Do you wake up early often? So why do you wake up every day? If you can answer that question, then it will probably be clear how you feel about waking up every day.
Do you wake up to sell your time at a job you aren’t passionate about? Well then it makes sense you would want to keep sleeping and not wake up to that life.
If however you wake up to a life you love, or you have the potential to wake up to a life you love, then why wouldn’t you want to wake up early every day and get that life started?
Waking up early in the morning used to be impossible to me. For years I would sleep 10 or even more hours a night. It was ruining my life. I didn’t have time to do what I wanted to do like read and practice skills I’m passionate about. I didn’t have time to do anything. And worst of all, I still often felt tired every day.
That’s no way to live your life. That’s not living at all.
For years I struggled with this part of my life. Occasionally I would tackle this problem, but I would always wake up too tired to accomplish anything for several days and eventually go back to indulging my body’s addiction to the amount of sleep I was used to.
I read books about healthy sleeping. They had good common sense advice, like go to bed at the same time each night, and try to expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. I learned about the sleep cycles and even took someone’s advice to start going to the gym every day get my body used to needing more energy and less sleep.
Some things helped, but I struggled with this for the longest time until I found some ways to powerfully self-discipline myself. To wake up at 7 AM every day full of energy. This eventually become a habit. And I know many people struggle with this so I hope what has helped me can help you too.
Waking up early in the morning should be natural, not something to dread.
The easier answer to how to wake up early in the morning is that you have to go to bed early, or at least earlier than you are used to, and absolutely at a consistent time. I’m guessing this is something you already know, but may not have committed to habit at this time.
This article is about much more than that. You are capable of waking up early full of energy and excited to start your day. You’ll need to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle. And I know how everyone can’t stand change, but perhaps change is exactly what you need if you wake up at noon and feel exhausted every day. Aren’t there other things you want to do in the morning besides sleep?
So how do you enjoy Waking up Early?
There are many benefits to waking up early.
- Get better grades at school
- Have better cognitive functioning
- More productive
- Better quality sleep because you have an established sleep routine
With all these benefits why not take control of your life and wake up WHEN YOU want to. A big problem is people are used to waking up when their responsibilities require them.
They think, “Oh tomorrow I have class at 10:00AM so I’ll wake up at 9.” And then the next day this guy says to himself, “I have class at 8:30 tomorrow so I’ll wake up at 7:50 and run a little to make up for lost time.”
I used to be like that. Lots of people still are. They never CHOOSE when to wake up. It’s like they don’t want to wake up. They just want to dream all day. But this bad habit destroys your sleeping routine, and you are constantly trying to make up a messed up sleep debt. Eventually you get used to that messed up state, but it is not what your body NEEDS to function properly. To function properly you should be waking up at a consistent time every day.
And to be happy with waking up, I think you need to choose for yourself what time you want to wake up every day instead of letting reality make that choice for you.
We form habits because at some point our behavior has been perceived as a reward. When you give yourself just enough time to wake up in the morning you might mistakenly think you are rewarding yourself with a little extra sleep, but that is a pretty lame reward. Especially when you consider you are actually training yourself to hate mornings. This also trains you to associate a reward with your snooze button, or laying back down for a few more minutes of sleep after just waking up. It feels good in the moment, is interpreted as a reward, and eventually becomes your habit.
Charlse Duhig, author of The Power of Habit says we know from research that people have the power to change any habit.
Our habits are formed and reinforced in a three step process:
When we experience a cue, such as waking up to an alarm at 8:00 AM our unconscious routine might be to go back to bed and enjoy the reward of more sleep
In this Ted Talk Mr. Duhigg mentions a study in which rats learned the habit of running a short maze to find chocolate. Brain sensors showed that the rat’s brains had a lot more activity the first time they were placed in the maze, but after many times, the cue of being placed in the maze triggered an unconscious routine that they had learned, which led to the reward of chocolate.
This works exactly the same for people too when learning just about any new habit. Pretty much everything you do during the day is habit and not your actual decision.
The way Mr. Duhigg points out to change your habits is incredibly life changing. You need to Decide ahead of time how you will respond to triggers, and the rewards you will give yourself for having responded that way.
So for example, you are used to sleeping in every day. Before you go to sleep remind yourself that when you encounter the “cue” which is your alarm waking you up in the morning, that you will reward yourself.
So when you get out of bed at 6 AM or 7 AM Reward yourself with something you like. It can be as simple as a piece of chocolate, a cookie, or some fruit. You could reward yourself with anything you consider a reward actually. Though it’s probably best to keep it consistent.
I tried this method and after about a month, I was able to finally start enjoying waking up, and slowly building a routine that I did every morning and also looked forward to. Before trying this method, I had slowly built the self discipline to wake up early every morning for a few days, but eventually I would always sleep in on the weekend. But now I’ve managed to transition my mind into thinking about waking up as something to look forward to.
Getting up started to become easier, and I was even feeling better every day.
So Identify your Cue: Alarm goes off or your wake up naturally
Routine: Get out of bed
Reward: Chocolate, coffee, or some other thing you like.
This will take effort in the beginning, as you are replacing an old habit. But with practice, this new habit will become automatic as long as you consistently reward yourself for the behaviors you wish to cultivate.
And remember waking up early isn’t some chore that gives you some benefits like productivity and health. Waking up early should be a byproduct of living your life on your own terms. Living a life you are proud of you would definitely wake up early naturally.
If you want more advice on how to wake up early full of energy and ready to produce results all day then check out my book: The Morning Routine.
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