There are plenty of morning people out there. They enjoy waking up early, they love to get a head-start on their day while everyone else is sleeping in as much as possible, and they're always ready to greet you with a cheerful "good morning!" while you're still trying to muster up the energy to sip your coffee. But there are a lot of people who are the opposite, and find waking up at the crack of dawn to be miserable, no matter how many often they have to do it. If you're one of these people, and you have to be at work by 7 a.m. each day, then you are probably desperately looking for some hacks to make waking up a little easier.
After all, if you have to be at work by 7 a.m., that means you have to be out of bed by at least 6 a.m. (unless you live down the block from your job and can get ready super fast). If you have a long commute, you have to be up even earlier than that! You've probably found that hitting the snooze button multiple times before springing into action at the very last minute isn't working for you, and you're right. Waking up earlier and having a less rushed morning can make your whole day more enjoyable and productive.
Instead of starting your day off feeling stressed out and anxious about being late, use the below hacks to start on a more peaceful and positive note... and actually get out of bed when you're supposed to.
1. Wake Up At The Same Time Every Day
Don't go into this thinking you'll only wake up at this time on work days — you should actually be making this a daily thing, and yes, that includes weekends and holidays. Research has shown that waking up at the same time every day is the best way to get your body to actually, well, wake up at that time. That's because our bodies follow a circadian rhythm that needs consistency to actually work. If you wake up at 5:30 a.m. four days a week, but 10 a.m. three days a week, you're not allowing a routine to take place within your body or brain.
2. Turn Off Electronic Devices An Hour Before Bed The Night Before
What you do the night before affects how you'll wake up in the morning. Obviously, you should try to get to sleep a little earlier if you're going to be trying to wake up early. You still want to get that seven to eight hours of rest in, and you can do that... as long as you're not staying up late binging on Netflix.
Start getting your body into a better sleep pattern by turning off your electronic devices at least one hour before falling asleep. Studies have shown that artificial blue light is going to keep you awake and ruin your sleep more than any other kind of light. Instead of scrolling through Instagram until bed, read a book or meditate.
3. Give Yourself Time To Do Something You Enjoy
Mornings don't have to be miserable, and you can prove that to yourself by scheduling in time to do something you enjoy. That might mean giving yourself 15 to 20 minutes to sit down with a cup of coffee and just drink in silence. It might mean watching the news for a little bit to see what's going on in the world, reading for a half hour before getting ready for work, or taking an extra long shower instead of a rushed one.
Whatever it is, make time for it. It will make you actually forward to your mornings instead of dreading them, and starts your day off on the right foot.
4. Put Your Alarm Clock Across The Room
Yes, this old trick really will help. Putting your alarm clock out of reach is going to get you of bed to turn it off, and once you're actually out of your bed, you'll instantly feel more awake than you would if you just rolled over and turned the alarm clock off. Just try it!
5. Get Out Of Your Bedroom Right Away
A lot of us have a habit of waking up, sitting up in bed, grabbing our phones, and then sitting there looking at things for a half hour as time creeps by. You're better off getting out of your bedroom right away, even if that means sitting in a different room staring at your phone. Why? Your bedroom is the place where you sleep and rest — and that's what you associate it with. Staying in there is just going to make you feel more sleepy. Turn the alarm off, get out of bed, and go into another room immediately. The temptation to go back to sleep won't be quite as bad when you're not comfortable under the covers.
6. Drink Water As Soon As You Wake Up
Before you go to sleep at night, fill a water bottle or a glass (although a bottle will probably keep it cooler) with water, then leave it right next to your bed. As soon as you wake up, don't just take a sip — drink an entire glass of the stuff. Not only does it allow you to rehydrate, but it also gives you energy as it kickstarts your metabolism and gets you going.
7. Start Stretching
You don't need to start doing complicated yoga routines the moment you wake up, but you should definitely get a few minutes of stretching in. There are plenty of benefits: it gets your blood flowing throughout your tired body and also stimulates your mind, and it gives you a little boost of energy. Look up some easy stretches to do outside of your bed, or launch right into an easy, flexible yoga routine.
8. Step Outside
If you're waking up at 5:30 a.m. in the middle of the winter, it's probably going to be pitch black outside, and you may not want to venture out there. But if it's early and the sun is out, get into that sunlight ASAP. Sunlight is a message to your body that it's time to wake up, and it's the best natural way to do so. Getting outside, even for a minute, is also helpful: the fresh air and change in atmosphere will snap your body into motion. You can take a walk if you feel comfortable, or just open up your door and stand out there for a few moments.
9. Stop Hitting The Snooze Button
If you're one of those people who hits snooze a bunch of times before actually getting up... stop. Easier said than done, but here's why you need to: scientists agree that that in-between stage of being awake and being asleep is only making it harder for you to wake up. The first few moments you fall asleep is the hardest to wake up from, and your body is going to be most ready to wake up when the alarm first goes off. Resist the temptation to hit snooze and just get up in the beginning.
10. Set Up An Early Appointment
One of the best reasons to get up and out of bed is that you have somewhere you need to be. Make your appointments for earlier in the morning so you're forced to wake up. Set up early doctor appointments and early meetings whenever possible. If you're going to exercise, book an early morning workout class you can't cancel without paying a fee for. It's more motivational!
11. Get In The Habit Of Eating Breakfast
Make yourself a healthy breakfast when you wake up to give yourself an activity to focus on other than how tired you are. Eating in the morning will give you energy and help wake you up.
12. Establish A Set Routine
Having an established routine is going to help you wake up earlier because your body will get so used to it. Make sure your routine is productive or at least leads to productivity. If you do something different every morning, you're not really adjusting to anything. If your body gets into a pattern of, say, wake up, brush teeth, shower, eat breakfast, read, work out, etc. then it will get so used to doing it, it basically becomes second nature.
13. Go To Sleep Earlier At Night
Yes, it sounds obvious, but it's worth repeating: going to sleep earlier at night will help you wake up earlier. You can't keep going to sleep at midnight and expecting a 5 a.m. wakeup call to be easy. Schedule your bedtime around your waking up time so you get at least seven hours of shut-eye. This can be hard to adjust to, but think of it this way: if you wake up earlier, you get more done earlier, meaning you have more time at night to watch that one last episode and still make your bedtime.
14. Have A Real Reason For Why You're Doing This
Don't go into this half-heartedly. Instead, have a real reason for why you want to wake up earlier. Is it because you feel like you need to get more done during the day? Is it because you're sick of feeling anxious every morning and want your day to start off on a more relaxed note? Whatever the reason it is, keep it in your mind so that you know you have a purpose for what you're doing.