How to Get Up Early in the Morning — My Technique, My Way

It’s summer everywhere. I love bright summer mornings when the early morning sun rays filter into my bedroom and wake me up. I love getting up early as it gives me plenty of time to plan and organize things before I work.

To me, getting up early didn’t come naturally. I wasn’t a morning person. In fact, I was a night owl. Curling and rolling up in bed till late in the morning used to be my guilty pleasure a few years ago. I used to postpone my bedtime and hated getting up early. The result was unhealthy lifestyle, boredom, lack of concentration, and frustration. These things took a toll on my working routine, on my writing.

But now, waking early is one of my favorite things in the world because now I know waking up early benefits.

Mornings are soothing. They are quiet as if the world is still sleeping. It’s the perfect time for doing something creative. I start my morning with two minutes of meditation, followed by 10 to 12 rounds of Surya Namaskars. A cup of coffee and I am all set to work.

A few years ago, I was a different person. It was only until I decided I’ll wake up early, plan and organize myself that I could bring change in my lifestyle. I experimented with my sleeping and waking time. I tried to go to bed earlier than usual. I got up 15 minutes earlier than my usual time. For instance, if I used to get up at seven, I  woke up at 6:45. After doing this for 2 to 3 days, I changed my alarm from 6:45 to 6:30. This gradual process helped me in sinking into my new routine. I could get into the habit of getting up early.

This was all about setting the alarm and waking up early. But most of the times even if you want to get up early, you can’t overcome the lethargy, the sleepiness. Same happened with me. I would put the alarm off or put it on snooze, turn side and go back to sleep until I realized it was nothing but my mental state.

I overcame the mental block. Now, I think there’s nothing that stops you from getting up early if you have slept the earlier night.

To win the sleepy state of mind, I tried few techniques I’m sure will help you in your quest of getting up early.

How to Wake Up Early and Not Feel Tired

Feel Excited: When you go to bed in the night, get excited about the things you want to do the next day.  It could be cooking a new dish, writing a new chapter for your novel, or an early morning walk. In the morning, when you get up, think that exciting thing. This will help you get motivated.

Get up and Say It’s My Day: Straightaway jump out of the bed. Yes, as soon as your alarm rings, push yourself out of bed, spread your arms wide, and inhale. Believe me, it works.

Put your alarm away from you: I’ve dealt this with hundreds of time. It happens unless you put your alarm clock or your cell phone across the room. As soon as it rings, get up, stop it, and straightway go to the washroom. Finish the business and afterward splash your face three times with normal plain water. It shouldn’t be too hot or too cold.

How to Get Up Early in the Morning -- My Technique, My Way, www.mariyamhasnain.com
There’s Nothing Like Gazing at the Rising Sun with a Cup of Steaming Coffee

Things To Do In the Morning

Praise yourself for getting up early. Use your newfound early morning time the best way possible. Don’t check your e-mails, social media or even news in the morning.

Instead, try the following things:

  • Drink water. You’re dehydrated after sleeping for 8 to 9 hours, so drink a glass full of water.
  • Sit and meditate, not much, but at least 3 minutes. Sit still, relax your muscles, close your eyes. You can chant — “Om, Shanti, Shanti.”
  • Do something creative: Write or Paint or Draw
  • Do breathing or stretching exercises. Or go for a walk. You can even try Yoga postures.
  • Have your first cup of tea or coffee, your choice.

How to sleep earlier

Getting up early doesn’t mean you sacrifice your sleeping time. A human body needs at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. So, inculcate a habit of sleeping early. I know this takes time. Try these tips to sleep early:

  • Warm Milk or Chamomile Tea: It always feels better to drink warm liquids before going to bed. It soothes and relaxes your body. If you are lactose intolerant, you can go for chamomile tea.
  • Listen to soft instrumental relaxing music before bedtime
  • Early dinner. At least two hours before your ideal bedtime
  • No laptops, smartphones, or iPad in bed. Kindle Paperwhite is fine
  • Read in the bed
  • A progressive relaxation: Lay in the bed with your arms and legs wide spread. Start from your toes. Move them slowly, then move upwards to the soles of your feet to your ankle. To your calf muscles, thighs, your stomach, chest. At the end, your neck, face, your head. This relaxes your body and mind. You can sleep better now.

The gradual approach is the key to sleeping and waking up early. It helps you adjust your body to the new routine. This way you’ll never feel tired in the morning and can adjust to your new waking or sleeping time with ease.

