How To Wake Up Earlier And Actually Enjoy It
Waking up early is not everyone’s cup of tea but man, it is good for you! You might be thinking I’m crazy or just another one of those “morning people” but that’s not the case. Waking up earlier doesn’t need to be hard or soul-crushing. It just comes down to your routine!
I wake up an hour earlier than I need to every day because it gives me peace and sets me up for a good day. I can’t stand feeling rushed so waking up earlier takes away the morning hustle and bustle.
Maybe you’ve tried being a morning person and have failed before. Maybe you really want to be a morning person but aren’t sure how to stay consistent with it. Or maybe you don’t desire it at all but are interested in what all the fuss is about.
If you want to change your lifestyle and have more time for yourself and the things you want to do this could be the answer! So keep on reading if you want to learn how to wake up earlier and actually like it!
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The morning person myth
There has always been talk of “the morning person” and “the night owl.”
The idea that some people are just able to wake up early in the morning or stay up really late with no issues and even, enjoy it!
The truth is, people are driven by routines. If you often stay up late doing homework or binge-watching a show then chances are you won’t be waking up at 5am the next day. You need sleep!
And same goes for people who wake up early. If you get up every day at 5am to go to work or get a workout in you most likely won’t be able to stay up late because you’re tired.
Given a choice I’m sure most people would like a little extra sleep. I know I get super cozy in the morning and could lay in bed for hours!
However, having a routine in place that helps you wake up earlier is the only way to become a “morning person.”
And it’s important to note that ANYONE can create a new routine for themselves. It’s not impossible.
So if you believe that you are just not a morning person ask yourself what your bedtime routine is like.
- What time do you wind down for the night?
- What do you do before bed?
- Are you on your phone late into the night?
- What time are you going to sleep?
- How is your sleep?
Do a quick sleep hygiene audit and then decide if you dislike morning because you truly don’t like getting up in the morning or if you dislike mornings because you’re too tired from the night before.
Bad habits that hinder a good sleep
Sleep is so important! It’s when your body is resting, recharging, and healing.
I know so many people struggle with sleep. There are lots of reasons someone might not get a good sleep. Some of them are medical reasons so I do understand that not everyone will be able to just change their habits! So take this with a grain of salt.
There are a lot of people who struggle with sleep simply due to poor habits. Now you might be feeling a little attacked here and that’s okay. If you just scroll back up to ask yourself those sleep hygiene questions you will know if you are struggling with your bedtime routine.
The good thing? You can change your habits. Everyone can! Just takes a little time and some effort.
But before you go changing your whole bedtime routine let’s chat about the bad habits you might be engaging in. There might be some super easy fixes!
Too much screen time
Using your phone or computer before bed can actually impact your sleep. I think we all know this already as it’s talked about a lot online but let’s chat about why it impacts your sleep. Your phone emits blue light which is artificial light that mimics daylight. This can keep your brain active when it really should be going to sleep!
If the blue light isn’t enough to keep you up, the doom scrolling might be! Doom scrolling is essentially checking social media, emails, and news outlets looking for content and news that is overall negative. Maybe you’ve scrolled Facebook and you saw a controversial post and jumped to the comments just to see what crazy stuff people are saying. Your brain doesn’t need all that negativity before bed!
Drug and alcohol use
It’s not usual for people to have a glass of wine at night. However, drinking and using other drugs can affect your sleep.
There are studies showing that drinking alcohol before bed can impact your REM sleep cycle. There are also other imbalances it can cause in your sleep cycle that can lead your sleep to be shorter overall.
Caffeine too close to bedtime
Okay this is an obvious one but also, if you’re like me having caffeine any time after lunch can affect my sleep! I’ve actually cut caffeine out of my diet completely because it causes me so much anxiety but if you still dabble in caffeine it could be ruining your sleep.
Drinking 400mg of caffeine up to 6 hours before bed can delay your sleep by an hour. That might not seem too bad but over multiple days it can really start to affect how you feel during the day. Also, if you are trying to get to sleep earlier so you can wake up earlier, being delayed an hour can make or break your morning!
Not drinking enough water throughout the day can lead to a bad sleep. However, this one can actually cause each other. Dehydration can make your sleep bad but a bad sleep can actually contribute to dehydration!
Water is obviously important for your overall health. When you don’t drink enough water you can get headaches, muscle spasms, and make you feel tired. You can even wake up in the night to leg cramps (you know those horrible calf cramps?? The literal worst feeling).
Be careful not to drink too much water right before bed though or else you might be waking up in the night to use the bathroom!
Not having a sleep schedule
Humans love a good routine and actually thrive with structure! Your body gets used to a certain routine so not having a set bedtime can be rather confusing.
Over time your body adjusts to your routine and you’ll notice you start getting sleepy around the same time. You might even find yourself waking up earlier without an alarm clock!
Being too active before bedtime
There are so many benefits of working out! There is no arguing about that. Moving your body on a daily basis can help keep you healthy. So why am I now saying exercise might not be so great? Well, there are studies showing that vigorous exercise an hour before bed can affect your body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Vigorous exercise stimulates your nervous system and increases your heart rate which can make it hard to fall asleep!
However, some evidence shows that lower-intensity workouts before bed are fine! So walking, yoga, stretching, leisurely biking, and so on are actually okay to do before bedtime!
Late night snacking
I love a good cheese and cracker plate late at night but it’s not good to make a habit of it. When you eat food that signals to your brain that it’s time to be awake. You only eat during the day so it can confuse your brain about what time it is. Not to mention that your whole body then wakes up to start digesting the food.
If you must have a snack before bed there are some foods that are better than others: cherries, bananas, nuts, chicken noodle soup, kiwis, and fatty fish.
Working in your bed
Just like eating a late-night snack can trick your brain into waking up so can using your bed as a multi-purpose area.
If you spend your day in bed working or doing an array of other daytime activities it’s harder for your brain to realize it’s time to sleep when you finally get back into bed at night. Your brain associates your bed with work which may make it harder to fall asleep.
If you like to get some work in before bed try to do it somewhere else in the house and also remember that any screens you are using are emitting blue light (as we chatted about before) that can make it harder to sleep. So try to end your work session at least an hour before bedtime.
Tips for waking up earlier
Making changes to your lifestyle is not always easy, in fact, it’s almost always very hard! So while you work on changing some of your bad sleeping habits, here are some helpful tips for making your early morning a little bit easier.
Do it slowly
Any change is best made slowly. If you decide to make a major change or start a new habit overnight there is a chance you will give up within a few days.
I would suggest waking up 15 minutes earlier for a few days. If that goes well then get up another 15 minutes earlier. Do this until you are getting up at your desired time!
Get to bed earlier
Okay, this is OBVIOUS but if you are going to be waking up earlier you still need to get enough sleep. I would suggest doing this slowly too. Go to bed a little earlier every night. Maybe start winding down 30 minutes earlier than you normally would and just relax. Your body will start to get the memo and get sleepy.
Mel Robbins wrote a whole book on this idea. She basically says that there is a 5-second window where you can do an action before your brain interferes.
So the idea is when your alarm goes off, don’t lay in bed for a long time. Take a moment to open your eyes and gain your composure. Then count to 5 and get out of bed!
It seems silly but it really does work. This can work with anything by the way. It doesn’t just pertain to waking up early but any habit you want to start!
Get a sunrise alarm clock
Sunrise alarm clocks are the coolest thing ever. I have always wanted one and I might be able to actually get one now because me and Nick wake up at the same time now.
Sunrise alarm clocks mimic natural sunlight. It slowly brightens up your room as you wake up which then signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up because it’s light out!
Another plus for the sunrise alarm clock is that some people say they don’t even use a “sound” alarm anymore and only wake up to the light. I’m not sure if that would be the case for everyone but I would say it’s worth a try.
Plan things you enjoy for the morning
It’s hard to get out of bed early when you have nothing to look forward to. If your morning is just the bare minimum then I’m sorry but it doesn’t sound super exciting.
You need to find some sort of purpose or have something to look forward to when you wake up extra early.
I created a relaxing, slow morning routine that I actually look forward to. I got an ice roller (literally the best purchase btw) and I start each morning rolling my face while I watch a YouTube video. Then, I start slowly getting ready for my day. I can take a little longer doing my makeup which makes me feel *pretty.*
You can do whatever you want in the morning when you have more time. Maybe you want to go for a walk, get a workout in, read a book, journal, work on a project, cook a yummy breakfast, watch a TV show, write a blog post, catch up with a friend who is also up early, and so on.
Make your morning fun and you’ll have less of a hard time waking up every day.
Drink water right away
There is something so electrifying about drinking a cup of cold water in the morning. You can feel the water as you drink it. It makes your stomach a little cold. It’s just so refreshing and is a quick way to wake you up when you’re feeling extra tired!
Drinking water first thing rehydrates you after a night without water, it boosts your energy levels, and it gets your metabolism moving!
Keep your phone out of reach
So many of us grab our phones as soon as our eyes open. It’s a full-blown addiction, honestly.
To stop yourself from the morning scroll while also helping you get out of bed right away, put your phone on the other side of the room. If you use your phone as an alarm clock this will get you out of bed asap to turn off the alarm.
Lounging around in your pajamas is so cozy but it’s giving sleepy vibes. Once you get out of bed and start your morning routine, change out of your pajamas. You don’t need to get dressed into your work clothes but put on some leggings or something that gets your mind away from sleeping.
If part of your morning routine is doing something cozy and relaxing like reading or watching YouTube you might find it hard to stay awake if you just get up and relocate to the couch in your warm pajamas. So take that extra step to change so your brain knows sleepy time is over.
You might even feel more productive because of it!
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Waking up earlier is possible for all of us. Maybe you have a schedule that already forces you to wake up earlier than you’d like but as you now know, it’s possible to enjoy your early mornings with the right routine.
Becoming a “morning person” starts with your bedtime routine. Getting enough sleep is crucial for the early morning wake up or else it will be extra difficult.
It’s important to note as well that even people who like waking up early don’t just open their eyes and jump out of bed with a smile on. Waking up is hard for everyone. Everyone feels sleepy. Everyone likes the cozy warmth of their bed. However, it’s a choice whether you decide to get up (especially in that first 5 seconds) or stay in bed.
So create a morning routine that is worth waking up for and try the other tips if you’re just feeling extra sleepy. I swear by the ice roller honestly. You got this! I believe in you ♥
What time do you normally wake up? Do you think you could wake up even earlier?