The idea of being a biologically ingrained night owl or born to be a morning person is really a myth. The truth is that we all fall victim to our own habits. If we usually stay up late and enjoy the night scene waking up early will always feel painful and unnatural. Unless we make a conscious choice to change these habits.
The key to being able to wake up at a desired time naturally can be as easy as learning new habits and training your biological clock to wake up earlier.
How To Wake Up Early Naturally:
Time to train your biological clock. Thankfully there are many tactics and tools that have come up over time as others have trained themselves to wake up earlier naturally before.
First it is important to know how your body is designed to wake up naturally, before busy schedules and alarm clocks became the norm. Our bodies are designed to sleep in the dark and rise in the sun. This is how our circadian clocks work. Therefore in order to get better sleep and wake up naturally, mimicking nature as closely as we can is key.
Turn off lights and electronics
When you are on electronics at night, the lights that they emit send signals to your brain that it is still daytime. This can completely throw off your circadian clock, causing restless nights and accidental sleep ins.
When you keep lights and electronics on into the night this prevents your brain from sending out hormones like melatonin that are designed to make you sleep. We suggest you try to turn off your electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
I personally can attest to the benefits of avoiding electronics in the bedroom all together. Learn about my personal experience in the article: Technology and Sleep: The Blatant Hypocrisy.
Light up your morning
Unfortunately we can’t always wait to wake up with the sun. But lucky for us, we now have technology designed to replicate the sunrise. There are now alarm clocks that utilize light to wake you up in a more natural fashion. Before the old school alarm clock starts blaring, these lights will turn on automatically, and gradually. This mimics the rising of the sun, and starts to send signals to your brain to wake up.
Personally we have used the Philip’s Hue Light Alarm and love them. You can customize these lights to do just about anything, and all easily controlled through an app on your smartphone.
How To Wake Yourself Up:
Waking yourself up should be easy, right? You are in control of your own choices and actions. And yet, so many of us want to and are struggling to change our sleeping habits. So how do we change this? There are a couple tips and tricks you can use to keep yourself from self sabotaging your own morning wake up goals.
Get Out and Stay Out
Once you get out of bed, keep a strict “no climbing back in” rule. Getting out of your bedroom entirely can be helpful for this rule
Alarm Far Away
Place your alarm clock away from your bed. This forces you to physically stand up and walk away from your bed in order to turn off the alarm.
Write your morning goals down the night before, and in the morning read them over. Don’t let your morning mind talk yourself out of your goals. Trust us, it will try.
Be as consistent as you can, the more often you wake up on time, the more likely your bodies circadian rhythm will kick in.
Morning workouts get your blood pumping and endorphins going. This is a great way to really wake up your body and your mind.
Learn how you too can become an early bird in our simple guide How To Become A Morning Person.
How To Wake Someone Else Up:
It is one thing to try and change your own sleeping habits, it is a completely different story when you’re trying to change the habits of someone else. The main difference is if the other person wants to or is capable of deciding to wake up on their own. Young children tend to wake up early, they need more help deciding when to go to sleep.
While teenagers are notorious for staying up late and sleeping in. The morning comes whether or not they are ready for it and then begins the hair pulling struggle of getting your teen awake and off to school in time. So how do you help your teen to get healthier sleeping habits even when it isn’t something they seem to care about changing for themselves?
Take Away Distractions At Night
Just like we have to do for ourselves, take away the distractors. Smartphones, internet, television, even books can be so enveloping and distracting that it can keep your teen up all night.
Make sure you are attempting to wake them up at least two hours before you actually want them to get up. If you walk in and expect them to wake up the first time you ask them to, you will likely not get the immediate wake up you’re hoping for.
Give your teen a good reason to get up in the morning. Rewards can be a great tool. If they know when they get up that there is something to look forward to. (Breakfast is a good one) Or something a little special if they get up extra early, it might be that little extra incentive they need to choose to wake up.
Allow Natural Consequences
Let your teen know ahead of time that you will not be waking them up, allow them to be responsible for getting themselves up. If they miss the bus and have to walk to school, let them experience those consequences first hand.
Be Aware of Other Causes
Especially if the last step seems to have little to no effect on your teen, check in on their mental health. Depression and anxiety can take a toll on your ability or willingness to start a new day or care about the consequences that occur when you don’t. In this case, they may need more help then just a wake up call.
How To Change Your Wake Up Routine:
Change your habits and set attainable goals ahead of time. Take that extra time to dictate what you want your mornings to look like before the alarm goes off. If you try to just roll with it, chances are your groggy sleepy head can creatively come up with all the reasons why it would be better to sleep in today.
Add some fun into your morning routine, it is much easier to wake up in the morning when you have something to look forward to. We have some other great tips to incorporate into your morning to make it more enjoyable in our guide How To Become A Morning Person.
Benefits of Waking Up Early:
Less Stress –
When you sleep in, you’re often rushed and groggy. Dropping off the kids and getting to work late is more of the norm then it should be. When you are running late you add extra unneeded stress to your day. All of that can be avoided by waking up earlier.
When you wake up earlier you get extra time to yourself. You can treat yourself to some peace and quiet. When there are little to no expectations on how you use the next several hours ahead of you, because most everyone else is still sleeping, you get a great deal of freedom with how you want to use that time. It is liberating and relaxing.
Extra “Me Time” –
Getting that extra time to take care of yourself is a huge benefit to waking up earlier. When you make plans to take care of yourself in the morning, whether that is working out, or working toward other goals, you start your day off by taking care of yourself and your own needs before you start working for or taking care of anyone else. Often times if we schedule “me time” later in the day it can often get cancelled out by other necessities that interrupt our plans.
Feeling of Accomplishment –
Sometimes just getting up in the morning can feel like a true accomplishment. Especially when you’re not used to getting up early. On top of that you are now able to check things off of your list seemingly before the day even gets started. Giving you a head start to your day.
Possible Struggles and How To Overcome:
Make Waking Up a Habit –
It is difficult trying to change your sleeping habits. Keep in mind that like breaking any other bad habit, consistency is the key to success. It is often said that it takes 30 days to break a bad habit or create a new one.
Try to get up at your desired time every morning for 30 days in a row. Even if your biological clock hasn’t kicked in at that point you will have created the habit of waking up at that time. And don’t forget, weekends count. So try to resist the temptation to sleep in on your days off.
Late Day Sleepiness –
Another potential struggle is if you have a late running schedule. If you have a job or a social schedule that requires you to be up late it very well make you tired for these occasions. Find what works for you. If you have to work late into the night and you still want an early morning to yourself, figure out if you can schedule 20 minute naps throughout the day. Just be sure to keep it short and don’t slip into a deep REM sleep during your nap. This could make you feel even more exhausted for the rest of the day, and make it more difficult to stay asleep during the night.
Wake Up – You Can Do It!
Waking up isn’t always fun but there are ways to make it a more natural and comfortable experience. The great news is that if you make it a habit that waking up early or even just on time will eventually become much easier with time. The benefits of both better sleep and a better day make waking up earlier worth it. We know everyone’s schedule is different, but trying to make the most of your schedule will set you up for better sleep long term and short term.
If you have any questions on waking up early let us know. We’d be happy to hear from you, just contact us. Also, if you happen to be struggling sleeping because of a bad mattress, we can help with that! Check out some of our top rated beds in tour Best Mattresses page.