Wednesday, February 3, 2016

6 Tips for Waking up Earlier and Easier

"Studies show that people who wake up early tend to be more productive, happier, healthier, and make more money."
I'd like to add that it keeps you from rushing around because you got a head start on the day.

You read that and think, "Yeah, I want to be a morning person!" It sounds so great and glamorous, but it's harder than it sounds (can I get an amen??)! Getting up after you hear that alarm is no easy feat.

Oh, alarms. There's always a new one being invented to help you wake up. One that jumps around the room until you catch it, one that makes you do a 15 minute dance before it turns off, and one where you play games on your phone until it goes away. Yes, I'm exaggerating, but we all know as soon as we get that annoying noise to go away it's easy peasy to jump right back and bed and drift back into peaceful sleep.

I'm not sure if I would describe myself as a morning person (I certainly do not like waking up early), but if I can get up and stay up for about 15 minutes, I'm good to go.

I realized how much more productive I was and also how much better I felt when I woke up early, so I was determined to find a system that would help me GET UP!

1. Make a Schedule

Each night before I go to bed, I usually make a schedule for the next morning. This probably works better for the list and schedule makers, but when I know I have something to follow, I tend to stick to it and not go back to bed.

2. Go to bed earlier

It's not fun, I know. I just want to veg out and watch a show at night, or sometimes I'll be on a roll with work and I can't pull myself away. But this is huge! If I can make myself get to bed a little bit earlier, the next morning is not nearly as dreadful.

I've found it helpful to leave my computer in "my office" at night. It's too easy to watch something, scroll the Facebook, or read blogs until all hours of the night if I have my computer in bed with me.

3. Drink Water and Turn on the Light 

I keep a cup of water on my night stand, so as soon as my alarm goes off I drink a bunch of water. The cold water helps wake me up and hydrates me first thing in the morning...before coffee. Right after drinking my water I'll get up to turn on the light. Not the little light next to my bed, but the overhead light. It doesn't sound like a big deal but this way I have to get out of bed and walk over to it. Once you're out of bed, it's much harder to fall back asleep. Our bodies also respond to light, so I light it up! ;)

4. Brush Teeth and get changed

After flipping on the light I'll go directly to the bathroom and brush my teeth. I think it's the movement and the mental thought of getting ready. Getting out of my pajamas also helps with this. I'm basically telling my body it can't go back to sleep. ;)

5. Workout

This one is mentally a lot harder. It's the very last thing I want to do in the morning, but it is so so good for waking me up. I used to lay out my workout clothes the night before so they were easily excess able and I didn't have to think through that. Once my workout is done, I am completely awake and there's no way I'm going back to bed.

More recently I've been going to the gym late in the morning, so skipping that workout first thing was making it really really hard to wake up. Recently I've started experimenting and doing some stretching first thing to get my blood flowing. It has helped a LOT!

6. Get coffee

At that point I'm ready to go get my coffee and sit down at my desk and start work. And ya know, the coffee makes everyone wide awake from there on out. ;)

Obviously you don't have to do everything in this order. Find what works for you!

I had found that 6:00 was a good wake time, though this week I've moved it up to 5:30. If it gets much later, I tend to get lazy and drag my feet. I usually spend some time reading my Bible after getting my workout done, so if I can get up by 6, then I'm ready to start work at 7:30! I leave my house mid morning, so this helps me get a few solid hours of work in!

There are definitely some days I do all of these things and still end up going back to sleep, but for the most part this is the best routine that has helped me!

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