Everybody wants to be a morning person… at least, to the extent that when your alarm goes off, whether that’s at 5:30am or 9:00am, you hop right out of bed instead of hittin’ the ol’ snooze button. But we all know that’s often not the reality. It can be really difficult to get out of bed sometimes, and it’s much easier to clench the pillow and will yourself back to dreamland than it is to hop up and get the coffee going. How to wake yourself up is no simple task, dear dreamer. Sometimes, the gravity of the mattress pulls you back in (especially on these cold winter mornings), but there are things you can do to increase your chance of waking up early and getting the day in motion! Wanna know how to wake yourself up?
The Morning is NOT The Enemy
Figuring out how to wake yourself up is a battle against your own willpower, but it’s something that you can master with practice. Like anything difficult, the first step is to set yourself up for success. Waking up early is doable. While we usually just resort to a big cup of Joe for that jolt of caffeine, there are other ways to go about clearing your head and getting the blood flowing—how to wake yourself up has never been easy, but here are some tips for getting the job done.
Food For Waking Yourself Up
Strong Mint — The alarm goes off and you instantly hit that snooze button but you’ve got a strong, zesty mint by your bedside… all you’ve gotta do to wake yourself up is toss that pop of peppermint onto your tongue and the freshness will zap you into the day! You can do this with any intense flavor, but eating a mint is a heck of a lot better than biting into a spicy jalapeño, which also does the trick (ask my college roommate)!
Coffee — Yes, we know you know. Coffee, the king of caffeine, is obviously going to wake you up. But did you know that there are relatively inexpensive (at least for how much they change your life) coffee brewers that you can set to brew your morning cup without you having to wake up? It’s true! Invest in an automatic timer coffee brewer so the sweet smell of brewing beans can lull you out of bed and into the kitchen.
Glass of Water — When you sleep, your body is slowly dehydrating. That dehydration can lead to a couple of things, one of which is making it harder to wake yourself up efficiently and experience early morning headaches. While drinking a lot of water right before bedtime isn’t the best practice for a perfect bedtime routine, staying hydrated throughout the day can help you wake up earlier in the morning. Kicking the day off by drinking a glass of water will not only help you reach that goal, but kick start your sleep metabolism and help you feel awake.
Physical Tricks For Waking Up Early
Alarm Placement — Put your alarm out of reach. When the snooze button is within striking distance, you’re much more likely to stay under the covers. If you have to get up, or even heavily shift your body out of your sleeping position, your body will feel the rush of your circulatory boost and help you get kick-started.
Let in Light — One of the easiest tricks for how to wake yourself up is to let the light shine in! Exposing your retinas to light helps your body know that it’s daytime (that’s classic circadian rhythm 101 stuff). Whether you do that with a sun lamp that slowly mimics the sunrise or by throwing open the curtains and and getting natural light (easier in the spring/summer), light exposure is a crucial part of waking up early.
Waking Yourself Up Without an Alarm
Getting back on track but want to take the ultimate morning challenge and teach yourself how to wake yourself up without an alarm at all? It’s not easy, but there are plenty of people who do it—the trick is consistency, setting proper expectations, and working your way toward the elusive perfect morning.
Habit-forming — Establishing a habit can be difficult, but the repetition is necessary for your brain to make automatic connections between the time you get up and your ability to actually just do it. Mainly, that calls for going to bed and waking up at the same time each night for a while (yes, even on your day off). Sounds tough? It can be! Developing a powerful internal clock is going to take time and effort, but learning how to fall asleep quickly or meditate and wind down in the evenings is going to help you out a lot.
Understand Your Internal Clock — Your circadian rhythm, or sleep/wake cycle, is how your body regulates when you wake up and when you go to sleep. Following your body’s natural rhythm can help you develop a consistent pattern so you don’t mess up your sleep pattern by forcing yourself into an unnatural cycle. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, no matter how much you wanna party deep into the wee hours of the weekend!
Backup Plans — It might be tough but how to wake yourself up is a long term challenge. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t accidentally sleep through your morning meetings. It takes *time* to ease into a new schedule. Don’t be afraid to set an alarm—for half an hour after you want to wake up. That way, you’ll give yourself time to try and wake yourself up naturally but the safety of not accidentally ruining your life (read: missing work, obligations, or sleeping in till noon when you thought you’d be up at 8:00am).
Wake Yourself Up—Break The Cycle
You don’t have to be a servant to sleep... break the cycle! Not your sleep/wake cycle, of course—that’s sacred—but the cycle of waking up late, missing important morning stuff, or just not feeling like a morning person despite the fact that it’s not all that difficult to develop a morning-centric routine. Learning how to wake yourself up is an important part of getting the most out of your day. If you’re clutching the covers and unable to get outta bed, take a couple precautions and slowly work in the skills you need for waking up early. Keep at it! You’ll be up with the early birds sooner than you think.