If you’re one of those people who has trouble waking up early, you’re certainly not alone. I’ve never been a morning person myself. In fact, it’s something that I still struggle with today. When I have a special event, like a flight or conference, I can pop right out of bed. But when it comes to my morning routine, it’s a few snoozes, and a groggy morning. Okay fine, it’s not that bad but I’ve definitely had to develop strategies that help me get up early.
The key to waking up early, and full of energy, is to prepare the night before. And no, I don’t mean set five alarms 10 minutes apart from each other. While some of these may seem simple or obvious, you’d be surprised how well they work. Below I’ve listed seven simple ways you can get up early by preparing the night before.
Drink a glass of water before bed.
You really should be drinking water throughout your entire day. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to stay focused and alert. Since you go so many hours without it when you sleep, it’s imperative to have a nice big glass before bed.
Sleep in total darkness.
Melatonin is a hormone made by your pineal gland. This hormone helps your body know when it’s time to sleep, and when it’s time to wake up. When you sleep in total darkness, your body will produce more of this hormone. It’s not rocket science. Darkness means more melatonin, more melatonin means a better sleep.
Plan your breakfast the night before.
People like to say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s important because a healthy breakfast can really set the tone for the rest of your day. On the contrary, a last-minute sugary bowl of cereal can really sap your energy.
Before you go to bed, you should always plan your breakfast for the next day. It’s best if you can make it, like putting some berries, nuts, oats, and greek yogurt into a bowl. If not, at least plan what you’re going to eat.
Turn off your phone.
You should try and avoid screen time at least an hour before you get ready for bed. Not only are phones distracting, but the blue light emitted from the screen is unconducive to sleep.
Read a book.
Instead of reading from your phone, try reading a book. Pick something that’s interesting, but not interesting enough to keep you up all night reading it. Use a dim reading light or a headlamp so you don’t need to keep the lights on in the room.
Move the alarm across the room.
The snooze button is a love hate relationship. It’s always a struggle in the morning, regardless how many hours you’ve slept. Hitting the snooze button is one of those habits you need to break. One way to do this is to leave the alarm on the other side of the room. This is an evil tactic (to yourself) but it works wonders.
Plan your most exciting jobs for the morning.
Isn’t it strange how it’s so easy to get up on mornings when we’re excited about what we’re doing? What if you could do that everyday? The best way to accomplish this, is to plan activities for the morning that you’re most passionate about. Maybe that’s working out, coding, sales calls, regardless what it is you should use it as motivation to get out of bed.
For most, it’s tough to get up early. If you plan however, it can get easier. That said use the seven tips listed above so you can get a head start on your day!
Renzo Costarella is an entrepreneur, avid learner, and startup enthusiast currently living in Silicon Valley. He consults for several startups in the Bay Area and is pursuing a few ideas of his own.