25 Ways To Wake Up Early

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.

Here’s how:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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!”
  9. 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.
  10. Avoid night traps. Apart from TV, internet, pessimism and unfavorable bedroom atmosphere, get off good books and interesting magazines before you sleep.
  11. 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.
  12. Toilet before sleep. Discharge before you head off to bed so your sleep won’t be disturbed by a bursting bladder.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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!
  22. 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!
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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


  1. Great tips, I use a lot of these myself. Another trick I use is to take advantage of the sleep cycle. Apparently when we’re sleeping our body goes through 1.5 hour cycles, ending with the lightest sleep phase. So if you set aside an amount of time to sleep that is a multiple of 1.5, your alarm should go off when you’re the easiest to wake up. Even if you haven’t received enough sleep, at that point in time you’ll be less sleepy than if your alarm had ripped you out of a deep sleep phase.

    To save you the maths a couple multiples of 1.5 are 9 and 7.5. It appears that we need 9 hours sleep, but I imagine most people will aim for 7.5.

    • Hi James! Thanks for your kind words. Your math about sleep hours is interesting! It should be helpful to those who have erratic sleep patterns, particularly people who really want to wake up feeling good, knowing there’s a busy day ahead! Thanks again!

  2. It’s interesting to read this, because I do a couple of these already, such as Toilet Before Sleep, and Water Right After.

    But I don’t do morst of these tips, so this has been helpful for me. Waking up early is something that I’m struggling to master. I managed to wake up at 6:30 this morning, and I’ve got so much done!

    You can always tell the change in your day when you wake up earlier 🙂

    • Hi Stuart! I’m glad you find the ideas here helpful. It will all work out to your favor if implemented well. Enjoy integrating the changes in your sleep and waking up patterns!

  3. Nice article. 🙂

    I’ve been waking up at 6am every morning. This is how I do it.

    Go to sleep at 10pm each night, so that I get 8 hours of sleep. On rare occasions I’ll stay up a bit later to get something important done, like studying, but very rarely so my body has a good reserve.

    I have a good reason to get up at 6am. I have a morning routine that I do that involves a quick exercise and making a protein shake, that must be done within 30 minutes of waking up. Then I usually have class or lab at 8am, but even if I don’t, I know I have to be done by 8 so I can start studying.

    I keep my body regular throughout the day by eating between 10am-11am, then again between 4pm-5pm, then again if I’m really hungry or just need a healthy snack between 8pm-10pm. MOST of the time, this works with my dental school schedule in some way, shape, or form.

    The Turkey Agreement: My girlfriend and I have an agreement that whoever gets out of bed last is the Turkey, and has to make the bed. For weeks she was the turkey, now she jumps up same time as me, so we had ‘double turkey’ and made the bed together. I know it’s corny, but, it’s a hack that works.

    I live in NYC, so there’s always a lot of noise, even from the 12th floor, but I block it out naturally. I do like to keep the window a bit open right now in the winter, because I find that I sleep better when it’s on the cooler side. The very warm dry air tends to dry my nose and throat out as well.

    My recommendation is that it’s all in the morning routine that are there to serve your big goals. It helps if you have a schedule like work or school to be at, and if not, create a ‘fake’ starting time to your day, that you can duplicate each day. Then see what you can get done in an hour, or two hours, that will take you closer to your life goals. Perhaps you want to be in better shape, will then do some exercise and get a high protein healthy meal in first thing (try for within 30 minutes). Do you want to become knowledgeable in something? With just 10 pages a day, you’ll read about 1 book a month, and 12 in a year, which will get you a SIGNIFICANT amount of knowledge about a subject.

    What else can you get done? Just automate it and make it your reason for living.

    • Hi again, Alex! There goes your turkey again! And mine, too. LOL! Thanks for sharing your piece on this. Cheers!

      • Hi Arina,you are more than appreciated and thanks for a little you share with us,usually i put my phone alarm every ordinary day to alert me on morning but the moment i heard the wailing alarm i turn-off the whole phone but this time there is a huge change since i read it about your guide piece.

  4. One thing that helped me get up a little earlier was to have a definite task in mind that I’ll do first thing when I wake up, such as write an article or blog post. If I accomplish that task before anything else, my day has already begun on a successful note!

