So you’ve noticed all of those happy and productive early risers who always seem to be on top of things. You probably hate them a little–they’re just so damn productive! But a small part of you has probably wondered, lying in bed at 11 a.m., how they do it. Maybe you’ve even thought you’d feel more energized if you could just manage to get up without feeling like crap. Here are a few tips of the trade on how to become an early riser and feel good while doing it.
1. Go to Bed Earlier
Probably the biggest detractor from getting up early is not getting enough sleep. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you don’t go to bed so late, you won’t need to sleep late either. Do you really need to be staying up until midnight or later, particularly on a work night? I’m willing to bet that you’re not actually doing anything productive or beneficial. The TV shows and social media can wait; stop wasting your time. You’ll be surprised by how great you feel once you get into an early sleep routine.
2. Have a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Your body thrives on routine. That’s why you get hungry at certain times–your body has been trained to expect it! Establishing a proper sleeping schedule is no different. Furthermore, having a routine will make it easier to get up early. The bad news is that you should start getting up at the same time everyday, including weekends. I know this may be a struggle, but if you don’t do this, your body will be constantly confused about when it should wake up, and getting up early will be all the more difficult.
3. Never Eat Before Bed
I know that a quick pre-bed snack can be tempting, but this is an incredibly bad idea if you want to wake up earlier and feel rested at the same time. Sleep is a time for your body to rest, repair and recharge. It is not a time for digestion. This is because it takes up far too much energy, which can make falling asleep more difficult. If you do manage to visit the land of nod, food digestion will rob you of the strength you’re supposed to be regaining. Even if you do get a full eight hours of sleep, you’ll wake up feeling tired and drained. You certainly won’t feel like getting up early. In short: put the cookie down.
4. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
This may be an obvious one, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Less caffeine means that you won’t still be riding its high at 11:30 p.m. I would start by eliminating any kind of caffeinated beverage in the afternoons. I know that this can make life difficult when the mid afternoon sets in, but you need to resist the urge! If you’ve started going to bed earlier you hopefully won’t get these kind of tired attacks anymore anyway. If you really feel like you need some kind of ‘pick me up’ try an energizing snack instead.
5. Never Drink Before Bed
A cheeky little sip before bed may seem like a good idea, particularly if you haven’t yet cut out that afternoon coffee. Despite what people say, drinking alcohol before bed will not help you sleep well, even if it does make you pass out. What it will do, however, is increase your deep sleep cycle and rob you of REM sleep. Because you this, you will feel tired when your alarm clock goes off and be all the more tempted to hit the ‘snooze’ button. As a side note, REM sleep is also needed for proper learning and memory function, so you definitely want to get enough of it.