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.
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.