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10 Mistakes You’re Probably Making That Makes Waking Up Early Difficult

10 Mistakes You’re Probably Making That Makes Waking Up Early Difficult

Have you decided that you want to become an early bird but are finding it really difficult to drag yourself out of bed in the morning? Here are some of the most common things that you could be doing wrong.

1. Not Having a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Going to bed at different times every night is one of the worst things you can do to your sleeping body. It’ll also subsequently make waking up early difficult. This is because you’re not letting yourself get into a good routine and you’re probably not getting the correct amount of sleep. Often people will try and make up for a late night with little sleep by going to bed earlier the next night, but this attempt at playing catch up won’t work. The answer? Simply try going to sleep at the same time, it’ll make your sleep better and getting up easier.

2. Sleeping Late on the Weekend

Sleeping in on the weekends is perhaps one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, this little indulgence is just as damaging to your biological clock as a long flight. It’s a form of social jet lag that resets your internal rhythm, thus making your productivity decrease significantly, as well as making it near impossible to get up early during the rest of the week. In addition, it can cause health concerns, such as being overweight.

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The solution is to try and stick to your regular routine on the weekends, even if you stay up later than usual.

3. Having a Drink Before You Sleep

Despite the fact that this is considered to be one of the best sleep aids, it’s actually terrible for a restful nights slumber. This is because it will increase your deep sleep cycle. Although this sounds like a positive thing, it does so by robbing you of REM sleep, which is imperative for learning and memory. Alcohol can delay your first phase of REM sleep, which will leave your feeling less rested in the morning and therefore make it harder to get up early in the morning. So yes, a bit of booze before bed may help you fall asleep faster, but the quality you get won’t be so great.

4. Drinking Coffee Late in the Day

This is probably an obvious but often ignored answer to many potential sleeping problems. You feel sleepy in the afternoon so you have a caffeinated solution. Unfortunately, the half life of coffee and other similar beverages is longer than you might think and will thus prevent you from falling asleep at a timely hour.

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A better solution to the mid-afternoon sleepy blues is a energizing snack or even a bit of outside exercise. An afternoon nap can also be a good solution, so long as you don’t go overboard, because…

5. Taking Naps Can be Bad Too

Taking long naps after 4:00 p.m. will damage your chances at falling asleep at a decent hour later in the evening. If you absolutely have to take a nap, make sure it’s only one a day, under thirty minutes and earlier in the afternoon.

6. Letting Your Pet Share Your Bed

I know I’m definitely guilty of this one. As nice as it can be to cuddle with a furry friend during the night, they can be seriously disruptive to your sleep. Not only are they likely to be up and down during the night, close proximity to their dander can also impend on your sleep, therefore making you feel less rested early in the morning.

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7. Eating Late at Night

There’s a reason that your parents always said not to go to bed on a full stomach. Not only will you feel full and gross, but it will seriously impair a good nights sleep and make waking up early difficult. This is because your body isn’t supposed to be digesting food when you sleep, it takes too much energy and can make falling asleep difficult. If you do happen to drift off, your body will be working so hard that you won’t be properly rested in the morning. It will be even worse if you have a protein heavy dinner, as it’s harder for the body to process.

8. Watching TV in Bed

For a good sleeping environment you should have a a cool and calm room with a distinct absence of light. Unfortunately this also means that your TV should be omitted from your sleepy sanctuary. This is because darkness triggers your built in sleep mechanism and exposing yourself to too much light later in the evening can confuse the process.

9. Hitting Snooze

This one goes without saying, but not only because you’re literally getting up later with every hit of the button. Those extra 5, 10, or 15 minutes of snooze time aren’t benefiting you at all, and they certainly aren’t providing you with extra quality sleep time. Studies show that sleep needs to be in at least 10 minute increments to be beneficial, so dozing off between alarms isn’t helping you rest . So your stolen moments in bed aren’t only preventing you from getting up early, they’re also leaving you all the more tired.

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10. Keeping Your Curtains Closed

One of the best ways to wake your body up in the morning is by exposing yourself to sunlight. Doing so triggers a chemical reaction in your brain which helps you to wake up. If you want to wake up even earlier than sunrise, it may be a good idea to purchase a wake up light or a blue therapy light which mimics the effects of sunlight.

More by this author

Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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