We’ve all been there many times in our lives and it’s no fun. Every night, we adjust the alarm clock with the noblest of intentions, to wake up early and fulfill the next day’s demands. But that dreadful alarm sound seems to upset us almost every time, forcing us to leave the bed earlier than we may like to.
And if it’s cold outside – well, just forget it. The worst part is – you continue to be tired and grumpy for at least a couple of hours and you never really feel fresh and energized.
Surely something’s got to give; there must be some simple tips for waking up early. One way to ensure that you get up fresh and energized in the morning is to have a great morning ritual.
According to Leon C. Lack, a sleep researcher and professor at Flinders University, Australia, it all depends on what happens inside your body. The ability to wake up comfortably in the morning largely depends on your circadian rhythm, commonly known as the ‘body clock’.
This is not rocket science. Your mission to see the “crack of dawn” can be achieved by making a few simple tweaks to your routine. These are easy tips for waking up early. I share these same strategies with my clients – especially those busy execs and entrepreneurs that not only need to wake up early, but they also need to be highly productive throughout the day.
There’s three main areas of focus. And it’s all what happens at 3 specific times:
- a) The night before you go to bed
- b) During your sleep
- c) And in the morning after you wake up
So here are the best tips for waking up early, increasing your morning energy and our productivity throughout the entire day.
The Night Before you Go to Bed
1) Calm yourself down just before sleep
Get rid of the day’s stress and worries and forget about tomorrow’s challenges. An important thing to remember is that your destiny or future cannot be changed overnight, and the past is gone. So why would you lose sleep over it? That’s the logical side.
On the other side, by calming yourself down before the night’s sleep, you can wake up fresh and energized, giving yourself an advantage so that you tackle the day’s challenges with ease and efficiency.
There are many ways to give yourself ‘more peace’ just before sleep, depending on what kind of person you are. For me, prayer and meditation does a world of good to ease my mind. I also love to use essential oils like Lavender, Vetiver and other balancing essential oils to promote feelings of peace and relaxation.
2) Do not go to bed just after dinner
In the fast-paced world today, it is not uncommon to see people rush to their homes after work, prepare a quick meal, eat them and race to bed. You may complain or excuse yourself saying this is what modern life demands. But think again.
The digestion process takes about 4 hours. It is a bad idea to go to sleep right after a big meal. Why? Because when you’re supposed to be resting and recovering, your body will be digesting food. This means that you probably won’t have as restful a sleep.
What I recommend is to have your last meal at least 4 hours before you plan to go to bed. This gives your body plenty of time to digest your food so you can maximize on sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. If it’s not possible to have your last meal 4 hours prior to bedtime, at least make it a lighter meal that’s easier to digest.
This tip for waking up early is one of the best things that you can do to ensure a deep rejuvenating sleep so that you’re ready to wake up before the alarm clock goes off.
3) Eat right to keep your gut happy during the night
Upsetting your gut is the easiest way to ruin a peaceful sleep. Keeping it happy is not a difficult task. All you have to do is avoid certain types of food and drink like red wine, chocolate and coffee. Studies show that when consumed too close to bedtime these foods ruin your sleep and upset your stomach.
You may find yourself waking up constantly or not having a sound sleep and getting up tired and unhappy in the morning. The best thing to do is to avoid these foods a few hours before bedtime (for coffee you shouldn’t have it after 3 pm or so).
3) Get Some Blue Light Blockers
What are blue light blockers? They do exactly what they sound like – they block blue light. Blue light is everywhere – from regular old light bulbs to light that’s emitted from our computers, phones and TVs – it’s hard to avoid.
The bad thing about blue light is that it crushes melatonin secretion. Melatonin is the hormone that tells your body it’s time to go to sleep. That’s why I recommend investing in a pair of blue light blocking glasses.
Personally, I like Gunnar Optiks. I wear them most of the day for two reasons. First, they reduce eye strain from looking at the computer screen so much during the day. Without them, sometimes I feel like my eyes are bleeding. When I wear them, the screen isn’t a problem.
Secondly, they block blue light so that I’m not dealing with interferences to Melatonin secretion as a result of blue light. This helps me to wind down before bed since I’m not being zapped with blue light from all angles.
We also have blue light blocking light bulbs in our bedroom and bathroom to take it further so that we can get ready for bed without exposing ourselves to unnecessary bluelight.
4) Let your soul mate help you sleep happily
It would be so simple if all of my recommendations were only focused on the physical – what to eat, how to exercise, etc. But have you ever been to bed after a terrible fight with your partner?
That’s when you experience a miserable night’s sleep. Why let the sun set on a silly argument (and let’s be honest, most of the time it’s a silly thing)? Try compromising a little on your ego and that will not only give you a great night’s sleep but strengthen your relationship as well.
Talk to your soul mate, sort out the differences (if you have any), ensure he/she is happy to the best of your ability and then try sleeping. If you simply can’t come to an agreement before bed, at least conclude the evening on a good note and make some time to discuss it the next day.
I love this tip for waking up early, because it’s a tremendous support – not just physically but emotionally, too.
5) Follow the principles of Feng Shui when arranging your bedroom
Many people think that the principles of Feng Shui are a bunch of rubbish. Let me take a minute to help you understand that they actually have some sensible “western logic” behind them.
