Waking up early was not in my vocabulary. I was one of those people, like most people who like to sleep the morning no matter how early or late I went to bed. Some people are early risers and I was not one of them. I envied those people, they always seem to start the day with so much energy and get so many things done by the time that I waking up. Don’t get me wrong I had to get up early to go to school and work, but my weekends, my weekends were untouchables. I used to sleep in late, I mean I deserved it after working so hard all week. But I always knew that it could be so much better if I can just wake up early, I could get so much done and still have a lot of time to do what I wanted to do.
Fast forward eight years after I graduated high school, and I married an early riser. I mean my husband would get up at 5 am on a Saturday, a Saturday!! He was in the Army so he was used it. I learned from him this cool habit, I started waking up a little earlier on weekends. Fast forward five years, I had my two kids, and guess what? Yep you guessed it, they are early risers too. My luck right! My kids get up at 6 am on Saturday and Sunday even if they go to sleep at 10 pm – sleeping in, in my house is 7:30 am…9am is unheard of. So, I can say that I have learned some tricks on how to rise early and the many benefits of it.
Relax instead of React
- You should try to start the shutting down process as I call it. You worked hard all day, so now indulge in relaxing activities. That means no exercise, no late work, no arguing, no cooking..just take a shower, plan to make tea, watch a movie or some TV, plan a relaxing routine.
Eat a Snack
You can’t sleep when you are hungry, so if you start to feel the hunger coming then have a light snack like:
- A glass of milk
- A Greek yogurt (they are the healthiest)
- A cup of cottage cheese (preferably low sodium)
Any of these three has enough protein to satisfy your hunger and not leave you feeling bloated.
Take a warm bath
- Nothing relaxes like taking a hot shower or bath right after you finished in the kitchen, and your kiddos are in their pjs ready for bed. It’s your time to unwind, and cleanse yourself. Pick a wonderful soap and just enjoy the hot water, you earned it.
Wear Comfortable PJs
- This may sound odd but if you are uncomfortable with what you wear to sleep you may be take longer to fall asleep (which causes you to be tired) I like to wear comfortable but pretty PJs that make feel happy and sexy when I go to sleep and when I wake up.
Do Yoga or a Meditation Routine
- I don’t have time to stretch for 10 minutes when all I want to do is hit the sheets but breathing in and out and just doing your favorite stretch right before bed feels really good. You should look for a stretch that you may enjoy and try it tonight. My favorite stretch is sun salutation even before bed – I feel it stretches my whole body and it’s so easy and quick. I call it my sun and moon salutation.
Avoid Napping and Caffeine like the Plague
- You want to know the trick to having insomnia every night, nap and drink coffee or anything with caffeine after 2pm. I promise if you stop this, it will help your sleep tremendously.
No TV, Tablet, iPad, or phone in bed…NO!!!
- If you want to never sleep, then bring the gadgets to bed and turn on the TV. The reason is the light from the screens tells our brain it is day time and so your body suppresses melatonin-hormone that says it’s bed time. For an alternative, watch TV in the Living room and when you feel nodding off, then off to bed you go. At minimum adjust the brightness dimmer or set to night mode if your phone has one. For android users and jailbroken iPhones there are apps for this. One I really like for my Mac laptop is Flux.
Have a Cup of Tea with Honey
- That is one of my rituals, a relaxing tea with honey right before bed. Be sure they are non-caffeinated. Some of these include chamomile, passionflower, Valerian, Kava-Kava, Jamaica Dogwood, and Wild Lettuce.
OK so now that I have given you the tips to create a bedtime ritual so you can sleep your wonderful 8 hours, Let’s see how we can get out of bed:
If you get a great night sleep, there is no need to sleep in. Your body is rested and ready to go. So when you open your eyes and see light or the blaring alarm, get out of bed. Don’t think and don’t listen to your inner voice telling you to go back for just five minutes, I know I do it, I did it and those five minutes turn to 20 minutes. And guess what? In those 20 minutes you could have used to exercise, write, or just sit with your coffee and and watch the news.
How to actually get up out of bed early.
Don’t think, just do.
I also find that leaving the coffee on timer, my clothes picked out, and a to do list ready to go seriously alleviates stress and anxiety in the morning. It makes waking up early that much easier.
If you have to use an alarm clock, don’t hit the snooze button. Put the alarm clock at enough of a distance that you have to get up to turn it off. Once you are up, head straight to the bathroom. Pro-tip- drink lots of water before bed so you have to go in he morning.
The most important thing is that you have to have a good reason to get up.
- Is it to study?
- Work on your business?
- to work out?
Schedule meetings, appointments, etc.. very early.by scheduling things early, you don’t have a choice, you have to wake up early. Have a buddy, this could be a friend, spouse, colleague that either already gets up early or that wants to start waking up early too. Now, you each have a responsibility to each other and can work on getting each other up early.
Lastly, if you are seriously tired when you wake up and all day, consider seeing a sleep specialist. My husband used to have to nap in his car at lunch time because he was so tired (although he would wake up early), turns out he had sleep apnea and wasn’t getting enough oxygen to the brain. Not only that, but sleep apnea increase your chance of high blood pressure and heart attack.
I hope this article helps you in your quest to get up earlier, the rewards of doing so are plentiful. Remember one of the ways the human body and mind create habits is to do something continuously for at least 30-45 days. So don’t wait until Monday, next month, or next week-set your alarm clock tonight and wake up early tomorrow!