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I Wish I Knew These 15 Tricks To Waking Up Earlier

I Wish I Knew These 15 Tricks To Waking Up Earlier

Many people have difficulty waking up early when trying to transition to a new schedule or simply seeking to get more done in the day. Others struggle with falling asleep early every night, making mornings a challenge.

Rising early does have real benefits that make it a worthwhile goal, like improving your chances of getting a workout in, putting you in a better mood, encouraging healthier eating and improved proactivity.

As a lifelong night owl, I know the struggle of trying to wake up and slog through the day on an early bird’s schedule. In my attempts to improve sleep habits and get better rest, I researched and found several tricks that truly made going to sleep and waking up in the morning easier.

Read on to learn 15 useful strategies for waking up earlier that I wish I had known years ago!

1. Plan your schedule to allow adequate time for sleep.

Plan your schedule to allow adequate time for sleep

    The average adult needs a minimum of seven hours (and up to nine hours) of sleep every night. The first trick to waking up earlier, is to make sure your bedtime allows you to get enough rest in every night without stressing over the clock or feeling fatigued the next day.

    If you want to wake up at 6:00am, for example, then your bedtime needs to be no later than 10:30pm. Remember it takes an average of 10-20 minutes to fall asleep, and you also need to factor in time for evening pre-bed routines as well.

    2. Gradually adjust your bedtime.

    Gradually Adjust Your Bedtime

      Move your bedtime and wake time in gradual, 15-minute increments to reduce shock to your system and daytime fatigue. Trying to change your schedule by an hour or more right away is a surefire way to feel tired and give up.

      If you want to wake up an hour earlier, give yourself at least 4 days to make the transition, getting to bed 15 minutes earlier and setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier each day. You can spend a few days at each increment if that works better for you, too.

      3. Optimize your bedroom for more efficient sleep.

      Optimize your bedroom for more efficient sleep

        For many nightowls, the biggest struggle is falling asleep early enough at night. Your bedroom plays a big role in this, so make sure you are setting the stage for the best sleep possible.

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        Temperatures should be cool, between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, your mattress and bedding should be cozy and comfortable, and your space should be clean and free of clutter.

        Light should be kept to an absolute minimum as it can impair your melatonin production, as should distracting sounds. Light blocking shades or an eye mask as well as a sound conditioner or ear plugs can be helpful if you have limited control over the environment.

        4. Use visualization to fall asleep faster.

        Use visualization to fall asleep faster

          Another helpful trick for falling asleep faster is to use visualization to clear your mind and relax. One study from Oxford researchers found visualization more effective than counting or simply laying down.

          To do this, imagine a relaxing, calming scene and try to experience it in as much detail as possible with all of your senses. You might be walking down a beach at sunset or strolling through a calm forest.

          If your thoughts start to wonder, come back to your scene. There are also guided visualization apps and YouTube videos that can help you stay focused and practice this technique.

          5. Use a sleep cycle monitor or app to wake up fresher.

          Use a sleep cycle monitor or app to wake up fresher

            (Image from SleepCycle.com)

            Smartphone sleep cycle apps or sleep monitoring devices can be helpful for avoiding groggy mornings and for tracking your habits.

            When you wake up in an REM sleep cycle, it could take several minutes to recover from the groggy and foggy sleep state. These apps and devices aim to work by monitoring your sleep cycles and waking you at point that is most likely to have you feeling awake and well-rested (within a specified timeframe).

            The other, and perhaps more useful, aspect of tracking your sleep is that you can see what disturbs your slumber versus which habits help you sleep better and deeper.

            6. Booby trap your alarm clock.

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            Booby trap your alarm clock

              (Image from NootropicDesign.com)

              For those of us who have developed stealth alarm snooze skills, you may need to get a little creative with your alarm clock until your body is more used to waking up early.

              You can start by placing your alarm far enough away from your bed that you have to get up and move, taping over or covering up the snooze button, or otherwise creating an obstacle that prevents you from slipping back off to bed.

              Another solution could be to try creative alarm apps that require you to perform complex tasks before shutting off.

              7. Remember why you are waking up early, positively.

              Remember why you are waking up early, positively

                (Image from psu.edu blog)

                If motivation to get out of bed is your weakness, then create reminders for yourself about why you want to achieve this goal or positive affirmations to encourage you.

