“You just need to go to bed earlier.”
Me, going to bed at 9pm.
Right?…..Wrong! Absolutely wrong! There’s no easy way to tell anyone, including yourself, to go to bed early. Particularly if you are still wide awake and excited to watch another Netflix episode. It’s not that easy to become an early riser. Quite the contrary.
WHAT MAKES WAKING UP SO DIFFICULT?
When I was a kid, my grandparents woke up at 5 am, no problem. There was no whine, no running around to tell everyone, no blog posts and no coffee drinking. Do you know what they did? Chickens were being fed, goats were being prepared, breakfast was being made, and then there were other things they had to do in the garden that I cannot even describe because I have become a whiny city kid over the years.
Today, things are different. The world has changed a lot. During the day, we don’t perform a lot of physical work, our alarm clocks don’t crow, and we watch TV on our phones before heading to bed. Although experts say we shouldn’t. So why do we do it? We do it because we can. And we don’t care about the consequences.
GETTING UP EARLY TO MAKE MORE TIME
When people wake up at 5 am, they believe they will have more time. However, that is not the case. The amount of time is equal for all of us. What you will have is more time for yourself when you’re actually fresh. Not once your day is over. Obviously, you could do everything you want in the evening, but it’s easier to just sit back and watch television instead of giving in to your desires.
Starting the day with a little time for yourself makes you feel better for the rest of the day. This may enable you to accomplish things you’ve been putting off.
BENEFITS OF RISING EARLY
- You will have time to devote to your physical and mental well-being
- Healthy habits are best started in the morning
- It’s easier to keep your promises to yourself if you do things in the morning
- Less stress, because nobody is awake
- Better sleep, in fact
- It is enough time to exercise, to be alone, to enjoy life for a moment in peace.
These five tips will help you wake up early in the morning without feeling tired for the rest of the day.
5 TIPS TO GET UP EARLY AND FEEL ENERGISED
1. DECIDE WHAT TIME YOU’D LIKE TO WAKE UP
You should choose a wake-up time that makes sense for you. The trend these days seems to be getting up at 5 a.m. I find that too early, and it doesn’t fit into my schedule. Especially during the winter. At 5 a.m. it is cold, dark, and I have nothing to do.
In the summer, things are different. Watching the sunrise at 5 am is not a bad idea, since the sun rises earlier. But most of the time, I prefer to wake up at 6 am. In that first hour I’ll be able to do what I really want to do for myself, so the rest of the day I can concentrate on other things.
At 10:30 pm, I can go to bed and sleep. The morning still leaves me with plenty of time to work out, take a walk, and to prepare for the day.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A MORNING PLAN
As a matter of fact, I also fell for the “successful people wake up at 5 am, I must too”-trick a while ago. After that, I decided that I needed to start reading and writing, keeping a gratitude journal, keeping a goal journal – all kinds of journals and reading.
Even though I knew these were important tasks, it didn’t make sense to do them first thing in the morning. I wasn’t finishing anything I couldn’t do later in the evening because they weren’t exciting or creative. Getting up at 5 am to do that morning routine was a hassle.
Eventually, it was 9 a.m., which was exactly when I wanted to work. My sleep-deprived state was so extreme that I needed to sleep, but chose to drink coffee instead. I had a “strong” latte. My coffee didn’t help. Because I was working from home at that time, I went straight to bed after having coffee at 9 am.
No, I’m not suggesting you avoid waking up at 5 or journaling in the morning. It’s just that you should be very honest with yourself. How do you want to start your day? What motivates you to get up early? Decide what time will work best for you and what your priorities are, so you can stay awake and feel productive.
Ensure that your morning routine is short and sweet, and that you are clear about the reason you are awake at this inhumane hour. Are you learning something new? Are you trying to improve your fitness? Do you want to start your own small business? Prepare a plan for the first hour and be intentional about everything you do. If not, you may not want to wake up early the next morning.
2. START THE NIGHT BEFORE AND STICK TO YOUR PROMISE
Check the time before you go to bed, and set your alarm for 6 to 7.5 hours from then. Wake up at the appointed time no matter how tired you may feel. Just get up, don’t hit snooze. Otherwise, you will be even more tired.
Here’s how it works. A sleep cycle lasts an average of 90 minutes. The average person requires 7.5 hours of sleep per night, or 5 cycles per day. In order to feel fully rested, each cycle must be completed.
The keyword here is complete. If you interrupt a sleep cycle with your alarm, for example, you need to start over and finish the full 90 minutes to feel fresh and alert. As if you were playing a video game, every time you mess up, you have to start over.
If you hit snooze, you begin a new sleep cycle without completing the previous one. This results in two things: you waste time and you become more tired.
It is possible to get away with 6 hours, but that is the minimum. 7.5 hours of sleep is the best choice for most people, but if you’re trying to wake up earlier, then 6 hours of sleep is a good alternative as you won’t feel tired.
3. SPEND A WEEK OF DOING IT EACH DAY
I went to bed at midnight the first time I decided to wake up early, and wanted to get up at 6 am the next morning. I completed four sleep cycles, so it wasn’t a problem.
After doing this for a week straight, I decided to skip my alarm on the weekend so I could wake up later. I woke up at 6:02 am that Saturday. Rested. The same thing happened on Sunday.
After about a week, your body will adjust and will set its own alarm. The important thing is to wake up every day at the same time. Not one day at 6 am, another at 5 am, and then the next at 7 am. Pick a time and stick to it.
I also naturally started feeling tired in the evening and was going to bed earlier. That was one of the things I struggled with the most.
4. DO THE THINGS THAT WAKE YOU UP
What keeps me awake and enhances my entire day for me is:
- As soon as I wake up, I drink water
- Work out for 10-15 minutes,
- Take a shower
- Go for a walk. (It takes about 20 minutes)
Walking is like a form of meditation for me, when I completely relax and think about what I want to accomplish in the day. It’s something I do by myself in a park or at the beach, somewhere closer to nature. When I do that, I get so many new and fresh ideas. I love that part of the day. During that time, I can listen to myself and come up with things that haven’t been thought of yet.
As I mentioned before, I don’t like to start my day writing or reading because it makes me sleepy. I don’t have the mental focus at that time. I usually read in the evening because I find it to be the most sleep-inducing thing in the world.
In the morning, I feel like I have to awaken my body first before my brain can also awaken. I feel ready for the day when I welcome it in this way. Already, I am feeling accomplished, and I can’t help but want to keep going and doing things that matter to me.
So, what would work for you? What would inspire you to wake up faster? Perhaps it’s washing your face right after waking up, drinking some lemon water, jumping jacks, or listening to your favourite music. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming.
Get started immediately and you’ll feel more awake. Exercise is the thing that wakes me up the most, if I had to choose.
5. DO SOMETHING EXCITING
A morning ritual that makes you look forward to it. It’s like a small reward. I sometimes have a cappuccino, I sometimes go for a morning walk, this summer I went to the beach to watch the sunrise and to swim after my workout. The beach was empty, the sun was shining, the water was crystal clear, it was heavenly.
Perhaps you’ll finish a small project that’s very exciting for you, attend an early class at the gym, see usually crowded city streets totally empty, or feed the ducks in the park. The morning has so many activities that you can do. All you have to do is decide what excites you the most and what you want to do more often.
- Don’t overeat or eat late
- Choose healthier and lighter meals
- Stay away from alcohol and cigarettes
- Go to the bathroom before going to bed
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon