Many research studies highlight the benefits of waking up early, linking it to higher chances of success in life and business. Many high achievers and top performers wake up early when the world is quiet and they are not being bombarded with emails, messages and phone calls. People like Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tim Cook, Sir Richard Branson and many others are known to start their days very early.
However, waking up early is not always easy for everyone, especially if you are not a morning person. If you would like to get an early head start on the day but are struggling to do so, here are a few ways you can go about changing your routine:
- Go to bed earlier and get enough sleep. The number of hours can vary for each individual but usually at least seven to eight hours is recommended.
- Distance yourself from electronic devices, such as your television and smartphone, at least thirty minutes to one hour before you plan to sleep. You can instead engage in calming activities such as meditating, listening to soothing music, taking a bath or reading a book.
- Set your alarm and avoid the snooze button. You can opt for a gradual wake-up alarm instead of the traditional one but climb out of bed on the first alarm instead of snoozing.
- If your goal is to wake up one or two hours earlier, you can gradually move towards this goal by waking up 15-20 minutes earlier everyday so that your body’s clock slowly gets used to the new timing.
- Tell a friend you have made the commitment to adopt this new habit of rising earlier so that they can hold you accountable.
- Make your bed so you can avoid any temptation to lie down again and also feel ready for the new day ahead.
- Exercising in the morning is recommended. You can go to the gym or just take a walk around the block or even do simple stretches or warm up exercises at home, if that is more convenient.
- Take a cold shower to feel fresh as warm showers can make you feel sleepy.
- You can listen to your favourite music while working out or showering, in order to feel more active.
- Have a healthy breakfast such as oatmeal with milk and fruits as it will help you feel more alert.
- Drink hot tea or coffee or any alternative drink if it helps you feel awake. However, limit your caffeine consumption especially in the afternoon and evenings so that it does not disrupt your sleep at night.
- Try to wake up at the same time over the weekends to avoid disturbing your circadian rhythm. Sleeping for late hours over the weekends can also put your health at risk. Waking up earlier will help you be energised for the activities you want to enjoy on your off-days.
Before you change your routine, think about why you want to wake up earlier so that you can be consistent and can stay motivated towards making this lifestyle change. A possible reason for waking up earlier can be that you want to find time for some things that help you feel good, such as reading or meditating. You may want to go to the gym to exercise and will not have to sit in traffic, or can go for a run when the roads are peaceful. When you know why you want to adopt this new habit, it will become easier to make it stick and you can keep reminding yourself why it’s beneficial for you.