                On smartphones, you could name your alert to match your motivation, such as: “Fit into skinny jeans!”, “Increase sales 20%!”, “Get an A+!”, or “Today is a special day!” or leave positive sticky notes on your alarm, pillow, or bathroom mirror.

                8. Utilize acupressure to wake up.

                Utilize acupressure to wake up

                  One study from University of Michigan researchers found that basic acupressure techniques helped boost alertness. These simple techniques take only a couple of minutes, and can even be done in bed or whenever you need a boost during the day.

                  Stimulation points for alertness include the top of your head, top of the back of your neck, back of your hand between your thumb and index finger, right below your knees, and the center of the bottom of your foot.

                  9. Turbo-charge your morning routine.

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                  Turbo-charge your morning routine

                    Get going quicker after you wake up by incorporating water, light, activity and healthy food into your morning routine.

                    Start your morning with a big glass of cold water (some people also swear by warm water with lemon) to recover from nighttime dehydration.

                    Try to expose yourself to natural sunlight as soon as possible to support your natural wakefulness rhythms. A little energy-boosting aromatherapy can also help. If you are a coffee drinker, put a pot on and enjoy the aroma. Other good wakeup scents include orange, lemon, rosemary, and mint.

                    Next, try to do a little exercise, even if it’s only a couple minutes of light yoga or jumping jacks – just to get your blood pumping and energy flowing. Don’t forget to eat a healthy breakfast early as well to support your metabolism and energy levels through lunch.

                    10. Incorporate a nap into your afternoon.

                    Incorporate a nap into your afternoon

                      If waking up earlier has you feeling sluggish in the afternoon, a short afternoon nap can refresh your energy levels and give you a second wind.

                      Shorter naps are best for boosting alertness without causing grogginess or impacting your nighttime sleep. Studies say naps between 10 and 20 minutes are best, just make sure to keep them around 8 hours before your planned bedtime.

                      11. Watch what you eat and drink after noon.

                      Watch what you eat and drink after noon

                        Certain foods, supplements and drinks can steal sleep by stimulating energy or causing indigestion.

                        Caffeine and other stimulants can affect you for several hours, so when trying to fall asleep early or adjust your schedule, it can be helpful to avoid them or at least limit them to morning hours.

                        Coffee, caffeinated tea, dark chocolate, sugar, guarana and diet/slimming supplements are all things to watch out for. Spicy, greasy or heavy foods to close to bed are also bad for Zzz’s.

                        12. Banish electronics before bed.

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                        Banish electronics before bed

                          Another less obvious stimulant is light, particularly blue light that televisions, computers and other electronics emit. Light exposure at night can impair natural melatonin production, delaying drowsiness and keeping you up later at night.

                          Try to detach from your devices at least 60 minutes before bed – that means no smart phones, laptops, tablets, televisions and keeping room lights dim as well. Instead, try reading, listening to music or an audiobook, writing in a journal, a warm bath or relaxing stretching to wind down your evening.

                          13. Make your mornings stress-free and simple.

                          Make your mornings stress-free and simple

                            Does the thought of everything you need to do make you want to hide under the covers? Try getting motivated to wake up by paring down your morning routine and giving yourself something to look forward to.

                            You could lay out your outfit and get all of your things together at night, have quick and healthy breakfasts and lunches ready to go, set the coffee pot on auto-timer, and look for other ways to do your less enticing activities at night so mornings are smooth sailing.

                            14. Address any potential snooze-stealing issues.

                            Address any potential snooze-stealing issues

                              If you’ve tried all of the trusted tricks for improving sleep habits but still find yourself feeling tired or have persistent sleep troubles, it might be worthwhile to chat with your doctor.

                              Certain medications, allergies, or other treatable conditions could be at the root of your sleep problems. Sleep apnea is a major one to be aware of, especially if you are a heavy snorer or wake feeling tired despite spending enough time sleeping.

                              15. Keep your sleep-wake schedule as consistent as possible.

                              Keep your sleep-wake schedule as consistent as possible

                                And, saving the best for last, one of the most effective ways to get comfortable with waking up earlier is to stick to a consistent schedule, even on the weekends.

