Do you need to wake up earlier in the morning? Do you struggle with falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated?
Awhile back I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod (affiliate link) and it was definitely a game-changer for me. In his book, he shares how waking up each morning with a set routine (S.A.V.E.R.S.) has completely turned his life around. The S.A.V.E.R.S. routine stands for Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribe and is completed first thing each morning. The goal is to start at 5 AM and it sets the tone for the remainder of your day.
Here’s the thing, it seems like I continuously struggle with waking in the morning whether it’s 5 AM or 9 AM – no matter what time I turn in the night before.
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How to Wake Up Earlier in the Morning
There may be a number of reasons why you want to wake up earlier. Perhaps you’re a not a morning person (raises hand!) but need to be for work. Perhaps you love that feeling of getting stuff done while everyone else is still asleep. Or maybe you just need some extra time to exercise before starting your day. Whatever the reason, and whatever your current routine, it is possible to change things.
Go to Bed Earlier
Getting to bed earlier is one easy way to wake up earlier in the morning. You probably already know that. This way, you can still get a full 7 or 8 hours of healthy rest each night, and wake up refreshed and energetic in the early morning hours. I’ve found that setting a reminder alarm to stop working and start winding down helps. I use my FitBit to track my sleep patterns and it alerts me when it’s time for me to start getting ready to turn in based on my sleep pattern. Also, scheduling your shut down time makes a big difference.
A few action items that have helped me get to sleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed are:
– shutting down all electronics 1-2 hours before my bedtime
– journaling / brain-dumping before bed to release any stresses or anxieties from the day
– listening to a guided meditation for sleep while doing the yoga pose below (I use an ottoman in my bedroom)
Physically Move Your Alarm Clock
Another trick for getting up earlier, and staying up, is to place a noisy alarm clock across the room from your bed. Set the alarm for whatever early morning hours you desire to rise, and the act of getting out of bed, orienting yourself, and walking across the room gives you a better chance at staying up rather than crawling back under your cozy covers.
Some people have successfully reset their mental morning clock by taking gradual steps. If you want to get up 1 hour earlier in the morning, set your alarm just 15 minutes earlier tomorrow. Move that to 30 minutes earlier than you are used to waking up the following week, slowly building up to the desired 60 minute advanced rising time.
Tap Into Your Internal Clock
Your internal clock is naturally inclined to stay awake when it is light outside, and to sleep when it is dark. Use this biological fact to your advantage. You can purchase an inexpensive electric timer at a home improvement store, and attach it to several bright lights that make it nearly impossible to stay asleep once your alarm goes off.
Know Your Why
Reinforce in your mind exactly why you are getting up early. If your reason is big and important enough, reminding yourself of it every morning could be enough to do the trick.
Studies show that exercising in the morning leads to better sleep patterns late at night. Your morning routine could include 30 to 60 minutes of exercise. This not only promotes good health and energy in the morning, but it can help make you feel tired enough at the end of a long day that sleep comes easy and early.
If none of the above tricks work, you could try melatonin. Your body naturally creates this chemical to help you sleep. Begin with a relatively low dose, 0.5 to 1.0 milligrams each night. You may have to take your melatonin supplement 5 to 6 hours before bedtime for a few days in a row before you notice any change in your sleeping habits.