  5. Great tips, getting up earlier is definitely something a lot of people have a hard time with!

    I liked #21 because my wife loves sleeping in, but hates when I get up earlier then she does, so it makes her get up when I do. 🙂

    Also I loved the turkey idea in Alex’s comment!

    Thanks Arina

  6. […] can also take a look at the latest post on Life Optimizer 25 Ways to Wake Up Earlier, which has some tips for getting better sleep. I was actually just commenting there, and because I […]

  7. These are excellent tips! Personally, I stretch, drink a glass of water, and then scrub my face. Without fail, after I’ve done these things I am wide awake! It also doesn’t hurt for keeping me limber, healthier, and my face cleaner!

    • Nice routine, JH! We all have our ideas and I take it that yours work perfectly for many others out there. Nice thing about your face being cleaner in the process of waking up, huh! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  8. Love lists like these. In regards to creating a bedtime ritual, I find it is super helpful to pick my clothes for the next day out before I go to bed.

    As for water, I never knew that it could wake up my internal system. I usually sip some with breakfast, but I am going to try a full glass before breakfast this week and see how my energy levels are. Thanks for passing along the info!!

    • FYI – one glass of water 1/2 hour before you eat makes sure your stomach acids are good to go.

      I do a lot of these tips myself, but I eat before I go to sleep. This way I don’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night.

      Oh, and I really like the ‘turn on the light right away’. That’ll help a lot I’m sure. Thanks.

  9. Helpful lists. I could sum up my own version: stay motivated. I used to experiment with sleep and have actually tried polyphasic. In the end it dawned on me that there is no substitute to this””waking up early to achieve a specific goal. I have my own share of downtime but I always try to keep myself motivated. Only then could I manage to wake up early without trying so hard.

  10. Hi Arina,

    These are some helpful tips on waking up early 🙂 Having a strong desire to accomplish my goals helps me personally to wake up early in the morning. I also do some of what you suggested like leaving the window open and stretching. Thanks for sharing

  11. You killed me with #2. Waking up at 6am is a late morning for me. We have to set the alarm for 5a every day. Most days only one of us has to be up that early, but it did put our daughter on a schedule to be awake around 545.

    Have been working on keeping the schedule though even when I don’t have to be awake. This morning I got out of bed around 515 and got ready like it was a work day.

  12. Great Post!!! Getting up early is something most of hate to do but gotta do.

  13. As a chronic snooze-button addict, this is a very helpful list. I especially like the tips about developing healthy night rituals and avoiding the temptation to stay up too late watching TV or surfing the Internet. Thanks!

    • I’m happy you found this helpful, Gillian! Late night temptations abound and tests our commitment to healthy sleep patterns. But with determination, we could manage those interests on better time of the day or early evening. I do watch TV, go online and even read at night, but have to cut things short when it’s late. That way, I don’t feel like a zombie the day after. LOL!

  14. Really nice ideas.
    I like to listen to songs in the morning to wake me up.

    • Oh, yeah! Especially if they’re your favorite band or performer. I love listening to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald in the morning. 🙂 Really!

  15. Great tips, must work on getting more sleep so I don’t hit the snooze button so often. I naturally wake up around the same time every day but would like to get up earlier. These tips will help. Thanks

  16. Interresting tips. I’d like to add one tip: Go early to bed.
    In the past, I have unsuccessfully tried to be a early rising, but since I discover this “secret”, I’m among those people said “early riser”.
    I agree also the tip of Dan W: stay motived on whatyou want to do in the morning. It’s also interresting to know this Benjamin Franklin’s citation “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

    Thanks for sharing this post.

  17. Excellent article.
    Waking up to music or an audiobook works for me as well.
    Anything but the dreaded alarm clock.

  18. It’s like you’re writing your posts just for me, LOL. You are such a good influence. Seriously, fab advice. Am being super naughty as husband and kid are away for the w-e so I can catch up on my deadlines. Something tells me am going to go to bed super late trawling the internet.

    We have a great alarm clock with fake sunlight in it.

    Great idea about comfie warm clothes like nightgown next to bed.

    I think a to do list next to the bed would make me stay up all night worrying, though.

    Thx for posting!