                                In addition to potential healthy weight benefits, a consistent sleep wake schedule means your body knows what to expect and reduces the likelihood of sleep problems. Set a sleep and wake time you can stick to every day of the week, aiming for no more than an hour of variation for the best results.

                                Share: What sleep tricks or changes help you fall asleep faster or wake up earlier?

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                                Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                                10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

                                10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

                                Being demotivated is arguably one of the worst feelings in the world. You feel as though you have no direction and, despite the fact that you are not getting any enjoyment out of getting nowhere, you feel no urgency or drive to make the effort to change your situation.

                                While this may seem like a bleak situation, fret not! Motivation is like money; even if you have none of it at the moment, you can always get some more!

                                If you’re reading this, you have most likely run into a wall of demotivation. If this is the case, let’s dive right into the reasons why you may be experiencing this and what actions you can take to get out of it.

                                1. You Are Working Without Purpose

                                The biggest reason why someone may be feeling demotivated is that they are living their lives without goals or intent.

                                If you’re living a life without purpose, you are bound to go through the motions without any sense of direction, feeling as though you are doing things simply for the sake of doing things rather than to work towards something that you want.

                                Sounds familiar?

                                Fortunately enough, demotivation that is caused by a lack of life purpose can be easily fixed. All you have to do to work on this demotivational factor is to figure out what it is you are looking for out of life and to establish specific, bite-sized, achievable goals that can help you to get there.

                                With a life plan you are passionate about, you’ll feel motivated in all aspects of your life quite quickly once more.

                                This article can help you find your purpose to work: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

                                2. Your Lack of Motivation Stems From Fear

                                When we fear progress, we refuse to move forward, becoming stuck at a certain point in our lives that allows us to only achieve so much on a daily basis. Whether this is an obstacle you have created for yourself in your professional life or your personal life, it becomes more difficult to break free of this cycle as each day passes. This, in turn, manifests into discontent and demotivation.

                                So, what can you do about this fear when it affects your motivation levels?

                                The first thing to do is to take note of the fact that you are putting off progress because you are afraid of a certain outcome.

                                Next, it is important to ask yourself what you are afraid of hearing in relation to your situation and whether or not that fear should really be stopping you from moving forward.

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                                Finally, you need to start chipping away at that fear step-by-step until you face it head on and conquer it.[1]

                                True that life can be scary at moments. But is there anything scarier than missing out on opportunities and not living your life to the fullest?

                                3. You’re Doing Things for the Wrong Reasons

                                Our body knows how to react in any given situation and the lack of motivation that has you down may be a direct result of what you are doing.

                                Ask yourself, is everything I do done for the right reasons?

                                Say, for example, that you are currently working a job that pays well but isn’t truly fulfilling. You know you are working for the financial stability and this keeps you there but it is not truly what you want to do. This slowly wears you down and, because the position provides no purpose for you, you don’t have any real motivation to continue on with the position.

                                This concept is applicable to all areas of life and, if you feel unmotivated, it is quite possible that you are doing things for the wrong reasons instead of doing things that fulfill you.

                                4. You Take on Too Much and Are Overwhelmed

                                It’s great to be ambitious and it is also perfectly fine to take on quite a bit of work and achieve as much as you can during the day. However, when you take on too much, you stretch yourself too thin and become burnt out rather quickly.

                                If you’re too overwhelmed by the many projects you are pursuing, you are less likely to want to do them. If you fall behind, you lose further motivation and you wind up not enjoying the tasks you are supposed to accomplish and lose the drive to see them through.

                                The key to staying motivated with anything is to take as much on as possible without making it unenjoyable. Being able to get through your day without feeling stressed and pressed for time goes a long way in helping you to keep your purpose and motivation intact.

                                If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important that you learn better time-management skills and more about your limitations in order to craft a better schedule for yourself immediately.[2]

                                5. You May Be Dealing with Symptoms of a Mental Illness

                                Although mental illness symptoms are easy to spot for some, others can deal with a mental illness without ever suspecting it.

                                For example, there are plenty of professionals who deal with dysthymia for years, which is a low-grade form of depression that leaves the individual able to engage in their day but still provides the classic symptoms of fatigue and lack of motivation.

                                You may also be dealing with full-blown depression, which can result in hopelessness and a lack of enjoyment in daily activities. It also carries more severe consequences if left untreated.

