How to Beat the Sandman
We have a love-hate relationship with our morning alarms. On one hand, we know that we can get more things done if we wake up early (not to mention there’s no need to panic over being late for work or school!); on the other hand, well, what is more important than sleep? Unfortunately, that’s an excuse no one will buy, so here are a few tips to turn yourself from a night owl into a morning person.
Find a Reason to Wake Up
Changing a habit is easiest when you have a reason to do so. People often change their lifestyles upon being diagnosed with a critical illness. You don’t need such an extreme excuse. Perhaps you’d like to start having breakfast with your family again, because your schedules clash and you never meet otherwise? Keep reminding yourself of that reason whenever you set your alarm at what sounds like wasted sleep-time to you.
Reshuffle Your Schedules
Even people with irregular working hours have a sequence they follow when they wake up and wind down. Sometimes it’s done unconsciously, such as washing your face and brushing your teeth before you go to bed. By making conscious decisions about your habits, you can optimise them so that you can make waking up early less of a pain. Sleep earlier to wake up earlier. If you can’t do that, try to save time instead. Set out your clothes the night before, or prepare batch meals to save you some cooking time.
Maintain Your Sleep Schedule Even on Weekends
You’re not alone when it comes to sleeping in on holidays and weekends. Many people do it, but that doesn’t make it right. If you wake up at 7am every weekday, wake up at 7am on weekends, too. It helps your body maintain a rhythm so that you’ll eventually wake up naturally at the end of your bedtime – and you’ll sleep better, too.
Let There Be Light in the Morning
Remember the days when your parents used to pull open your curtains or turn on the lights in order to wake you up? Brightness wakes you up, and the sun is a natural alarm clock. Sleep near a window. Use lighter curtains that permit sunlight. If you really can’t get natural sunlight to welcome you in the morning, consider using a timer that turns on your lights automatically when it’s time to wake up.
Power Down at Night
Conversely, you need to reduce the amount of light you’re exposed to as you wind down for the day. Once the sun sets, the main culprits that keep yiu awake are sources of artifical lights, especially blue light from your tablets, mobile phones and computers, all of which reduce the amount of melatonin produced in your body that tells you it’s time to sleep. Leaving your lights turned on at night can also disrupt your sleep and leave you tired the next day.
Make It Hard to Hit Snooze
Slapping the snooze and falling back asleep is a very real danger to a sleep-challenged person. Keep your alarm as far away from you as possible so that you’ll be forced to walk a distance in order to turn it off. Put it in another room if you can. Movement wakes your body up. And once you’re awake, stay away from your bed and wash up to stay awake!
It’s actually easy to wake up early, contrary to what you might think. All you need to do is adjust your frame of mind, your habits, and your lifestyle, and you’ll be good to go!