For some odd reason, waking up early is not an easy habit to adopt — and honestly, we can’t blame you. Snuggled up in that cozy, warm bed with those super soft pajamas and just dozing off into golden slumbers for hours upon hours is a hard pattern to drop. Even the mere thought is so inviting!
But the reality is you need to stop being that sleeping emoji who just snoozes through the endless opportunities a great morning presents. In recent years, numerous studies have cited the benefits of waking up early to an increased efficiency, alertness, and even greater happiness.
If you’re adamant on being more productive but find it difficult to pull yourself out of bed every morning, we share a few solid tricks to help you transform from night owl to an early bird that catches more than just a worm.
Create a convincing reason
Before you think this is super easy, create a compelling reason to wake up early. Don’t just do it because you think it’s the key to a better day. Go into this fresh habit with motive, whether it’s personal or career-oriented, and be mindful of this new plan. Most attempts at waking up early fail because the goal isn’t strong enough to enforce another habit.
Ease into it slowly
If you go at it too fast, you won’t be able to build up the habit effectively. Don’t assume it will be easy because realistically, you will not get up early or on time for that first attempt. Instead, allow yourself to adjust and take it slow. If you have to be up at around 6:30 a.m. instead of 7 a.m., wake yourself up 10 minutes earlier at 6:50 a.m. Then, improve wake up time by 5-10 minutes every day until you reach your goal. Moreover, stick to your wake up time every day as this allows your body to build its own clock and understand the rhythms.
Go to sleep early
This might seem like an easy and obvious tip to follow, but it’s harder than it seems. With distractions from our smartphones buzzing every minute to staying up late for one more joke from Conan, it’s hard to just shut it all down and go to sleep. But the sooner you head to bed, the sooner your body is ready to wake up. Just because you wake up early doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a good, solid eight hours of sleep either so keep it within your sleeping window — and stick to it!
Manipulate the environment
For an early morning, influence the environment you sleep in by blocking all sources of light at least an hour before bedtime. This means, stop watching TV and turn off all your devices as the blue light disrupts our body’s secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep cycle. When morning arrives, draw the curtains to let natural sunlight flood in since this will help your body produce vitamin D and boost serotonin levels, which improve mood. Most importantly, allow the environment to challenge you and keep necessities away from arm’s length, like the alarm clock that goes off. If it’s further away, you have to get out of bed to shut it off.
Plan a non-negotiable agenda
In order to kick start your habit, build an agenda that leaves no room for negotiation. Starting from the moment you wake up, create a sense of accountability for tasks and errands that must be completed on a schedule. This can be anything from a fitness class, taking another method of transportation for work to beat the traffic, or even a morning jog with a friend. If you don’t wake up, you’ll mess up your schedule and end up being annoyingly behind. Whatever happens, get excited about your day because there’s a lot to do.
Build a momentum
After you’re up, the challenge is to stay up without looking totally ‘zombie-fied,’so produce a steady momentum that includes preparing breakfast, taking a shower, or even a run. But before you do, down a whole glass of cold water. Not only will this fire up your metabolism and keep you from overeating, but it will also rehydrate you after eight hours of sleeping and keep you alert without that sluggish feeling. Additionally, take the morning as it comes and keep a consistent, vigorous pace that doesn’t make you feel drowsy.