How to Wake Up Early in the Morning: 5 Tips to Beat Sleepiness

Once Ben Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes and man healthy, wealthy and wise.” While this old saying might not sound tempting to a large part of the population, waking up early sometimes is unavoidable due to exams, urgent business, or social engagement.

However, as we all know, wanting something and achieving it are two different things. You might have to get up early, but there is a part of your brain that prefers staying under the warm covers and sleeping until 10 in the morning. That’s the same part of the brain that makes you hit the snooze button.

So, if it’s a genuine struggle for you to get out of bed, and you’re often late for work or appointments, you might be looking for a solution how to wake up early in the morning. You’re not the only one wondering how to complete this seemingly impossible task and turn into an early riser.

So, today I’m going to give you some tips how to wake up early in the morning. Keep on reading!

What do you need to wake up early?

Before we move to the main part of the action, there are a couple of things you need so that you can successfully master the ability to wake up early:

  • ​Dedication. That’s the most important one. If you’re not ready to stick to your decisions, then you won’t reap any benefits.
  • ​A good night’s sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep every night, the chances of building a strong habit for waking up early are very slim.
  • ​An established morning ritual.
  • A smartphone
  • Basic computer skills
  • Help from other people
How to Wake Up Early in the Morning

# 1 Find a reason to get up 

I remember when I was a teenager that I used to wake up early in the morning to watch my favorite TV show. I was so excited about what was going to happen that I just had to get up and I didn’t care if it was early or if I was tired. That was the good times.

The bad times were the exams. I was so nervous and restless in the morning that I couldn’t spend a minute more in bed than necessary. I’m sure that every one of you can think of such occasion in his life when something literally made you jump straight out of bed. Brings back memories, right?

Unfortunately, as we age, it’s harder to get excited in the morning because our lives are sometimes too busy to enjoy the simple activities we like. What’s more, the image of a day full of stress and worries is not a strong motivator to get up.

That’s why you have to think about something to look forward in the morning. Something you’re crazy about so that you can get out of bed without finding an excuse to sleep just five more minutes. It’s far easier to get up early if something pleasant and fun is waiting than if you have only a bleak work day ahead.

If you have an established morning ritual, add one thing you love to do to the other activities whose purpose is to make you ready to face the world. It might be a walk in the morning to your favorite coffee shop to get delicious breakfast, it can be early sports training, listening to music or audiobooks.

#2 Don’t linger in bed

Once your alarm clock goes off in the morning, you’ve got several options before you:

  • ​Hit the snooze button
  • ​Lay in bed until you’re ready to get up
  • ​Jump immediately out of bed and start your day

I’m sure that most of you choose option №1 or № 2, but snoozing off is not productive. Snoozing:

  • ​Makes you groggy, which can last for hours.
  • ​Messes up your sleep cycle because if you fall asleep, you’re starting a new cycle you can’t finish.
  • ​You train your mind to associate the sound of the alarm with “five minutes more” rather than “get up now.”

Your best choice is to get up immediately once your alarm rings. I know that this sounds impossible and that it will be difficult to achieve. But it’s necessary if you want to build a habit of waking up early.

When you sleep, your body produces hormones to keep you asleep. Once you wake up, these hormones don’t disappear magically. That’s why you need time to get your bearing and shake off the drowsiness. Not lingering in bed and moving as soon as you wake up jolts your brain back into action and suppress that part of you that wants to sleep all day.

It will be hard at the beginning. It’ll require a strong will and an effort from you until you condition your mind to associate the alarm with “get up now.” But you’ll soon notice that you get up easily in the morning and that you’re not tempted to go back to bed.

This conditioning is called an automatic wake-up response. So:

  • ​Always wake up at the same time every day.
  • ​Get up immediately when your alarm goes off.
  • ​Turn it off.
  • Stretch a bit and move around.
  • Start your morning ritual.

# 3 Get “smart” help 

What kind of alarm do you use? An old alarm clock or a smartphone? Do you know that there are tons of apps out there designed to help you get out of bed? Me neither, until last year. So, let’s see one of the best apps for ISO/Android that will help you jump out of bed every morning:

​3.1 Sleep Cycle

As you already know, completing the sleep cycle is essential to wake up full of energy and refreshed. While ordinary alarms will wake you up at certain times, the Sleep Cycle app uses your phone accelerometer and microphone to analyze your sleep patterns. In combination with the alarm, it uses the recorded date to wake you up gently when your sleep cycle is completed.

