Note: This is a guest post from Arina Nikitina of ArinaNikitina.com
If others can be out of bed really early and make great days ahead, so can you! It’s all a matter of changing routines, learning the benefits of being an early riser and practicing the new habit positively.
- Gimme one good reason. Is it being a better worker? Is it to be healthier, less stressed parent? Or is it because you’ve proven that the late riser’s life is that of a loser? Just find one good reason why you should be up and moving about early, and always keep that in mind. Make it your mantra before you finally doze off.
- Forget the snooze. Hey, hey. The snooze button won’t get you anywhere near the new habit or waking up early. Forget it. Set the clock at 6 AM and that’s it. Once you extend another ten minutes of getting back to sleep, you’d want another ten. And another. And some more. So forget the snooze and always remind yourself of your “one good reason” to rise on time.
- Know the OR ELSE factors. Most early risers know very well the repercussions of staying longer in bed. But those who don’t tend to go back to sleep. So be aware of the dreadful “or else” scenarios and that will push you to really wake up early.
- Sleep well and enough. People who don’t get sufficient and quality sleep are always sluggish, if not nurturing that pathetic habit of waking up late. If you wish to shift from this, then you must commit to get good sleep all the time.
- Make your bedroom a partner. A great bed, better pillow textures and form, and comfortable sheets would surely help in changing your sleeping – and waking – patterns. Change your bed position so you’d face the rising sun. Have the lights automatically turn on at set times in the morning. Don’t have TV or the internet in your bedroom to avoid late night temptations.
- Open a window. Having great air during sleep is good for your health so make sure you have a window or two opened at night.
- Dress right at night. Wear comfortable night wear that wouldn’t keep you awake at night. Make sure what you put on is appropriate with the weather condition and your body’s temperature. This helps you achieve quality sleep versus feeling too cold, too warm or too edgy
- Sleep happy. Yes, there are so many things to think about. But even with serious concerns, find a way to put yourself in a positive light and avoid thinking bad right before you sleep. Think “Tomorrow’s gonna be better, I can make it work” instead of clouding your mind with “Ugh. Life’s so unfair! Why does it always have to be me!”
- Create a bedtime ritual. Think nice thoughts that soothe your mind and soul. Set aside the hectic schedule for tomorrow, and instead focus on the shopping spree or vacation once you’ve completed the task. Praying and meditation works for some; try it when you feel you’re ready.
- Avoid night traps. Apart from TV, internet, pessimism and unfavorable bedroom atmosphere, get off good books and interesting magazines before you sleep.
- Eat and drink well and properly before bedtime. Don’t just focus on practicing the “no food right before sleeping” habit. Always eat a good, light dinner and avoid alcoholic drinks and coffee. They affect your sleep and have adverse results on waking up on time.
- Toilet before sleep. Discharge before you head off to bed so your sleep won’t be disturbed by a bursting bladder.
- Consistent hours even on weekends. Stick to the sleep hours and waking up routine even on weekends and holidays. Once the pattern is broken, it’s difficult to get back on track.
- Turn on the light right away. As darkness helps people sleep, light would keep the body attuned to day. So once you’re awake, reach for the light right away.
- Have a better alarm. Instead of the soft rings that could be snoozed, find an alarm that is really loud and bordering on maddening. Then place it in the bathroom or at a far corner in the bedroom. Putting it off would push you to wakefulness.
- Stretch. Don’t jolt your heart by suddenly jogging or doing jumping jacks in place. Instead, do stretching in most parts of your body to allow the “daytime” body processes to start well.
- Jump and stretch some more. Push yourself some more to be fully awake by doing more rigid stretching, jump or jog in place before heading off to the next routine or to the bathroom or kitchen.
- Water right after. For some, a glass of water isn’t just a healthy start, it also wakens their internal body system. Or if you need it, have water on your face to splash off sleepiness!
- A gentle reminder. Still too sleepy? Put the days’ to do list somewhere like the ref or bathroom cabinet where you’d be reminded what lies ahead. This should keep you on track and make you appreciate your effort to rise early.
- A little extra comfort. Get extra clothes ready for waking up, like a thicker coat, pajama bottoms or socks for extra cold mornings. Others would use the evening’s storm or pending blizzard to stay in bed longer. Well, don’t! Instead, be prepared.
- Find a partner. It helps to let someone help you with the shift. Ask your spouse or partner, even someone at work to make surprise calls just to check you’re really up. Mothers are great at this!
- Be ready for surprises. When your sleep has been disturbed for serious reasons, like a late night call from overseas or another state, or a bad dream, find a method to get right back to sleep. Don’t get up unless you need to go to the police district or the hospital!
- Perk up. Find the one good song or album to fill the air with positive sounds as you start the day. Some would even use the “party” music as alarms. If coffee or cold fruit juice perks you up, then go ahead and drink. If it’s the morning talk shows or news that gets you going, then turn the TV on.
- Open another window. Letting in more air – and early day time sounds – would help your body become in sync with what’s coming ahead. Take a minute or two to breathe deeply facing the window. It always refreshes – and perks you up.
- Congratulate yourself – out loud. Once you’re up, express wonderful congratulations verbally. It solidifies being awake, particularly if you say, “You’ve done it again!” with “Now let’s get going, dude! Time for coffee and let’s rock!” Imagine saying all these out loud!
Arina Nikitina is a blogger who shares practical goal setting, motivation, and productivity tips at http://www.arinanikitina.com
Photo by Edward Corpuz