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Waking up early can change your life!  Early morning time is peaceful.  You can use it to do creative work, take time to yourself, or for learning – things that are so easily lost once mid-morning’s hectic hand knocks at your door.

Here are 11 tips for waking up early so that you can enjoy your day before the world starts moving:

1.  Think Right Away:

Right when you wake up in the morning, do something that requires you to think a little bit.  I usually read the comments on my Instagram, or I’ll taking down some notes for my blog.  Playing Angry Birds right when you wake up is perfect, as long as you can keep from getting sucked in and playing for too long.  Do NOT check Email.  Email is suicide this early in the morning.  The first hours of the day are peaceful and you have a clear head.  You can use that to your advantage.  Don’t ruin it with Email.  In general, if you can get your brain thinking about something other than how warm your bed is, it’s less likely that you will fall back into dream land.

2.  Tongue Yourself:

Once I sit up in the morning, I usually rub the tip of my tongue across the roof of my mouth a few times.  Try it.  You’ll notice the nerves in the top of your mouth kick to life a little bit.  I learned this one from a narcoleptic friend.  No joke.  He does this when he’s out of medication or if he’s worried that he is going to fall asleep at the wheel.  If it works for narcoleptic people, it will work for you in the morning.

3.  Drink Water:

If you’ve got a glass of water next to your bed, drink it in the morning.  Getting you body used to motions it doesn’t do while sleeping is important.  Drinking water is one of them.

4.  Do NOT Press the Sleep Button:

I’ll repeat it again, Do NOT Press the Sleep Button!  We’ve all done it, hit sleep on our alarm clocks 10 times, then wondered why we got up an hour and a half later than we’d planned.  The more times you hit sleep, the harder it is to wake up.  I don’t even turn the sleep function on now.  The looming fear that “if I don’t wake up now, I may wake up whenever“, scares me into staying awake.  It’s now or never.

5.  Alarm Placement – Hike for it:

The further your alarm is away from you the better.  I put mine across the room.  If I’ve got to get all the way out of bed and walk across my cold floor to turn it off, I’m less likely to just throw my hand at it hoping to hit the off button.

6.  Change your Body Temperature:

I used to hop in the shower (cold works best if you can hang) right away.  Now I work out first thing in the morning, so I take my showers after.  I will usually put my workout clothes right by my alarm, which is across the room.  When I get to my alarm, I put them on right away.  This slight change in body temperature works for me.  Your body tells your brain it is game time, not sleep time when you change it’s temperature.

7.  Put your Shoes On:

This one is a cheap trick I play on myself all the time.  I make sure to put my shoes on right away.  It’s much harder to go back to bed with your shoes on.  Shoes tell your body you mean business.

8.  Make your bed:

Once you’re physically out of bed and have your clothes on, go back and make your bed.  You want to make sure you don’t have open warm sheets calling to you as you try to stay awake.  Making it prevents you from getting in it if you have a lapse in awake juice.

9.  Get your Blood Moving:

If you can exercise right when you wake up, do it.  Go for a jog or do pushups and crunches.  Anything that can get your blood moving.  When I’m at home, I do sprints on my stationary workout bike.  If I can get a sweat going first thing on the morning, even if it’s not my main workout, it makes all the difference in my day.

10.  Work Back:

Be realistic about when you are trying to wake up.  If you normally wake up at 8AM, don’t go cold turkey and try to wake up at 5AM.  You may get away with this on the first day, but day 2 and 3 will be much harder.  I work my way back in 30 minute intervals and switch it after 2 or 3 days:  7:30 for a few days, 7:00 for a few days, 6:30 for a few days, 6:00 for a few days, and so on..

11.  The Night Before:

The easiest way to wake up early is to go to bed at a decent hour the night before.  The old adage is true:  tomorrow starts today.  I aim for about 7 hrs of sleep per night, when possible.  Write you to-do list no later than dinner time the night before.  You don’t want a bunch of jumbled thoughts about what you need to do the next day flying around your head when you are trying to go to sleep.  Get it on paper early and stop worrying about it.  There are many techniques for going to bed early.  The one that I’ve found to be the most effective is exercise.  If I can get a strenuous workout in during the day, I can’t help but fall asleep early.

Photo Credit: Pilottage
  • Rashaa Al Ajlouny

    Meditation Though … Early sunrise is the cure for BodyMindSpirit .
    SalaamShalomPeace for OOOLLL

  • josh

    great tips, I’m going to use these tomorrow!