I’m sure you’ve heard it about a million times already – wake up early and go to bed earlier!
But, in all honesty, most of us don’t actually implement this advice into our lives. I mean, it’s simply way easier to just fall asleep when you feel tired, and not wake up until you need to.
Especially on weekends and holidays, what’s the point of getting out of bed?
Well, hopefully I can change your mind!
Throughout this article, I am going to…
- Teach you how to be an early riser
- Explain the benefits of converting from a night owl to an early bird
- And talk about my experience trying to sleep before midnight and wake up when the sun rises
I promise I’ll make this valuable AND fun to read! Let’s dive in!
Why Should I Wake Up Early?
I’m almost certain that this question ponders your mind every time you’re lectured about why you should wake up earlier.
Believe it or not, there are so many benefits to making this simple change in your life (oh, and beyond the proclaimed ‘health’ benefits that you typically hear about).
I broke it down into three different components – physical, mental, and emotional. Waking up early will honestly improve all facets of your life, and that is why I chose to break it down this way.
Okay, now for a closer look at each one.
Well, if you are always rushing just to try and get that exercise or workout session in, you will never reach your goals.
Waking up earlier can change this!
In the morning after a good night’s sleep, your body is energized, refreshed, and ready for the day ahead.
What a perfect time to exercise! And a much better plan compared to saving it for later on in the day.
The next aspect is your diet!
Okay, how can waking up early actually improve your diet?
The answer is simple. As you’ll find out later, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day.
But, breakfast doesn’t have to be known as a chore when you can actually look forward to it. By waking up earlier, you give yourself more time to make a healthier breakfast, and eventually more time to cook for lunch and dinner.
Skipping breakfast or other meals because you are in a hurry tends to leave you reaching for that doughnut or cookie when you know it’s a bad idea.
I mean, it really isn’t your fault – you just didn’t have enough time.
So, don’t let time be a factor in improving your diet.
Now, let’s take a look at the mental component and the benefits associated with it.
The first one is improved alertness, concentration, and focus.
When you wake up early, you are giving yourself time to plan out your day in a more relaxed setting.
On the contrary, when you are rushing, you’ll often miss certain tasks and feel stressed out.
For students, it’s important to be extremely focused during lectures. This is hard to do if you just woke up and are still getting adjusted to the day.
And for workers, you are going to be able to start your day uninterrupted by family members, friends, or other acquaintances in your life.
These benefits also lead into the next one, which is increased levels of productivity.
I’m sure you have heard of the many successful people who claim to be early risers (some famous quotes here)!
If not, then just believe me. It’s true!
Many of the reasons why they experience higher levels of productivity include:
- Fewer interruptions as everyone else is still asleep leads to more time focused on important tasks
- Your brain tends to be at peak alertness in the morning hours
- Rising early allows you to set goals for the day and make better plans and decisions
And for my favorite reason – believe it or not, you will actually have more energy throughout the day. I have no idea why, but it’s true. You’ll find out more about this later though!
Alright, time for the last component.
One of the key emotional benefits of being an early bird is your relaxation and quiet time.
Have you ever witnessed the birds chirping while the sun rises? Or experienced a hot cup of coffee with no human distractions and noises to bother you?
I promise that it’s honestly one of the greatest feelings ever. So refreshing and satisfying at the same time!
The world is almost completely quiet in the morning hours. No cars, voices, or distractions!
You’ll even be able to get to work or school earlier while there is no traffic. This can have an immense impact on your emotions throughout the day.
Now, for the last one – sleep quality!
I won’t talk about this one too much as I cover it later on in the article. But, a sleep routine will make it easier on your body to wake up naturally and in a better mood.
You will wake up feeling well rested, and your body won’t take a toll at the same time.
While I just mentioned six benefits to waking up earlier each morning, there are hundreds of others as well.
If you know of any, feel free to leave them in the comment section for everyone to see below.
How to Build a Habit of Waking Up Early! (it’s not that hard)
You now know WHY you should start waking up early, but let’s talk about how to actually start. Everyone is going to have their own methods and ways that work better for them, so if you fail the first time, keep on trying!
1: Start Setting an Alarm
This one is easy! Don’t make it complicated. The first step towards waking up early is to force yourself to do so. Your body won’t automatically wake you up without training it over time.
Did you know that there are different kinds of alarms?
Technology has advanced to the point where you can set your alarm for the same time every day, or use a gradual alarm that will wake you up slowly within a given time period.
Certain sleep apps on your phone allow you to choose a time range to wake up, and then they will wake you up at the best time based on your body movements in bed.
