used to waking up early, it can be difficult to switch. Most people do not like to sleep less. Fortunately, there are ways to get around this without missing out on much-needed rest. There is more to it than just going to bed earlier.

Making some simple changes to your mornings can make a significant difference. It may seem daunting to make these changes, but in reality, it’s not that hard. Here are some tips for waking up earlier and conquering the day.

1. Set up a schedule

A way to feel better prepared for the next day? Using a schedule should be your go-to move. Planning is the perfect way to determine what to do and 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 as you can visualize what your day needs. Also, you don’t have to figure out what task to do next at this point. If indecision rules your days, adding this form of structure can keep you on track.

You don’t have to be crazy to plan ahead. Some people aren’t great planners, and that’s okay. That may be enough if you don’t want to think ahead until the day before. There are no rules to break here.

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

2. Create a morning routine

One of the secrets to waking up earlier is following a routine. A morning routine can be as simple or elaborate as you want. If the concept is new to you, your best bet is to make it easier on yourself.

Making a routine is easy – make a sequence of the activities you need to do in the morning. For example, the first thing you do when you wake up is brush your teeth. Then you could take a shower. In short, you map out what you are going to do and give it some order.

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

Perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to make your routine realistic. If you’re not used to going for a run in the morning and coming home with a green smoothie, don’t expect it tomorrow. It may take a while to get used to, so start small. For example, go for a short run on the first day and maybe make your smoothie the night before.

Whatever you choose to include in your new routine, make sure it isn’t too much to handle. A routine is all about simplifying your time, not adding extra stress. If you lie awake at night and are afraid of everything you have to do when you wake up, it won’t help you. Take it easy with yourself!

3. Avoid the snooze button

If you’re trying to wake up earlier, it can be so tempting to hit “snooze.” The extra five or ten minutes may 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 could be conditioning your brain to expect those extra minutes, which would be counterintuitive. The short sleep period is not really restful, so it is a waste of time. You may feel even sleepier afterwards.

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

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

4. Have something to look forward to

It may seem crazy, but anticipating something you like is one of the easiest ways to get yourself going. If you’ve got an activity planned and you’re looking forward to it, it’s less tempting to stay in bed. It’s some simple psychology, but it works.

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

If you haven’t used this method before, it might be a good one to try. However, first consider how much time this rewarding activity will take. You should include that in your morning schedule. Or maybe you need to adjust your wake up time.

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

5. Prepare the night before

Another step you can take to 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 can be to get everything done. This can help you feel less stressed about morning time.

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

How about a little less effort? Even putting down products you’ll be using or clothes you’ll be wearing the next day can help. Picking out your outfit the night before can help you have less time in the morning, especially if you’re indecisive. If you wear makeup, explain what you will be using on your dresser or vanity. You need to reach and search less when you use everything. This can also really help with a blurry morning brain.

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, it can be extra difficult to change the time you wake up. It might not be smooth sailing from the start, and that’s okay. Don’t put yourself down for any struggles you feel in the process.

No one said being human is easy. Don’t forget to give yourself some grace. Use the tools around you — make a schedule, have a reward ready, prepare the night before. Whatever it takes to achieve your goal, make sure you use it.

Featured Image Credits: Photo by Cottonbro; Pexels; Thank you!

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