Keep It Simple | 6 ways to become an early bird

It’s Thursday and your alarm is blaring extra loud this morning. You look at the time and it reads 6 a.m.; it’s too early. After several moments of an internal debate, you force yourself to crawl out of bed and throw on a sweatshirt and stumble to the kitchen in search of the rejuvenating smell of hot coffee. Finally, after a couple sips of coffee and a few glimpses of sunlight, you finally start waking up … after a 20-minute struggle.

Mornings can be terribly hard to adjust to. However, once you're adjusted, they do get more enjoyable, and the benefits of doing so actually outweigh the difficulties of getting up early. According to Women’s Health Magazine, early birds tend to be more cheerful and proactive. You also tend to eat healthier and make a habit of working out in the morning before work. (Which carries a magnitude of benefits, as well!)

Below, are some tips and tricks to help you become a morning person.

1. Facebook Suggestions

One of our Facebook followers, Renee, says what helps her is a wake-up alarm light. “I have a wake-up light alarm thing that starts to get brighter, slowly, about 30 minutes before I need to wake up.” Check out these alarm clocks that will help brighten your day! 

Others suggested going to bed earlier, heading straight for the shower after your alarm clock goes off and, of course, coffee! Check out other suggestions on our Facebook page!

2. Get rid of those devices!

When you are laying in bed, getting ready to go to sleep, get out of the habit of looking at any type of device that shines too much light. In a CNN article, they suggested to power down any device at least an hour before you hit the sack to ensure a quality night’s sleep. “Any kind of light can shift circadian rhythms, making it harder to sleep at night. And if you're constantly plugged in, you're even less likely to hit the hay right away. Research has shown that the blue light emitted by electronics like laptops and cell phones disturbs sleep even more than natural light.” If you sleep well the night before, mornings may not seem so bad. 

3. Create regular morning habits

I have found that creating habits to help ensure a smoother wake routine helps. For example, I always get my coffee ready the night before so when I wake up, I just need to turn our coffee pot on. While I wait for coffee, I turn the news on, make sure the dog goes out and I still have some relaxation time to catch up on work emails or cruise through Pinterest without feeling rushed. I usually allow myself 20-30 minutes of drinking coffee and wake-up time so I am ready for a productive day.

4. Ease yourself into being an early bird!

The process of waking up early isn’t just going to happen overnight. For one week at a time, go to bed 10 minutes earlier every night and then wake up 10 minutes earlier the next day. With smaller increments, it won’t feel as drastic and your body will become accustomed to this schedule. If you continue with this pattern, waking up will become easier!

5. Don't press snooze!

The moment you press snooze, you are allowing that tired, cloudy feeling to set in, which isn’t good. According to the Huffington Post, which wrote a piece about why it’s bad to press snooze, “When that buzzer goes off a second time, your body and brain are taken by surprise, resulting in that groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling called sleep inertia. The more you snooze, the more confused your body and brain get ("So are we going back to sleep or not?!"), so you'll probably feel more out of it even though you actually spent extra time in bed. What's more, this type of sleep inertia can persist for up to two to four hours, research has found.”

6. And the most obvious…

It may seem obvious when I say this, but make sure you are getting enough sleep in the first place. You are probably reading this thinking, well yeah, duh. However, the unfortunate truth is that most working adults don’t get enough sleep to keep their energy levels sustained for an entire week. Adults usually need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Young adults, aging from 18-25, also need 7-9, however getting an extra hour doesn’t hurt.  It may seem old lady-ish, but I try to get into bed and asleep by 9. That way, when 5:30 rolls around, I have an easier time getting up because I feel more refreshed. 

If you are interested in figuring out how much sleep you need, check out the National Sleep Foundation, where they can help determine if you are reaching your maximum hours of zzz’s.