What do Tim Cook, Michelle Obama, and Jennifer Aniston have in common? Aside from being highly successful and influential figures, they’re all early risers who wake up before 5 a.m. But figuring out how to wake up in the morning isn’t nearly as easy as “rise and shine.”
For those who hate mornings, there are few things worse than the menacing blare of morning alarms and the dreadful feeling that accompanies the wake-up call. You’re slow, sluggish, and all you really want to do is burrow your head under the covers because you’re just not ready to leave the comfort of your bed.
It’s no secret that waking up early starts with getting a good night’s sleep. But even if you get the recommended 8 hours every night, you might still find yourself struggling to shake the daytime drowsiness. The transition from a deep slumber to a state of wakefulness can always take time.
Fortunately, there are several hacks you can try to feel refreshed in the mornings. This guide can help you understand why you feel unenergetic in the mornings and offers tips to start your day off on the right foot.
Even if you follow a consistent sleep schedule and maintain healthy sleep hygiene habits, you might still struggle to wake up in the mornings. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to hate mornings for the rest of your life.
The struggle to wake up early is something many people can relate to, and it happens for a few different reasons.
Being a night owl might be in your genes, but dragging yourself out of bed every morning doesn’t have to feel so agonizing. Here are some tricks you can try to make your mornings just a little brighter.
You can’t train yourself to love mornings overnight, so don’t make any drastic changes. Instead, take small steps and try to wake up just 5 minutes earlier for a few days.
Once you get used to that routine, you can adjust your schedule in 5-minute increments. Keep doing this every day until you reach your goal. By following this method, you’ll be able to develop a habit and stay consistent.
There’s no denying it: Hitting the snooze button can be tempting, especially when you feel like you could benefit from some extra shut-eye. But the reality is sleeping an extra 5 minutes doesn’t actually help you feel more energized. If anything, you just end up feeling groggier. When you hit the snooze button repeatedly, you experience fragmented sleep, which is significantly less restful.
In case you can’t kick the habit, consider making it more challenging for yourself to sleep in longer. One suggestion is to keep your phone well out of reach so that you have to get out of bed to turn the alarm off. You can also download alarm clock apps on your phone that will only shut off after you solve a math problem or a brain teaser.
Along that same vein, setting multiple alarms can also be disruptive to your sleep because it might wake you up while you’re still in the deep sleep stage. So, if you’re aiming to wake up at 5:30 a.m., just set your alarm for that time instead of setting it an hour in advance.
Drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up can help rehydrate your body, which naturally becomes dehydrated when you’re sleeping for 7 to 8 hours.
Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can also be refreshing, but if you’re still not feeling alert enough, follow it up with a cup of coffee. Most people who experience sleep inertia find that their drowsiness subsides when they have caffeine.
A morning workout just might be the best solution for shaking off that sleep inertia. Whether it’s a brisk walk outside or a morning yoga routine in your room, any kind of workout can get your heart rate up and increase your energy levels so you’re prepared to tackle your day.
Don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning, especially when it’s early? That’s understandable, but eating breakfast, even if it’s a light one, can give you a boost of energy and help you feel more alert.
To avoid hitting a slump too early in your day, be sure to steer clear of processed or sugary foods and opt for whole foods instead. Some foods that can help you fight the morning blues include avocados, eggs, chia seeds, yogurt, and oatmeal.
Waking up early might be challenging, but you can also turn it into something you look forward to. Reward yourself with a small treat every morning, whether that’s spending some time reading a book outside, drinking your favorite latte, walking your dog, or cooking yourself a delicious breakfast. Whatever it is, waking up early can be infinitely more fun if you’re able to do things you enjoy at the start of the day.
Leaving the most comfortable mattress at the crack of dawn is easier said than done, but if you’re committed to waking up early, then establish a routine and take things at your own pace. Over time, you might even find that waking up early becomes less of a chore and more of a reward.