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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.

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Tegan Jones

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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