Want to know how to wake up earlier because it’s currently a struggle?
You’re not alone in this fight—by a long shot.
I used to struggle with this. And hundreds of thousands to millions of Americans also aim to but can’t wake up earlier for the life of them. So they settle for the snooze button and sleeping as late as they can before school or work.
This is a problem because it means you’re not getting all the benefits of waking up early. For example, early risers are often associated with being more:
- organized, because they’re not playing catch up on their day. They have built-in extra time to consider their goals for the day, week, and month.
- productive, because they know what they need to do today and can attack each item on their to-do list. This also creates positive momentum that carries into the afternoon and evening.
- healthy, if you capitalize on this extra morning time for a morning walk, run, or exercise routine. That will get your blood flowing to start the day and encourage you to eat healthier foods, which is a double win.
Plus, a Harvard research study found that adults who wake up earlier tend to experience more positive feelings throughout the day than those who don’t. And this study found these people felt subjectively healthier than the night owls who wake up later.
I could write a whole article about the correlation between mega-successful people and waking up early.
So by now, whether you’re naturally an early bird or a night owl, I hope you’re convinced about the benefits of waking up earlier.
And I want to point out that there’s a difference between waking up earlier feeling rested and recharged to tackle your day. Or feeling pooped out, with zero motivation, wondering when you can take a nap next.
It defeats the purpose of waking up early if can’t properly function in the morning and rest of the day.
That’s why this post is about how to wake up earlier without feeling like you’re on your deathbed. That’s important to starting the day as productive as possible.
Successful People’s Thoughts On Waking Up Early
I figured I can’t just make the claim that successful people are often early risers without backing it up with some quotes.
So here are a few legends with their thoughts on the matter.
One of the greatest inventors of all time had this to say,
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. — Benjamin Franklin
This English thought leader had great insight,
Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it. — Richard Whately
A Founding Father and the third President of the United States believed in early mornings,
The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years. — Thomas Jefferson
An American industrialist and the richest citizen in the world in 1966 said,
Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil. — J. Paul Getty
The author of the series A Series Of Unfortunate Events contributed this,
Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have. — Lemony Snicket
This final thought comes from a notable French poet and philosopher,
The best way to make your dreams to come true is to wake up. — Paul Valery
There are thousands of other examples, but starting the day early helped these people get an edge in their career and not look back.
How To Wake Up Earlier
I could write a post with 37 or more tips to wake up early, which works for some blog posts, but I felt it did not for this one.
In this case, it’s best to keep it simple and stick to the basics to overcome your fight against the early morning.
Follow these three keys to waking up earlier and you just might—I bet you will—start to enjoy it.
1) Make Your Bed A No Device Zone
The biggest problem I notice among my friends and family is they use their phone, tablet, or laptop up to the second they want to fall asleep. Then they get upset that they can’t go to bed right away, when really they set themselves up to fail.
Sometimes this issue is so bad that while binging on social media or their favorite show, they’ll start to daze off and drop the phone on their face or laptop on the ground.
Your mind isn’t meant to be firing at all cylinders in front of a lit screen and then instantly turn off to go to bed. It’s not a light switch. It takes some winding down to go to bed and be rested for an early morning.
So as interesting as it is to scroll through my Instagram profile, control yourself and get off of social media at least 30 minutes before bed. Maybe this means putting your phone at the opposite end of the room or leaving it out of your room.
And this tip also means, to avoid the temptation altogether, not using your phone or laptop in bed during the day. This creates a bad habit that makes it acceptable to do it before bed.
However, what is allowed in bed is reading a book because this will relax your body and prime your mind to fall asleep. That’s one of one million reasons why reading is the best.
Keep your bed a device free zone and your body will have an easier time going to bed, plus waking up early.
2) Get 7 To 8 Hours Of Sleep
Most people treat food and sleep the same way, they want more than they actually need. There’s no need to sleep more than 8 hours to feel rested and have energy throughout the rest of the day.
And besides certain seasons of life where limited sleep is necessary, there’s no reason to go through weeks on 5 hours of sleep because that will limit your performance during the day.
When you sleep more or less than you need to, you through off your body’s clock and make it difficult to wake up on time. It’s also impossible to get in a routine.
That’s why moderation is key here.
Plus, as long as you’re getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep, you’ll be well rested and it won’t matter if you get up at 5, 6, or 7 AM. To do that, of course, you need to go to bed reasonably early at night.
This is powerful for many of you, since you’ll be trading the normal hours at night you would waste watching television for quality hours in the morning to do significant work and feel great about it.
And this method also works on the back end. If you’ve been busy and working hard for 16 or 17 hours during the day, your body will be ready to fall asleep at night.
3) Wake Up At The Same Time Each Day
You’re not putting yourself in position to wake up early if you get out of bed at 6 AM, some days 8 AM, and others at noon—depending on the day of the week. Your body will be insanely confused, and get worse REM sleep because of it.
Again, keep it simple by waking up at the same time each day. Following this tip inherently includes going to sleep at night at the same time each day, so you get your 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
This won’t be bad during the week.
Though this may mean you have to sacrifice late nights out with your friends on the weekends to keep your wake up routine going strong.
With that said, this doesn’t mean you can’t break this rule every once in a while for a social night out. But I’d say that 95% of the time you need to be waking up at the same time each day to get this momentum going in your favor.
Otherwise you’re just placing struggles in your way, like hitting snooze and tricking your body, which make it more difficult to stick to this game plan.
It’s easy to say you don’t know how to wake up earlier when you haven’t put in the effort to try to do it the right way. If you do it wrong, you will feel like you got hit by a train in the early morning.
So use the three action steps above and give it a genuine effort.
I’m not going to lie. It will be uncomfortable in the beginning as your body adjusts to its new routine—just like anything else. But over time it will feel normal and your body will get better sleep because of this regular routine.
And most importantly you’ll pick up the benefits I mentioned earlier, like becoming more organized, productive, healthy, and joyful because you woke up earlier—that all sounds like success to me.
Maybe this extra time in the morning is the difference that helps you reach your goals or New Year’s resolutions.
Anyway, cheers to becoming a morning person. And a more successful one at that!