Waking up early is one of the best ways to be more productive. Some of us might find it difficult to wake up early, but the good news is that there are effective techniques that you can practice to help you wake up earlier.
So are you ready to stop giving your snooze button so much action?
10 Effective Methods to Waking Up Early
- Wake up 10 minutes earlier each day.
If you have set your alarm earlier only to find yourself constantly pressing “snooze” until your regular wake-up time, your body probably needs time to adjust. If your normal wake-up time is 8am, you might not succeed at waking up at 5 am immediately. So instead of aiming for a 5 am wake-up right away, gradually wake up earlier by setting your alarm only 10 minutes earlier than your regular wake-up time. Keep doing this every day until you feel adjusted to the new time. This might seem slow to some people, but sudden changes of an hour earlier is usually difficult and not likely not be consistent.
My personal experience - When I first tried waking up earlier, I set my alarm to an hour earlier than my normal time. I found this to be extremely difficult and could not wake up. For one week, I kept hitting the snooze button until it was actually my “normal time” to wake up. After realizing this wasn’t working for me, I knew I had to do something different. I began setting my alarm to just 10 minutes earlier and was able to wake up to that time without having to hit snooze. I did this for 2 weeks until I felt adjusted to the new time and then, I reset my alarm to wake up 15 minutes earlier. This took 3 weeks for me to feel comfortable and not have the urge to snooze. I repeated this process until I was able to wake up at my desired time of an hour earlier than what was previously my “normal time.” What I learned was that it didn’t matter that it took me 3 months to get used to waking up an hour earlier. The important thing is I was able to do it. Taking a few months to build a good habit is better than never building it at all.
- Plan to do something you love in the morning.
If your goal is to jog in the morning, but you don’t like jogging, you associate waking up early with something unpleasant. You won’t be motivated to jump out of bed because you’ll feel that waking up early is punishment. However, when you plan to do something you love in the morning, you have a reason to wake up early. For example, if there is something exciting that you want to read or an inspiring podcast that you want to listen to, that will motivate you to get up. You can also change your alarm ring tone to play your favorite music.
- Jump out of bed immediately when you hear the alarm and head to the bathroom.
When your alarm rings, ignore all the urges to have “just another minute” of sleep. Immediately, open your eyes and jump out of bed with enthusiasm. Turn off your alarm and make it a habit to go straight to the bathroom. Once you turn on your bathroom light and wash your face, you are much less likely to go back to bed.Tip:If your house is cold during the winter, you might find the urge to sleep in to stay warm. Make getting up easier by putting a robe on your night table so it is ready for you in the morning.
- Put your alarm across the room (but not too far that you can’t hear it!)
If your alarm is right next to you, you’ll hit the snooze button. If you put it across the room, you have to get up to turn it off. But don’t just walk right back to your bed and sleep some more! Go straight to the bathroom. There are also vibrating, and even moving alarm clocks, that you can purchase to help you wake up.Tip: If you have someone sleeping in the same room or in another room, you might be worried that setting a loud alarm and leaving it across the room will also wake them up. To solve this, have a soft alarm set next to your bed so that you can turn it off quickly and have a loud alarm across the room set for a few minutes later. Since you do not want to wake up anyone else, you will be motivated to wake up to your soft alarm and walk across the room before the loud alarm rings. Once you turn off the loud alarm, go straight to the bathroom.
- Create accountability by setting appointments in the morning.
When you arrange meetings with others early in the morning, you feel accountable to wake up early and prepare for the appointment. This is especially effective if it’s something really important and cannot be rescheduled.
- Sleep well.
If you’re planning to wake up at 5 am, make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time. It’s obvious that the earlier you want to wake up, the earlier you should sleep at night. If you normally sleep from 12 to 9 am, you cannot expect to be have a productive day by continuing to sleep at midnight and forcing yourself to wake up at 5 am. You might succeed getting up the first day, but you will be miserable trying to get through the day and eventually, crashing the next day. Having sufficient sleep makes waking up early an easier task and allows you to be more productive throughout the day. Getting a good night sleep also means maintaining an effective night time routine.
- Don’t snooze.
As tempting as it may seem, don’t hit the snooze button when your alarm goes off in the morning. You might think the extra few minutes will give you more time to wake up, but it does more harm than good. Hitting your snooze button doesn’t give you more of the restful REM sleep. In fact, snoozing and trying to get an extra 10 minutes of sleep might cause you to wake up even more tired.When your alarm rings, try to resist the snooze temptation and just get up. If you find it to be extremely difficult, try sleeping half an hour earlier at night. Otherwise, if you snooze often, it eventually becomes a habit and your mind will start to ignore the alarm. As the saying goes, “you snooze, you lose!”
- Wake up the same time every day, including weekends.
When you make it a habit to wake up the same time every day, your body becomes conditioned and regulates your sleep patterns. Over time, your body will actually begin to wake up even before your alarm sounds. Otherwise, if you keep sleeping and waking up at different times throughout the week, your body clock has to constantly adjust, which makes building this habit much harder.
- Share your goal and work on it with someone else.
If you share your goal with family and friends, it creates accountability for you to wake up early. Try to find someone else who wants to awake up early as well so that the two of you can motivate each other. For example, both of you can trying calling each other in the morning to ensure that the other is awake. There are also free wake up services you can use, including WakeupDialer.com.
- Be mentally prepared.
Saying “I’m not a morning person” is a limiting belief. Self-belief is a self-fulfilling prophecy and changing this self-belief to “I like waking up early and being productive” can subtly change your behavior. Before you sleep, it also helps to recite the time you want to wake up and the goals you want to accomplish when you wake up. When you have a compelling reason to wake up, you will be determined to wake up, no matter how sleepy you are.
Waking up early may not come easy at first, but with enough persistence and determination, you can eventually build this into a habit!