“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.”
Waking up on time is an important step toward a productive, happy day.
To help you learn to get up refreshed and early, I shared ten tips a couple weeks ago, and today I am sharing ten more.
With all twenty tips from both articles combined, everyone should be able to find something to fit their particular situation.
#1 Get Enough Sleep
Although this may seem obvious, many people do not truly get enough sleep.
As I discussed in the first article on this topic, people who need to sleep in on the weekends are probably not getting enough sleep during the rest of the week.
In addition, even if it does not force you to sleep in ever, getting just a little less sleep than you need can make you fell perpetually drowse… defeating the goal of waking up early and feeling refreshed.
To maximize your productivity and energy, make sure that you always get enough sleep… but not too much either.
#2 Use Timed Light
Like alarm clocks that wake you up through your sense of sound, timed lights can wake you up through your sense of sight.
Although it would probably be too complicated to make your main ceiling light turn on automatically, you can easily use a timing device to set a table lamp to automatically turn on.
Because this wake up method is not as invasive as a loud alarm clock, it might be a more comfortable way to wake up, or it might not be enough to wake you up. Before you rely on a “light alarm” do a little testing to see how effective it is for you.
#3 Remember Why You Need To Get Up Early
If you remember the reason why you are getting up early (to read your Bible, exercise, etc.), it will help you avoid rationalizing yourself back to bed.
If, for instance, you are planning to read you Bible and eat breakfast before going to work, remembering this will help you avoid sleeping in late because you know that you must get up to avoid getting behind on your daily tasks.
#4 Develop A Pleasant Morning Routine
Even once you know why you need to get up, you might still rationalize sleeping in unless you have a pleasant task that you plan to accomplish.
For instance, you could plan your normal morning routine to include a tasty breakfast… only if you wake up on time. By hanging this carrot in front of your sleepy self, you will have an emotional incentive to practice the difficult discipline of getting out of bed.
By making your morning routine a happy experience, you will encourage your morning self to wake up consistently.
#5 Change Slowly
If you are currently sleeping in until noon, don’t plan on waking up at 5:00 AM tomorrow.
Fast changes are confusing to your body and will need to be completed slowly so that your physical systems can adjust to the new schedule.
Rather than making drastic and sudden changes to your sleep schedule, make incremental but steady changes. For instance, you might find that waking up thirty minutes earlier every week until you reach your goal time gives your body enough time to correct without too much pain. On the other hand, that schedule might be too fast or too slow for you.
Determine your optimal changing speed and slow down if your body rebels.
#6 Never Go Back To Bed
If you consistently build a habit of always getting up and staying up when your alarm goes off, the consistency will make it less difficult to refuse any urges to return to bed.
On the other hand, if you occasionally do give in to the temptation of extra sleep, the difficulty of refusing next time will be much harder.
Good habits are hard to build and easily broken. Be strictly consistent in your sleeping habits to avoid needless difficulty.
#7 Get A Specialty Alarm
If you find that a normal alarm does not work for you (or you simply want some fun), a specialty alarm might be just the thing to help you wake up alert and eager for the day ahead.
Some specialty alarms are really robots that race around your room until you catch them and turn them off. Because they force you to catch them while they race every which way, this type of alarm can help even the sleepiest person wake up completely.
Both for the fun and the extra strength, a specialty alarm clock may be just the thing to wake you up!
#8 Know How Much Sleep You Need
Before you can start getting enough sleep, you need to first know just how much sleep you need.
Although eight to nine hours is a good estimate, “normal” people have a wide range of sleep needs. Rather than planning based on a general estimate, determine your specific needs through testing of your sleep and resulting productivity.
Because your needs will fluctuate based on your activities and time of life, you need to regularly assess your sleep habits and make sure that you are getting enough sleep to stay healthy and productive long-term.
#9 Plan Ahead
In addition to having a regular morning routine, take the time to plan ahead.
I normally plan out my next day briefly just before falling asleep, and this helps me to both be more productive the next day (since I know my goals) and to wake up promptly (since I know am trying to squeeze two day’s work into one day).
If you know how busy or exciting your next day will be, it will make it less difficult for you to wake up quickly when you hear your alarm.
#10 Keep The Temperature Constant
Particularly during the winter, it can be tempting to stay under your warm covers instead of venturing in the chilly air of your bedroom.
By using a thermostat, however, to keep your house, or at least room, at a comfortable temperature, you can eliminate this problem and make it easier to wake up.
Bonus: #11 Remember Your Doctor
As I already mentioned in the first post in this series, remember to seek expert advice (that does not include me) before you make a major health-related change. And always remember to evaluate all advice carefully before implementing it.
What is your sleep schedule like?