I’ve adored mornings for as long as I remember. The warm light peeking through the curtains, the quiet of the world still asleep and of course, breakfast – by far the best meal of the day. But I can’t say I’ve always been a morning person or even a person able to wake up early. If you’d have asked me in my teenage years I’d have told you still that I loved mornings, but that sleep was far too precious a resource and that staying up had become more my style. Even now, there are winter mornings when I’d love nothing more than to curl up and go back to sleep. But, my love for mornings tends to shine through the sleepy haze now. These are the quick and easy tips I used for how to wake up early.
“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” – Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book
Prepare the night before
This one’s up first because it’s my number one tip. This alone will make a difference. Why? Because when you prepare for your morning the night before, you’ll be able to sleep better and appreciate the morning more, knowing you have little to do and won’t need to stress yourself. And, you’ll be able to look forward to the morning (more on that later on).
I think one of the biggest reasons people dislike mornings, besides having to get out of bed, is because mornings require decisions at a time when our brains just aren’t awake yet. So reducing the amount of decisions you need to make will make your morning a breeze.
Turn snooze off!
It’s a difficult one to do and one many people will skip over, claiming it’s not effective (when they really just want to snooze), but trust me, it is. When you know no other alarm is going to wake you, you’ll be more likely to wake up fully on the first one.
Not to mention how detrimental snoozing is. I’m no sleep expert, but I know from experience that dropping into that snooze induced half-sleep is a real purgatory. You’ll wake up feeling groggy and sleepier than before. And here’s the science for why.
If you’re struggling to get up, the classic trick is to put your phone across the other side of the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn your alarm off. It sounds evil, but it works (so long as you don’t crawl back into bed!).
Don’t rush into your day
That doesn’t mean go back to sleep! But don’t rush straight into your day. When we wake up and jump straight in, we don’t give any time or thought to how we’ve woken up feeling.
Maybe you didn’t sleep well, maybe you had some strange dreams, maybe you’ve got some emotions carrying over from yesterday. Taking five minutes in the morning to pause and take note of how you’re feeling. Your day will be better for it.
A technique I heard of recently is to try and visualise your day in the morning, this can even work as an alternative meditation, by allowing you to be present, quiet and with your thoughts. As you picture your day, highlight the potential struggles (and how you’ll overcome them) and get excited about the high points. You’ll be ready to tackle the day with positivity, full of optimism and confidence. Definitely a great one to try.
Make your bed
I’ve never had too much of a problem with getting out of bed, my issue is staying out of bed. It just looks so warm and inviting. But I find making my bed really helps to curb the temptation. Plus, you’ll have already accomplished something, your room will look tidier and you’ll feel like you’re already on top of your game!
Have a morning routine
Having a morning routine is beneficial for so many reasons. It will make you more productive, it will give you the chance to have some dedicated me-time, it will make your mornings less stressful and by repeating a similar routine, you’ll know exactly how much time you need to get everything done.
And that’s not counting the fact that it’s just fun. Include parts of your routine just for you: a walk, a good breakfast, time to read a little.
Get enough sleep
This one may seem obvious, but so many of us simply don’t get enough sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body’s not going to want you to get up and that fight won’t only make getting up uncomfortable, it’ll make it tiring. And that’s not what you want first thing in the morning.
If you have a time you know you want to get up, work out what’s eight hours (the optimum amount of sleep for most people) before and try and head to bed about quarter of an hour prior to that. That way, you should be asleep by the time your eight hours starts counting.
And make sure it’s good sleep too. For the best quality sleep, make sure your room is quiet, dark and warm (but not too warm). I turn all my electronics off (you’ll never notice how loud an Xbox is until you turn it off) at the wall to make sure my room’s quiet before I fall asleep.
Other people swear by lots of tricks, using lavender essential oils (still one I need to try), sleeping on your right side, having a screen curfew half an hour before bed. Try a few things out and see if it makes a difference for you.
Have something to look forward to
Becoming a morning person isn’t just about getting up earlier, it’s about loving and savouring mornings. Of sun rises, crisp air and morning coffees. It’s about appreciating the productivity boost you’ll find in the morning and making the most of your day.
It’s also been a recent goal of mine to get outside more, so I started doing an early morning dog walk – and that turned into my motivator. Taking Barkley to the park in the morning, getting out into the sunshine, feeling the crisp morning air and coming home feeling accomplished and ready for the day (and breakfast!) was enough to relight my love for mornings.
In the past this motivator has been lots of things, new breakfast recipes, a big cup of coffee, spending half an hour reading my book. Find a little something that makes you excited and use it as your motivation to get out of bed.
Ask yourself why you want to get up earlier and make that your priority. But stay flexible. Don’t force yourself up when you’ve had a late night and don’t kick yourself if you need a lie in.
The morning is a great time of day and there’s an undeniable magic that comes in the early hours before anyone else is awake. Fall in love with that, and that’s the real secret for how to wake up early.
Enjoy it. Love, Ella-Rose x