  19. You’re funny, Laure Anne! Thanks for your kind words. I’m pretty sure things will go better with your daily routines once you get the hang of all these. See you around!

  20. Great ideas! Really love them. Im motavated already. I have to be at work between 3:30 n 4:00 AM so waking up on time is hard as heXX but im going to try all of your ideas to have a schedual. I really need it. Thanks!

  21. Hi! This all looks very interesting, I have real trouble getting up in the morning, especially in the winter, so will definitely try a few of your tips. If you’re reading this and are interested in sleep/wake cycles and how this interacts with the kind of person you are, it would be fantastic if you could fill out my survey for my university dissertation. Just click on this link:
    http://nclpsych.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5psPFoW3aEnPA1u Or, if this doesn’t work, copy and paste it into your address bar. If you know anyone else/any other forums that are interested in this kind of thing it would be great if you could pass it on to them. Thank you so much! 🙂

  22. Interesting tips, will sure try some. You might want to add more tips – I’ve found more at http://www.howtowakeupearly.com site, there are some really funny ones

  23. Hi really nice article, but always I find it hard to wake up early… Even if I do really need it, since I’m a student, and when I got up early and started studying, I understand very quicly, very efficiently… but I could not continue in that way, I feel like tired of getting up early every day, and till now I can’t find a schedule a premanent one, even if I’m in a exam’s preparation, that makes me sooooo stressed and lazy (can you imagine that :p)

    Still seeking help !! if you have it, I’ll try your suggestion like I do more often….

    Nice day, and thanks again for the article 🙂

  24. A nice post with alot of good tips

  25. Hi….
    It is really an amazing list..n I do most of these…one thing I wd like to add…being a muslim..i dnt find it difficult to get up early in d morning cause every morning I offer prayers @6..a.m…then again goals n targets revolve my mind n I start my day happily…really like ur post?
    Sayka from kashmir..

  26. […] I struggle with mornings. Life Optimizer had a great article on some not-so-run-of-the-mill techniques for waking up, early or not. From “How to Wake Up Early”. […]

  27. your tips r helpfull. But i don’t fully agree by ‘really loud
    and bordering on
    maddening’ you mentioned. Because we are not forced to wake up by the alarm, but by our commitment, have to lists. Also we will wake up early if we r accustemed to and satisfied by sufficient sleep we got. How can we wake up fresh by loud and annoying sound which forced u to with out your will? What do u putting shaking sound in ur open mind. I prefer soft alarm, without snooz, to remind me the time only, put far from my bed.

  28. tnx…I wish u every success in the future..
    i hope i’ll wake up earlier tomorrow morning..

  29. […] Lifeoptimizer.com then feeds us the how. With 25 solid suggestions, there could be no more dawn fits. Find a goal for each day to really get started on the right path: Today, I want to be more productive in grading papers or Today, I’m going to finish that report. Once we have a goal, we ought to get right to completing that goal, which means no snooze button. Maimondes Medical Center states that “People who are reliant on their snooze button can diminish the positive effect of a good night’s rest because they are constantly drifting back to sleep only to be abruptly woken up a few minutes later. This causes a shortened, disrupted sleep cycle right before a person starts their day.” […]

  30. Well, I find this helpful. 🙂 I’m 13 so I get up early to finish homework sometimes and stuff like that. I have 3 siblings so I like the time that it gives me alone. One thing I do is set my alarm clock 15 mins earlier, when you’re tired you’ll think that your late so you will get up. And when you’re awake your brain should remember that you set it early, hopefully, but it can’t hirt being early anyway. 😛

  31. I remember when I was in my early 20s, I had a job at a golf course where I had to be up by 5 a.m. and be to work by 5:30 a.m. This was very early for me and effected my overall health in an actual good way. I got to bed much earlier as a result and felf like the day was much more fulfilled and longer making my nights shorter, but less important as well. Waking up early is cool, but remember, don’t mess around late at night watching movies or something and pay for it in the morning if you are already in the early wakeful pattern!

  32. Hey thanks ill use this i like this artical but you forgot breakfast it is the most important meal of the day by the way i get up at six eevery morning so my part is after you wake up take a shower and a shower only because it wakes you up then splash cold water on your wrists on your veins it wakes you up more

Comments are closed.