As I mentioned in my Fall semester opening post, I will be waking up at 5am during the week for a 6am opening shift at the gym!
- Go to bed at the same time every night. Even when there isn’t an early wake up for the next day. Even on weekends. It’s crazy how the body is so sensitive to daily rhythms, and it will start to regulate itself.
- Have a relaxing routine that cues the body (and mind!) to start relaxing. For me this is eating dinner, showering, drinking tea, and journaling.
- Take melatonin an hour before bedtime. This is just something I learned from experience. The point of me taking melatonin is to make me tired enough to not stay up on my phone or reading. Even if I wanted to do something else, I was literally too tired to continue. I consider it to be a bedtime-enforcer. I didn’t find that I became “dependent” on it, and I am able fall asleep just fine without it.
- No caffeine in the evening!
- If drinking tea, choose herbal tea (preferably chamomile). The major downside is that tea is a diuretic and it’s also beneficial to:
- Decrease water intake to decrease the chance of waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
- Decrease viewing digital screens (phone/laptop/tv). Something about the light from these screens interferes with our “internal clock” about daytime/nighttime. And anyways, I downloaded f.lux for my laptop and use Night Shift mode on my iPhone because they filter some of these confusing lights. (Something like that!)
On Getting Up Early
- Use an alarm-clock that is sensitive to sleep stages. When we sleep, we cycle through deep and light phases of sleep. I use an app called SleepCycle to wake me up when I’m in a “lighter phase”, as it is significantly more pleasant than when I’m in deep sleep. (Bonus: it prompts for and records my heart rate before I even get up out of bed, so I’m able to consistently track my true RHR this way.)
- Leave the windows open. Just for the chance of some sunlight to aid the waking! (For some reason, I feel like I’m more sensitive to light than sound when it comes to sleep interruption.)
- Make the bed as soon as I get up. I think there are a lot of different benefits to this simple task, but my favorites are jump-starting a productive attitude and reducing the temptation to crawl back in bed.
- Use caffeinated face wash. Different, but I really like the MorningBurst facewash from Clean&Clear.It’s Lemon scented and feels good on my puffy morning face!
- Minimize decision making. Making decisions takes extra effort and I’ve read that it actually decreases willpower! So I pre-plan my outfits (since I’ll be doing 2-3 changes during the day!) and pre-pack my lunch/snacks. (This is actually more of a night-time routine then…)
I’d say I’m pretty successful at this waking-up-early thing. It’s not easy, but I’ve at least made it as least difficult as possible for me!
Does anyone do any of these? Or have some weird tip not listed?