It's Sunday evening and come tomorrow morning, it's back to the grind you go. You know you have to mentally prepare yourself for the week ahead, so you devise an ingenious plan of action for taking on your Monday. You're confident -- excited, even.
But maybe you sleep a little too well, or perhaps not well enough. Either way, suddenly it's Monday morning and you have just enough time to throw on the clothes draped over the bedpost and brew yourself a standard cup of coffee before you split. You stumble out the door while forcing your shoes on your feet and just like that, the flow of your entire day is officially ruined.
It's times like these you wished you were a master at waking up early. Believe it or not, there are plenty of methods you can try to make rising and shining more of a habit and less of a hassle.
If separating your body from your bed is a challenge in the early mornings, chances are you've also experienced the frustration that comes with sleeping through your alarm(s). Some can get away with setting a single alarm and, on the first ring, they're up and ready to start the day. For others, it's more of a struggle.
If you find yourself repeatedly pressing "snooze" on your phone alarm, consider upgrading to an actual alarm clock. When it comes to finding an alarm clock to wake you, you want the tone to be as loud and startling as possible. You can also find alarm clocks that vibrate or use lights to get you out of bed.
Once you get out of bed, it can be incredibly enticing to lie back down beneath the warm covers. To discourage yourself from being roped back into your cloud-like sleeping quarters, try to make your bed as soon as you get up. You're less likely to crawl back into it if you've made an effort to make it neat and tidy.
Keeping your curtains open and allowing natural light to filter into your bedroom has been linked to helping you wake up easier. As the sun rises and illuminates your room, the light begins to influence your body's circadian rhythm, which is our body's natural waking and sleeping patterns. Light stimulates your circadian rhythm, making you feel more alert and awake. If you don't have a way for natural light to fill your room, try using a natural light alarm clock.
However, light can also cause problems for your circadian rhythm. Blue light emitted from phone and TV screens contribute to your feeling of alertness, and at night these lights can throw your rhythm out of wack and make it more difficult to fall back asleep. With that in mind, make sure to put down your phone and turn off the TV 15 to 30 minutes before going to bed.
Waking up early takes both physical and mental discipline, and this takes time to build. Therefore, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself if your body doesn't always get up when or how you want it, which is why training your brain to rise with the sun is a great stepping stone for consistent early a.m. wake-ups.
Get started by setting your alarm for 10 to 15 minutes earlier than usual, then slowly train yourself to wake up earlier and earlier. If you usually roll out of bed at 8:30, set yourself up for an 8:15 wake-up until your body feels used to it. Then continue to tack on an extra 15 minutes every few days until you've reached your desired wake-up time. This method takes patience, but sleep patterns, in general, are not easy to alter. The gradual method may be the most efficient in terms of getting yourself acclimated to early mornings.
I know what you're thinking, "So, I have to do ALL this just to have a few successful early mornings, and NOW
You don't have to power-lift your way into a coma, but a short walk, a light jog, or even some jump rope can help you regulate your sleep schedule and allow you to wake up earlier. If you begin waking up for early morning workouts, you will have many health benefits -- your mental health and mood will improve, you will have more energy throughout the day and you will sleep better. Exercising routinely is a great way to establish a regular sleep schedule.
Even if you're not a "morning person" at heart, you can actively take the necessary steps to correct your sleep schedule. It'll be tough, but your early mornings are sure to set an uplifting feel to the rest of your day or even your week, which in turn makes the many other inconveniences of life more tolerable.