Early morning wake-ups can be difficult, as the thought of sleeping in is usually a much more appealing option. However, waking up early boasts positive health benefits, including better concentration, improved quality of sleep, long-lasting energy, productivity and more.
Waking up early takes commitment, but it’s possible to turn even the latest riser into an early bird.
Here are some simple tips to help you get in the habit of waking up early:
1. Set an earlier bedtime
Training your body to fall asleep earlier may help you rise earlier each morning. Most adults should aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night – anything less than that can cause you to struggle with waking up early.
2. Unplug before bed
“Unplugging” from smartphones and laptops about 30 minutes before bed can contribute to a better night of sleep. According to The Sleep Judge, the blue light emitted from screens can alter your body’s natural melatonin levels, making it more difficult to fall asleep. An earlier bedtime with zero interference from tech can leave you feeling happier and more energized the next day.
3. Avoid late-night snacking
While some studies have shown that snacking close to bedtime can help dull any hunger pains that may appear overnight, others have shown that it can cause less enjoyable symptoms such as acid reflux. It’s easy to confuse hunger with tiredness, so instead, ditch the snacks and save your appetite for breakfast.
4. Avoid sugary energy drinks and coffee
Energy drinks and coffee may give you the extra boost you need to study, but ingesting large amounts of sugar or caffeine before bed can make it more challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep. Limiting consumption of sugary sodas, energy drinks and coffee has been proven to produce healthier sleeping habits. Try switching to water or tea before bed to keep yourself hydrated.
5. Silence your phone
Turn off your phone ringer or activate “do not disturb” mode before bed. Notifications can wake you in the middle of the night and tempt you to check your phone, which will disrupt your sleep cycle. That text message or funny meme will still be there in the morning, so do yourself a favor and completely disconnect before bed.
6. Avoid all-nighters
Skipping a night’s sleep to finish an assignment is not a wise choice. Not only can it lead to exhaustion the next morning, lack of sleep can also inhibit your body’s ability to function properly. According to Vice, a recent study reported that someone who goes a night without sleep will often end up with the cognitive impairment of an individual who drank to the legal limit. This proves just how important sleep is to our bodies. If you have a big deadline approaching, avoid procrastinating so you won’t have to pull an all-nighter to finish your work. You will quickly realize the lack of sleep is not worth it.
7. Sleep with your curtains open
Leave your blinds or curtains slightly open before going to bed. This way, sunlight can stream through and help you wake up more naturally. On sunny days, this can be an effective strategy.
8. Place your alarm clock across the room
To avoid snoozing your alarm, place your phone or alarm clock across the room from where your bed is. This way, when your alarm goes off, you’ll be forced to get out of bed to silence it. Without the temptation of snoozing your alarm, you’ll be up and at ‘em right on time.
Training your body to wake up early will take time, so don’t expect to be able to wake up at 5 a.m. every day just yet. Try implementing small changes into your routine to make early wakeups feasible, such as setting an earlier bedtime, moving the location of your alarm clock or ditching snacks and sugary drinks before bed. With these small changes, your body will eventually get in the habit of getting up early.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.