Are you tired of feeling groggy and sluggish in the morning? Do you want to start your day with more vitality and productivity? If so, you might want to learn how to wake up earlier and make the most of your morning hours. According to experts, waking up early can have many benefits for your mental, physical, and professional well-being. Here are some tips on how to become an early riser and enjoy a better morning routine.
Reset your circadian rhythm with light
One of the key factors that affects your sleep and wake cycle is your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s internal clock that regulates your biological processes. Your circadian rhythm is influenced by external cues, such as light and darkness, that tell your body when it’s time to be alert or sleepy. To wake up earlier, you need to shift your circadian rhythm to an earlier schedule, and the best way to do that is to use light strategically.
According to Dr. Diogo Barardo, a longevity researcher, light is the most powerful cue for your circadian rhythm. He suggests getting plenty of natural light, especially in the morning, to signal your brain that it’s daytime and time to be awake. This will also help you feel sleepy earlier in the evening, making it easier to fall asleep at an earlier bedtime. Conversely, you should avoid light exposure in the evening, especially from blue and white sources, such as electronic devices, as they can suppress your melatonin production and keep you awake longer.
Adjust your sleep and wake times gradually
Another tip on how to wake up earlier is to make gradual changes to your sleep and wake times, rather than trying to make a drastic shift overnight. Dr. Rebecca Robbins, a sleep expert and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, recommends waking up just 15 minutes earlier each day until you reach your desired wake-up time. This will help your body and mind adjust to the new schedule and avoid feeling too tired or jet-lagged.
Similarly, you should also stick to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time every day, even on weekends, to keep your circadian rhythm in sync and avoid disrupting your sleep quality. Dr. Chester Wu, a sleep doctor and medical reviewer for Rise Science, advises aligning your meals, exercise, and other activities with your ideal schedule as well. For example, if you’re waking up earlier, have breakfast earlier too.
Get enough sleep and avoid snoozing
Of course, waking up earlier also means that you need to get enough sleep to feel rested and refreshed. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that healthy adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, so plan accordingly based on your wake-up time and your individual sleep needs. If you have trouble falling asleep at an earlier bedtime, try establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading, meditating, or drinking herbal tea, to calm your mind and body.
Additionally, you should avoid hitting the snooze button in the morning, as tempting as it may be. Dr. Robbins explains that snoozing can interfere with your wake-up routine and cause sleep inertia, which is a state of grogginess and reduced alertness that can last for hours. Instead, she suggests turning off your alarm and getting out of bed as soon as possible, or using a sunrise alarm that mimics natural light to wake you up gently.
Boost your energy with exercise, water, and coffee
Finally, if you want to feel more awake and energized in the morning, you can try some simple strategies to stimulate your body and brain. For instance, you can do some physical activity, such as a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a high-intensity workout, to increase your blood flow, oxygen, and endorphins. Exercise can also improve your mood, cognitive function, and overall health.
Another way to feel more awake is to drink some water and coffee. Water can help you hydrate and flush out toxins, while coffee can provide you with caffeine, which is a natural stimulant that can enhance your alertness, performance, and mood. However, you should be mindful of not drinking too much caffeine or too close to your bedtime, as it can interfere with your sleep quality and duration.
Waking up earlier can be a challenge, but it can also be rewarding. By following these tips, you can learn how to wake up earlier, easier, and with more energy, and enjoy the benefits of being a morning person. Here are the key points to remember:
- Reset your circadian rhythm with light exposure in the morning and darkness in the evening
- Adjust your sleep and wake times gradually and maintain a consistent schedule
- Get enough sleep and avoid snoozing in the morning
- Boost your energy with exercise, water, and coffee