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Tips for Waking up Early
There are some lucky people in the world, who are blessed with the ability to wake up early. Unfortunately, most of us are not those people. If you need to wake up early for a specific event, or if you just want to change your routine, there are some things you can do. Keep in mind, these are general tips, since everyone’s idea of early is relative. For some, waking up at seven is early. For others, it’s beating the sun. As with any lifestyle suggestions, only you can decide what works best for you. The important thing to remember, is that waking up early doesn’t have to be punishing. There are simple things you can to do make it easier on yourself.
The Night Before
The most crucial part of waking up early begins before you even go to sleep. If you want to wake up early and still feel fresh, getting a good night’s rest is crucial. Everyone has their own tricks to going to sleep and staying asleep, but consider adding these in. Any sleep tips work best as part of a regular routine, but they can certainly be used the night of as well.
Watch what you eat and drink:
Stop drinking or eating at a specific time: This will help you with any potential indigestion and will also help prevent you waking up and having to go to the restroom. Of course, what time you choose to cut off those things depends on what time you have to wake up. If you have to get up at 5:00am, 6:30pm or 7:00pm is a good cut off time.
You should also try not to drink caffeine too late: It seems obvious, but for anyone who doesn’t know, caffeine keeps you awake. There are some people who can sleep even after a full cup of coffee, but for the rest of us, make sure you stop drinking caffeine early in the afternoon.
And if you’re really serious about it, consider working in foods that are beneficial for sleep. This doesn’t mean you have to eat turkey for dinner! Lots of foods can help promote better sleep either directly or indirectly. Aside from the foods that contain tryptophan (the thing in turkey that puts you to sleep), you can consider foods that can aid sleep indirectly. Foods that help fight inflammation, like yogurt, can help you sleep better by calming inflammation in your body. You can also eat certain nuts, like walnuts, and fruits, like kiwi, that help serotonin production or have nutrients related to better sleep. Of course, having a balanced diet is always your best bet.
If you can, avoid all screens—including your phone!–for an hour before bed. In today’s society, this is a lot to ask, so as an alternative, try turning on night mode on your phone. If you don’t have night mode, or if you can’t give up your computer before bed, you can by blue-light filter glasses or screens. The problem is that blue light prevents your body from producing serotonin, which is crucial for sleep.
Apart from the physical stressors, being on your devices before bed can also be a mental stressor. Instead of reading the news, or checking your mail, or numbing yourself with videos, try spending the hour before bed doing some self-care.
Check the thermostat:
Temperature actually plays a surprising role in sleep. In general, your body should be warmer when you wake up, and cooler when you go to sleep. If you’re having difficulty getting to sleep, the solution can be as simple as turning down the room temperature. Now getting the room to cool down in the summer is impossible in some places, so consider what sheets and pajamas you’re using. Aim for light, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen.
The Morning Of
After a—hopefully–good night’s rest, there a couple of things you can do in the morning to make waking up early easier. When you first start waking up earlier, you’ll probably feel groggier than usual. Doing a few simple things will help you get ready even on those mornings when you put the milk in the cupboard and the coffee beans in the fridge.
Don’t hit snooze!
The worst thing you can do first thing in the morning is hit the snooze button. That extra fifteen minutes of sleep feels very desirable, but it does more harm than good. You’ll feel more tired and worse overall if you keep sleeping and waking up in short spurts. In the long run, waking up with your alarm is better for you. No one says you have to get out of bed at that exact second, but don’t let yourself fall back asleep.
Plan your morning beforehand:
Picking out an outfit is not always the best thing to do after waking up early. Instead, try to pick out your clothes the night before. (If you’re ambitious, pick a day to plan your outfits for the whole week.) This helps save you time in the morning, and it makes sure that you’ll actually look good. Versus whatever you think looks good early in the morning.
The same applies to cooking. Try to pick something easy to prepare ahead of time, like boiled eggs or fruit bowls. It’s much better than trying to cook something tasty before the sun is even up.
Give your system a jolt:
If you really just can’t function when you get up, consider giving yourself a little shock to clear your head. Not electrical! Try something you’re not used to in the morning like black or extra strong coffee. Pop a mint, splash some cold water on your face, even doing something as simple as a few jumping jacks can help you wake up a little faster. You don’t have to do anything too extreme, just enough to get you to focus for a moment.
Waking up early doesn’t have to be a punishment. In fact, you may find that you like it! There’s something peaceful about waking up when the world is a little less busy. But before you wake up, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. The best method is to establish a healthy nighttime routine, but there are still little things you can do the night before if you have to wake up early for a specific event. Try to have everything ready for the morning of, so that you won’t have to struggle while groggy. And don’t hit snooze! Catching a few extra minutes of shut eye won’t help you feel better. If you really can’t wake yourself up, consider doing something like splashing water on your face, or drinking something bitter to jolt your system. There are plenty of little things you can do to make sure that waking up early is easier for you.