5 Tips For Waking Up Earlier

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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Until this month, when I've begun working the morning shift almost everyday at the cafĂ©, I was not a regular early riser. Sure, I've always considered myself more a morning person than a night person (simply because I like morning better. #logic) but when the rubber hit the road, I was going to bed at 11 or 11:30 every night, and sleeping in until sometimes as late as 9.

Suffice it to say, that's not a great schedule for your body. I found I was always tired, slow in getting to the day's work, and getting up early to workout took some serious motivation. But when I did get up early (as I plan to do almost every morning), I was more productive: not just because I had more time, but because there's a certain energy in being awake before most of the rest of the world, and it propelled me to fit more in the day than I ordinarily would have.

Now I'm working the morning shift, which means I get up at 5AM 3 days a week, and 6AM 2 days a week. This means that sleeping in isn't really a possibility anymore (except now 6 AM feels like sleeping in...) and I've learned a few tips and tricks during this process that I thought I would share for those of you who are struggling as I was!

1. GO TO BED
One of my worst habits is going up to my room around 9 PM telling myself I'll do my nighttime routine quickly, have a little time for social media, and go to bed at 10 PM. The reality is the process usually happens in reverse: after I've soaked in a good 40 minutes of Pinterest, and 20 minutes texting various friends, I'll run around doing my skincare routine, throw on my pajamas, crash in bed at around 10:20 and after doing my Bible reading, go to bed at 10:50. Not cool, Carmel. It's hard to put down your phone, but exercise self-control. Those pins will still be there tomorrow. Go to bed.

2. SET 2 ALARMS
I do this a lot when my day only necessitates semi-early wakeup times: on 5 AM days, nothing is going to get me out of bed before 5 (even though it's a scramble to get everything together before leaving the house at 5:30), but if I don't have to get up until six or, hallelujah, seven!, I set 2 alarms: one to wake me up when I have to get up, one to wake me up when the ideal Me would like to get up. Usually, that's 6 and 5:30 respectively. The benefit of this is that if you're like me and you set what I call Ideal Alarms (that you never respect the next day), you still won't oversleep with the fatal "I'll just sleep for 15 more minutes..."

3. BE PREPARED
(I'm singing Lion King now. Well then.)
If you have your clothes out (workout/work/regular/what-have-you), your bag or purse packed, your water bottle filled and your makeup laid out at your dressing table, it makes getting up so easy, and usually gives you a few extra minutes in bed to properly wake up. I have to admit that I rarely have all of these things ready, but even just a few things prepared in advanced saves a lot of time, stress, and running back and forth on squeaky floor boards waking up the other (not too cheerful) members of the household. XD

4. DRINK WATER
This may be a bit TMI, but by drinking a full bottle water before you sleep, not only is it great for your metabolism to continue working through the night as you rest (yay!) and keeping you from waking up with the dreaded tight-and-dry-skin feeling, this also works as a wakeup call. I know that once I pull myself all the way out of bed to go to the bathroom, I'm already waking up and sleep is less easy of an excuse. It's still going to be tempting to get back in bed afterwards, but less tempting now you've walked about for a few minutes and are thinking about that to-do list.

5. START SMALL
If you've been rising at 8 or 9 AM regularly, trying to do 5 AM is going to be a rude, painful awakening (trust me, if you don't have something like work making sleeping in impossible, you're going to break your streak). Work backwards in 1 hour segments - once you get used to getting up at 7 (usually takes about a week), try going a little early. The most important thing is consistency: don't get up at 5 one morning but sleep in until 9 the next. It's better to get up at 7 AM for 3 mornings in a row: this way you're actually reconditioning your body to consider that new time "wake up time."

Moral of the story? I can't actually physically sleep in past 7 anymore. O_o

Let me know if any of these tips are useful for you! Are you an early riser, a late riser, or somewhere in between? How do you motivate yourself to get out of bed in the morning?

10 comments

  1. I feel ya on not being able to sleep in anymore! Though my wakeup call is 6:30 not 5 ( AGH) I still can't sleep past 8 on weekends.

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  2. I am such a morning person x) I consistently wake up around 7:30, even on the weekends.
    I find that laying my clothes out and putting my devotions right next to my bed help streamline things in the morning.

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    1. I've never been one to sleep in late (if I made it past 8:30 I was seriously concerned) until the past semester, when the school/dance/work/life load just took it out of me, and I realized I could easily sleep/snooze until 9:30 (which still isn't considered late to some people. Wow.) But I'm working to fight that back. Plus, mornings are the best time of the day. <3

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  3. I'm a night owl, so waking up early is so difficult for me... *sighs*

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    1. YOU CAN DO IT. (That is, if you want to, of course...XD)

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  4. I am awful at waking up early in the morning. My classes are so difficult this year that I'm always staying up late obsessively studying. I've tried the setting multiple alarms thing but I never actually hear them...And I used to set, wait for it...TEN alarms in five minute intervals everyday. Didn't work. I even turn the volume way up and put the alarm right next to me on the pillow. MY alarms wake up everyone in the house except me. I think I'm immune to them or something, haha.

    BUT I love the morning when I feel rested. On the rare occasions when I somehow manage to wake up early I love taking my time getting ready for school. It's so nice to actually sit down for breakfast instead of eating it as I run out the door and I love having the time to make myself a cup of tea. When I wake up early it really improves my whole day.

    I think the real key is just getting enough sleep and being consistent, like you said. At some point, studying isn't going to help anymore and it's more worthwhile to get a good night's sleep but it's hard for me to know when to stop. I think I'll try the water tip. And just drinking more water in general. I really want to get back to being someone who can't fathom how people sleep in so late on weekends.

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    1. Aw, I'm sorry to hear your workload is so heavy! It is that time of life though, and it will pass just as everything else. :)
      I'm a firm believer that if you have time for tea in the morning, there's no way that day can go wrong. mmm. <3

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I am definitely a night-owl. I have a terrible time getting out of bed on time, though sitting up, turning off the alarm, and NOT lying back down again, is one way that I sort of wake my body up. It's a struggle though! I have my alarm set for 6:30 AM :P Much later than you . . .

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    1. I agree, making yourself sit, up, blink around a bit and get your bearings really does help (small as it is!). 6:30 is still early, and hey - if I didn't have to get up at 5:00, 6:30 is really my ideal time. When the morning is just new...

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