Since New Years I’ve been experimenting with the best ways to wake up early. I wanted to wake up early because I enjoy the quietness of the mornings and am most productive during this time period (6-11AM).
Here are some observations and suggestions on how to wake up early
- The sooner you’re exposed to light, the better. The winters in New England suck because you have to get up before the sunrise. Humans have evolved to wake up with the sunrise. As soon as you wake up, turn on a lamp. There are also Sunrise Alarm Clocks that get good reviews but I haven’t tried one yet.
- Get up during the lightest stage of your sleep cycle. You want to avoid being waken up when you’re in the deep/REM stage of your sleep. I’ve been testing out an iPhone app called the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock. You place your iPhone on the corner of your bed and it determines what part of the sleep cycle you’re in based on your movement. You set a time you want to wake up and a time window in which it’s ok for the alarm to go off. It’ll then wake you up at a better point in your sleep cycle and you will feel more refreshed. It works and it’s worth the 99 cents.
- Get warm quickly when you wake up. When it’s cold in the room when I wake up, I have zero desire to get out of bed just knowing that cold air will hit me. Your body temperature is lower than normal and you’re groggy. When it’s too warm, I tend to kick off the covers and feel more awake. If you can time your thermostat to get warmer in the morning, great. If not, have a sweatshirt and some warm pants ready to go. Cooler temperatures help you sleep, warmer temperatures help you wake up.
- Have a pleasant morning routine. Every time I’ve attempted to workout in the morning, the routine inevitably failed. It sucked to think the first thing I had to do was exert myself physically. The exception to this is when I was working out with a group. If the first thing you have to do in the morning sucks, you’ll just simply delay getting out of bed. I recommend taking a hot shower and having a cup of coffee as the first things you do in the morning. If you want to workout in the morning, wake up one hour earlier, shower, have your coffee, and then workout.
Hopefully these tips will help you wake up in the morning feel refreshed without actually going to bed earlier.