Jun 19, 2020

For the past few days, I’ve been making plans to wake up early so I can have more time to get work done. I’ve set my alarm earlier, made plans for the next day—all of which end up being thrown out the window because I find it hard to get up or I hit snooze on the alarm until I actually need to get up. 

With a little more research, however, I found out that there’s a lot of work that goes into waking up early. Here are some steps that anyone else who wants to get up early can take:

 

Skip caffeine after 4 p.m.

Photo by Andrew Teoh on Unsplash

Coffee might sound like a good idea when you first wake up in the morning, but not so much when you’re thinking about getting a cup in the afternoon. While it may seem like the best way to give yourself a boost during a midday slump, a cup of coffee in the afternoon can do damage to your biological clock—making it hard for you to stick to your sleeping schedule.

 

Get to know your body clock

In order to help your body ease into an earlier sleep-wake schedule, it helps to know a little more about your internal clock. Getting to know the internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm, will help you figure out when you’re most likely to fall asleep or wake up. Once you’re more familiar, it’ll be easier for you to figure out how to adjust.

 

Allow your body to adjust

Photo by Matheus Vinicius on Unsplash

Wanting to wake up earlier isn’t as easy as just setting your alarm clock an hour earlier, especially because your body needs to adjust. Instead, let your body ease into your new schedule by waking up a few minutes earlier each day until you’re waking up when you want to. It might take more time, but this strategy will help make a long-lasting change to your sleep schedule.

 

Stick to your schedule, even on weekends

To help you and your body get used to your new schedule, you need to stick to it—even on the weekends. This will help your internal clock get used to when you want to be active and when you want to rest. Sleeping in on the weekends is unavoidable sometimes, but don’t overdo it to help your body stay on track.

 

Keep a sleep log

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

While you’re in the process of establishing a new sleeping schedule, it also helps to track how your habits are affecting the amount and quality of sleep you get each night. Keeping a sleep log can help you get to know your sleep patterns better, and what steps you can take to help improve the quality of your sleep.

 

Use light to your advantage

Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

Our circadian rhythms are sensitive to light, and keeping your curtains open to let in a little more sunlight in your room can help you wake up better in the mornings. Alternately, you should also limit your exposure to light before you head to bed by cutting back on your phone usage at night.

[READ: This is why you should soak up some sun despite the pandemic]

 

Header photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

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Read more:

So, you’re massively sleep deprived. Is sleeping in on weekends enough?

Pulling off a good night’s rest: How to sleep better and faster

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TAGS: circadian rhythm nolisoli sleep sleep tips wake up