Last updated on September 9th, 2018 at 06:20 am
“Seriously, all you have to do is go to bed earlier.”
You can’t tell anyone, including yourself to go to bed ridiculously early when you’re still super awake and excited and want to watch another episode on Netflix.
Waking up early doesn’t work that way. Not that simple.
I remember my grandparents woke up at 5am, no problem. They had to feed their chickens, to send their goats on a day trip, make breakfast and then they had to do other things in the garden that I don’t even know how to describe.
Today it’s a different story. It’s a different world. We don’t have a lot of physical work to do during the day, our alarm clocks aren’t roosters, and we watch TV on our phones before we go to sleep. Even though experts and non-experts tell us we shouldn’t.
Benefits Of Waking Up Early
The point of waking up earlier is not that you’ll miraculously gain more time.
The point is that you’ll start the day with more time for yourself when you’re actually fresh and not already done with your day. You could of course do everything you have and want to do for yourself in the evening, but it’s easier to say no to the important things that you really want in the evening.
When you start the day with some time for yourself you’ll feel better for the rest of the day and accomplish things you’ve been putting off for a while now.
Here are some reasons to wake up earlier tomorrow.
- you’ll have time to actually take care of yourself physically and mentally
- the morning is a great time to start new healthy habits
- doing things in the morning makes it easier to keep the promises you always make to yourself, but never actually do something about
- less stress
- better sleep, really
- enough time to work out, to be by yourself, to enjoy life in quiet for a second.
From my experience, I feel more accomplished and more at peace when I wake up earlier. Even if I’m tired, I decide to go and make the best of my morning. Then, within minutes, something that seemed impossible happens. I actually wake up, feel fresh and alert and go on with the rest of my day.
Here are my best tips on how to wake up early without feeling tired for the rest of the day.
How To Wake Up Early And Not Feel Tired For The Rest Of The Day
1. First things first!
Make sure the time you want to wake up makes sense for you. Somehow everyone’s bragging about getting up at 5am these days.
To me that’s too early and it doesn’t make sense for my schedule. Especially during winter. It’s cold, it’s dark and I don’t really have to do anything at 5am, I’m not a baker or a rooster.
Summer is a different story – the sun comes out earlier, so I might as well get up at 5am to watch the sunrise. But most of the time I like to wake up at 6am. That gives me enough time to actually do the things I really want to do for myself in that first 1 hour, so I can focus on other things during the day.
I can go to bed at 10:30pm and sleep.
In the morning I still have time to do my workout, my walk, to actually get dressed and put on some make up, even though I don’t need it. (<- full of positivity today)
Why waking up at 5am turned out to be a waste of time for me + Importance of having a plan
I fell for the: “successful people wake up at 5am, I have to do it too”-thing.
And then reading, writing, gratitude journaling, goal journaling – all kinds of journaling.
I knew these were important things to do, but they did not make sense to me in the morning. They weren’t exciting, or creative, I wasn’t finishing anything I felt I wouldn’t do in the evening. That morning routine was time consuming and not worth it to wake up at 5am.
Then came 9am, the time I actually wanted to be working and I was so TIRED I needed sleep, but opted for a coffee. It was a “strong” milky coffee called latte. Coffee didn’t help. I was working from home at that point, so I went straight to bed at 9am.
I am not saying don’t wake up at 5am or don’t do journaling in the morning. What I’m saying is to be very honest with yourself when you decide when you’re going to wake up and what you’re going to do to stay awake and feel accomplished.
Keep that morning routine short and sweet and make sure to actually know why you want to wake up that early.
Is it to learn something new? Or to improve your fitness? To start your own small business on the side? Know the reason you’re doing everything you decide to do early in the morning, have a plan for that first hour. Otherwise you will not want to wake up early the next day.
2. Start the night before and keep your promise in the morning
Before you go to bed, look at the time and set your alarm to go off in 6-7.5 hours.
When the time comes, wake up no matter how tired you think you’ll feel.
Don’t hit snooze, just go, because otherwise you’ll be even more tired.
