10 Unique Tips To Wake Up Early

wake up early

wake up early
Photo by Mircea Ploscar

Getting yourself to wake up early can be challenging, however, the benefits of waking up early can also be quite rewarding.  Studies have shown that the early morning riser is usually more proactive, optimistic, healthier, and happier in their overall life. As an entrepreneur starting early and making the most of your day is extremely important. So stop wasting time, set that clock back, and wake up early!

1. Get Enough Sleep

Easier said than done, I know, but here are some quick tips that will help you achieve that beauty sleep your body needs.

Stop drinking caffeine 4-11 hours before bedtime.  The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine states that caffeine intake 3 hours before sleeping showed a decrease of 5% in the the quality of sleep and a reduced sleep time of 25-30 minutes. Keep in mind, coffee is not the only caffeine stimulate – chocolate, sodas, energy drinks and protein bars are all other sources to be wary of before bed.

Let your body metabolize alcohol before bedAlcohol is deceiving, it may send you quickly off to a blissful slumber, but the problem with intoxication doesn’t lie in the ability to aid sleep,rather, the quality of sleep that ensues. “The problem is, in a single night, as the alcohol is metabolized during the second half of the night, it creates more fragmented sleep,” says neurologist and sleep expert Jessica Vensel-Rundo, MD. Don’t worry, your nightly glass of wine is still okay, just make sure you give yourself at least an hour before bedtime to metabolize the alcohol.

Go to bed early.  If you want to wake up early you need to go to sleep early. Adults need anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep. Going to bed early can sometimes feel like a punishment, making us feel like we are missing out on hours of me-time or time with our spouses. It’s time to take back our nights and make them count, if we want to wake up early we need a nightly routine!

wake up early
Photo by David Mao

2. Create A Nightly Routine

Power down, turn off all your electronics 1-2 hours before going to sleep. Yes, I know, this might mean having to wait until tomorrow to finish that episode of The Voice. Even the smallest of light emitted from our electronic devices miscue the brain and promote wakefulness. Along with light emitted from our devices, be wary of any light sneaking around your bedroom. The power buttons on computers, bright alarm clocks, or cable boxes are sources of light you may not realize affect your sleep, you may want to hide these light ninjas with some electrical tape.

Once you’ve powered down, soak in a relaxing warm bath filled with lavender bubbles. Okay, you can skip the bubbles if you want, and even the bath – but taking a warm shower before bed helps relax the muscles, preparing the body for a good night’s rest.

Set out your clothes for the next day. Whether you’re headed to the office or for a run, setting out your clothes can be a great way to save time in the morning.

Set 3 goals for yourself to accomplish the next day before going to bed. Setting goals or tasks for yourself to do the next day will help you wake up early with purpose. 

Whatever you decide to do with your nights, make sure you create a relaxing routine for yourself that encourages proper sleep habits.

wake up early
Photo by Deutsch

3. To Snooze Or Not To Snooze

Find the right alarm clock to wake you up.  Does your blood pressure spike every time you hear that annoying beep of the alarm clock? Do you constantly hit snooze and fall back asleep? Maybe it’s time to try something new.  Spend some time figuring out what your body responds to best – maybe it’s the natural light of the sun that wakes you up peacefully, in which case clocks such as the Philips Natural Wake Up Light might work best for you. Or maybe you need an alarm that will get you out of bed and moving, in which case an alarm app such as Walk Me Up, an app which makes you walk around the house to shut off it’s annoying alarm.  Maybe the solution is as simple as setting your favorite song as your alarm clock tone instead of that anxiety triggering beep.

To snooze, utilizing the inverted snooze. I’ve heard time and time again that snoozing your alarm clock is the worst thing ever…that is of course IF you go back to sleep. Some people, such as myself, find it helpful to set two alarms. One alarm is set 10-15 minutes before your actual wake up time. When your first alarm, or the “false alarm”, goes off you give yourself 10-15 minutes to do anything your heart desires (with the exception of going back to sleep). I, personally, love the inverted snooze and usually use my first 10-15 minutes laying in bed checking emails, Facebook, or playing games on my phone.

Not to snooze, the art of jumping straight out of bed. This method is less familiar to me, but most people swear by it. When your alarm clock goes off there is absolutely no snoozing, you are out of bed and beginning your day. Things like having the coffee pot set on automatic drip or having an alarm app that makes you solve word problems seems like motivating ways to make this method work.

4. Let There Be Light

Turn on the lights when you wake up. Our bodies naturally associate light with the sun, meaning daytime and wakefulness. Consider turning on the lights immediately upon waking up, or investing in a timer that will turn on your lights in association with your alarm clock.

5. Scents For The Senses

Start diffusing your house with essential oils that promote wakefulness. What we smell can have a big impact on how we feel.  If you don’t already have an aromatherapy diffuser you may want to consider buying one, it will wake up your senses and leave your bedroom smelling unbelievably good.  Citrus, rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus are all scents that are known to help energize, focus, and stimulate the brain. Don’t just diffuse these scents in the morning either, diffuse throughout the day and even change the scents at night to relax and encourage slumber.

wake up early
Photo by Erika Wittlieb

     6. Make Your Bed

Making your bed every morning is a small way to make a large impact. Not only does making your bed create a welcoming and relaxing environment for you to return to at the end of the day, it also makes us think twice about slithering back under those freshly folded sheets.

     7. Be Active

Do some form of exercise first thing in the morning. We aren’t all morning joggers or gym attenders, but doing some kind of activity should still be a goal for all of us.  Meditation, yoga, dancing, and stretching are all great activities to add to your morning routine. Mornings are usually tight on time, but even 10 minutes of stretching will make a difference. Stretching first thing in the morning increases blood flow, which in turn increases concentration and sharpened senses throughout the day.

wake up early
Photo by Krzysztof Puszczyński

     8. You Are What You Eat

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’ve all heard this saying before, but what isn’t said is – “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and so is what you eat.” Kick that sugary cereal to the curb and treat yourself to breakfast foods that wake you up – oatmeal, eggs, apples, greek yogurt, honey, and grapefruit are all foods that stimulate your mind and body for hours to come.

Drink a glass of water before your morning coffee.  If you’re anything like me, we’re reaching for the coffee pot before anything else in the morning.  However, studies show that drinking water upon waking up triggers our metabolism, fuels our brains, and re-hydrates our bodies. So down that H20 before you do anything else!

     9. The Power Shower

Take a 90 second cold shower.  I will admit this tactic seems harrowing, however, the science behind it is undeniable. Take your morning shower as normal, but at the very end switch the water to cold for 30 seconds and then back to warm. Repeat this cold water torture one more time for 1-3 minutes and then turn the water completely off.  Cold showers naturally wake you up by increasing your heart rate and triggering a rush of blood throughout your body. Additionally, cold showers refine your hair and skin, stimulate weight loss, and improve immunity and circulation. 

wake up early
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10. Wake Up Early And Reward Yourself

Make time for something in your morning routine that makes you smile. Whether it’s enjoying a freshly brewed french press, a crossword puzzle, or a quiet morning stroll – do something in the morning that you love. Doing something we love early in the morning will not only motivate us to wake up, it will help kick our day off with a positive start.

Hopefully, at least one of these tips will help energize your mornings and create a productive workday.

Please share with us your own morning tips to wake up early by commenting below!