Some people are naturally early risers. Others prefer to stay up late and sleep in later in the morning. However, standard work and school schedules are not always accommodating for late risers.
If you feel that waking up early in the morning will help you to be more organized in your life and reach your goals or you are aiming to change your sleep habits so you can train yourself to wake up early in the morning, first evaluate what you find most difficult about waking up early. Then, it may help to take a look at your current sleep habits and build new habits that help you get a better night’s sleep.
About the best time to wake up will vary depending on whom you ask. A lot of CEOs and gurus will tell you at 5 am. However, the medical community generally agrees that the best time to wake up is at sunrise.
The most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. Set a time that you plan to wake up and stick to it.
Why you struggle with waking up in the morning:
You may have difficulty waking up in the morning for several reasons. Maybe you simply do not identify as a morning person. Perhaps your sleep schedule is based on your work or social events. However, if waking up early is a constant struggle, there could also be underlying health concerns or lifestyle choices contributing to the problem:
1. sleep disorders
Many sleep disorders affect your ability to feel well-rested. Even if you want to wake up early, your body may feel like it needs more sleep to function. Some sleep disorders are:
- Sleep Apnea: Throughout the night, people with sleep apnea experience temporary breathing cessation. As a result, they wake in the morning feeling unrested, possibly with a headache. Sleep apnea can also cause difficulty concentrating and excessive daytime sleepiness, in which you feel overwhelmingly sleepy or fall asleep during the daytime.
- Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy causes excessive daytime sleepiness, often accompanied by muscle weakness or cataplexy. This disorder can cause arousals at night, leading to fragmented or poor sleep.
- Hypersomnia: People with hypersomnia sleep excessively at night for as long as 14 to 18 hours. They also experience excessive daytime sleepiness during the day. They struggle greatly to wake up from sleep, and they are often compelled to nap during the day at inappropriate times.
2. Poor sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene refers to the healthy habits that help you get appropriate sleep. The lack of a bedtime routine, a poor sleep environment, and excessive use of electronics can negatively impact your overall sleep.
Other lifestyle habits also contribute to poor sleep hygiene. For example, late use of caffeine or alcohol can make falling asleep or staying asleep more difficult. Additionally, revenge bedtime procrastination involves staying up late only to enjoy personal time, despite knowing it will negatively impact you the following day.
3. Depression, anxiety, or stress
Depression, anxiety, and stress can all impact your sleep habits. Depression can cause both early waking and oversleeping, and untreated stress and anxiety can put you at risk for sleep deprivation or deficiency, causing you to sleep later or experience excessive daytime sleepiness.
These mental health disorders can contribute to other sleep disorders. Additionally, a lack of sleep can affect your mood and lead to depression and anxiety.
4. Sleep debt
When you regularly lose sleep, that loss adds up to a total of sleep debt. If you lose an hour of sleep each night, you have a sleep debt of seven hours at the end of the week. You might try to make up the sleep debt with naps or sleeping in on the weekend, but these habits can disrupt your sleep schedule. As a result, you may end up sleeping in later than you intend to during the week.
Benefits of waking up early in the morning
For most people, it’s not easy to get up first thing in the morning, especially when it’s still dark. But a lot of successful people say, “If you win the morning, you win the day.”
However, there are so many other benefits to waking up early, from better performance in school to be more able to stick to a diet plan.
1. May improve cognitive function
People who get up early in the morning can concentrate better, are more attentive, and stay energized throughout the day. Since people’s brains are more alert in the morning, focusing on important tasks earlier will allow them to make better decisions than people who work later.
A 2010 Harvard University study found that morning people have better problem-solving skills, get better grades in school, and land higher-paying jobs.
2. Helps you sleep better
Waking up early makes going to bed earlier easier and helps you get consistent sleep and wake times. This helps to regulate your circadian rhythm and can lead to a better quality of sleep.
Getting adequate sleep may lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system and mood, as well as improve brain function.
3. More time to eat breakfast
Nothing starts a day better than eating a healthy breakfast. After all, food is the fuel people need to feel energized and ready to face the world. Just grabbing a coffee and pastry at the drive-through will not give you what you need.
4. Get your exercise in early
If you are too tired or too busy to work out at the end of the day, try going to the gym or for a run first thing in the morning. According to Healthline, a morning workout initiates a rush of the feel-good endorphins that can lid your mood, lower stress, reduce anxiety, and increase your energy levels.
5. More time for yourself
Waking up early allows you to watch the sunrise and have quiet time at home before your spouse gets up and the kids start the wild dash to school.
Self-care is vitally important so take this time to enjoy your coffee, write your shopping list, organize your calendar, or just take some extra me-time. Setting your alarm clock earlier will give you the gift of extra time.
6. Helps your skin look healthy
After a night of restful sleep, our skin is at its best first thing in the morning. And if you’re an early riser, you can take advantage of the morning hours to give your skin some extra TLC.
People who get up later in the day tend to focus less on healthy morning habits like hydrating and exercise, which oxygenates your blood and promotes healthy skin.
10 tips on how to get up early
Now that you have noticed the benefits of waking up early, here we want to make a few habits and suggestions that will help you in this regard.
1. Start slowly
If you typically wake up at 8 am and decide that tomorrow you want to be out of bed by 5 am, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, try waking up just 15 minutes earlier each day. Within a week, you’ll have worked your way up to almost two hours!
2. Sleep early
Start going to bed earlier than you normally would. That way you’ll get enough hours of sleep, and you won’t feel deprived when the alarm goes off. If you’re not tired when it’s time to catch some ZZ’s, read a few pages of a book, especially a boring one, and you’ll be in dreamland in no time.
3. Consider it as a reward
By rising early, you’re rewarding yourself. Try to remember that. If that’s enough of a motivation, bribe yourself with a treat from your favorite coffee shop or an extra-long shower if you manage to get out of bed on time and without pressing snooze.
4. Keep a consistent bedtime routine:
Ideally, a bedtime routine helps you wind down so that your body is ready to fall asleep. Your routine might include relaxing activities such as taking a warm bath, reading, or meditating.
5. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule:
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, even on the weekends.
6. Avoid screens before bedtime:
Screen use can keep you awake longer than you intend. In the hours before bedtime, avoid TVs, phones, video game consoles, and other electronics. These devices emit blue light that suppresses melatonin, a hormone necessary for initiating sleep.
7. Limit certain foods before bedtime:
large meals can keep you awake with indigestion or heartburn. If you have acid reflux, experts recommend you avoid eating a minimum of three hours before bedtime. Drinking beverages too close to bedtime can also force you to wake up in the middle of the night. Preliminary research suggests that certain foods can help promote sleep:
- Tart cherries
- Fatty fish
8. Exercise regularly:
Exercising several times a week can help you sleep better at night. Experts generally recommend avoiding exercise too close to bedtime, as it may make it difficult to fall asleep.
9. Keep your alarm away from the nightstand
One strategy for waking yourself up in the morning is to force yourself out of bed. If you keep your alarm clock out of reach from bed, you will have to get up to turn it off. Once you are up, you might be less inclined to hit snooze.
10. Sleep with your curtains open
Exposure to sunlight at key times helps your body maintain its natural circadian rhythm. While darkness encourages melatonin onset, light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin. If you sleep with your curtains open, sunlight will act as a natural alarm clock.
By now you should be convinced that there are countless benefits to getting up early and no negatives. Try it for a week and see what kind of a difference it makes in your attitude, energy levels, and productivity.
Also, if you want to know whether the habit of waking up early is your need or not, you can download the Habitomic app that the Metis (the Habitomic personal assistant) helps you in this regard.