Who likes waking up early in the morning? I never used to. I fell asleep at 3 am and rolled out of bed around noon. But that's not going to fly in adulthood, and with an insane schedule between school, work, blogging, and friends, I need to be fully rested and on top of everything to get it all done! (Don't we all....) So here are 10 tips that I've used to get to bed early, get up early, and have more productive days!
1. Lay out clothes / pack bag the night before
We've all trudged into our closets after rolling out of bed, thrown on the first T shirt and pair of jeans we see, and rushed to throw everything into our bag before realizing that you forgot 3 three things and your shirt has a huge stain on it.
Best way to avoid this disaster of a morning? Pick out whatever you want to wear the night before and hang it up in your closet so all you have to do is pull it on the next morning (Plus, It will most likely be a little better looking and stain-free) If you want to be an overachiever, pack everything you need into your bag before bed so that you never get to class or work and realize you forgot that report due at 9 am.
2. Go to bed earlier
This one is a complete no-brainer, yet it's often times one of the most difficult to do. If you want to start waking up 1 hour earlier, go to bed 1 hour earlier, simple as that.
3. Limit the nighttime tech
There are so many studies that say you should turn off tech at least 30-60 minutes before going to bed, otherwise it will mess up your REM sleep (that's the one that makes you wake up feeling refreshed and rested). So power down and spend half an hour reading a book, doing yoga, talking to a real human being, or whatever other non-tech activity you desire!
4. Get Cozy
Going off the powering-down theory, spend that time taking a hot shower, grabbing a warm cup of decaf tea, throwing on your coziest sweater and fuzzy socks, curling up in a blanket and reading a book!
5. DON'T HIT SNOOZE
Hitting snooze will only confuse your body, and make you feel more tired than had you gotten up at the first ring. As hard as it may be some mornings, just shut off that alarm and get up! (For full disclosure, I am a huge proponent of sitting in bed on my phone for 10 minutes before actually getting up, which some people argue is a negative habit, but hey, life is about balance)
6. Brighten It Up
This may or may not work depending on what time you wake up and what time the sun rises, but one good way to slowly wake up is to keep curtains open and let the light wake you up slowly. If your alarm goes off and you're in a pitch-black room under warm covers, you're not very likely to be thrilled about getting up and flipping on the lights, but with a soft morning light coming through the window, it's much easier to get going.
7. Make Your Bed
Also a productivity tip, making your bed first thing in the morning makes you feel as though you've accomplished something, and sets your mind and mood on a positive note to start off the day.
8. Get your caffeine fix
Most sites will tell you to chug a bottle of water first thing in the morning, but that does not make me want to spring out of bed. Smelling freshly brewed coffee, and hearing the gurgle of the coffeepot, definitely makes me want to jump out of bed! Whether you're a coffee or tea lover, grab whatever makes you excited to get up!
9. Eat Breakfast
While coffee might get me through the first few hours, actual food is needed to make it through until lunchtime. You don't have to
make a spinach and feta omelette with sliced fresh fruit and a croissant every morning (but wow that sounds good...) but grabbing a bagel with cream cheese and a banana on the way out the door will give you early morning energy to tackle the day!
10. Find a routine
Whether you do two of these, or all of them, find a routine that works for you and stick to it! Even if you stayed up until 4 am studying, get your butt out of bed and go through your routine. It will train your brain to respond to these steps and they will wake you up even when you're running on 3 hours of sleep! (<--- Me. All the time.)