You know that waking up early has many benefits, but it's also useful to clearly outline why it’s essential for you. If you don’t have a fixed goal of waking up early every day, you are unlikely to stick to it for long. It can be simple things like going for a jog, meditating at home, or spending some quality time with your family.
You might even choose to get up early because it allows you to spend some alone time and reflect peacefully before you start the day. Once you know your reasons, they will make you more determined and focused on your goal.
2. Avoid late-night snacking
Do you often find yourself dealing with hunger pangs and end up snacking late at night? If you want to be a morning person, you must ditch this habit immediately. Late-night eating is associated with several health concerns - from weight gain to severe acid reflux.
Even if you are having healthy snacks like peanut butter or hummus, you might end up eating a little too much. This sends the body into digestion mode and makes it difficult for you to fall asleep or stay asleep.
3. Avoid sugary energy drinks and coffee before hitting the hay
Having a sugary energy drink or a cup of coffee at night can give you that extra boost of energy to finish your work, but it might be counterproductive if you have to wake up early. Consuming large amounts of sugar or caffeine before bed can make it tough for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Studies have shown that a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can cause poor sleep quality and more nocturnal awakenings. Caffeine, meanwhile, blocks adenosine, your body's natural sleep-inducing agent. Moreover, it stays in your system for about seven to eight hours and breaks your sleep. So, reduce your intake of sugary drinks and coffee at night to get healthier sleeping habits. You can try a glass of water or a cup of lemon tea instead to keep yourself hydrated.
4. Let your body adjust to your new bedtime gradually
To wake up early, you will have to move your bedtime gradually, too. If you try and move your bedtime by a couple of hours right away, it could mess with your internal body clock and will result in more daytime fatigue. Thus, if you want to wake up an hour or two earlier than you are used to, give your internal body clock at least 5-6 days to make the transition.
Start by getting to bed 20-30 minutes earlier and setting your alarm a little earlier each day. This way, you will start feeling comfortable with the new changes much quicker. Gradually, you will have to set a consistent bedtime that should start about eight hours before your alarm is supposed to go off. Stick to this routine for several weeks and let your body slowly adjust to your new bedtime.
5. Keep away from electronic devices before bed
The temptation to spend a few minutes on your laptop or smartphone at night, when you finally have some me-time, can be quite overwhelming. However, spending time in front of screens before bedtime doesn’t lead to restful sleep. This is because light exposure at night can damage natural melatonin (a hormone made by the brain that plays a role in your sleep-wake cycle) production, which eventually results in delaying your drowsiness and keeping you up.
So, try to stay away from all electronic devices - whether it's the TV, laptop, or phone – at least an hour before bed. Keep the lights dim to create a relaxing ambiance before you go to sleep. Reading a book or listening to some calm music will also help you go to sleep peacefully.
6. Sleep with your curtains open
Getting bright light first thing in the morning is a great way to wake up naturally. Exposure to bright natural light for an hour or two after you wake up can help your body wake up. It's a good idea to keep your curtains open before you go to sleep. Try and sleep in a position where sunlight hits your body directly through the windows. You will then be greeted with bright light in the morning, which will make getting up that much easier.
7. Lighten your evening schedule
One of the ways to make yourself get up early is by lightening your evening schedule. Take note of how you are spending your evenings. Are you busy with too many chores? Exerting yourself too much in the evening can result in poor sleep. According to a National Sleep Foundation survey, about 12 percent of adults feel that their hectic work schedule makes it difficult for them to get sufficient sleep.
Thus, try and ease down on your evening activities and relax a little. Shift your workout time to earlier in the day and find ways to share some of the evening chores with other members of the family. That way, you will have some free time to unwind and hit the hay without feeling mentally drained.
8. Say no to snoozing habits
One of the biggest obstacles to getting up early is our automatic reaction to hitting the snooze button of the alarm as soon as it starts ringing. If your alarm is right next to your bed, then it’s more than likely that you will end up silencing it without even getting up.
One way to solve this problem is by placing your alarm far enough from your bed for you to be forced to get up and move to turn it off. Once you do so, your drowsiness is likely to fade away in a few minutes. If you are having difficulty getting up, consider setting a second alarm as well, possibly in a room nearby.
9. Make it a habit of waking up early on the weekend too
Once your attempts of waking up early in the morning on weekdays are successful, make it a habit and stick to it. Even on weekends. Sticking to a consistent schedule is one of the most effective ways to get comfortable with waking up earlier. A study published in the journal Chronobiology International says that a steady bedtime on the weekends appears to lead to better sleep and makes it easier to wake up during the week.
A consistent sleep-wake schedule will also result in your body getting used to a set schedule, thus reducing your sleep problems. But if you start compensating on weekends, your natural body clock will be interrupted, and you are likely to feel extra sleepy on Mondays. Hence, try and follow one sleep schedule every day of the week.
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