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Just as a disclaimer before we start, I do not wake up to my 5.30am alarm every morning with a smile on my face, singing to the birds outside my window. Let’s be completely real here – everyone loves to sleep, including me. But I do also love waking up early and have done it for quite a while now. I get a different type of headspace and I’m just a much happier and more productive person. I’ve had a few people say to me they’d love to wake up earlier so I’ve put together a few tips on how I make it as painless as possible.
GO TO BED EARLIER
You’re going to have to skip that extra episode of Netflix. Not ideal I know, but if you want to wake up earlier you’re going to need to go to bed earlier. This is a non-negotiable. Some super-humans can get 5 hours sleep a night and be ok, but for me I NEED 7 hours minimum, otherwise I just don’t function. We get into bed between 9-9.30pm to try and be asleep by 10-10.30pm latest, which when we get home at 7pm and finish dinner around 8pm sounds horrendous but I value my mornings way more than my evenings, and it’s still time for one episode on Netflix!
HAVE A CLEAR MOTIVATION OF WHY YOU’RE WAKING UP EARLIER
Waking up at 5.30am is not normal for most, it will take effort to push past the discomfort, so you NEED to have clear driver for why you are getting out of bed. For me, it’s the only realistic time I will be able to workout which is something I want to prioritise in my day. If you struggle to get up you need to think about the positive vs negative of waking up; I know I feel much better after my morning workout, it gives me so much energy and by 7.30am every morning I feel fantastic. So when there’s ever doubt in my mind about getting up I think about the feeling when I don’t go which is me being a moody b*tch. Without a strong motivation for wanting to get up you will really struggle to not hit that snooze button.
It also doesn’t need to be getting up for a workout, maybe you’re studying a course, want to start a side hustle or a business. Earlier in the morning is when I’m most creative and less likely to be distracted. I wrote the majority of this blog post workout and before I started work. Be creative with your time – you’ll be surprised what you can get done!
DON’T PRESS THE SNOOZE BUTTON
I used to be the QUEEN OF SNOOZE, I was that girl that would set an alarm 36 minutes (4 snoozes) before I needed to get up. But trust, if you push that snooze button once, you won’t get up. I now get up approximately 2 minutes post the alarm and I walk straight to the bathroom and splash my face with cold water – there’s no going back after that.
INVEST IN A LUMIE LIGHT
You know that feeling when your alarm goes off and you feel like it’s a sick joke and really like 1am? This is great for that. The alarm clock slowly lights up to mimic the sun rising, so when your alarm goes off it’s not pure panic (like that iphone alarm horn that some psychopaths use as an alarm tone). It also makes you less likely to snooze as the room is light. The one we have is linked here. I love it!
HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE
This needs to work like clockwork, realistically the first 10 minutes of waking is the most difficult so make it as easier as possible for yourself. Put your clothes out the night before, tidy your things away before bed, set your desk set up ready etc. Eliminating any barriers that will stop you from getting up and going is key. Before we had our coffee machine I even used to put a scoop of coffee in my coffee cup, have the kettle with just enough water in etc. Sounds quite extreme but we have around 20 minutes from when we wake up to leaving the house so everything needs to be as seamless as possible, I’ve found the longer you give yourself (including an extra 10 minutes to snooze), the harder it is.
CREATE A NIGHTTIME ROUTINE
I like to think of this as ‘putting myself to bed’. I need to feel as relaxed as possible to ensure I get to sleep. Reading a book before bed is the easiest way for me to nod off, that or listening to Josh tell me about his day at work (just kidding). I also swear by wearing an eye-mask, having a silk pillow case and the ‘This works deep sleep spray‘ (I know, a little extra).
It’s unrealistic to say ‘no phones 3 hours before bed’ – but I do try to be on my phone a lot less. I have the ‘Downtime’ on my screen time set from 9pm – 6am, which means you can’t get onto the apps without clicking ‘ignore’ which makes me more mindful of using it. You may have also seen the blue light glasses I wear, I’m not sure they 100% work – but they look cool right? I do feel like they help, the ones I have are linked here.
Every night before we go to bed we also make sure the house is clean. Josh will laugh when he reads this as he’s OCD clean and loses his mind if there is a kirby grip left on the floor, I don’t mean I bleach the toilet before bed, I just leave it tidy so it’s nice to wake up to.
DO IT GRADUALLY
If you usually wake up at 8.30am, its unlikely you will be able to set your alarm for 5am and make that switch straight away, so start of by putting your alarm 30 mins – 1 hour earlier and only when you’ve mastered that start moving your alarm a little earlier.
GIVE YOURSELF SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
We’ve recently purchased this Nespresso machine and let me tell you, having a great cup of coffee from the machine first thing, even if it is to enjoy on a cold, dark bus, is bliss. I also have those toffee flavour drops from Myprotein which I only ever have for my first coffee of the day, so I always look forward to it! If you don’t like coffee (we can’t be friends) this could be a hot water with lemon, 10 minutes of meditation, reading a chapter of your book, fresh eggs on toast. Whatever will make those mornings slightly easier.
PREP DURING THE WEEKEND TO SAVE TIME
Wherever possible I try and prep everything I can during the weekend so that mid week I don’t have a lot to do. Iron, meal prep, plan my outfits for the week, wash my hair etc. Anything that could give me an excuse for not getting up, I try and avoid.
BE CONSISTENT – MAKE IT A HABIT, NOT AN OPTION
This is probably one of the hardest to do, but the most effective. Waking up earlier everyday (ish) will make it so much easier. We have the same 5.25am alarm set Monday-Friday. On weekends we try and get up before 6.30am so our bodies aren’t in too much of a shock Monday morning. I often will naturally wake up at 5.30am and just lay there for an hour, it feels great. This probably takes the longest to get used to but once you don’t make it an option whether you get up at that time, no arguing with yourself when the alarm goes off and you just get up, it’s a game changer.
I would really recommend watching Matt D’avella’s Two Day Rule YouTube Video on the easiest way to create a habit!
& FINALLY – DON’T PANIC IF YOU MISS A FEW DAYS – BE FLEXIBLE AND EASY ON YOURSELF
With all this being said I don’t want this to sound like a military operation, you don’t need to not leave the house post 9pm for the rest of your life. I don’t do all of this every single day of the year, there will be times when I don’t get into bed before 10.30pm as I’ve had dinner with friends or I’ve been working late, or like this week, I’ve been ill so slept in slightly later, but if you’re consistent 80-90% of the time you will find it so much easier.
In summary – Have a clear motivator to why you want to wake up earlier, create a routine that works for you, that is sustainable so you can be consistent and enjoy it!
Let me know if you found this helpful and if you give these a try – I’ll most likely get back to you post 6am but not after 9.30pm.