During the summer months, the sun rises nice and early, ready to greet you the second you wake up. This natural light helps you pop out of bed ready to start the day. In the fall and winter, however, the sun rises later and later each day, making it so eventually, you’re waking up to darkness. This lack of light can make it especially difficult to get out of bed, even as you know that getting up early can start your day on a super productive foot.
When this transition starts to occur, it’s important to remind yourself each night, and every morning, what motivates you. Does exercise make you feel amazing? Plan your workouts first thing in the morning so you have a great reason to wake up early. Do you adore reading the paper in the morning with a cup of coffee? Spending extra time with your family? Whatever your motivator, visualize that enjoyment each night to remember what gets you up when that alarm clock starts blaring (despite the lack of sunlight).
How else can you make mornings work for you?
- Adjust your bedtime. While we recognize that this is easier said than done, getting to bed earlier is a vital part of an easy early morning wake-up. If this sounds difficult to you, gradually adjust your bedtime in 15 minute increments each week until you get to a bedtime that will help you achieve 7-8 hours of sleep – while still waking up at the crack of dawn.
- Similarly, gradually move towards a new wake up At the same time that you’re starting to go to bed 15 minutes earlier, wake up 15 minutes earlier, too. Four weeks later, you’ll be waking up an hour earlier each day – without the jarring effect of trying to do so right away. A gradual transition won’t be nearly as difficult to stick with.
- Play with your alarm clock. Everyone wakes up differently, and finding your ideal alarm is necessary to ensuring you wake up in a happy, productive mood. While some need a blaring beep to get their eyes open, others prefer the gentle soothing of an ocean. Particularly in the winter, it might help you to get an alarm clock that mimics natural sunlight to help you wake up, gradually lighting up until your set wake up time. Put your alarm across the room if you have to – whatever works for you!
- Prioritize a filling, delicious breakfast. Starting the day off with a proper mix of delicious protein and carbs is a guaranteed way to jumpstart your energy and get your body moving. Eight hours of sleep leaves your stomach naturally empty, so fueling up is a vital part of starting a successful day – and may just be the motivation you need to get out of bed early. Try Greek yogurt with homemade granola, eggs and toast, or some yummy peanut butter protein bars.
- Connect with loved ones. The thought of spending time with beloved friends and family is enough to get anyone out of bed. Find a great crew to go to the gym with you in the morning – you’ll be constantly inspired and motivated to get there if you know your friends are there laughing the morning away. Waking up early could mean spending an extra 30 minutes with your children eating breakfast, or grabbing a bit more time with your spouse. No matter who you spend your time with, motivate yourself to become a morning person by thinking of the ones you love.
All in all, waking up earlier leads to increased productivity and decreased stress. Unless you’re dead tired, have you ever regretted waking up a few minutes earlier? Probably not. Remember this mantra as you wake up each morning – and watch yourself become a “morning person.”