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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 January 13, 2020

                                50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

                                50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

                                Let’s face it – no matter how excited you are about a new project or priority in your life, there will always be days when your motivation lags. Days when – despite all the progress you’ve made in the past – it just sounds easier to sit on the couch playing video games than to buckle down and crank out the work needed to meet your goals.

                                In order to be successful, you must be able to motivate yourself past these humps. Whenever you feel your drive and determination lagging, turn to these motivational quotes for work to provide the extra spark of passion needed to keep you on track.

                                Quotes about Goal Setting

                                Whether you’re still in the planning phases of your business or whether you’re plotting a plan of attack to bring about your long-range vision, setting good goals is a critical part of succeeding in business.

                                Check out these quotes for extra inspiration on how to turn your dreams into reality:

                                quote-Benjamin-E.-Mays-the-tragedy-in-life-doesnt-lie-in-106113

                                  “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”– Benjamin Mays


                                  “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”–Mark Victor Hansen


                                  “Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.”–William J. Bennett – The Book of Virtues


                                  “The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer… He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.”–Robert L. Schwartz

                                  Quotes about Achieving Excellence in Work

                                  Once you’ve got your goals together, you’ll need to put in 110% of your effort in order to transform these visions into reality. To increase your motivation to work at a consistently high level, take a look at the following words of wisdom:

                                  “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”–Aristotle


                                  “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”–Charles R. Swindoll

                                  Desire is the key to motivation

                                    “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”–Mario Andretti


                                    “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”–Pearl Buck


                                    “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”–Vince Lombardi

                                    Quotes about Determination and Persistence

                                    Since every business or other endeavor is bound to hit some rough patches, it’s often a person’s level of determination and patience that brings about either success or failure. These positive quotes give you an extra boost of encouragement:

                                    “Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.”–Paul J. Meyer


                                    “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”–Hal Borland


                                    “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”–Calvin Coolidge

                                    quote-Thomas-Fuller-an-invincible-determination-can-accomplish-almost-anything-92190

                                      “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”–Thomas Fuller

                                      Quotes about Leadership

                                      Whether you use it to engage your employees, to encourage teamwork or motivate others to follow your unique way of thinking, leadership is crucial. Take your leadership cues from these renowned leaders’ famous sayings:

                                      “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” –Warren G. Bennis


                                      “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”–John Kenneth Galbraith

                                      Leadership is not magnetic personality

                                        “Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”–Peter F. Drucker


                                        “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”–John Buchan


                                        “High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.”–George Orwell

                                        Quotes for Success

                                        Think of success as a holistic process – one which results from the combination of goal-setting, excellence, patience, determination and leadership you prioritize throughout your career. These highly successful people provide you with an excellent source of motivation:

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                                        “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”–Stephen Covey


                                        “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”–Norman Vincent Peale

                                        Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

                                          “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill


                                          “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”–John Maxwell


                                          “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”– Thomas J. Watson


                                          “The great successful men of the world have used their imagination.  They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building.”–Robert Collier


                                          “It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”–Arnold Toynbee

                                          Sports Quotes for Athletes

                                          You don’t need to be a Michael Jordan-caliber athlete to draw inspiration from the following quotes. Even if you’re just a recreational player or someone who’s using sports as a means to get back in shape after long periods of inactivity, the following motivational sports quotes will encourage you:

                                          “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”–Michael Jordan


                                          “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”–Lance Armstrong

                                          Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.

                                            “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”–Arnold Schwarzenegger


                                            “I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I do it, I’ll come out a winner, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”–Florence Griffith Joyner


                                            “Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a workout; every time you don’t give 100% – You make it that much easier for me to beat you.”–Unknown


                                            “If you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don’t nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life – this is also ‘playing’ the game!”–Emily Post


                                            “We must train from the inside out. Using our strengths to attack and nullify any weaknesses. It’s not about denying a weakness may exist but about denying its right to persist.”–Vince McConnell

                                            Quotes to Motivate Learning

                                            Committing yourself to pursuing knowledge in a single area is a tremendous endeavor – one that often seems overwhelming given the depth and breadth of information that’s available today. Keep the following motivational quotes in mind if you’re learning:

                                            “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”–George Washington Carver

                                            quote-William-Arthur-Ward-if-you-can-imagine-it-you-can-36189

                                              “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”–William Arthur Ward


                                              “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”– Aristotle


                                              “Success is not the key to happiness.Happiness is the key to success.If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”–Albert Schweitzer


                                              “Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to show that you have one.”–Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield


                                              “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”–Chinese Proverb


                                              “Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.”–William Arthur Ward


                                              “Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life’.”–Helen Exley


                                              “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”–Chinese Proverb

                                              All-Time Favorite Positive Quotes

                                              Finally, whatever your goals are in life, you can’t go wrong by taking the advice of the following famous motivational quotes:

                                              “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”–Norman Vincent Peale


                                              “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”–Steve Jobs


                                              “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”–Maria Robinson


                                              “Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”–Albert Einstein


                                              “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”–Lyndon Johnson

                                              If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

                                                “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”–Thomas Edison


                                                “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky


                                                “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill


                                                “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson

                                                Final Thoughts

                                                To use these motivational quotes effectively, find the one that speaks to you. Although all of the phrases listed above can be considered “motivational,” only you can decide which one resonates with you most directly.

                                                Next, take the quote you’ve settled on and copy it onto small index cards or other pieces of paper that can be stored around your home and workspace.

                                                If you’re creative, you can create inspiration boards, signs or other decorative displays featuring your favorite motivational quotes – really, though, the most important thing is that your chosen phrase be accessible in a variety of different places. This will make it easy to access and review whenever you feel your motivation slipping away.

                                                More Inspiring Quotes

                                                Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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