Something that becomes more and more obvious as you get more responsibilities is that waking up early no longer is a choice but a necessity. There is just so much to accomplish in one day sometimes, those extra hours in the morning become vital.
If you’re looking to improve your sleeping habits and start getting up early, you’ve come to the right place!
It takes time to form a habit, don’t give up too soon
Getting into a routine of waking up early takes time; having a decent sleep one night does not miraculously make you a lover of 6am wake ups.
Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at the University College London, published a study that found out the average time it takes individuals to form new habits. With the assumption of “21 days” being the norm, you’ll be surprised to discover that on average it takes people more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic; 66 days to be exact.
So if you think that after a week or two of waking up early is going to make you an early riser, I’m here to debunk that myth. If you’re serious about being a productive morning person, you are going to have to work for it.
Make it easier for you to wake up in the morning
If you’re finding it difficult to motivate yourself to get out of bed in the morning, try thinking of ways that’ll help you. Little things can make a big difference!
Make your bed as soon as you’re out of it; this’ll not only be a good habit in general to start, but it also won’t tempt you to get back into it if it’s been made all pretty. It might be a relatively small accomplishment in relation to your day but making your bed each morning sets the tone for the entire day. In a 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas in Austin, Naval Admiral William McRaven said,
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another […] By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”Naval Admiral William McRaven, University of Texas in Austin, 2014
Book yourself into group workout sessions; by being accountable to a group or PT you’re forced to get up because if you don’t turn up you’re letting other people down. You don’t want to let people down do you?
Leave your blinds open; you’d be surprised at how the body naturally works. The Sleep Foundation says that exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called Hypothalamus, this area works like an internal clock, starting a regulated pattern of activities which affects the entire body and, consequently, wakes you up. So if you want to feel a bit more refreshed in the morning, leaving your blinds open may be a good place to start.
Sleep and getting up early go hand in hand
Becoming an early riser, or even just a morning person, requires a sufficient amount of sleep. If you know you need 7 hours of sleep to function at your best and want to start waking up early, stop going to bed at unreasonable hours.
Remember the days when you had a bedtime and actually stuck to it, well it’s time to rehash that old habit!
Here are simple tweaks you can make that’ll help you stick to a bedtime:
- Finish eating at least two to three hours before you go to bed
- Exercise regularly, but be sure to complete your workout two hours before bedtime because exercising before you sleep can leave you too energised to relax
- Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate) three to four hours before bedtime
Also if you need some guidance as to when it is the best time to fall asleep in order to feel well rested, check out this website: https://sleepyti.me/
And there you have it! Forming good sleeping habits is the building blocks of becoming an adult, so it’s time you woke your inner early riser. Good luck!