It’s like this. One sleep cycle is on average 90 min. The average person needs 7.5 hours of sleep, which is 5 cycles/day. To feel really rested you need to complete each sleep cycle.
Complete is the important word here.
If you interrupt a sleep cycle, for example with your alarm, you need to start over and complete the full 90 minutes to feel fresh and alert. It’s like a video game – you mess up and then you have to start all over again.
So if you hit snooze, you’re starting a new sleep cycle without completing it. Two things happen: you’re wasting time and you end up more tired.
FYI: We can get away with 6 hours – that’s the minimum. True, 7.5h of sleep is the best choice for most people, but when you’re trying to change and to wake up earlier – 6 hours of sleep for a while is the second best choice and it will ensure you don’t feel tired.
3. Do it every day for one week.
The first night I decided to wake up early, I went to bed at 12am and decided that I wanted to wake up at 6am. That’s complete 4 sleep cycles, so it was okay.
I did this for one week straight and on the weekend I wanted to wake up later, so I didn’t even set an alarm. That Saturday morning I woke up at 6:02am. Rested. Sunday, same thing.
Your body will adjust and will set your own alarm if you give it at least a week.
I also naturally started feeling tired in the evening and was going to bed earlier – that was one of the things I struggled with the most.
Give yourself one week and your body will adjust and will set your own alarm. What’s important here is to wake up at the same time every single day. Not one day at 6am, the other at 5am and then the next one at 7am. Choose a time and stick with it.
4. Do the things that actually wake you up and make you feel good.
To me the things that really wake me up and improve my entire day are:
- drinking water first thing when I wake up
- doing a 10-15 minute workout,
- taking a shower after that
- going out for a walk. (takes me about 20min)
I do the walk as kind of a meditation when I truly relax and figure out what I want to do today, just to have some positive thoughts. And I do it by myself in a park or at the beach – somewhere where I’m closer to nature. I get so many new and fresh ideas when I do that, it’s amazing. It’s probably my favorite part of the day. It’s the time when I can truly listen to myself and come up with things that aren’t out there yet.
What I don’t like to do and what makes me really sleepy is starting my day with writing or reading, as I mentioned before. This requires some mental focus that I don’t have at the moment. To me reading is the most sleep-inducing thing in the world, so I usually do it in the evening.
In the morning I feel like I really need to wake up the body first to be able to wake up my brain as well.
When I welcome the day in this way, I’m just ready for it. I have a feeling of accomplishment already and I can’t help, but want to keep going and doing stuff that matter to me.
So what is it for you? What would make you wake up quickly? Maybe it’s washing your face right after you wake up, maybe drinking some lemon water, maybe doing some jumping jacks (best morning exercise ever!) or listening to the music you love. It doesn’t need to be anything that takes too long or is fancy.
Just get into action right away and you’ll feel more awake. If I have to choose one, personally, exercise is the thing that wakes me up the most.
- 7 Quick Morning Yoga Routines For Every Day Of The Week
- Top 15 Free Morning Workout Videos To Feel Good For The Rest Of The Day
5. Do something that you’re really excited about.
Something that makes you look forward to your morning. Like a small reward.
For me sometimes that’s getting a cappuccino, going on my morning walk, this summer it was going to the beach to watch the sunrise and to swim after my workout. The beach was empty, the sun was just out and the water was clear, it was divine.
For you it might be finishing a small project that you’re very excited about, going to a very early class at the gym, seeing the usually crowded city streets totally empty, maybe it’s feeding the ducks in the park. There are so many things you can do in the morning, you just need to decide what’s exciting for you and what you want to do more of.
Bonus tips for waking up earlier:
- Don’t eat late or overeat
- Eat healthier and lighter meals
- Avoid alcohol and cigarretes
- Use the bathroom before you go to bed
- Don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon
- Read something super boring before going to bed and don’t watch TV.
These were my tips for waking up earlier without feeling tired, so you can achieve the things you actually want. I hope you learned something new and helpful and if you have any tips – share them in the comments below!
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