Saying to yourself, “Just five more minutes,” you press the snooze button on your alarm clock again.
A universal truth is that getting up early is a miserable ordeal. There is no way I can leave your bed tonight. Your bedroom lacks sufficient lighting to make you feel alert. You’ll never change; you just aren’t a morning person.
When you wake up in the morning, why is it so hard for you? Believe us when we say it’s not only about how comfortable your pillows are.
By learning more about our daily habits and how they affect our health, we might find ways to get up earlier without resenting the sound of the alarm. Learn from us how to improve your mornings by getting up earlier.
Why should I wake up early in the morning?
It’s exhausting to always be reminded that the early bird gets the worm, but there are many advantages to learning how to get to sleep and rise early.
Arriving at work late in the day is a terrible sensation. When we’re late, it leads to unfavorable outcomes that we know we might prevent. An early morning start and sound sleep hygiene can fuel our efforts all day long. If you have a lot of tasks to complete or places to go, getting your day off to a good start is essential.
The mental health benefits of an early rise are not to be underestimated. Getting up early has positive effects on our health since it gives us more time to prepare for the day ahead. When the sun comes up, we are able to get more done because we are more motivated and can soak up more vitamin D.
Once your circadian rhythm has learned to adhere to a consistent schedule, you will find it quite easy to stick to it. The dread of an early morning will soon be a distant memory.
Maintaining a consistent morning routine is essential for success in the long run. Starting a new routine, such as getting up early every day, might be difficult to maintain. BetterUp can help you maintain your new pattern so that you may maximize the positive effects of an early morning alarm and become your best self.
Morning person vs. night owl
Being a morning person or a night owl has various factors. Certain vocations force early starts, like being a baker, while being a nurse that works night shifts results in napping during the day. Other lifestyle interests and social activities can determine whether a person likes the morning or night.
Here are a few traits of morning persons and night owls:
- Maintains a regular sleep-wake schedule.
- Particularly fond of the early morning hours.
- Fights sleepiness in the wee hours.
- Loses steam as the day progresses.
- A night owl who relishes sleep deprivation.
- The person in question is prone to sleeping in late on weekdays.
- Evenings are prime time for getting work done.
- Has trouble maintaining focus and attention throughout the day.
Why is it so difficult for some people to wake up early in the morning?
It’s not because you detest mornings if you have trouble waking up early; it’s that your sleep habits at night aren’t conducive to an early rise. The quality of your sleep is affected by various aspects of your daily life, including your social and work schedules, medications, and health issues. Your partner or family members may have a different take on why you have such a hard time waking up early than you do.
Better sleep hygiene can be achieved by addressing the underlying reasons of your sleep problems.
The way you wake up in the morning could be affected by any of the following sleep deprivation-related issues.
- Conditions affecting one’s ability to get a good night’s rest, such as sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder.
- Lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation, has left your body feeling sluggish.
- Sleep disruption due to emotional or mental health difficulties.
- Beta-blockers and other muscle relaxants can disrupt your normal sleep pattern.
- Being off-kilter in terms of your internal body clock (circadian rhythm).
- Spending too much time on technological devices in the evening.
- Light pollution prevents you from sleeping.
13 tips to help you wake up early
1. Understand your motivation.
Getting up early isn’t going to come naturally if you’re more of a night owl, so you’ll need to be dedicated to the practice if you want it to stick. Kenneally cautions that it may be challenging in the beginning. However, after a new, healthy sleep routine has been established, most people return to normal functioning.
Augelli encourages her patients to examine their motivations for attempting to implement an early rise time. Just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean it’s a good enough reason. Instead, you should ensure that your reasoning is compelling enough to get you out of bed at the same time every day, even on those mornings when you’d rather click snooze than face the day.
2. Change your sleep schedule gradually.
Giving your body time to gradually adapt to an early wake-up time is key to making the habit stick. For best results, follow Augelli’s advice and gradually advance your alarm by 15-30 minutes per week. She explains that “large shifts, like an hour or two hours,” are difficult for the human body to adjust to, whereas “thirty minutes is quite easy to acclimate to.”
3. Don’t force an early bedtime.
If you want to get up earlier in the day, you should, of course, go to bed earlier. A little bit, but not quite. According to Augelli, insomnia might be triggered by trying to go to bed before you’re tired. Rather, she recommends going to sleep only when you are actually exhausted and developing a soothing nighttime ritual (more on that in a moment). She advises that you can expect to start sleeping earlier in the evenings after your body adjusts to your new, earlier wake time.
4. Strive for consistency.
On the weekdays, many of us rise much earlier than on the weekends. According to psychologist and author Dr. Daniel J. Augelli, this type of behavior can produce a condition known as “social jet lag,” in which people experience a shift in their internal clocks. Getting up early can be challenging when you’re experiencing social jet lag, which can have a bad effect on your health. Imagine you slept in on the weekend and didn’t get up until 10 a.m., but now it’s Monday and you need to be at work by 6 a.m. It’s going to feel terrible, Augelli warns, because you’re ripping your body out of optimum sleep time. After getting up at 8 a.m. every morning during the weekend, waking up at 7 a.m. on a Monday might not be so bad. Kenneally recommends keeping a wake time differential of no more than 30 minutes between weekdays and weekends and foregoing daytime naps. You should think about this when deciding how early you want to get up. During the week, waking up at 5 a.m. could be doable, but if you know you won’t be able to do the same on the weekends, you might want to reconsider.
