Learning how to wake up early and understanding how to become a morning person requires a better understanding of your entire sleep schedule and daily routine. The first thing you do in the morning should be the driving force behind a morning routine that encourages you to get out of bed and achieve your goal.
Although learning how to wake up early has a lot to do with the first things you do in the morning and a healthy morning routine, these are just one piece of the puzzle. There are also routines before bed, getting a good night’s sleep and having a purpose that drives you. This is the third and final post in my three-part series on sleep.
- Best Time To Wake Up – 13 Benefits Of Waking Up Early
- How To Go To Bed Early & How To Fall Asleep Fast
- How To Wake Up Early & The First Thing You Do In The Morning
If you want to learn more about how to go to bed early and how to fall asleep fast, use this link. If you want to know the best time to wake up & 13 benefits of walking up early, visit this link.
How To Become A Morning Person
Understanding how to become a morning person involves much more than just an alarm clock and a hit of caffeine. You will be making long term lifestyle changes that you want to have a positive impact on your health, while also making the most of your time. Becoming an early riser and the steps involved in learning how to become a morning person require discipline and perseverance. All the routines and activities that make up your sleep-wake cycle need to be taken into consideration.
As mentioned above, this is part of a series of posts surrounding sleep. In the first article, Best Time To Wake Up – 13 Benefits Of Waking Up Early, I discussed how to work out the best time to wake up based on your goals and objectives. I also looked into the positive impacts waking up early can have on your physical, mental and emotional states.
Understand Your Why
The first thing you do in the morning will depend on the reason you are waking up early. Having a shower could the best way to wake up, but if you’re waking up early to exercise, the shower might have to wait. Generally speaking, why you want to wake up early falls into one (or more) of three categories;
- Getting more work done
- Focusing on your health & fitness
- Having more leisure time
Of course, there is also the possibility you have been rushing for years and just need extra time to get ready so you’re not anxiously flying out the door, eating take away and snacking during the day (bringing it back to a healthier lifestyle!). Understanding why you want to wake up early will help answer how to wake up early. You will be able to set your goals and work out your morning timeline, enabling you to best prepare for the task at hand.
How To Go To Bed Early And Fall Asleep Quickly
How To Go To Bed Early
Your discipline towards going to bed early is the first step to you becoming an early riser. Having a set of nighttime (and some daytime) rituals will help encourage sleep and prompt your body that it’s time to go to bed. Some ideas to help you go to bed early;
- Tire your body and mind during the day
- Finish all of your tasks early & avoid working late
- Have your dinner earlier and avoid eating late
- Reduce blue light and screen time before bed
- Perform a calming activity right before bed
How To Fall Asleep Quickly
Your ability to fall asleep quickly and soundly is much more important than the specific time your head hits the pillow. Learning how to wake up early, sticking to your sleep schedule and creating a healthy morning routine relies on actually falling asleep. Some ideas to help you fall asleep quickly;
- Set an ideal sleep temperature by adjusting the heating or cooling, the layers of covering and your sleepwear
- Set optimal light and sound levels
- Relax your mind by not focusing on the following day, trying too hard to fall asleep or constantly watching the clock
- Fall asleep in positions you know work well and decrease your chances of waking from discomfort or pain
More On Getting To Bed
This is the third post from a three-part series on sleep. If you are interested, there is a post on How To Go To Bed Early & How To Fall Asleep Quickly that goes into much more detail on the points above.
How To Wake Up Early
If the first thing you do in the morning is hit the snooze button on your alarm – stop it! Learning how to wake up early involves taking steps with a purpose to achieve your goal. For example, your overall goal could be to have more time and this goal will be made up of micro-goals.
Setting your alarm clock to play your favorite music is one approach, the other is to play a motivational speech on any topic that will inspire you to take action. A great example is a clip like this one on YouTube by Jocko Willink about discipline and procrastination.