For those who are not aware of Feng Shui principles, it’s an old Chinese art for arranging your rooms in such a way that you get a balance of energy and vibe, by placing the furniture in specific “hot spots.”
The principles of Feng Shui work best for your bedroom. Many people that have tried it have reported that that they have experienced a far more ‘rested’ sleep when applying Feng Shui principles.
The positioning of your bed plays a vital role. According to Feng Shui, you shouldn’t be sleeping directly on the way of your door opening, but in a position where you can still see the door. It gives you a sense of security and also helps you stay away from outside light.
6) Say hello to the toilet before you go to bed
Really? Is that a tip for waking up early? You may be wondering. Yes, it is.
Even if you don’t want to use the toilet before going to sleep, you may still want to pay a visit. Try and squeeze out whatever possible. This is because our kidneys tend to work all through the night and by the time it’s dawn, the bladder is almost full. Just in case the bladder is full earlier than usual, you might have to go to the toilet at midnight, breaking your sleep.
By the way, if you have been thinking that a good night’s sleep is all about the number of hours you have spent asleep, you are wrong. What is more important is to be asleep for a good length of time (6 to 8 hours) ‘without interruption’. This is because when you break your sleep and try to get back, it takes some time to go to the proper ‘sleep zone’. That’s the time when you are really at rest. Toilet breaks do no good to your sleep time.
While you Sleep
Much of your ability to wake up in the morning – happy and energized – depends on how well you sleep during the night. So here are some more tips for waking up early by ensuring that you get a great sleep.
8) Keep your cool
Studies show that the optimal sleeping temperature lies somewhere between 65 and 69 degrees. When my wife first started turning down our thermostat, I protested. I don’t like being cold and it was freezing in our bedroom.
Since she’s on the nerdy side like me, she reminded me of the research around sleep temperatures. So, I decided to give it a try. I had one of the most restful nights of my life. Since then, I haven’t looked back. We keep the temperature in the 60s at night and it helps me get a very restful sleep.
9) Kill the noise, before it kills you
Disturbing noise during the night will not just kill your sleep but shorten your lifespan. Noise pollution is real. If you stay close to a busy street, the traffic noise and the sound of ambulance and police cars actually have the potential to shorten lifespan.
The noise has an adverse effect on your heart and can cause you to wake up more frequently during the night. Even if you aren’t wide awake – eyes open and all – noise pollution can still prevent you from staying in deep sleep, which is essential if you want to wake up feeling energized. Waking up frequently during the night puts a lot of stress on your body.
So what do you do about it? A pair of earplugs can do the trick. You can purchase earplugs that arrest outside noise but let you hear your baby monitor or alarm on your bedside. You can also use white noise. We have an air purifier in all of our bedrooms and it serves as white noise to drown out any noise pollution while also allowing us to hear the baby monitors and alarm clock.
In the Morning
This brings us to the best morning practices and tips for waking up early.
10) Wake up the day with water
One of the simplest tips to wake up early and fresh is to drink a good amount of water just after you wake up and well before your breakfast. Drinking a glass of water when your stomach is empty has tons of health benefits. It will help your metabolism and you will get up from bed faster, feeling more alert.
It also helps to wake up the digestive system to get things going at the start of the day.
You may think this is funny. You are already feeling groggy in the morning. You may not even want to think about stretching your hands and legs.
Interestingly, once you start an exercise routine in the morning, you will start loving it. And guess what? Exercising in the morning can actually give you more energy to help you wake up fresh the next day. Over time, you will become healthier and more fit and you will be even more productive throughout the day.
If you find it too difficult initially, you could probably start by taking deep breaths. Deep breathing into your stomach helps you to wake up in the morning. To enhance this strategy, try inhaling some Peppermint essential oil. I like this one because it increases alertness and awakens the senses. It’s a powerful start to the day – especially if you want to boost your performance and productivity.
13) Find some inspiration
If you get up early in the morning, thinking about the job that you hate doing or working with a boss who drives you crazy, you are never going to enjoy your mornings. Try to think of all the the things you are grateful for before you start the day.
It can be something small, like the fact that it’s a sunny day or something more significant, like being spared from a health scare. Gratitude is always a great strategy for finding joy no matter what the situation.
14) Have something to look forward to
Another great tip to wake up early is to plan something that you enjoy first thing in the morning. Maybe it’s looking at a vision board, writing in your journal or preparing your favorite breakfast. If you can go to sleep thinking about the good things you may have ahead for the next day it will help you to wake up – and do so with a positive attitude.
So much of life is a mind game. When you can get control of your mind, you’ll be unstoppable. Having a positive flow of thoughts prior to bed will help you wake up early in the morning ready to tackle the day.
If you have nothing inspiring coming your way, try starting your day with something sporty or joyous, as opposed to starting the day with serious work. Fun activity could mean anything – from exercising to yoga to listening to music – you can do anything that makes you happy.
The Bible says that no day is promised to anyone. Whether you believe the bible or not, we can at least agree that this is true. Every day, we have to be grateful for having another day to live. So never see your mornings as a burden.
Take it as an opportunity to achieve something beneficial and meaningful. This very thought can give you the energy you need to wake up early and excited.
I hope these tips for waking up early help you accomplish your morning goals. Do not be surprised if you find yourself getting up cheerfully dancing early in the morning by following these recommendations.
What tip are you going to implement today to get results? Sound off in the comments below!
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