​3.2 Alarmy

This app is designed to make sure that you won’t oversleep even if you want. Once it goes off, you have 30 seconds to complete a task – take a picture of an object in your house, solve a math question or shake your phone. Users describe it as “The Most Annoying Alarm Clock.”

​3.3 FreakyAlarm

For those who find getting up early impossible, FreakyAlarm will undoubtedly do the trick. It has an option which requires you to scan a product’s barcode before you can disable the alarm. FreakyAlarm also has a lot of annoying, but effective ringtones at its disposal.

​3.4 Step Out of Bed!

As you’ve might guess, this alarm requires you actually stepping out the bed and taking several steps before it turns off. It’s cheat-proofed so that you just shake your phone and foul it into thinking that you’re up. The app is available for iSO, but don’t worry. There is a version for Android called Wake me up!

​3.5 SpinMe

Can you imagine going back to bed after spinning in circles for a couple of minutes? No, right? Well, that’s what makes SpinMe so perfect. To disable the alarm, you have to spin with your phone. While it can make it slightly dizzy, it will certainly shake you wide awake.

​3.6 Math Alarm Clock

To disable this clever alarm clock, you have to solve a mathematical problem. What might be better to wake you up than forcing your brain to work out the answers?

Some of these apps are paid ones, just to warn you. However, they are very effective in forcing you out of bed. Of course, you always can find a loop and power your phone off (I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it), so you have to be ready to make the sacrifice and stick to your decisions.

You can also keep your smartphone away from the bed so that you have to make several steps to reach it.

#4 Form a support group

Sometimes even technology can’t force us out of bed. When I’m tired I sleep so deeply that I don’t hear my alarm. If you’re like me, you might need more than a smart clock to wake you up and force you out of the warm covers.

Fortunately, the Internet allows you to connect with people with similar problems. What’s more, if you are in touch with other people they will keep you accountable. You might not be able to stick to your decision by yourself, but being accountable to other people might do the trick.

But where can you find such a group? It’s obvious. Go to the place where you discuss your favorite movie or ask stupid questions – Reddit. Here are two subgroups:

  1. GetOutOfBed
  2. EarlyWaking

Once you’ve found allies in your fight with sleepiness, you can communicate through Skype or Google Hangouts, if you’re in the same time zone. You can also arrange a call through FreeConference.com if you’re in different countries.

One other option I can recommend is trying Habitica. This app aims at helping you establish healthy habits, improve your concentration and get better at work or school. You can personalize the challenges to suit your goals and you’ll receive awards for completing them.

#5 Sleep well

My last advice might seem too obvious, but it’s essential if you want to become an early bird. Sleep well at night. If you’re not rested, early wake-up turns into an ordeal. So, remember these simple tips for getting better sleep:

  • ​Don’t stay up late. Go to bed on time. You need at least 7-9 hours a night.
  • ​Sleep in a dark room with no light distractions.
  • ​Limit caffeine before bed.
  • Avoid late dinners.
  • Don’t exercise before bed.
  • Pick a suitable pillow for your sleeping style.
  • Keep your smartphone where you can’t reach it.

So, as you can see building the habit of waking up early will take some time, and it will require serious commitment. Before you really get into it, think why you’re doing it. Do you want to stop being late for work? Do you want to get more things done during the day? Or are you committing to it because you think it’s healthy?

New evidence has come to light which suggests that larks (early risers) and owls (late risers) are equality healthy and wise. In fact, an article states that the owls might be a bit cleverer than the larkers because they score better at intelligence tests. There is nothing wrong with sleeping until you’re ready to wake up as long as it doesn’t interfere with your work schedule.

What do you think about these tips how to wake up early in the morning? Did they work out for you? What’s your way of getting up in the early morning hours? Share in the comments.

    Daniel Kruger

    A senior academic researcher, reviewer, and editor, Daniel Kruger is also an internationally accredited psychotherapist. He earned his PhD in Psychological Counseling and Guidance, and in the years since, he has taught in the Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance himself.He has also authored papers that have gone on to appear in such world-renowned journals as the European Journal of Psychological Assessment, Psychological Reports, the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. Asia Pacific Psychiatry, and Computers in Human Behaviour.

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