Hitting the snooze button means that your first action of the day is to not achieve a goal. If you know you need snooze time between your alarm ringing and getting out of bed in the morning, plan around it. Create two separate alarms, the first to wake you up and the second to prompt you to get out of bed.
Do you really want to know how to wake up early? Create accountability. If the first thought that goes through your mind when the alarm rings is “I don’t want to get up”, let the second be “if I don’t get up, I will have to listen to Bob gloat about his discipline and how late I am.” Creating accountability is a great way to learn how to become a morning person. There is motivation and possibly inspiration in teaming up with a friend, group or partner.
How To Get Up Early - Morning Routine Ideas
The first thing you do in the morning looks at different approaches to your morning routine. These morning routine ideas are designed to jump-start your day, serving as a starting point to teach you how to wake up early and make the best of your day. Learning how to become a morning person means finding the path of least resistance to create a sustainable and healthy morning routine.
In this section, we look at four generalized approaches, made up of tactics to encourage you to wake up in the morning and be able to focus on achieving your goals. These morning routine ideas are not in any specific order, nor do they exist exclusively within the group. They are to be used as guides to help you find the overarching sequence that works best for you.
First Thing You Do In The Morning - Get Necessary Tasks Out Of The Way
If you have a tendency to stress, the first thing you should do in the morning is to get everything you need to do out of the way to set yourself up. If you’re always running late and this is part of the reason you’re trying to create a healthy morning routine, preparing yourself for the day ahead is a must. Try starting your day by doing the following as soon as you get out of bed;
1. General morning tasks
Making your bed and letting in the morning sunlight are great ways to confirm that it’s time to wake up and stay awake.
2. Preparing your work attire (if not prepared the night before)
It’s a good idea to prepare your work attire as part of preparing for the day ahead. If you have chosen not to, this can be one of the first things you do in the morning.
3. Prepare breakfast
If you don’t like to eat first thing, but do eat breakfast, try preparing a quick and healthy breakfast meal that you can eat cold and doesn’t get soggy. Having a list of easy breakfast ideas can minimize your preparation time, decreasing your daily stress.
4. Preparing your days meals (if not prepared the night before)
Maybe you want to go one step further than breakfast if the first thing you do in the morning is get your meals ready. Not only will you have fresher meals, you will be better placed to control your diet and thus eat healthier.
5. Grooming & Hygiene
Brushing your teeth & flossing, having a shower and/or washing your face, shaving and doing your make-up may be the best thing for you do in the morning. Part of learning how to wake up early is shifting your essential daily grooming tasks to a time when you don’t feel rushed.
6. Getting dressed in your work attire (to the extent possible & comfortable)
If you’re not waking up to exercise, try getting completely or mostly dressed for work. You will reduce the morning rush, maybe even giving yourself some extra time for a more relaxed start to your day.
First Thing You Do In The Morning - Get Your Body Moving
If you’re creating a healthy morning routine for the sake of fitness, it’s a good idea to get your body moving as soon as you walk out of the bedroom. Having a shower or getting dressed for work will not be points of focus, instead, you want to build yourself into your morning workout routine. If having a good morning workout is your goal, try the following as soon as you get out of bed;
7. Drink a glass of water
Dependent on how strenuous your workout is, make drinking water the first thing you do in the morning. If you intend on going for a brisk walk or light resistance training, drinking water on an empty stomach might be a great way to start your day. If your morning workout routine consists of heavy lifting or sprinting, you may need to experiment with the volume of water you consume.
8. Take a cold shower
Do you want to know how to wake up early and quickly? Take a cold shower! Exposing yourself to the cold, without freezing, will snap you out of your morning daze very quickly. In the warmer months, it’s a good idea to have a cold shower, but in cooler weather, try a cold face wash instead. As the first thing you do in the morning, try wearing only enough clothing to stop you from freezing, so you don’t get too comfortable and are tempted to return to your warm bed.