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                                If you believe that you may be dealing with a mental illness, it is important that you seek for mental health assistance immediately to help reduce the severity of the symptoms and learn how to properly cope with the condition.

                                You are worth it!

                                6. Your Goals Are Too Big

                                Having goals is necessary to leading a purposeful life. However, it may be your goals that are actually at the source of your current motivation problem.

                                Do your goals look like this:

                                I want to launch my website and fill it with 100 blogs by the end of this year.

                                Rather than this:

                                I want to launch my website by the end of next month and write one blog each week for my new website.

                                The difference between the two goals is that one is far too large and vague while the other one is achievable and specific.

                                Think about your to-do list. Is it filled with endless tasks that seem impossible to tackle or is it filled with small steps that foster achievement and excite you when you finish them?

                                If your goals are too large and you are expecting too much from yourself, you are not going to motivated to chip away at that goal on a consistent basis. Smaller steps are much easier to accomplish and will keep you motivated to achieve the larger end goal.

                                Break it down and keep it simple! Learn how to set achievable and specific goals here: How SMART Goal Setting Makes Lasting Changes in Your Life

                                7. You’re Engaging in Self-Sabotage

                                Perhaps you feel that you don’t have the skills to see it through. Perhaps you think others don’t think you’re capable of achievement and are purposely sabotaging yourself and prevent yourself from moving forward.

                                In either case, your lack of motivation may be due to your desire to stunt your growth rather than to unleash and prove your greatness to the world.

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                                Why do you feel that you aren’t capable of what it is you seek to do? If it is the other way around, why do you feel as though others don’t think that you are capable?

                                Sit down and write down a list of your accomplishments, skills, and strengths. Once you see it written down, you can easily begin to see your own value.

                                Whether it is to prove someone wrong, to prove yourself right, or to simply shine, breaking through self-doubt or self-sabotage can help you to regain your motivation that is lost under these circumstances.

                                Learn how to overcome your self doubt in this article: How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                8. You Believe You Should Have Accomplished More by Now

                                With the exception of a rare few, a lot of people put pressure on themselves and put themselves down because they think that they haven’t accomplished enough out of all of the time that they have been alive.

                                It can be easy to get into this state of mind. But the past is the past and the only thing you are in control of is the future.

                                When you allow yourself to indulge in the past, you fall into the habit of giving up and going through the motions. This habit strips you of motivation and prevents you from making any progress whatsoever.

                                As the old saying goes,

                                “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

                                You can’t expect to meet your life goals instantly. Instead, work hard each day and measure your progress. Each step forward is a step in the right direction.

                                Don’t give up!

                                9. You Have a Habit of NOT Doing Anything

                                It can be hard to hear but some people are just one of those individuals who do absolutely nothing on a daily basis.

                                They have plenty of tasks and potential but they choose to not do it simply because they don’t feel like it. And when they finally sit down to take responsibility and move forward, they wonder why they feel demotivated and have such difficulty getting things done.

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                                The truth is that getting your life together is hard. You are going to have to do a lot of things you don’t enjoy to get back on track and live the life you want.

                                Sit down, show up, and do what you must in order to get to where you want.[3]

                                Lifehack’s CEO has some unique advice on this: How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

                                10. You’re Settling and Refusing to Push Your Limits

                                On the opposite spectrum of overwhelm is underwhelm. Underwhelm begins to set in when you are settling on accomplishing less rather than pushing your limits and doing what you know you are perfectly capable of handling.

                                This choice to not do what you are able to and push your limits can cause a lack of motivation as you are consciously deciding to settle for less and stay in mediocrity rather than moving forward and accomplishing more.

                                It’s something that we all do when we start to feel a little lazy or tired but it is up to you to hold yourself accountable.

                                If you can make it happen, it is up to you to make sure that you follow through.

                                Still doubt if it’s better to push your limits? This will change your mind: Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

                                The Bottom Line

                                Even the best of us become demotivated but it is necessary that we get back our drive to push forward and live our best lives.

                                Using these 10 points, you are guaranteed to find the reasons behind your lack of motivation and the next steps you need to take to recover that drive and passion.

                                Featured photo credit: S O C I A L . C U T via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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