I have many friends who think they can better concentrate at nights and are super productive. If mornings are not your thing that’s all right. You can do whatever you want and whatever helps you to achieve your goal. I share what works for me. Hope it helps.

Fat to Fit – Amir Khan’s Dramatic Body Transformation

If you’re an Amir Khan fan, you  must have seen his body transformation video. The video about his weight gain and weight loss has been going viral since its release. Facebook and every other social media site are having recordings where the actor is flaunting his pot belly. The most interesting thing in the videos is you’ll see Amir binging on foods like samosas and vada pav to gain weight. While the first half is this, the second half of the video shows the star involved in a rigorous exercise and weight training to return to his six-pack body figure.

So, why did Amir Khan go through such a dramatic body transformation? The answer is – for his upcoming movie Dangal. A film where he plays the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat, father of wrestler Geeta Phogat. Geeta is the India’s first ever gold medalist in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Amir dismissed using bodysuit for his character and accepted the challenge of going into the skin of his character.

“When you put on weight, it affects your breathing and body language. That naturally reflects on your performance. You cannot get that from a bodysuit,” he said.

The actor admits he’d a gala time while putting on weight as he could eat all of his favorite foods. “I ate everything that I was not supposed to eat otherwise. I had samosa, vada pav, chocolate, cakes, brownies… I indulged in everything. Then when I had to lose the weight, I had a very different diet of 25 gm of upma and papaya. After gym, a glass of protein shake,” said the actor.

However the superstar found the weight loss program very difficult to follow. Amir in his own words described his strict weigh loss regime highly unhealthy and strictly advises everyone not to try that at home.

PS: Dangal will hit the screens on December 21.

Prescription Drug Overdose – What it is and how to avoid

Ruth was having trouble sleeping. Below average grades at school and a recent breakup with her 3-month old boyfriend could be the 2 major causes of her sudden insomnia. What did she do? Did she talk to her parents or friends or did she try any other way of letting the infuriation blow out.

She might have walked on the wet grass of her lawn to feel the coldness on her feet inhaling the relaxing breeze or pamper herself by getting a manicure done. No, she didn’t try any of these. Instead of that, she gained access to her mom’s anti-anxiety medication Xanax. After administering 2 pills in a go, she went to bed and stared in zero self pitying herself and seeking a quick refuge from the doldrums of life.

After a couple of minutes, the drug started working. She felt relaxed and calmed. Switching off the side lamp, she slumbered.

This is not Ruth’s case anymore; a majority of US population is dealing with the phenomenon of prescription drug abuse that is soon going to be categorized as an epidemic if the trend continues.

Be it dealing with mild to moderate headache or a simple back pain due to sudden jerk during a football match, poor grades at school, breakup with the boyfriend, or simply peer pressure, most of the young American kids and teenagers are relied on pills to cope up with the simplest issues of day to day life. Pop a pill and you will be alright, the young American generation has been trained rather hypnotized in such a way that easily available over the counter pain killers and many other prescription drugs used in the treatment of severe psychotic illnesses and mild to severe psychiatric disorders would help solve all the problems.

NSAIDs and opiates are the forms of medications that have been widely prescribed for simple to severe pain management while Zyprexa, Naproxen, Prozac, Diazepam and so more are some of the heavy antidepressants that are being administered by the folks for “just not feeling good” or simply “feeling low.” These are the medicines if taken in high quantities can lead to drug poisoning or even death.

The fatal outcome of the drug overdose is not new to the world. Time and again, the world had witnessed shocking and breaking news of death of their favorite celebrities due to prescription drug overdose. From yesteryears Divas Marilyn Monroe to posthumous Academy Award winner actor Heath Ledger to the biggest sensation of the music world Michael Jackson all had fallen prey to the lethal hands of prescription drug abuse.

The problem can be dealt only with free and open communication channels by letting the people know the debilitating side effects of these prescription medicines. In case of kids and teenagers, the issues can be addressed by the parents and the teachers who can advice them that the instant high and a sudden feeling of euphoria associated with the use of these drugs is mere a mirage, an unrealistic hope, that will soon vanish, and the side effects of the drug would linger much longer than the kick of a couple of minutes or hours. Open up and breathe. Go on a trek, talk to your friend, or just simply take a walk in your courtyard. Save yourself from falling into the deadly trap of lethal drugs instead of making yourself sickly dependent on the slow venom.