Make walking part of your healthy morning routine to warm your muscles and get your blood flowing. You may choose walking as part of your morning workout routine, or it can become the first thing you do in the morning to simply become more centered and focused.
If completing your workout or exercise routine is the first thing you do in the morning, you’re more likely to stick to your fitness goals! Since your willpower is at its strongest in the morning, you will increase the likelihood of committing to your workout for the long term. Your exercise routine could include strength training, conditioning, yoga, meditation, and stretching.
First Thing You Do In The Morning - Stimulate Your Mind
If you are waking up to get work done, you can try any combination of the tactics already mentioned, but you should also work towards exercising and energizing your brain. These morning routine ideas will teach you how to wake up early and get focused quickly.
11. Don’t Work
The first thing you do in the morning should not be work! If you’re getting up to do extra work, let it be the end goal of your routine (or somewhere towards the end, if you still need to do a few extra things before you leave home). Ensure you have attempted even a few morning tactics to create a positive, energized condition that’s conducive to work before starting.
12. Warm Drink or Coffee
Drinking a cup of warm water with lemon, or caffeine-free tea such as chamomile, ginger, and peppermint, might be a good option for stimulating your brain as part of your healthy morning routine. Caffeine-free teas also help with hydration, digestion and negate the negative effects of caffeine. If you have no problem with caffeine, or you really need it to kick start your day, then a hot cup of coffee or black tea will do the trick.
13. Quick Thinking Game
14. Learn & Study
A great morning routine idea is to learn something new, provided you’re not getting up for the purpose of study. Watch a YouTube tutorial on how to perform a specific task you have never done that will be helpful for your job or work. The aim is to find a short 15 to 20-minute mind exercise that can be both in isolation, or as part of an overarching routine or course you are undertaking.
15. Mini Workout
Part of learning how to wake up early is taking steps that are repeatable and lead to a consistent outcome. If that outcome is work and increased productivity, stimulating your body with a combination of short physical exercises can be beneficial. With a mini workout, you could start with a quick circuit that’s not tiring and involves some coordination.
First Thing You Do In The Morning - Get Into The Right Frame Of Mind
Maybe you don’t want to exercise, have extra prep time, or do extra work in the morning. You might simply want some extra quiet time to reflect, focus or appreciate what’s in front of you. Getting into the right frame of mind can help you with your workouts, work and reduce stress later in the day. If the first thing you do in the morning is work on your frame of mind, you will be able to focus solely on this and set yourself up for the rest of the day.
16. Reading & Listening
Reading an inspirational book, or listening to an e-book or podcast, might be your answer to how to wake up early and maintain your healthy morning routine. For the sake of mind frame, you may want to consider refraining from “how to’s” and dense informational topics. Stick to motivational and inspirational stories and tips that don’t take a heavy toll mentally, but instead lift your spirits and set a standard for you to aim for.
17. Breathing & Meditation
Another morning routine idea is doing some breathing exercises and meditation as soon as you wake up. I recently began using an app called the Wim Hof Method where Wim Hof takes you through some breathing exercises that are designed to make you happier, healthier and more powerful. You can download the free app (there are some additional paid features, but I have never used them), or visit his website here to learn more.
Watching a sunrise could be the perfect reward for becoming an early riser. Learning how to wake up early and just enjoy the quiet time, views and a warm drink may be all you need to get you in the right state of mind.
19. Fun Activity
If the first thing you do in the morning is engaging in a fun activity that you would otherwise not be able to do, it will go a long way to helping you maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Maybe the activity is the sole reason you’re getting up, or maybe it’s just the motivation you need to help you get out of bed. Whatever the case may be, use it to your advantage.
The first thing you do in the morning should be the catalyst for preparing yourself to tackle the task you are waking up early to do. The question of how to wake up early is answered by combining several morning tactics, to create a healthy morning routine that is both effective and sustainable. The routine you develop will be specific to your needs; what will work for you now and into the future.