Then one day it struck me. My difficulty with getting up early wasn’t all my fault. I was just going about it the wrong way. I bet that’s the case with you, too. Let’s find out. 😉
What I didn’t immediately realize is that by asking myself the
Successful long-term early rising isn’t something you jump into. You ease into it. You adjust to it. You subtly make the transition from struggle to second nature so that you aren’t resisting the process as much.
How Can I Make It Easier to Wake Up?
I think everyone will agree that waking up in the morning is a challenge – especially if you have to wake up early. No one likes to do things that have to do. It’s probably never going to be easy to wake up early, but there are ways to make it easier.
To start, I recommend reading my blog post about how to train yourself to gradually wake up earlier so that I’m not repeating all of that info here – although I do summarize some of it here in case you don’t have time to read the other post as it is quite a bit longer than this one. That blog post has a ton of practical tips to wake yourself up (especially tips #1, #4 and #5).
Anyway, let’s get on with this post about adjusting to waking up early…
Waking Up Early is Easier When You Change Your Mindset
For starters, you can change your mindset from “I have to wake up early” to “I get to wake up early”. Both are true statements, but the second one is
We all know that most people have to get up early for work, school, caring for kids, etc., but that doesn’t mean we have to play the victim card.
Have fun with waking up early and you’ll learn to love and cherish it as a special time where you can get yourself psyched up for the rest of the day.
Adjust Gradually to Waking Up Early
Have you heard the proverb “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? Well, neither was an enthusiastic, energetic early riser! It’s a slow, persistent process that takes time to become easier.
The secret to eventually making it easier to get up early is to power through the discomfort and make gradual changes – nothing too drastic.
In other words, if you’ve been waking up at a later time and suddenly start waking up incredibly early, you’re gonna have a hard time… You must progress gradually with baby steps.
Only wake up 15 to 30 minutes earlier per week so that you give your internal clock a chance to adjust to waking up early.
Waking up 15 minutes earlier every week may not seem like much of an accomplishment now, but in a month or two you’ll be waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s very impressive.
And you’ll likely stick with your new, earlier wake-up time, too, because you took the time to build the habit organically, slowly. Each day of repetition of yet another stepping stone that further strengthens and reinforces the neural pathways connected to your new habit. The more you strengthen it, the less likely you’ll be to quit.
This all works because you eased into waking up early, allowing yourself time to build the habit and giving your body time to recalibrate its circadian rhythm without making you feel chronic exhaustion like most sudden early risers do. If done gradual enough, you won’t feel exhausted at all.
If you follow this gradual approach, what started out as difficult (waking up earlier) has now become easier and perhaps almost second nature. It will become easier to just get out of bed than to continue sleeping because you have properly conditioned yourself.
How Do I Wake Up to My Alarm for the First Time?
When it comes to your alarm clock, there are a couple of important factors that are crucial for your success. Both factors must be addressed if you plan to actually get up when your alarm clock goes off in the morning.
Find the Best Alarm Sound For You
The first factor is your alarm sound. Most alarm sounds are annoying – even irritating. I personally find the alarm sounds on a cell phone to be just as bad as the classic buzzing alarm clocks.
See what I mean? Who wants to wake up to that? No wonder a lot of people have a bad day almost every day.
Change your alarm sound to something pleasant! Changing what you wake up to is such an easy thing to change, but few people think about it and continue putting themselves through borderline torture every morning. Why?
Sunrise Simulation Wake Up Lights Help You Gradually Adjust to Waking Up Early
For me, nature is pleasant, so I wake up to chirping birds or sometimes ocean waves. Whichever nature alarm sound I choose, it’s always accompanied by a sunrise simulation light. Ever since I received this sunrise simulation wake-up light alarm clock as a gift, I have been waking up noticeably happier and less groggy. I don’t jolt awake anymore.
I am 100% convinced that my wake-up light alarm clock played a huge role in adjusting to waking up early and making the habit stick. This less expensive mid-range model and this budget model also achieve the same purpose as the Somneo I linked you to above, with fewer bells and whistles, but still pretty awesome nonetheless.
Whichever sunrise simulation wake-up light you choose, I do recommend sticking with the Philips brand. Before I received my Somneo as a gift, I had bought several cheapies ($40 and less) on Amazon. Each and
How Do I Wake Up Early Without Being Tired?
I already partially answered this common question in the previous section about alarm sounds. A wake up light alarm clock with soothing sounds goes a long way to help gently wake you up early the way a real sunrise does. That is, the sunrise simulation helps you adjust to waking up early.
There’s more I’d like to add, however. After all, waking up early without being tired is almost an oxymoron.
The part of your sleep cycle you wake up during as well as the number of hours per night you sleep
Specificially, if you wake up during the REM phase of your sleep cycle (where you are sleeping lightly and probably having dreams), you are most likely to wake up refreshed and clear-headed. This holds true pretty much regardless of how many actual hours you slept. For example, if you slept only 4 hours, but woke up during the REM phase, you’d feel less tired than if you slept 9 hours and got disturbed during a deeper phase of sleep.
On mornings where you allow yourself to wake up naturally without an alarm clock you will notice you wake up energized. Alarm clocks (especially the annoying ones) have a tendency to wake us up at inopportune times – not too early, but rather, during the wrong part of our sleep cycle.
Free sleep tracking apps such as Sleep as Android and Sleep Cycle make it easier to wake up at the right time. These types of apps are quite accurate in determining when you’re asleep and when you’re starting to awaken in the morning. You can set them to wake you up within a 30-minute (or 1 hour+) window so that the alarm goes off when you’re properly ready to wake up without making you late.
Of course, the wake up lights I recommended in a previous section help immensely as well – and I think they’re a better long-term solution than using a sleep tracking app that requires you to keep a smartphone in the bed with you!
The wake up light alarms gradually brighten like a real sunrise over the course of 30 minutes, so they help you wake up during that glorious golden REM window even better than the sleep tracking apps do.
Why Is It Good to Wake Up Early?
In this blog post where I revealed 5 hidden benefits of waking up at
In short, waking up early gives you a better handle on your day. It allows you to start your day at a leisurely pace or get an immediate head start on whatever needs to get crossed off your to-do list while allowing time at the end of the day to relax and feel the satisfaction of a productive day.
If you’d like to read about the good and the bad parts of waking up early, you should take a look at the post I wrote about waking up at 5am.
Another reason I’ve found that it’s good to wake up early is that it’s a perfect way to eliminate my insomnia tendencies. If I just get up when the alarm clock goes off at 5:30am and get on with my day, by the time bedtime rolls around I no longer toss and turn in my bed for hours before falling asleep. I’m usually quite tired by 9pm.
Speaking of 9pm, in this blog post I make my case for why everyone should be going to sleep at 9pm.
I’ve moved forward with so many different goals since making the decision to wake up early. The fact that waking up early is beneficial is not just a cliché – it’s actually true.
Can you adjust to getting up early? Let me answer that for you: Yes, you can!
Give early rising a fair shot by allowing yourself to gradually adjust… You won’t regret it if you take it one small step at a time.