Additionally, many of you will struggle between getting out of bed when your alarm goes off and constantly hitting the snooze button to continue sleeping.
Sound like you?
If you answered yes, I have a simple solution. Simply place your alarm clock or phone (if you are using that as your alarm) on the other side of your bedroom, and leave it there overnight.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, you’ll have to actually get out of bed to turn it off.
This should help you start your day and avoid snoozing through it!
2: Go to Bed Earlier
Another obvious one. How do you expect to wake up early if you aren’t sleeping until late at night?
Trick question – there is no correct answer.
If it’s hard for you to fall asleep early, make sure you are doing everything you can to help.
That means avoiding any electronic devices or screens for at least an hour before bed, avoid eating food and sugary beverages within a few hours of going to bed, and limiting your exercise right before your sleep.
All of these actions will make it much harder for you to feel tired and fall asleep. It might be hard to follow, but it’s better to start as soon as you can.
Instead of doing these activities, a few things you can try include:
Doing tasks that don’t require that much brain power before bed will let it know that it’s almost time to rest.
3: Don’t Rush
Admit it, waking up early all of a sudden is not easy!
Just like you wouldn’t expect to be a professional athlete overnight, you shouldn’t expect to have immediate success waking up.
If you are currently waking up at 9 AM, but your goal is 7:30 AM, try to move gradually instead of all at once.
My recommendation would be to set your alarm 15 minutes earlier every few nights.
This will allow your body to adjust and increase your chances of success.
4: Improve Breakfast Meals
You might be wondering how this would help you become an early riser!
Well, by improving your breakfast meals each morning, you’ll have something to look forward to when you wake up. Start experimenting with new foods as you’ll have more time to cook.
And DO NOT be afraid of caffeine.
Many people compare caffeine to alcohol, but the truth is, it can be good for you if it’s managed properly.
One cup in the morning will do you more good than harm, and it will dramatically improve your focus and ability to stay awake in the early hours of the morning,
My Personal Experience
It was the start of a new year – 2020. And with that, came a new semester – my second in university. I glanced at my class schedule and began to worry at the sight of 8:30 AM classes from Monday-Thursday.
I mean like, last semester I wouldn’t even think about waking up before 10 AM. It wasn’t uncommon for me to stay up late at night (or early in the morning if you want to get technical).
It was like a routine to me – stay up until I actually feel tired and then wake up a few minutes before class (and sometimes a few minutes after, oops!)
Essentially, I knew this wasn’t healthy. I had done a ton of research on how it’s better for your body to create a sleep schedule. You know, sleep and wake up at the same time everyday.
I knew that skipping class wasn’t an option, so I had to make a change.
The next night, I decided to try and sleep at 12:30 AM (felt like this was an appropriate time considering I had been sleeping at 3:00 – 3:30 AM in the days prior).
However, as I lay in bed – at 12:30 like I said, I just wasn’t tired. An hour of tossing and turning went by. I didn’t feel frustrated yet as I figured this would be the case.
But then, after what seemed like 3 years, I checked my phone to see the time. It was 3:30 AM, the same time I had been going to bed the days before.
This started to upset me – I mean like I could have completed a ton of homework instead of lying there frustrated.
So, I got up out of bed, went to the washroom, and recollected my thoughts. I couldn’t just give up right away because I had class the next morning.
Eventually, I was able to fall asleep.
But, this didn’t last until I had wanted. When I woke up, it was literally 4:45 AM. At this point, I was tired, frustrated, angry, and my head was spinning.
Going to sleep wasn’t an option anymore, so I decided to do a bit of work on my laptop. At least this way I would feel like I was accomplishing something.
I started to look forward to the idea of grabbing a coffee before class. After about two hours of work, I hopped out of bed, and got ready for the day.
You would think that I’d be miserable by now, but when I stepped outside to walk to class, I felt refreshed, energized, and excited.
I decided that for the next week, I would wake up at 8 AM (very early for me), but also go to sleep 15 minutes earlier each night. This would make it easier for my body to adjust and feel tired.
Eventually, after a few weeks, this became easier for me. I noticed that my days were much more productive, I felt more engaged in lectures, and I was eating ALL 3 meals a day (and at the appropriate times).
This simple change dramatically improved my life! And it can do the same to you.
Congratulations! You are now equipped with everything you need to change your life and become an early bird.
You know the benefits, you know how to do it, and you have a personal story to inspire you!
All that’s left to do is for you to try it out yourself. That is my challenge to you!
I would love to hear about your experience in the comment section below.
See you bright and early in the morning!