“Five more minutes”
We tell ourselves EVERY morning, as we simultaneously reach for our alarms and end up pressing “snooze” five more times, making us late for work or school. The cycle continues. Whether you’re a perpetually deep sleeper, a zealous zombie, or a stubborn snoozing sloth, waking up early IS possible.
Fluffy pillows, warm blankets, and a soft bed are our worst enemies, especially on cold winter mornings. Waking up early is just as difficult as falling asleep. But with just a few adjustments, it can be done WITHOUT the need for blaring, annoying, unique alarm methods.
There is hope for deep sleepers – and crankiness doesn’t have to be part of the package.
Waking Up Early Without an Alarm Clock
1) The Night Before
Of course, you’d have to be asleep before you can wake up. So the first adjustments that should be done are the before-bed rituals.
This step includes more than just getting under the sheets and lying down. If you’re surrounded by night owls, remind yourself that you’re trying to change ways and convince them to help you – even if it takes having to drag you to your room if they have to. Convince yourself that you have a lot to get done the next day, and waking up early will give you more time to accomplish those tasks.
Lay down, close your eyes, regulate your breathing, and slowly sink into dreamland.
2) Morning Routine
If you drank a generous amount of water the night before, your bladder will definitely nudge you awake. Coax yourself into catching the most natural, primary source of light – the sunrise. Take the time to appreciate Mother Nature’s gifts while you still can. Accompany it with your favorite cup of coffee, along with some inspirational reading to kick off your day.
Establish your own morning routine, like scheduling your workouts in the AM instead of evenings after work.
3) Physical Space
Personal space can be a factor in waking up early. There are people who can fall asleep anywhere, anytime they want. Anything can be a bed or pillow if you put your mind to it. Either that or they’re just extremely exhausted from pulling an all-nighter.
On the other hand, there are still some of us who cannot bear being caught snoozing in public. This is because external factors such as personal space and room layout, depending on how spacious your apartment is, play a big role in how pleasant our sleep will turn out.
Some even go as far as using feng shui in the bedroom, because of superstitions or cultural beliefs.
4) Dispel Distractions
Say goodbye to your plans of waking up early if you find yourself on your bed or sofa while Netflix is on. Or if you’re constantly switching among social media networks.
Using the Bedtime feature under the Clock app on any updated iOS gadget should be sufficient just so you can keep track of your hours and bedtime routine. The only alarms you should be setting are reminders that’ll get you IN bed faster.
Do sleep trackers really work? It usually depends on the person using them.
Google Play and the Apple App store have developed so many applications that assure us that we’ll sleep better, earlier, longer, or more peacefully. Is it worth paying for these insomnia and sleep-related apps? Sleeping next to your smart phone is already something we should avoid in the first place. But if you can’t just do without it, use it in a way that will benefit you.
5) Mood-Boosting Music
There’s nothing like waking up early to your favorite pianist or singer serenading you. Heck, some even go as far as blasting rap music to bring some life into their daybreak.
However, if you’re a bit on the cranky side, rapping – let alone singing – first thing in the morning is a definite no-no. Listening to instrumentals and nature sounds may be a better way to activate your eardrums (and hopefully the rest of your body).
My personal favorite happens to be Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, because I honestly feel like I can conquer anything once the song ends.
I’ve always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed.”
― David Benioff
You’ve tried almost every method yet you still can’t fall asleep easily? Don’t wait until it gets worse before going to see a doctor. It is possible for you to have developed a case of insomnia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-quarter of the U.S. population don’t get enough sleep at night, while 10 percent suffer from insomnia.
Some of us may not have a preferred sleeping “system”; the kind where the amount of sleep and rest will depend on how much needs to get done the next day. You are neither an early bird nor a late owl. Don’t you wish you had that much self-control over your sleep cycle and snooze button?
Insufficient sleep is considered a “norm” nowadays. Unless you’re having a dream you purposely DON’T want to be woken up from, waking up early is a MUST.