Oh, sweet, sweet sleep! No matter whether we stay up late in the night or sleep as soon as our head hits the pillow - waking up for most of us is NOT easy, and not fun. Truth be told, it sucks! For what can be more fun than being cosy in bed, warm from last night's dream, without a care in the world? But wake up we must - and not 20 minutes before rushing out, if you please!
But… Why should you wake up early?
Simply because rushed mornings are worse than, well, mornings in general. You may think catching 20 minutes of extra sleep is worth it - but it’s not! Morning calm carries over to the entire day, and gives you time to be yourself and tune in to a new day with its many possibilities. Plus it also leaves you with a sense of achievement early on in the day, and you get to join the club with other legends who all have one thing in common - waking up early. Here are a few things that’ll help you jump out of bed instead of dragging yourself away from it every morning.
What to do the night before?
1. Don't eat a heavy dinner
When you eat light, you sleep deep. This is because your body is not focusing on breaking down and digesting your food all night long, but is working towards repairing and rejuvenating its many, many cells.
2. Remind yourself to wake up early before sleeping
You need to try this. When you’re in bed, trying to sleep, just repeat a mental reminder to yourself that you have to wake up early the next morning, and not at your usual time. That psychological clock inside of you will keep track of it, and waking up will be easier, simply 'coz you’ll be prepared for it.
3. Make waking up comfortable and pleasant
Think about it - one of the main reasons we hate mornings is because our beds are comfortable, cosy places that we hate leaving for the cold floor. Why not do away with it? Make waking up pleasant - keep fuzzy, princessy slippers next to your bed. Make sure your room is heated/ ventilated well when you wake up, and your bathroom smells of aromatic oils that’ll instantly soothe you.
4. Look forward to a good breakfast
When you sleep on a light stomach, you’re bound to wake up hungry, so feast yourself on your "king meal" of the day. Decide what is it that you want treat yourself with in the morning, and be eager to wake up to it the next morning. Rope in your family/ roommates, and make a proper, fun, delicious occasion out of it. After all, if there is one thing better than sleeping, it’s eating, right?
5. Set yourself two alarms, if necessary
We know how easy it is to hit that snooze button when the alarm goes off in the morning. Well, give yourself the satisfaction of doing just that when the first one goes off - and then jump up when the second alarm goes off half an hour later.
How to wake up early?
1. Avoid social media right after you wake up
We know missing important mails and messages is not cool - but what we are asking you to do is to NOT check them the first thing in the morning. Hold on to your dreams from last night a little longer - and keep the reality of your life for a few minutes or an hour later, when you are better prepared for it.
2. Drink water right after you get up
You don’t even need to get out of your bed for this. Keep a bottle on your bedside table the night before and drink at least 2 glasses of it as soon as you wake up. It’ll instantly kickstart your metabolism, along with giving you great skin and hair!
3. Play some peppy music
Make a playlist with your favourite peppy numbers ready to play as soon as you wake up. It’ll lift your sleepy spirits and swing you into action - or even into dance!
4. Do it gradually - one week at a time
If you usually wake up at 9 o'clock, and wish to start waking up at 7.30 instead, don’t do it all at once. For the first week, try getting up at 8.30. The second week, make it 8, and then in the third week aim for 7.30. It’ll give your body and mind time enough to adapt to the change easily.
5. Find your favourite exercise
Leaving the bed to sweat your body out is probably the worst kind of motivation for waking up. Unless, you couple it with an interesting activity and plan something you actually like to do - like dancing to Bollywood numbers Zumba style, or going for a swim, or a game of tennis, or maybe even a quiet session of yoga in your bedroom.
6. Download an app that calculates your sleep
There are apps, like Sleep Cycle, that calculate the optimum number of hours you should sleep according to the time you fell asleep last night. So all those excuses you probably make to yourself every morning to sleep in a little more will be done away with.
7. Get a friend along
When you have someone to push you in the morning to wake up, and go together for a walk/ jog - you find it harder to muster up a good enough excuse to justify sleeping in.
8. Start the day with a hot cup of tea/ coffee
Caffeine smells like morning freshness to a lot of us. Modern lives devoid of rooster calls must make do with the aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea to start a day. It’ll instantly drag you out of your slumber. Black tea is particularly great for this - not only will it give you a caffeine kick but it is also rich in antioxidants that help detox your system and kickstart your metabolism.
9. Don’t forget the whole point of waking up early
Don’t push yourself too far. The point is to have a great start to the day by shedding off any mental or physical laziness. But don’t cut down on your body’s time to rest - if it needs it - by consciously cutting down on your sleep only to obsessively work or exercise more. Remember, a great morning is the result of a great night. So sleep early, sleep well. :-)