At least a third of the population is productive late in the day, and that is when they get the most work done and sleeping in during the day. However, waking up early has its peeks especially in a world built around working and socializing in the day. It takes a few tries to get used to waking up early, but you can do it.
Here are 12 actionable tips to helping you wake up early that thousands of night owls are using every day.
1. Have a Goal for Waking Up Early
Since you are used to sleeping in during the day, you cannot just decide to wake up early given the fact that you slept late. Even the people who go to bed early cannot just presume that they will wake up early. Plan your schedule before going to bed, and this will program your mind to wake up early. The schedule will keep you from hitting the snooze button.
2. Start Sleeping Earlier Than Usual
Early to bed, early to rise might be a cliché, but it does work. However, for a night owl, this can be a problem, since you cannot be in bed by half-past nine and expect to fall naturally asleep. Start training your body to stick to a new sleeping pattern, and it starts with going to bed early. The best way to apply this analogy is training yourself to start anticipating sleep by going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time.
However, sleep experts say that you ought to do it gradually; start with going to bed at least half an hour before your usual time and waking up half an hour earlier. This is one of the best ways to train yourself, and gradually increase the time you go to bed early, and in a months’ time, you will be able to rise early.
3. Eat Foods to Help You Sleep
Did you know that there are foods you can eat to help you fall asleep faster, especially when trying to sleep early? Foods such as bananas, green salad with Kiwi fruits, almonds, just to name a few, have high levels of Vitamin B6 that help in the production of serotonin and melatonin, which help you in falling asleep. These sleeping agents are activated by darkness, and they will help you fall asleep faster. Also, ensure that you avoid fatty foods, alcohol, and smoking cigarettes.
4. Make Your Bedroom Sleep Conducive
Presently, 90% of the population checks their smartphones and tablets as the last thing before they go to bed and the first thing when they wake up. It is necessary that you ensure that your bedroom is completely dark, to activate the sleeping agents covered in the tip above. The blue light from digital screens inhibits the production of the sleeping agents. Turn off all your screens at least an hour before you go to bed and turn off the bedroom lights when you get to bed. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, listen to soothing music to drown the noise and soundproof your bedroom.
5. Take a Nap Early In the Day
For a night owl who just started waking up early, your body might not have adjusted to your new sleeping pattern, and you might feel drowsy in the course of the morning. Before 7 hours are up after you woke up, take a nap then rather. Napping after 7 hours of sleep disrupts the new sleeping cycle, and you could reverse to sleeping late and waking up late.
For the nap, however, sleep for 30 minutes to one hour and no more. This will give you a boost, and you will work better and feel better.
6. Take up Hobbies
Human beings are dynamic, and they can learn anything they want if they set their minds to it. One of the best hobbies you can take up to help you sleep is going camping for at least a week when you get the chance. Studies show that synchronizing your body with sunsets and sunrises, you can tune your body to sleep early and wake up early. However, you have to unplug yourself and keep the use of smartphones and tablets strictly between sunrise and sunset.
Turn all the lights off whether you are sleepy or not, unless it is an emergency. A week of camping will ensure that you get to bed early and rise early.
7. Avoid Self-Help Books and Read Fictional Books
As a last resort of the day, most people catch up on emails, news, or improving themselves as they wait for sleep to take over. However, this habit reminds you of the bad that is happening in the world, work, as well as how you fall short of societal expectations, and none of this will help you in falling asleep. Invest in a collection of short stories that are easy to read, or novels you have already read. The stories have a psychological effect, and it is the reason children bedtime stories are fictional.
8. Make Time for Winding Down
Most people wind down by watching TV when they finish the activities on their daily schedules while taking a beer, smoking, or a glass of wine. Sleep experts have conducted research and found that what you get up to before going to bed will determine how fast you will fall asleep. Make time for winding down and ensure the activities you undertake are relaxing, and make them part of a routine before bed.
For example, you could take a shower before bed instead of watching TV for an hour before you hit the sack, and other activities. Make it a habit, and your body will associate the shower with the fact that the day has ended and a time to relax. When you do them in a particular order, and at the same time, you will relax, and they will help you in falling asleep.
9. Adjust Your Meal Portions
You probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but this is not a green light to overindulge. Eat a light but nutritious breakfast, a heavy lunch, and a light dinner. Going to bed after a heavy dinner will make it harder for you to sleep.
10. Get Smart Lighting Options
Waking up in a bright room reduces the chance of you going back to sleep, and the light helps in making you feel alert. Invest in an automatic curtain opener and program it to open using a smartphone app at least half an hour before your usual wake up time. If you have no windows in your bedroom, or they are blocked, get a smart light and program them to light up.
11. Take Control
Control your mind or your mind will control you. Most night owls hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off and go back to sleep. However, you can take control of your mind and after you hit the snooze button, force yourself not to go back to sleep. Turn on the TV, make tea/coffee, or open the drapes and windows and before the alarm goes off again, you will be fully awake.
12. Start Feeding Your Pets Early In the Morning
Pets get used to a set order faster than human beings, you can start feeding them early in the morning and in a few days, and they will be waking you up to feed them. They will make noise and jump on your bed forcing you to wake up to feed them. You will hardly have any sleep left after the errand.
Are you a night owl struggling with waking up early? Try the tips above and see if they will work for you. However, if these tips do not work for you, get a bedside mat alarm that only goes off when you step on it.