How to wake up earlier

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I used to be a night owl. and I don’t mean that I used to like staying up late – I HATED getting up early. I would stay up until 4:00am and wake up past noon. No matter what I tried I just couldn’t push myself to wake up earlier. I felt like death upon waking up and with each gruelling minute my hatred for mornings intensified to the point where I could do nothing but crawl back into bed.

Heres the good news, Ive learned how to wake up much earlier without going through too much pain. You just need to develop a set of habits which work together to allow you to naturally wake up earlier.

Here is my guide:
  1. Determine the time you regularly wake up, and set your alarm 15 minutes earlier  each day. I have always found that the best method for waking up early is to do it in increments of 15 minutes. Its painless, and allows you to develop good habits and practices which will set you up.
  2. Set multiple alarms and put them on the other side of the room.
  3. Set your clothes out right next to your alarm so that you won’t be tempted to crawl back into bed.
  4. Take supplements to get to sleep earlier. I suggest magnesium – but if you really having a hard time you can also try chewable melatonin tablets which should put you right out. The reason I suggest magnesium is because step 4 requires D3. D3 competes with magnesium, so if you have lots of D3 it will make you magnesium deficient (which most people already are). Being a muscle relaxant magnesium will help you drift off and provide the nutrient balance your body is craves.
  5. Upon waking up, take a vitamin D supplement. D3 production is negatively correlated with melatonin production (the hormone that makes you so tired!) so consuming D3 will clear the melatonin from your system, increasing serotonin levels to put you in a better mood and make you feel awake.
  6. Drink Water and eat a small snack. Upon waking up your body is dehydrated – you haven’t had anything to drink in the last 8 hours! Since eating and drinking are daytime activities, they send signals to your brain and influence your circadian rhythm. They will also wake you up, increase your energy and help you feel refreshed. Note: Do not make breakfast, eat it, and then go outside. The longer you stay inside after waking up, the harder it will be to get up the next day. Staying inside tricks your body into thinking you woke up too early, and so will make you stay up and sleep in.
  7. Go outside in the sun wearing as little clothing as possible as soon as possible after waking up. This is the most important step. Going outside not only increases vitamin D naturally but also sets your circadian rhythm – your bodies sleep/wake clock.
  8. Run… or at least walk! Exercise in the morning will tell your body that its time to wake up – It will influence your circadian rhythm and wake you up at this time each day.
  9. Listen to music or talk with someone. This can be done while running or warming up. Both noise and social interaction let us know its time to wake up.

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Additional Tips:

When I travel and need to adjust my sleep schedule I look back on these steps and am easily able to wake up early. However if these steps didn’t (for whatever reason) work for you, I have a few more suggestions.

  1. One of the reasons you could hate getting up in the morning is because you have always told yourself that you hate getting up in the morning. Waking up starts to become something you dislike and so it puts you in a bad mood automatically.  When you wake up – don’t slowly get out of bed – Spring forth like a excited puppy, full of anticipation and wonder at the day before you. Think about the great things you going to do today (and if your not looking forward to the day – this may be a bigger problem to tackle then waking up early).
  2. Buy a dawn simulator. This is a device which which mimics natural sunlight at dawn and will slowly light up your room. It may be that extra little thing which guarantees you success – plus there pretty cool.
  3. Download apps such as “sleep time” or “sleep cycle”. These are programs which wake you up when you are not in REM sleep. They sense the vibrations in your bed to determine what phase of sleep you are in to wake you up at the optimal time. If you set your alarm for 8:00am, it will wake you up between 7:30 and 8:00 depending on your sleep cycle. This helps reduce grogginess and unpleasant morning upon waking up.
  4. Get your eyes checked – Your intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells may be damaged. Speak with your optometrist to determine if this is the case.
  5. Eliminate blue light after dusk. Use download F.lux on your devices – its an app which prevents blue light from emitting from your phones or computers screen. I use it on my computer and it helps me feel tired earlier so that I can go to bed on time.
  6. Listen to sleep hypnosis recordings. They will help you enter a relaxed state to help you drift off.
  7. Track it. Click HERE to see my method from tracking progress and how it can help you fall to sleep faster.

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