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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 24, 2020

                                10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                                10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                                Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

                                Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

                                Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

                                • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
                                • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
                                • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

                                Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

                                Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

                                Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

                                That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

                                1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

                                I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

                                Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

                                Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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                                2. Be Grateful for What You Have

                                Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

                                Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

                                “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

                                3. Smile

                                Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

                                Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

                                Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

                                Can you smile again?

                                4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

                                Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

                                If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

                                This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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                                Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

                                5. Exercise Daily

                                One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

                                Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

                                ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

                                He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

                                6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

                                Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

                                Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

                                So how do you manage your time effectively?

                                Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

                                “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

                                And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

                                • Monday – Management
                                • Tuesdays – Product
                                • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
                                • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
                                • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
                                • Saturdays – Taking off
                                • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

                                No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

                                7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

                                Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

                                Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

                                Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

                                “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

                                Be intentional about your daily goals!

                                8. Seek Inspiration

                                It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

                                A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

                                Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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                                Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

                                “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

                                9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

                                I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

                                However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

                                10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

                                Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

                                “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

                                It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

                                Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

                                The Bottom Line

                                Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

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                                Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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                                Reference

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