Benefits of Waking Up Early and How To Do It

7 min read

Last Modified 21 March 2022 First Added 11 April 2019

By Nat Took

No one likes to be groggy in the morning, but not many choose to change their habits and learn how to wake up early. There are plenty of ways you can train your body and mind into enjoying early mornings. Here, we explore the benefits of waking up early and how to wake up early in the morning.

How To Wake Up Early In The Morning

Convinced that you should be waking up earlier? Don’t worry; it only takes a few days to help your body and brain wake up in peak condition.

You don’t need to make drastic changes; no one should go from night owl to Mark Wahlberg’s routine in one night. Start with gradual changes and build up to waking up early.

Here are seven tips on how to wake up early:

1. Have two alarm clocks

Physically getting out of bed can be the hardest part of rising early. And putting one alarm clock on the other side of the room, so you have to jump up and run across the room in the morning will just make you despise your early mornings.

A better way of doing it is to have two alarm clocks. Your first alarm should be in your arm’s reach and is to wake you up. A few minutes later your second alarm should go off, which is completely out of reach. This is your cue to actually get up out of bed.

This way gives your body time to gently wake up. If you set the second alarm 10-15 minutes after the first, you could spend the time reading or starting to plan your day. Just make sure you don’t snooze during this time.

2. Develop a positive attitude to waking up early

One of the key factors in how to wake up early is your mindset. Motivate yourself by doing something you enjoy first thing in the morning. Make waking up early a pleasure, not a chore.

You could start your day by stimulating your brain, listening to podcasts, or reading. This is especially effective if the subject is waking up early.

Starting your day with exercise will also help to get the blood pumping. This doesn’t have to mean the gym unless you enjoy it, it could be something as simple as going for a walk in the park. The outdoor air and the activity will help to get the heart working harder and keep you awake once you are out of bed.

3. Go to bed early

Now, we know this one can be tough for night-owls. But to really experience the benefits of waking up early, going to bed earlier will increase your chances. Going to bed early helps you get a full night’s rest before your early morning. So, when you wake up, you’re less likely to feel fatigued from poor sleep or lack of sleep.

Getting into a good sleep routine will help you get up early, as your body will naturally fall into an earlier sleep cycle.

4. Don't hit snooze

Snoozing just interrupts your sleep pattern, it doesn’t help you feel more refreshed in the long run. Hitting snooze interrupts REM sleep which is important for our bodies and minds.

You’re more likely to waking up early harder if you hit snooze.

What is REM sleep and why do we need it?

5. Have a routine

Waking up early comes much easier if you are in a routine. No matter how hard it is to stick to at the beginning, don’t give up. Your body will become accustomed to the routine and adjust your sleep patterns to fit.

This includes the weekend. Many people don’t wake up early on weekends as they aren’t going to work. Get around this by planning your weekends. It may seem weird to plan your leisure time, but it doesn’t matter what the plan is. Go for coffee with a friend, join an exercise class, use the weekend mornings.

6. Find a reason to wake up early

Having a reason to wake up early is will give you the drive to get up and out in the morning. Think about what you want to achieve with time. Do you want to improve your fitness? Maybe you want to spend more time with family and friends? Or do you want to spend more time on your business?

Changing a habit is hard, so you need a good reason.

7. Have realistic expectations

It doesn’t take that long to shift your body’s sleep cycle, only about 4-5 consistent days. However, for many, it’s not just about changing one habit but changing several small habits too. For instance, how often do you go to bed only to accidentally stay awake until the early hours of the morning watching something online?

Changing this can be hard in the modern age, as you can easily take your electronics to bed and end up awake for hours after you planned to be. If turning them off doesn’t work, you may want to think about lending them to a family or friend for a few weeks. It’s easier to break this habit when the option isn’t there for you to be tempted, allowing you to go to bed only to sleep.

Benefits of waking up early

Waking up early is a well-known habit of successful people, such as Richard Branson, who wakes up at 5 am, and former First Lady Michelle Obama who starts her days at 4:30 am. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Here are some benefits of waking up early:

1. Time for breakfast

It’s well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many late risers skip this meal, or worse just grab a high fat, high carb, high sugar snack. Getting up early ensures that you have time to have a healthy and nutritious breakfast.

This, in turn, leads to healthier eating habits during the rest of the day. Ensuring your body is fueled in the morning keeps you satisfied, so you are less likely to eat unhealthy snacks to see you through until lunchtime

Healthy Breakfasts To Kickstart Your Day

2. Healthy skin

Skin is at its best first thing in the morning, after a good nights’ sleep. Also, like breakfast, earlier risers can use some time in the morning to give their skin some TLC. Spending time exfoliating, moisturising, and cleansing are great morning habits for your skin.

3. Extra time for exercise

Who really wants to exercise after a hard day’s work? Often family or work commitments get in the way, giving a perfect excuse not to exercise.

A huge benefit of waking up early is the extra time you have for things like exercise. You’ll find that exercising first thing is a great way to wake up in the morning, and you’ll rarely have an excuse to avoid it. Working out in the morning will also keep you energised for the rest of the day.

Exercise also helps you to sleep better at night, and with a good night’s sleep, waking earlier should be easier.

4. Better concentration and productivity

An early start does wonders for concentration; you get to work or school on time, and you’ve had the time to acclimatise yourself to the day properly. This means that you’ll also be alert as the day goes on.

Getting up early can increase your productivity in several ways. Firstly, there are fewer interruptions, as the rest of the world is asleep. This means you have the time to focus on essential tasks before being interrupted.

Your brain tends to be more alert in the morning, so you make better decisions. Setting your goals first thing is a great help you on your way to achieving them.

The importance of evening routines

5. Improved organisation

Waking up early allows you to plan your day in advance and create attainable goals. You can figure out what you actually need to accomplish in the day. Having a well-thought-out plan means that you’ll be less likely to be thrown off by simple things such as traffic or forgetting your lunch.

6. Better quality of sleep

Another benefit of waking up early is a better sleep routine in general. A consistent sleep cycle increases the effectiveness of your natural sleep stages.

The sleep cycle happens multiple times throughout the night and is vital for your brain’s rest and development.

7. Become more positive

As earlier risers tend to have a better sleep routine, they have typically had the suggested seven to nine hours of sleep a night. As this leads to a healthier body and mind, early risers tend to have a chirpier outlook on life.

Want to know more? See our Sleep Encyclopaedia.

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