Getting into a routine of getting up early everyday is something I’ve flirted with for a while. Last year I got into a routine of getting up every day at 6am and in the process I had to teach myself how to wake up early. I wouldn’t count myself as a night owl or an early bird, but I just like being up first thing. I’m also a bit rubbish at it and really, REALLY love my bed in the morning. That said, I don’t love dragging myself out of it at the last possible moment, sprinting around getting ready, power walking to wherever I’m going and arriving just in the nick of time (not to mention a bit hot and bothered).
1. Make yourself walk to turn your alarm off
The one thing that always makes a difference to whether I get up or I crawl back into bed is where the alarm clock is. If it’s by my bed, I’ve turned it off whilst still spark out and I can happily snooze on. But, if I have to get up, stagger around, start flailing my arms to shut my alarm off, I’ve woken myself up by the time I’ve got to it. The best thing for me is to put it in the hall or even further away so I can’t even see my bed anymore.
2. Start slow
You can read a lot about how the most productive people in the world have done their workout, spent time with their families and got half their working day done by 9am. If you can already hop out of bed and do that then all power to ya (and I’d love to read your tips), but putting yourself under pressure to change your sleep routine, get up at the crack of dawn AND get all of that done in one go can be what makes you feel like bear hugging your duvet and refusing to get out of bed. When I’m adapting to getting up early, I start by going easy on myself. I wake up, make some tea and just watch TV or read something. Once I feel I want to, I’ll go and get ready for the day.
Starting slow also means changing your sleeping pattern gently, by adjusting the time that you wake up by 10 or 15 minutes every day. Nothing too shocking about waking up 15 minutes early now is there (and other such phrases I use to trick myself)?
3. Get enough sleep!
It’s almost too obvious to say it, but if getting up early is exhausting or you find yourself getting tired during the day, try going to bed early. Just as you adjust the time you wake up, you need to adjust what time you go to sleep so you get all the hours of shut eye that you need. I also find that plenty of water throughout the evening helps me to be well hydrated and I’ll have better quality sleep.
Set out everything that you might need when you’re bleary eyed. I put out something to wrap up in and a pair of slippers by my phone so I can substitute my duvet for something cosy to wear as soon as possible. I also set out everything to make tea, so I have a hot drink. Can’t waste a good cuppa by going back to sleep now can I?!
5. Build a routine
Apart from the immediate moments after waking up (where I’m generally enthusiastically telling myself that getting back into bed is a truly excellent idea), I enjoy getting up early. I look forward to the quiet time first thing and I feel a little sense of achievement for the rest of the day. So, I don’t want to go wasting that by watching River Monsters* on repeat. After a few weeks of getting used to the early start (and once I’ve stopped dozing off as soon as I sit down), I start to build a routine including something useful like gentle exercise or writing a blog post. It’s a great time to make a start on all those things that I usually think I don’t have time to do.
So, for 2015, I’m going to make more of an effort to regularly get up early and I’ll see what effect that has. I know it won’t be every day and that’s just fine.
I always LOVE and appreciate your comments. Are you an early bird?