I’ve always been a night owl. Perhaps I became one because my mum worked until late and I waited for her to come home. Perhaps that’s my habit to read before bed (I keep on reading if the book is interesting and it usually is!). Anyway, getting up early has always been a problem I tried fighting. So I thought I’d share with you some techniques that helped me get up early before my baby was born. Now I don’t need to use an of them because little Simon wakes me up and it’s not an effort to get up early anymore.
Forget that your alarm has a snooze function. Yes, you heard me. Just never-ever hit the snooze button and get up straight away. Snoozing doesn’t make you feel more refreshed. On the contrary, it makes you feel more tired. And it makes it easy to go back to sleep and be late for work, school and so on. So, forget it. As soon as you hear the alarm, put your feet on the floor and get up.
Don’t use the computer in bed
OK, I’m guilty of this one. When my son goes to sleep around 9 p.m., I usually take my MacBook and write, read or watch something. Sometimes I’m on the computer till late and that’s no good. The light from computer and TV screens disrupts the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone your body creates. So make sure to stop using the computer at least two hours before turning in.
Make your bedroom feel comfortable
Don’t know about you, but I can’t sleep in a stuffy room. So every evening I make sure the room has enough oxygen for my liking and it’s not too hot. I like keeping the temperature around 20C. I know some people who like closing the window before going to bed and keeping the room really warm, thought, so it’s really up to you to find the right balance. Keeping your bedroom comfortable will help you go to sleep easier and sleep better (no sweating or snoring), which will in turn make you feel more refreshed in the morning.
Find out what helps you sleep
Does reading a newspaper make you sleepy? If yes, then read newspapers before going to bed. What I mean is that you need to find out what helps you fall asleep and use that habit or thing to your advantage. Some like reading fiction, some find that a glass of warm milk makes it easier to fall asleep. I’ve always found a nice walk in the evening and a bit of classical music during dinner calming and soothing. And sometimes, when I really can’t sleep, I listen to Bach’s lute works.
Find a good reason to get up early
And now comes the important bit. If you don’t think your reason for getting up early is good enough, you’ll find it very hard to stick to the routine. That’s what I discovered when I had a child. Now I have a very good reason to get up whenever my little one wakes up in the morning (usually early) and I don’t find getting up early hard anymore. Neither was it too difficult for me to get up at 5.30am to get to college chapel in time for an organ practice at 7am.
I hope these tips will help you get up early easier. If you know of any other tips and tricks, share them in your comments!
These are great tips. Here are a few more I learned from a sleep Dr! – Don’t drink coffee after 3 pm, the caffeine will stay in your system up to 7 hours. Drink a full glass of water first thing when you wake up. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning (no matter the circumstances), Exercise at night rather than the morning and keep your room as dark as possible. (I need to start implementing all of these!)
Ah, yes! Great tips! Exercising in the evening is something I recently wrote about for a fitness blog, definitely worth trying out. And I have a habit of drinking 1-2 glasses of water every morning when I wake up – the first glass before my morning coffee and the second one after because coffee dehydrates the body.