I generally wake up very early without an alarm. Thus, some friends asked me how do I do it? To answer that, first I would like to explain why do I do it.
Clearly, everyone has their own rhythm specifics. Yet, by and large, starting your day early brings multiple benefits.
Why would you wake up early?
The best sleeping hours have been proved to be between 23:00 and 7:00, which means the more you sleep during that period the better. You will be more energetic and focused during the day.
Our brain capacity is at its peak at the beginning of the day and it gradually decreases towards the evening. Thus, if you have “longer” mornings and “shorter” evenings you will get more useful things done. Meanwhile, if you stay up till late you are most probably just watching shows or scrolling through Facebook: your prefrontal cortex is just not there to deal with things.
Additionally, whether you are living in Finland, Siberia or Thailand, starting your day early means getting more daylight. Getting more daylight, even through heavy clouds, means better mood and health.
Finally, early mornings is when the whole world is asleep.
For me, as an entrepreneur, those two hours between 6am and 8am are especially precious. They are free from stress and destruction: no emails, phone calls or messages. The craziness didn’t start yet, but my day already did. I use this time to prepare myself for the day, do short physical exercise, check my goals and calm my mind.
Even if you work in a company, waking up early allows you to have a proper breakfast, get ready for the day and have some time for yourself. Instead of jumping off the bed at the last moment, freaking out and running with a coffee cup in one hand and iPhone in another… hectically replying messages on your way to the office.
If I managed to convince you that waking up early rules, here are a few tips how to switch to a successful-early-bird way of life:
How can you wake up early?
Unsurprisingly, it is easier to make the switch in summer when there is plenty of light, it will decrease the challenge. However, if you are determined to start in fall or winter, just place a cheerful lamp within your reach and turn it on right away when you wake up.
Give it time.
People who decide to start waking up early from the next Monday, often mix the “transition” period with the actual change. They try it for 3-4 days, feel sleepy and grumpy during the day and conclude that the thing it’s not worth it and it doesn’t work. While they haven’t actually switched, they are still going to bed late, and still have to wake up from the annoying sound of an alarm. The goal is to wake up by yourself. Give it time, be patient, then you will rip the real benefits of the habit.
Forget the smartphone. Really.
The worst you can do to your mornings is grab your smartphone half-way through opening your eyes. First of all, you immediately block your clear mind with useless social media content. Secondly, you have a much higher chance to fall back asleep. Woke up? Good job, get off the bed, drink a glass of warm water. Do 10 squads. Now you can take your phone. Although, I would better wait for half an hour more.
Sleep on time. Sleep well.
It won’t be easy at first. but little by little you also need to start going to bed early. For that, avoid computers or preferably any devices at least an hour before bedtime. Eat your last, hopefully, a light meal also 2-3 hours before going to sleep. Even more perfect would be to have an evening walk or a small meditation session.
For the sleeping part itself, make sure that you have as less light coming to the room as possible. Blinders or eye-mask work well, additionally it is better to cover the blinking led lights from all the devices around you so they won’t interfere with your sleeping cycles.
Get mentally prepared.
That is the most important part, as usual, it is all in our head. To wake up early, you have to get excited about it the evening before. You have to have such an amazing plan for the upcoming day, so you will be really anticipating to start it. Even if you have to deal with some routine office work, try to find a way to look forward to it (set some checkpoints or guidelines, that will help you enjoy the office). Plan your after-work activities. When you are excited about the things you do in your life you are impatient to start a new day, and waking up early becomes very very easy!
P.S. Plus in the mornings you get one of the best light for your Instagram pictures ;)