Tips to Wake Up Earlier, From A Non-Morning Person

For as long as I can remember, I have always hated waking up early. I love mornings, but having to get out of bed sometimes is the worst. I grew up with a morning person. My dad was up every morning before 6AM with no alarm, somehow his inner clock was just programmed to rise at that time. Even after years of literally hitting my snooze button and tossing and turning while he managed to turn on every light in the house (including the one in my bedroom) and bang every pot and pan together as he made breakfast, I still refused to wake up a second earlier than I had to. 

So what has changed? Am I suddenly a “morning” person now? Is there some sort of fairy dust sprinkled in my coffee? Nope. Trust me, I can still sleep in like it’s my job, but I’ve noticed that I don’t feel as productive or even awake if I sleep in past say 9AM anymore. If I wake up earlier, usually by 6AM, I start my day feeling more refreshed and frankly, I am able to accomplish more than if I try to catch another hour or couple hours of sleep. 

Here are some tips that I use to help me get out of bed and get my day off to a great start. 

Set your alarm on the other side of the room.

I’ve even set it in another room if I have been struggling to wake up early. As long as I can hear it, I’m good. I sometimes put mine in the bathroom and that way when I get up to turn it off, I am already up and moving. This way I’m less likely to find my way back under my covers than if the alarm was on my nightstand. 

Set your intentions for day, the night before.

I love making lists. They help me keep on top of things. I often make a list each day of things I need and want to accomplish. If I have a big day coming up, plotting it out and planning to wake up early helps me to achieve everything without getting overwhelmed. I keep this in the notepad on my phone and I will include things like scheduled meetings for that day, I’ll make note to fit in a workout, I’ll include what I need to get done for work, I’ll put in a goal (usually to drink more water), and I’ll even add in when I’m going to watch one of my favorite TV shows. Along with this, I will also lay out my clothes (most likely active wear for a workout) and things I need right away before I get my day started. Doing all of this at night makes for a better and less frazzled me in the morning. 

Sign up for a workout class, plan to go to the gym, do a home workout, or go for a walk, whatever gets you moving.

I like to workout first thing in the morning. One thing that will force me to get me up is to sign up for a workout class the night before, or even at the beginning of the week, if I know my schedule. I know that if I miss my morning workout, I am less likely to find time to be active later in the day, and it tends throws my whole day off. I’m happier and more centered after being active, even if that means just going for a walk. Planning time for this each day, especially signing up for a class, holds me accountable. Plus, it is something I look forward to. 

Set your alarm as a song you love, or as something that gets you moving. Oh, and don’t hit the snooze button.

That second part is a huge one for me. I will set my alarm for when I want to wake up, but when the time comes and the alarm is forcing me to wake up, I hit that snooze button. This goes on for sometimes close to an hour -ok maybe an hour and a half- and I’m still not out of bed. I have a love/hate relationship with the snooze button that I have to break up with in order to get up, get moving, and get on with my day at an earlier time. One way that helps me not hit the snooze button is by setting my alarm to play a song that pumps me up. Sometimes it will be one that I’ve been digging lately, or I’ll use one my favorites like, “Take On Me” by A-Ha. 

Get to bed earlier the night before.

This one probably goes without saying, but it’s important. I love sleeping and can’t function without it. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is recommended that adults in ages ranging from 18-64 should try to get 7-9 hours of sleep, and adults 65 years of age and older should try to get 7-8 hours each night. I like to get around 7-8 hours of rest in order to feel my best. If I’ve had a long day, falling asleep usually isn’t an issue. But if I’m going to bed earlier because I’m planning on waking up earlier the next day, getting to sleep right away can be challenging. One thing that will for sure keep me up is my phone. I can be in bed scrolling mindlessly before I notice that I have to be up in a just a few hours. Doing this makes it impossible to get up the next day. So, I suggest putting the phone away, out of arm’s reach, before getting into bed. 

Maybe you want to wake up a little earlier to get things done so you don’t have to rush around in the morning, or maybe you want to make time to fit in a workout first thing, or maybe you just want to be still and take some time for yourself before diving into your daily routine. Whatever the reason, I hope these tips help. I’d love to hear what helps you get up early, so comment below and let me know. 

Written by Sydney Morse.