“The body seeks constancy,” says Augelli. So, if you want to make getting up early a habit for the long haul, you should try to maintain it on most days of the week. She also stresses the significance of a good night’s sleep on a daily basis.
5. Get light first thing in the morning.
By exposing oneself to light at the same time every morning, we can alter our circadian rhythms (also known as our natural sleep cycles) to a more favorable wake time, as explained by Dr. Daniela Augelli. Within the first hour of waking up, it is recommended that you spend 30 minutes in bright light, preferably sunlight, either by going outside or sitting by a sunlit window.
When it isn’t possible due to factors like weather or season, you can achieve a comparable result using a broad-spectrum light box or a particularly built light alarm. Just flip the switch as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, and then settle in next to it as you get ready for the day or have breakfast. Kenneally acknowledges the potential use of such an approach. Once you’ve had your half-hour of light, you should go ahead and turn it off. Be wary of taking it late in the day, as it may have the opposite effect, Kenneally says.
6. Exercise at the right time.
If you time your workouts correctly, they can help you sleep better (and hence make it simpler to wake up early). (If not, you might start perspiring in your sleep.) Augelli believes that if you’re going to work out outside, you might as well do it during the day when there’s plenty of sunlight. It’s ideal to get in your workout at least three hours before bedtime, but if that’s not possible, at least try to avoid doing it any closer to bedtime than two hours. Exercising “activates” us, she explains. In addition, “And if you’re trying to go to bed at 10 p.m. and you’re exercising at 9 p.m., you’re not going to be able to fall asleep.”
7. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
Working, reading the news, or scrolling through social media right before bed can all stimulate your brain, prompt anxious thoughts, and make it more difficult to fall asleep. “If you’re working on a computer, it’s really hard to just shut it down and go to bed,” Kenneally says. The mind simply can’t process such rapid changes.
The quality of your sleep may also suffer if you engage in such pursuits. Midnight awakenings, according to Kenneally, “may get the thoughts flowing again relatively smoothly.” Protect yourself from this by starting your relaxing bedtime ritual around two hours before bed to send messages to the brain that it’s time to wind down. Reading, guided meditation, moderate yoga, or talking to a loved one are all activities that can be calming for some people.
8. Take low-dose melatonin.
According to Kenneally, melatonin is a hormone your body makes naturally, and it reaches its highest levels a few hours before you normally go to sleep. A little amount of over-the-counter melatonin (approximately three grams) taken about an hour and a half before your preferred bedtime each night will assist, recommends Kenneally, if you’re trying to build a new habit of going to sleep and waking up earlier. Putting the body and mind through these routines might assist signal that it is time for rest.
9. Limit light at night.
Augelli thinks the light emitted by our electronic devices can disrupt our natural circadian cycle and melatonin synthesis, making it harder to fall asleep. That’s why she says it’s best to put away the electronic devices an hour or two before bedtime. If that isn’t an option, she recommends blue-light blocking spectacles to help shield your eyes from the worst of the radiation.
10. Don’t eat before bed.
Eating right before bed can cause silent acid reflux, which can wake you up several times throughout the night and make it difficult to get up on time, according to Dr. James Augelli. Try to eat dinner at least a few hours before bedtime. As she puts it, “That’s going to set you on a better route so you have time to digest” before you hit the hay.
11. Curb alcohol consumption.
Drinking wine before bed may seem like a good idea, but it may actually keep you awake. While most people can have one drink many hours before bed without any ill effects, drinking more than that, especially later in the evening, might cause sleep disruptions, according to sleep expert Dr. Andrew Augelli. Increased snoring, breathing problems when sleeping, and acid reflux that goes unnoticed could occur. Furthermore, according to Augelli, even just one night of heavy drinking can disrupt sleep for several nights in a row. For this reason, if you’re serious about getting up early, limiting your alcohol consumption the night before will make a huge impact.
12. Monitor caffeine intake.
You have probably heard that caffeine should be avoided in the early evening. If you want a better rule of thumb, adds Augelli, look at your daily consumption as a whole. She notes that caffeine’s delayed elimination from the body makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep for more than eight hours after ingestion.
A key question is, “How much is too much?” Those who are sensitive to stimulants or have trouble sleeping, according to Augelli, should aim for much less than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (100 to 300 milligrams at most). Remember that the next time you’re thinking of ordering a triple venti shot.
13. See a sleep specialist.
If you’ve tried everything above and still can’t get up when you want to, a sleep doctor should be consulted. Kenneally believes it’s possible that you’re not being able to stick to your optimal sleep regimen because of something else. Professional assistance can get you to the bottom of your sleep problems and back on track to achieving your sleep goals.
When should I see a doctor?
If you’ve tried everything to get better sleep and train yourself to get up early without success, it may be time to see a doctor.
There is no shame in getting professional help if your troubles have become too much to bear. You may be assured that your sleep and energy levels are not being negatively impacted by any underlying health issues by scheduling a visit with your doctor.
A sleep journal is useful to take to the doctor.
Keep track of how long you sleep, how alert you feel upon awakening, and anything else that may be relevant so that your doctor can better diagnose your condition.