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How to Wake Up Early: Become an Early Riser and Reap The Benefits

Amber Murphy

Everyone knows that going to bed earlier will result in waking up earlier and feeling refreshed. Yes, maintaining your bedtime schedule is important, and the earlier you can get to bed, the more energized you’ll feel when you have to make that 5 AM wake up call or start your early morning routine. But, it’s not only going to bed earlier that’s going to help you wake up earlier in the morning. There are other ways you can go about making sure you’re getting up earlier in the day and making the most out of it.

So, apart from going to bed earlier, what are some tips on how to wake up early? Let’s go over some things you should incorporate into your evening routine and daily lifestyle.

6 tips to start waking up earlier

From going to bed at a reasonable hour to taking a cold shower first thing in the morning, you’ve probably heard every adage out there as it pertains to waking up earlier in the day. Here we’ll cover a few tips, and help you stay on track with your schedule, so you can get the most out of your days.

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1. Consider a “Sunrise Alarm Clock”

If you’ve ever seen sunrise alarm clocks on Amazon, you’ve probably thought about investing in one. If you haven’t, you should! These alarm clocks mimic the sunrise (pretty intuitive name, right?). When your alarm goes off in the morning, they’ll gradually become brighter as time passes each minute. At 7 AM (or whatever time you set your alarm for), the sunrise alarm clock will mimic the sunlight/sunrise outside. In turn, it will gradually wake you up.

Why is this more beneficial than an alarm clock on your phone? Some reasons are:

  • There’s no snooze button
  • It’s gradual and your body acclimates to the sunrise naturally
  • Your body’s time clock will begin to naturally adjust to the settings/time

Over time, your body’s internal clock will do the work for you. You aren’t going to have to rely on the sunrise alarm clock anymore. Plus, it’s a nice and slow way to help boost you up in the morning. The first thing you’ll see is the sunrise, even if it’s dark and rainy outside.

Digital curfew to help wake up early

2. Create a digital curfew

We can’t get off our iPhone, our tablets are always in bed with us, and we have Netflix connected to our bedroom TV. If you want to unwind at night, avoid stimulating devices. By keeping your electronics on 24/7, you’re not going to get the rest your body needs. Exposure to the bright lights on your smartphone, laptop, or TV can negatively impact your circadian rhythm.

In turn, this messes with your ability to fall asleep at night.

When you create a digital curfew, you limit use and exposure to your devices late in the evening. Try to set a cutoff time of about 1 to 2 hours before bedtime. It might sound difficult, but it can significantly improve your ability to fall asleep at night and sleep restfully. Plus, you won’t have to work around the clock trying to scramble to get that last-minute email into the office.

You’re off work, so take the time you deserve away from the office. Set a curfew for your electronic devices, and see how much it’s going to impact your sleep in a positive light. This will help you wake up earlier and feeling ready to conquer your day. Create a more productive evening routine to help you get to bed earlier.

3. Drink less

Drinking less alcohol is a great way to ensure you’re going to get a better night’s sleep and also wake up earlier and feeling refreshed.

Excessive alcohol consumption can result in sleep deprivation and fragmentation. Even though you may think alcohol helps you sleep, it doesn’t improve your sleep. You might fall asleep after one too many drinks, but you aren’t going to sleep well, nor is your body going to get the rest it deserves. Try to cut off alcohol consumption earlier in the day. If you do drink, limit it and the amount you consume in a sitting.

On the other hand, drinking water before bed can help give you enough encouragement to get out of bed in the morning. If you’re struggling to get out of bed early in the morning, wait until you see how motivated you will become with a full bladder. 

Avoid late night dinner and food

4. Avoid eating dinner too late

When you eat dinner late in the evening, your body can’t digest your food properly when you’re laying down for 8 hours in bed. Because your body produces acid to help digest foods, you might experience reflux. This is also going to impact your sleep and it’s going to make your night feel a little uncomfortable to say the least.

When you’re not sleeping well and when you don’t get a full 8 hours of sleep because you weren’t feeling too hot, you’re not going to want to get out of bed in the morning. Let alone at 5 or 6 AM if this is the time you want to start waking up each day. This is especially true if you eat something full of sodium or fat. It can create a pretty rough morning, almost as if junk food hangovers were a thing.

Try to eat dinner at least 1-hour before bedtime, and if possible, much earlier than that. Your body will have enough time to break down the food and process some of it before you lay down to sleep. Also, this will allow you to sleep easy and rest at night so that you can wake up earlier in the morning without feeling exhausted.

5. Cut out caffeine at night and save it for mornings

Remember our digital cutoff? Well, you need to do the same with coffee, caffeinated tea, sodas, and other beverages or foods with caffeine in them.

Caffeine greatly affects your sleep and your body’s ability to sleep well. Try to stop drinking at about 4 or 5 PM at the latest. If you need that coffee taste, you can try decaf instead. You’re still going to get the great taste, minus the caffeine to cause imbalances in your sleep patterns at night.

As an additional tip for you coffee lovers, get a coffeemaker with a timer and set it to brew at your planned wake up time. When you set your alarm, set your coffeemaker for the same time. This is a great motivator to get you out of bed when you don’t want to. Every morning, you’ll know your coffee is going to be cold if you linger in bed too long. Plus, it’s pick me up for those first few mornings when you’re getting used to waking up early.

When learning how to wake up early, keep it consistent

6. Keep it consistent

Create a routine and stick to it, even on the weekends. If you wake up at 6 AM during the week, try to do the same on the weekends. If you need that extra hour on Saturday and Sunday, take it. But, don’t go overboard. You don’t want to wake up at 6 AM during the week, and 12 or 1 PM on the weekends. You’ll throw your body’s balance off, and you’ll never become habituated. Your body is going to have a hard time acclimating to these crazy extremes.

The key to figuring out how to wake up early is to get used to it. When you do it enough times, it isn’t so bad. In fact, you’ll eventually start loving your mornings.

Pick a schedule and stick with it. You’ll not only find it easier to do more during the day, but you’re also going to feel more energized, and you’ll enjoy your time with family and friends on the weekends, rather than laying in bed for half the day.

Benefits of waking up early

Now that we’ve gone over some tips on how to wake up early, why do you want to wake up early? What’s so great about a 5 AM wake up call anyway? Here are some benefits early risers experience and some motivation to help you stick to your new morning routine:

  • You get more done
  • Waking up earlier means you’re more productive; you’re ahead of the game and you can do things while others are still in bed
  • You feel more energized, your body is going to react differently to the things/tasks ahead of you in your day
  • Mental fitness is achieved; you’re going to experience mental clarity and less mental stress, as you aren’t scrambling to get things done last minute
  • You’re going to experience improved sleep quality. Early risers typically experience better sleep, meaning they’re more refreshed and energized each day
  • Individuals who wake up early tend to accomplish more; since you have more time in your day, you can get more work done
  • You’ll appreciate more time with your kids, your spouse, your pets, and friends
  • You get your own quiet time; yes, when you’re up at 5 AM, the rest of the world typically isn’t. So, you’re going to have some time for yourself to do tasks you usually don’t have time for
  • Knock your workout out first thing in the morning; you’ll feel better, energized, plus you won’t be lingering all day and wondering when you’re going to have time to workout when you finish the workday
  • It gives you extra time to practice a morning meditation before starting the day
  • Reduce your commute to the office (most people are still sleeping so you get to beat the traffic)
  • You can easily schedule your appointments since most people don’t want to go into the doctor so early (or other offices)

No matter what you do for a living, or why you’re considering an earlier start to your day, there are numerous benefits to waking up earlier in the morning. These are a few simple tips on how to wake up early, and some of the reasons you might want to set your alarm clock a couple of hours earlier than you’ve been setting it for.

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