What do early birds know that the rest of the world doesn’t? Well, for starters they’re probably good about getting to bed on time and consistently catching quality ZzZs. The best way to make sure you’ll feel energized when it’s time to wake up is by regularly logging about seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
Of course, being well rested doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll suddenly be joyfully leaping out of bed when your alarm goes off. (This, you’ve likely already discovered.) You’ve got ambitions, though. Maybe you have dreams of one day starting an early morning exercise routine. Or maybe you wish you had extra morning time to prepare and sit down to a healthy breakfast.
Whatever your intentions, by implementing the following tips and tricks, you can learn how to make waking up easier, so that mornings are more bearable, and maybe, dare we even say it? Enjoyable.
“After awakening from hours in hibernation, your body wants liquids,” says Constance Dunn, a lifestyle expert and author of “Practical Glamour.” “In order to start the cycle of another day, leave a glass of water next to your bedside table. When the alarm goes off, drink approximately three to four mouthfuls. You'll not only hydrate your body but you'll also quench your dry mouth, which helps prep your brain for mental and physical activity.”
Dunn suggests transitioning into your new early morning persona with baby steps. “I met a girl at a party, she's an a-plus early-bird who leaps out of bed at five in the morning each day,” Dunn explained. “Her cheat day, I learned, was Sunday when she sleeps in until ‘around 7:30 a.m.’ I pressed her for tips on how to help with my morning wake-up. Her regime was so hardcore: wake up and hit the ground with push-ups and sit-ups before dedicating time to advancing her French language skills.” Instead of trying to tackle the entire world and drastically revamp your wake up routine all at once, make small adjustments that will slowly help train your brain and body to wake up earlier and more easily. “Ignore the early risers,” Dunn said. “Take baby steps on the route to waking up with more ease.”
Most coffee pots have built-in brew timers, so there's no reason you shouldn't set up your morning pot of Joe before going to bed. This is a simple way to make your morning routine flow more easily and cut down on your time spent getting ready. Plus, maybe even just the smell of coffee brewing will be enough to lure you right out of bed.
There are tons of different technologies that can help you sleep better and wake more easily. One in particular that effectively helps to create an easy and enjoyable morning routine: Yoga Wake Up. Instead of a loud, jolting alarm, this app wakes you up with peaceful melodies and the soothing sound of a yoga instructor’s calm voice, which eventually leads you into a light stretch and morning meditation designed to help you set your intention for the day.
Light plays a large role in our natural sleep habits, so waking up to natural sunlight or even light from a light box can help you feel more alert and energized as your start your day. “Early morning light exposure can help shift your body clock so you are more alert early in the morning and you follow the pattern of getting tired early in the evening,” says Tracey Marks, an Atlanta-based psychiatrist and author of “Master Your Sleep”. “Sunlight can do this.” If you’re wake-up time is before sunrise, she suggests using a light box or a similar tool, like the Rise & Shine Natural Sleep System, which aligns with your natural circadian rhythm by simulating the natural light of the sunrise and sunset.
According to Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder and neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, fragrant essentials oils like peppermint and eucalyptus can help to wake you up and increase your alertness. In SELF magazine Hirsch explained that peppermint has been shown to stimulate the “trigeminal nerve” which is directly linked to the part of the brain that keeps us awake and alert.
For most, having to physically get up and out of bed to turn the alarm off is enough motivation to shut it off entirely and simply get started with the day. Plus, getting up and moving around, especially when combined with the other strategies suggested here, will wake your body up and hopefully help you to feel more energized.
What’s your reason for waking up early? By specifically identifying what you hope to accomplish in the morning and even throughout your day, you can easily help boost your motivation for getting out of bed. “I am a mom of two kids, and if I don't start my day by waking up before everyone else, I'm a cranky, irritated mess," says Gaby Merediz , creator of Make Your Perfect, an online community that provides coaching, connection and guidance for moms who want to live more meaningful lives. “It's hard to drag myself out of bed sometimes, but as a busy mom, reminding myself that this might be the only alone time I get in the day is enough to propel me out of bed. And then I have a glorious hour or 30 minutes to move around, check emails, journal or just sit on the couch and think my own thoughts before I'm pounced on by my two small boys.”
Do anything you can the night before to make your morning routine as easy and seamless as possible. If you’re morning routine isn’t bogged down by a long to-do list and getting ready doesn’t seem like a big hassle, the prospect of getting up won’t seem as daunting.