A Sleepy Girl's Guide on Waking Up at 5AM & No Snooze Hacks
I am an early bird — a morning person through and through and being up early makes me feel so excited and happy and bubbly!!
However back in January, I flew and moved to the other side of the world. And after almost a whole day of travel, a whole new timezone and a week of waking up at 11am, and realising that I dont have anything or anyone to tend to anymore, I found it hard to go back to my schedule.
I know just how important starting the day early for me is. Whenever I wake up relatively late, my energy is so low. Sometimes Id spend hours in bed feeling bad about a wasted morning (and ironically wasting even more.) But whenever I wake up early, there’s a rush of energy and adrenaline that makes me feel good and motivated.
The thing about being a morning person is that the way you spend your time is up to you. When you look up the habits of high performance people, there is a pattern you will find. They wake up early and stick a morning routine.
As much as it can seem daunting at the start, early mornings can be something you enjoy if you change your approach and mindset towards it. Recognizing that there will be change and committing to it will make it easier and soon enough we will realise that it’s worth it!
1. Implement a good bedtime routine and the right environment
Something I learned along the process is that our morning doesnt start when we open our eyes, when the alarm rings, nor when we ground our feet.. Our morning starts the night before.
Our nighttime routine really has a big impact not only on the quality of our sleep, but also the morning after! Once Ive realised the significance of my bed time routine to my sleep, I set an actual bedtime for myself and started doing things that will help me reconnect to myself after a long day, to plan for the next day, and to help make the quality of my sleep better.
Our room should also be a calming place so you may want to to some quick tidying up before heading to bed. A dim light or dark environment helps in sending signals to our body that it's time to get some rest so turning off our devices an hour before we sleep is ideal because because the screens emit blue light that keeps us up. For some of us it can be hard, luckily, there’s night shift mode!
2. Adjust your bedtime instead of compromising sleep.
Some people advice to take it gradually and avoid making drastic changes to let our body readjust. Maybe go to bed 15-20 minutes earlier than you usually do. Let yourself adapt to it and then make it 30 minutes. And then go from there.
However, I found that I find it harder that way. I started going to bed 10 hours before my desired time of waking up and set the alarm and it worked better for me. Adjusting my time of going to bed instead of compromising the hours of my sleep did better for me. Going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday is better instead of depending it if i have to shower or theres something i have to tend to.
3. A mild alarm
I thought it wouldnt work for me at first. It sounds so silly to have a music box waking you up because wouldn’t it make you want to stay in bed even longer? But once I tried it, it made all the difference. When the alarm rings, Im not jumpy, Im in a better mood and I wake up slow. My alarm does not sound so violating and if anything, it helps me be calm and relaxed.
4. Get moving as soon as you wake up.
The way we wake up sets the tone for our day so what would the rest of our day be like if we start hitting the snooze button?
Jeff Sanders, a productivity coach and author of The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast. says, and I quote, “Snoozing inadvertently becomes a reactive choice, which leads to further reactivity, when you begin the day reacting to your environment instead of proactively shaping it, you find yourself on the defensive.”
So get up as soon as you wake up! Even if its just to turn the blind open, to get water, or to go to the washroom. These days I kind of fell back to the bad habit of checking my phone first thing in the morning. It’s something im trying to break again and Im hoping im not the only one guilty of that. Whenever I allow myself to “just check my phone for 5 minutes”, that I tend to stay longer in bed, my energy depletes and before I know it, another hour have passed and Id feel so bad about it!
Mel Robbins also has a video about the five second rule that she used to outsmart her brain and get herself to stop snoozing after years of doing it. She basically counts down from five and “launches herself like a rocket.” It sounds so silly as I describe it but Ive tried it many times not only in getting up but with other activities as well.
Our body is dehydrated after going without water for 7-8 hours. Drinking water first thing in the morning rehydrates and fuels our body in order for it to function properly. It also has been proven to be better at waking us up better even more than coffee.
Once I started doing this, I noticed the boost in my energy not only in the morning but throughout the day It fires up our metabolism, I dont feel the need for snacks, and gives my brain fuel. Having water ready for me on the bed side helped me turn it into a habit. I also like adding lemon in my water just to add flavor and extra vitamin c!
6. Develop a morning routine that will excite you to get out of bed.
Help yourself and make mornings something you look forward to. Make it pleasurable for you. For myself, there’s no reason for me to wake up early. I dont have a fixed structure, work or school to go to anymore and the sun here doesnt go up until 9 am. But! I really value my mornings and getting as much of my day as I can.
Remind yourself of the benefits of mornings. It gives you enough time to prepare, meaning youre not jumpy or in a rush, the quiet, there’s less distraction, and gosh, the sunrise! You get to wake up before the sun! How cool is that right? And a new day means a new beginning! Also, Im just really excited for breakfast.
Life can be demanding and starting our day earlier is perfect if we want to make time for something, be it starting a new project or even just to enjoy the silence. The reason doesnt have to be big. It is a perfect time of the day where we can focus on being present because we arent being constantly pulled in different directions. For myself, I’m the biggest fan of slow mornings. I thrive off it. Watching the water boil, drinking tea while staring out the window, yoga, journaling and reading? Frick yes.
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Having an early start allows me to do that and to maximize my day. There’s no rush because who likes to start their day jumpy? When the need to rush is eliminated, there’s more room for optimism that stays throughout the day. I am able to focus better because there are less distractions in the morning, plan my day in silence, or I can just enjoy the white noise and practice being mindful.
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