“Wake up early and tackle the day before it tackles you. Be on offense, not defense.” ~ Evan Carmichael
Feel More Energized in the Morning
Many of us suffer from waking up feeling groggy, tired, and fatigued.
We desire to feel more energetic, but some of us just want to roll over in bed. Proverbs 26:14 (ESV) says, “As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.”
For those of us who are looking for answers on how to wake up early and not feel miserable, you are amongst those who are not lazy! You want to do right, but it’s been difficult. You are unsure how to feel energetic in the morning and want to wake up with joy and excitement, but you just are uncertain how.
Below, we will review 18 steps to waking up early. These include the following:
- Bed & Wake Time Consistency
- Have a Pre-Bedtime Ritual
- Find the Right Alarm System
- Only use the Bed for Sleeping, Not Reading or Tasks
- Understand Your Chronotype
- Get Exposure to Light First Thing in the Morning
- Know How and When to Take Caffeine
- Put Alarm Clock on Other Side of Room
- Set Intentions Before Bed
- Do a Mindless Task When First Getting Up
- Drink Water
- Put on Dress Clothes
- Cold Shower
- Don’t Use Technology for the First Hour of Waking Up
- Light Movement and Exercise
- Have a Power Hour
- Turn on Lights an Hour Before Waking Up
Let’s unpack each in greater detail below!
17 Steps to Waking Up Early
1. Bed & Wake Time Consistency
Without going to bed and waking up at the same time, the brain and body become confused. We need clarification as to when it is time to wind down and when it is time to go to bed.
It is essential to keep a consistent rhythm of your sleep schedule. To do this, try the following:
- Determine what time you need to wake up.
- Determine what time you need to begin working.
- Give yourself a buffer in between waking up and working (example: a 2-hour window).
- Strive each day to stick to this routine.
2. Have a Pre-Bedtime Ritual
It is essential to have a pre-bedtime ritual.
Stick to doing things that will wind you down in the last hour or two hours.
Some ideas can include the following:
- Warm shower before bed
- Turn off screens an hour before bed
- Meditate for 5-10 minutes before going to sleep
- Journal your thoughts for the day and what is top of mind
3. Find the Right Alarm System
There are many different types of alarms out there that you can purchase and try.
If you are like me, the loud noise of an alarm is a nuisance. If you have been sticking to this and want to try something new, check out Spin Cycle (where you have to spin to turn off the alarm) or purchase “wake-up lights” (which are timed lights that you can set 30 minutes before waking up to get you used to light slowly).
4. Only use the Bed for Sleeping, Not Reading or Tasks
Obviously, the bed is for sex as well, but we are concerned about getting proper sleep so that we can feel more energized in the morning.
If you are going to do some light reading or, as mentioned above, journaling, do so at a desk. We must doo nothing else in bed but sleep (and, as mentioned, “tango”). By saving everything else for outside the bed, the brain will quickly associate that the bed is strictly for sleeping (not doing work, being on a laptop, reading, etc.).
This will help the brain know that it is time to sleep once we are in bed.
5. Understand Your Chronotype
Sleep Chronotypes are genetic predispositions to what time our bodies prefer to sleep.
Our Chronotype is essential to understand. Some of us are night owls, while others are early birds.
Understanding which one you are can help you know when is the right time to go to bed and wake up for you.
To take the test, click here.
6. Get Exposure to Light First Thing in the Morning
It is important to get light exposure first thing in the morning. If we can’t get sunlight exposure for 10-15 minutes, then blue light from screens works fine as well.
Whatever light exposure we can get will help us wake up more quickly.
According to the CDC, “Seeing bright light in the morning will help you fall asleep easier at night. Getting bright light shortly after waking up may help you feel more alert.”
7. Know How and When to Take Caffeine
Dr. Matthew Walker says that “the longer you are awake, the more adenosine builds up, creating an increasing urge (pressure) to sleep” (Why We Sleep, pg. 30).
Adenosine is part of our natural wake-up cycle. If we have caffeine right when we wake up, we stunt adenosine from occurring. This leads to feeling groggy in the morning and hitting a quicker crash in the afternoon.
Wait 60-120 minutes after waking up before caffeine intake. This will allow your body enough time for adenosine to build up. Once you are more alert and awake, have coffee or tea.
Waiting to have caffeine will boost the caffeine’s effect throughout the afternoon and will make you feel more energized throughout the day.
8. Put Alarm Clock on Other Side of Room
When we put our alarm clock on the other side of the room, we force ourselves to get up and are less likely to hit snooze.
By getting up the first time, we will be more prone to staying awake and not returning to sleep. This, in turn, will help us feel more energized in the morning.
9. Set Intentions Before Bed
If we have a reason for getting up, we will be more prone to wake up early.
Think of your Birthday, Christmas (or any holiday) when you were excited as a kid. You were excited due to the anticipation of what was to come.
If you set intentions of what you will do right when you wake up, you will be more willing to wake up early. If you want to write a book, knowing you can write first thing in the morning will make you want to wake up earlier.
It’s all about priorities and setting the intentions upfront the night before going to bed.
10. Do a Mindless Task When First Getting Up
Do a mindless task when you first wake up. This could be brushing your teeth, filling a cup of water, watering a plant, or making your bed.
Whatever the case, doing a light, simple task while waking up will give you a little energy and time to wake up.
You will have already achieved a mini-accomplishment, making it a great start to the day.
11. Drink Water
According to NPR, we can lose two pounds of water while sleeping. That is around 4 cups of water.
It is absolutely essential to drink water as soon as we get up to replenish fluids and give us a good rush of energy and clarity.
Strive for 3 cups of water within the first hour.
12. Put on Dress Clothes
By putting on dress clothes, we mentally prepare for the day ahead.
If we remain in our pajamas or comfy clothes, we will be more prone to returning to bed.
13. Cold Shower
A cold shower does wonders with waking us up first thing in the morning, but it is not for the faint of heart.
Alongside an initial increase in energy, benefits of cold showers can be better circulation of blood moving through body.
14. Don’t Use Technology for the First Hour of Waking Up
The first 20 minutes of our day will dictate the rest of our day.
Suppose we consume social media, news, or other technological outlets first thing in the morning. In that case, we are feeding our dopamine system without prior work and putting ourselves in positions of greater stress, anxiety, fear, discouragement, or depression.
Don’t use technology for the first hour of being up. Focus on family, hobbies, reading, writing, and what will aid you in life.
There is time later for technology, but not while your mind is still waking up.
15. Light Movement and Exercise
Light movement and exercise first thing in the morning can work out cortisol (stress-related hormone).
According to Harvard Health, “Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.”
Even a walk for 15-20 minutes can help you feel energized first thing in the morning.
16. Have a Power Hour
Choose to separate one of your first few hours of waking up into three 20-minute or two 30-minute sessions. An example of what this could look like is the following:
- 20 minutes = diaphragmatic breathing and meditation
- 20 minutes = reading
- 20 minutes = writing/journaling
17. Turn on Lights an Hour Before Waking Up
As the hours get closer to bedtime, it is important to reduce light exposure. However, the opposite is true when waking up. It is essential to get bright light exposure before waking up.
Strive to get timer lights or open the shades to your room as the sun rises. Exposing yourself to light as you gradually end your last hour of sleep will help you feel more refreshed and energized with waking up.
Next Steps to Feeling Energized
Now that you know how to wake up early and not feel miserable, it’s time to learn how to stay energized throughout each day and get better sleep.
Our team at Tiger Medical has the experience, clinical skills, and coaching acumen to help you regain your health and energy.
To talk to one of our professionals, click here to schedule your call!
For further reading, view the following articles on our learning center: