Trying to learn how to wake up early? I feel you. The following scenario is all too familiar to me – you too?
Your alarm goes off and you smash the snooze button as quickly and as hard as you can.
“Just 2 more minutes and I’ll get up” you think.
7 minutes later, your alarm screams at you again.
SMASH. “Ok, this time. Gotta get up.”
You pick up your phone and start scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling until you look at your clock and realize you’ve been scrolling for 40 minutes and you have just 17 minutes to get ready and get on the road to not be late to work. Again.
Wouldn’t it be nice to just pop out of bed, refreshed and ready to take on the day?
I’ve been there. I used to be an early bird, up with the sun (or before the sun), ready to tackle the day bright eyed and bushy-tailed.
And then I had kids. I was tired.
And that snooze was my friend. My best friend.
And that phone allowed me to sit cozy in bed morning after morning. However, it didn’t allow for extra time to workout, read my Bible, journal or sip my coffee in peace before my kids got up.
I was crabby most mornings because let’s be real, who wants to be woken up to screams and cries, trying to get sips of coffee in while changing diapers, putting toddlers on the toilet, making toast, pouring milk and cutting fruit? Nobody.
So I made some changes. Gradual changes but enough changes that I now get up at 5:15 every morning. I do a workout or walk our dog. Do some journaling, reading and praying. Eat breakfast and drink my coffee in peace. And Get a head start on work all before the kids are up.
And while it’s not the hardiest thing in the world, it does take some dedication and self discipline.
Since I took a week and a half off from this routine between Christmas and New Years, I feel like I’m getting back into the habit again – not a smart move ha!! So, I thought I’d share it with you!
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How to Wake Up Early
1. Go to bed early.
I know, I know. This one is the hardest one. It’s so easy to get sucked into the latest This Is Us episode or your work or a book but your body needs sleep.
Figure out how much you need to feel good. For some people that’s 6 hours, for others that’s 10. It’s different for everyone! I’m mostly good at 7 (although 8 is probably my best).
Now work backwards. If you need 7 hours of sleep to feel refreshed and you wake up at 5:15, you’ll need to be in bed by 10:15 at the latest. My goal is to always be in bed no later than 10pm since I know I don’t fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow. I’m trying to get in the habit of being in bed by 9:30 and reading a bit before going to bed but I’m not quite there yet.
Start trying to get to that bedtime. You may want to gradually move it up by 10-15 minutes every couple of nights to train your body when your new bedtime is rather than just expect yourself to fall asleep 2 hours earlier than you normally do. Keep inching it back until you go to bed to get the number of hours of sleep you need for your optimal wake up time.
2. Have a plan.
Before you go to bed, have a plan. Are you going to go for a run or walk your dog? What are you eating for breakfast? Are you washing your hair? What are you wearing?
If you know you’re heading out for a 20 minute run followed by an avocado toast breakfast and your outfit is all ready to go, you’re WAY more likely to hop out of bed than if you need to make all those decision when you wake up.
I go as far as to put my workout clothes right next to my bed with my workout cued up on my phone before I crawl into bed. This takes away 2 more steps that I would normally need to take in the morning!
3. Move your body
I know, everyone says to do that but trust me on this, it’s so important! I don’t care if you do the slowest walk around your block or you do a Peloton workout, just do something!
If you never workout, start by doing something you like. Take a walk with your dog or stretch for 5 minutes. After that becomes a habit, add something else! Keep trying different things until you find something you can consistently do that you (more or less) enjoy doing. 🙂
You’ll begin to feel more awake and more energized when you start your morning off by moving your body and when you find a workout you’ll love, it’ll be enjoyable and not a chore!
4. Leave your phone out of the bedroom.
This one is a game changer for me. I was turning into the person who aimlessly scrolls for upwards of 45 minutes each morning and not getting out of bed. It was bad!
So I bought an alarm clock (more on that next) and left my phone in the bathroom. I’ve had tons of people ask me about “what if there’s an emergency and someone needs to get ahold of me” and honestly, I slept with my phone on silent anyways so if someone actually needed me the likelihood of me knowing until I woke up was slim to none. Not a good answer, I know. HA! Maybe eventually we’ll need a land line.
I also only get my phone right before I go downstairs to feed our dog. I allow myself to check emails or social media while she’s eating and going pee and then it’s right downstairs to get a workout in.
5. Get a sunrise simulation alarm clock.
I’ve been wanting one of these clocks for a couple years now. Well, when I decided to leave my phone in the bathroom at night, I knew I needed an alarm clock so I figured now was the best time to try them out!
This was one of those decisions that I wish I would’ve made years ago! It’s amazing!
How it works is this. You set your alarm for when you want to wake up. 30 minutes before your alarm, the light begins to get brighten, simulating a sunrise. It has 10 different light settings which you can set depending on how sensitive you are to the light. I always set mine at 10 so it’s the brightest it can be when my alarm goes off.
It also has a gentle alarm sound at the time your alarm is set to ensure you’re actually awake. 9 times out of 10 I’m already awake but every once in a while I need it to wake me up!
I love this way of waking up so much because there’s no adjustment to light needed! There’s nothing worse than waking up, stumbling to the bathroom and flipping on a bright light – basically blinding yourself. This way allows me to wake up and not be affected by the light because I’ve already adjusted to it while asleep!
I also no longer jolt awake. When it’s time to wake up, I’m already ready to get out of bed because my body gradually woke up over a 30 minute period.
If you still need a little additional motivation, put the clock in a spot where you’ll need to get out of bed to turn the alarm off!
These 5 simple steps really helped me learn how to wake up early and ditch my snoozing! I know it’s not a “one size fits all” but I hope these tips help you learn how to break the habit of snoozing and start waking up earlier every day.
You may want to check out my Bedtime Routine for Adults to help you learn a few things to do each night to make your mornings less rushed!