9 TIPS FOR NIGHT OWLS TO WAKE UP EARLY
It was the realization that I had been dreading: the only way I could possibly workout would be if I woke up at 4:00am everyday.
And for this die-hard night owl, where waking at 6:00am felt like being pried from the jaws of death, it seemed more likely that I would sprout wings and learn to fly before I could ever wake up at 4:00. And to wake up at 4:00am regularly to workout?
But I was at a crossroads.
THE LIFE I WANTED MEANT WAKING UP EARLY
I could see clearly that a life of health and organization meant waking up early. Creating an early morning routine was the only way to achieve my goals and build the life I wanted.
And if I’d ever had a shot at being motivated enough to conquer the insurmountable early morning mountain, now was the time.
After 4 back-to-back pregnancies, I’d started going to the gym and exercising regularly. Hired a trainer and everything. Because after taking a good look in the mirror after my 4th baby, I meant business. I was determined to finally lose all the weight from the 4 pregnancies.
So every day after our chaotic morning, I’d load up all 4 of the girls into the van and head to the gym where I would sweat my way through and hour and half of circuits. I was finally losing weight (I never before managed to lose while breastfeeding) and was actually seeing results.
In fact, I felt fantastic.
But then my 5 month old decided that this little arrangement was no longer working for her.
So she screamed when anyone held her except for me.
She didn’t want her dad, her grandmas, her aunts, and she certainly didn’t want anyone at the gym daycare. After the 3rd day in a row that a worker had to come and get me because she would not stop screaming, I recognized that I needed a new plan.
Despite my best efforts to find another solution, the only way to exercise meant waking up at the most ungodly of hours: 4:00 am. (Trust me, I went through every possible scenario)
I needed to go to the gym while she slept. And while my husband was home. Which meant going at 4:30am right when the gym opened so I could be back by 5:45am for my husband to leave for work.
Since I could hit a snooze button for hours, I was gonna need every tip and strategy I could get to wake up early. So I read some books (this one was my favorite) and read several articles.
And here’s what I discovered:
YOU CAN TRAIN YOURSELF TO WAKE UP EARLY
Even if you, like me, are the nightiest of night owls. You can do it. Trust me. Because guess what? Miraculously, I actually started to wake up at 4:00 and workout. I do it on most days and the biggest miracle: I’ve actually started to like it.
I know. Crazy.
But these tips are how I manage to wake up early.
WAKE UP EARLY TIPS FOR NIGHT OWLS
1) GO TO BED EARLY
This is essential since you don’t want to be operating with a sleep deficiency. Sleep deprivation basically leads to a host of health issues including weight gain (ugh) and even a shorter lifespan. Yikes!
Most adults need at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. Decide what time you want to wake up, subtract 8 and you’ve got your bedtime!
Getting serious with my bedtime has been the MOST IMPORTANT thing I’ve done to make early mornings happen.
2) GET QUALITY SLEEP
Quality sleep is essential to feeling well-rested, yet it’s not always easy to come by as a busy mama. Check out my post 10 Strategies For Moms to Get Dramatically Better Sleep.
3) SET OUT EVERYTHING THE NIGHT BEFORE
Have everything you can possibly think of ready to go (check out this post to help develop your own awesome morning routine).
I work out every morning, so I lay out everything: socks, shoes, clothes, sports bra, and headphones. If I’m going for a run, I leave out my house key lanyard. I even have a big glass of water ready and waiting by my bathroom sink (see step 8).
This also makes it less likely that I will skip out on my workout!
4) SET YOUR INTENTIONS
To make you morning happen, you need to mentally prepare yourself to pop out of bed when your alarm goes off. You have to decide well before your alarm goes off both that you will actually wake up and what exactly you plan to do.
This can take many forms:
- VISUALIZATION: Visualizing yourself completing the tasks you want to achieve is an extremely powerful strategy that can change your life. I use it all the time and definitely use it at night to prepare for the morning. I visualize myself smiling and popping out of bed and going through my morning routine step-by-step.
- WRITE IT DOWN: Create a written plan with what time you will get up and each thing you plan to accomplish in the order you plan to do them.
- GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: Get someone to hold you accountable for waking up early. This could be an early morning exercise buddy, or someone that you simply check in with to stay accountable. Letting someone else know of your plans makes you more likely to keep them.
5) OPTIMIZE YOUR ALARMS
Making sure you have an alarm set that you will not “snooze” til the end of time is essential. Luckily, there are a lot of options:
- ALARM ACROSS THE ROOM: This serves 2 purposes–it gets lights and technology away from you when you’re trying to sleep (thereby improving sleep quality) and it makes you actually get up and out of bed to turn it off. This was a game changer for me.
- ALARM ACROSS THE ROOM & PHONE BY YOUR BED: This is my preferred way to wake up. I keep a really soft alarm on my phone by my bed that gently wakes me up. My alarm across the room is set for 3 minutes later. Since I don’t want to disturb my husband, I get up easily with my gentle alarm and turn off the other alarm before it even goes off.
- USE STEP OUT APP: This app is completely genius. (And slightly terrifying.) If you can hit snooze a million times without even thinking, this is the app for you. You can set it up so that in order to turn off the alarm, you actually have to take 10 or 20 steps. And by that point, you are awake!
Also, try and get an alarm that isn’t horribly annoying. If the sound is too grating, it’ll put you in a bad mood the minute you hear it. And actually, research suggests that you’re more likely to be successful changing a habit during a time of change. Therefore, I’d suggest getting a new alarm to signal turning a new leaf.
6) SMILE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
I know it sounds super cheesy, but smiling and telling yourself how excited you are to wake up (even when you feel like you want to die) really works. It actually will help make you happy and excited to wake up. Fake it til you make it, baby!
7) TURN OFF ALARM & HEAD STRAIGHT TO THE BATHROOM
Don’t even let yourself think about getting back into bed. You’re already up if you had to get up to turn off your alarm. Make it second nature to then head straight to the bathroom without even giving it a thought.
Because we all know that if you think about it, you’ll rationalize getting straight back in bed!
8) DRINK A GLASS OF WATER & BRUSH YOUR TEETH
This is going to start to really wake you up and get into your morning routine.
Drinking water starts getting your body systems revved up and will give you some energy.
Brushing your teeth not only gives you something to do as you are trying to wake up, it actually wakes up your mouth. By this point, you are at least halfway woken up.
9) PUT ON EXERCISE CLOTHES
You’re still probably waking up, but getting dressed and physically preparing for the day is going to really help you keep waking up.
To make the most of your day, I HIGHLY recommend working out first thing and getting it out of the way.
YOU CAN WAKE UP EARLY
Trust me, if I can train myself to wake up early and not hate my life, absolutely ANYONE can! These wake up early tips will leave your snooze button in the dust and walk you through exactly what you need to do to make early mornings happen.
You’ve got this!
MORE RESOURCES FOR A GREAT MORNING
- 9 Morning Routine Tips for a More Productive Day
- 5 Keys to a Stress-Free Morning With Kids
- 3 Ways for Busy Moms to Get Motivated to Workout