TIPS ON HOW TO WAKE UP EARLY :
I was NOT a morning person…not at all. I did not see the point of depriving myself of sleep…no reason was ever good enough. Even during my years of studying, I would wake up as late as I could without missing class. So what changed?
On my journey to be the best version of myself and to live my best life, I came to learn about the benefits of waking up early. So I realized that if I was to become successful, it all began here. I had to wake up early.
It honestly was not easy to do. But like with any habit, consistency is the key to becoming successful in it. The first week was very difficult. And even though I managed to wake up at 5 am, I spent the first 30 minutes in bed, asking myself “BUT WHY AM I DOING THIS?”
But of course, with practise, I have sort of become an expert at waking up early (if there’s such an expert). And the good news is that you can become a morning person too and wake up early.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Now just because you decide to wake up early, it does not mean that you need to get less sleep. Nobody is saying that.
So in order for it to be easier for you to wake up early, you need to go to bed early too. On average, adults need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. So make sure that you are getting that much sleep.
So this means that you need to actually be asleep for that amount of time.
To make it easier to fall asleep, avoid blue light before bed. This includes the television as well as your cell phone (switch the night shift feature on for warmer light). Practise doing something more relaxing before going to bed. This way you are not spending more than 20 minutes in bed trying to fall asleep.
And if you are the type of person who requires 9 hours (or more) of sleep to truly become productive the next day, then put in the time by sleeping early. Just don’t use it as an excuse for waking up late.
KNOW YOUR WHY
Before I became a morning person, I always looked at my friends who woke up at 4 am with shock and awe.
“Why would you do that?”
“Why are waking up that early?”
“What could you possibly have to do at that time?”
It amazed me really. This week, one of the managers came in a bit early to work and found that I was already there. At 6 am, already busy doing work. He too was shocked, “Why would you come in this early?”
And these are all very good questions.
Why on Earth do you want to wake up early?
If you cannot answer this question, then you probably will NOT be able to get out of bed at 5 am.
So knowing your “Why” is very important.
Maybe, you are more productive in the morning. Or you want to get in an hour of exercise because your evenings are too busy. Or you want some quiet time to have a mindful morning, meditate or read a book. Or maybe, if you’re like me, you want to be able to leave work early and work on your business or whatever makes you happy in the afternoon.
The bottom line is that whatever the reason, it has to be important to you.
WAKE UP RIGHT
Waking up right has to do with your alarm, or whatever means you use to get up in the morning. Find the alarm that is going to work the best for you.
I have tried a couple of different ones over the past few years. Here they are:
I tried an alarm clock app with math questions that you need to answer correctly for it to stop ringing. There are a lot of these apps, such as Mathe Alarm Clock and Puzzle Alarm Clock. It was great for a while, but (not to brag) being a numbers person, the math started to become too easy. SO I would solve the math problem then go back to sleep.
Super Loud Songs:
I then tried setting a super loud hip hop/rap song as my alarm ringtone. This was so that I was literally shocked out of my sleep. But once I got used to a certain song, I would not hear my alarm. So I had to change to another song that would be able to wake me up. This worked quite efficiently for the rest my varsity years. The downside was that I would get tired and less productive during the day. But that was probably also because we generally did not get enough sleep in school.
I also tried charging my phone in a different room, so that when the alarm rings I can get up to switch it off. This did not work for me because I usually read books on my phone before falling asleep. So moving it to another room did not make sense for me.
Next, I tried the sleep cycle app. Now, this was one of the best solutions. I woke up feeling fresh and was productive for the ENTIRE day. So the app uses your cell phone’s microphone to monitor your sleep and determine which sleep cycle you are in. It will then wake you up in your lightest sleep cycle during the range that you set. So for example, if I want to wake by 05:00, I would set the range to between 04:30 and 05:00. The app would wake me up when I am in my lightest cycle during that range. Now the downside to this app was that it does not wake you up at the same time every day. Since I was looking for consistency, this made it hard for me to develop the habit of waking up early.
So now I wake up to soft music. Since I am sleeping enough, and have developed the habit of waking up early, it is easy for me to wake up to a softer alarm. To be honest, I usually wake up 5 minutes before the alarm rings. Which is great!
Please note that just because some of these things did not work for me, it does not mean that they will fail for you too. You need to try them out to know. Everyone is different, so find what will work best for you.
USE THE 5 SECOND RULE
Ok now your alarm has gone off, and you feel like you literally went to bed 5 minutes ago. How do you pull yourself out of this?
Use Mel Robbin’s 5-second rule.
When it is too hard to wake up early or to do work in general, sometimes you need to apply The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. When you are faced with an uncomfortable situation and are overcome with doubt, count backward from 5.
When you get to 1 you have to do something.
It will be easier to do the uncomfortable task then. For an in-depth explanation of how this works, read it here in Mel Robbin’s book.
Once you are awake, you need to start doing the thing that you woke up this early to do (your “why”). But it may not seem that easy at this point, so energize yourself so that you may become productive with your time.
For most people this means drinking coffee, for me, it is having a glass of lemon water. Do what it takes to prepare yourself for your day.
Alternatively, you could do your morning skincare routine or take a shower. Coming into contact with water will definitely wake you up.
So now that you are wide awake and energized for your productive day ahead, be proud of this achievement and remember to be consistent so to make it a habit. Now with your “why” in mind, spend this newfound time wisely.