5 Simple Ways to Wake Up Earlier

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I’m writing this article for everyone who struggles waking up early. I know not everyone wants or needs to be an early riser. There were many years when my husband worked shifts that I stayed up later because he worked late.

But there are many of you who want to wake up early but struggle, I struggle too.

I don’t consider myself a morning person or an evening person. My best hours are from 9 am to 2 pm.  I am also not one who feels energized when I wake up super early.

I never thought of myself as a morning person, although I found out that when I did wake up earlier I got more done, had more energy and stuck to a routine. Getting up earlier allowed me to fit in time to exercise, which then gave me more energy and I felt better. It didn't happen overnight- it took me a while to get in a routine of waking up earlier and here is how I did it.

To be honest, I feel tired.

But, when I wake up early I am able to accomplish much more in the morning hours than I am ever able to accomplish by staying up until midnight or one in the morning. So even though I am tired later in the day, I’ve already had my most productive hours in the morning, so I don’t have to be “on” at 8pm.

Since I have struggled in this area I figured I would share some of things that have helped me make the change to become an earlier riser. And if we are being honest, when I say early I mean 6 am. I will never be a 4 am person, I have teenagers, and they seem to want to do all their talking after 10 pm.

Quit the Caffeine

I don’t drink it after 1pm, no matter what. If I do I can’t fall asleep even when my body is exhausted. My mind can’t relax enough to fall asleep.

Turn Off Technology

I’m guilty of surfing the web before I go to bed, especially now that I have an iPad. For many months I even read my bible on the computer in the evenings. I have found that computer, television, tablets, and video games do not help you fall asleep.

Not only do they keep you awake, it is easy to turn on the television to catch the end of a show and end up watching another hour or two because we get sucked in! If you need to do something before you fall asleep try reading a book.

Go to Bed Earlier

Sounds simple, but for some reason it is so hard. I often find myself looking at the clock and realizing it is almost midnight! Give yourself a bedtime and set a timer to remind yourself it is time for bed. If I want to fall asleep at 10:30 I try to go to bed at 10pm and give myself a little extra time for reading.

Reader tip: Set your alarm on your phone for an hour before you want to go to bed. That will remind you that you need to start getting ready for bed and winding down so your bedtime doesn’t sneak up on you.

It is hard to fall asleep earlier if you are waking up later. There will be a few days in the beginning where you have to force yourself to get up early even though you were up late. Pretty soon you will be tired enough to fall asleep at the earlier hour.

This year since we had a change in our school schedule, I need to get up before 6am. This was a huge adjustment since we were really enjoying our lazy days of summer. I eased into an earlier schedule by setting my alarm clock 15 minutes earlier every few days. Now I wake up before my alarm several days a week because my body is use to the new schedule.

Get Enough Sleep

You know how much sleep you need to be a productive person the next day, so make sure you get it! Some people only need 6 or 7 hours, and others need at least 8. Figure out how much sleep you need and create a sleeping schedule to accommodate your needs!

Get a Routine

This is the most important thing for me. I need about 7 hours of sleep, so I try to go to bed around 11pm and wake up between 6 and 6:30. It is important to go to bed and wake up at around the same time every day.

If you are just starting to change your routine I would recommend going to bed and waking up 15 minutes earlier every day until you reached your desired wake-up time. (see above)

Don’t Get Discouraged!

I recently started adjusting my schedule to wake up a little earlier, after two successful days my family was hit with the crud. I wasn’t going to bed until after midnight most nights and was up with sick kids numerous times throughout the night.

I turned off my alarm and got some extra sleep so I didn’t get the crud too! I was discouraged to be thrown off track so quickly, but I realized that the crud would soon pass and I could get back on schedule.

Don’t let little setbacks discourage you, just pick up where you left off and work on establishing a good routine.

If you want help getting a better start to your day- join us on February 1st, for the free Early Bird Challenge- 28 days to jump start your morning. Sign up now! 

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Comments

  1. I’m not a morning person either…. Great list! My husband and I have started reading before bed and it has helped me fall asleep faster. 🙂

  2. I am SO not a morning person! I truly needed to read your post – thank you 🙂

  3. I’m not a morning person at all, and I homeschool, so it is very difficult for me and my family. I am very thin and perhaps even malnourished, and I feel my body needs sleep as a child does. It’s 2.50am in Australia and I still can’t sleep. Thanks for your post.

    • I have struggled w/ insomnia too. There are a lot of reasons for it in my case, but you may want to check on the health of your adrenals. I ended up needing herbal support to sleep.
      Take care of yourself. The other tips here are really helpful as well.

  4. Cassie Jowers says:

    Starting an exercise program has helped me get up earlier in the morning. If I want the couple of pounds to go away, it’s not going to happen while laying in the bed. So, that motivates me to get up early. I’m in bed by 9 and asleep by 10, thanks to my melatonin. I get a great night’s sleep and am ready to go by 5 or 5:30 in the morning.

  5. Jodi Luther says:

    I am a morning person but lately I have gotten “sucked in” by the tv and computer nightly! thanks for the gentle reminder of how important the proper amount of rest is!!

  6. I’ve been doing the #hellomornings challenge on Twitter, and that has been a major help in getting me up in the mornings. Now, when I grab my phone to shut my alarm off, I jump on Twitter to say “good morning” before heading over to YouVersion to read my daily chapter from the Word. It’s been a great way to wake up slowly, yet start my day focused on God.

  7. I learned this sure fire trick from my son when he was struggling with a college schedule….right before you go to bed, drink a FULL glass of water. You WILL wake up early!! ;o)

  8. diana burnham says:

    working 12 hour shifts from 6:30pm until 7:15am is tough. Sleeping is always a huge challenge for me. The work schedual is always different, so there is never a time that I can just get used to the hours. Work three 12’s, home 2 nights, then back at the job. somtimes I get 6 days off…Takes 3 or 4 of those to try and get turned around, then I’m back at it again. Sleep????? Nope. I get 1 or two hours, then awake….that is my life. Just say’n. hehe. Blessings to you who can find answers.

  9. Great post! I have tried for years to be a morning person, especially because my husband is and I’d like for us to be on the same schedule. Thanks for the great tips!

  10. Leigh Anne says:

    When my kids were young I was a morning person because I had to be. But now that I hit 50 I awaken about 8 am, then start my work from home job. It is easier now that my kids are adults and living on their own, I don’t feel so rushed to get out of bed.

  11. Another thing you might consider is nutrition. Eating nutritious foods will give you more energy throughout the day. I happen to like multivitamins as well just to catch what I might have missed in my diet. I’ve heard good things about the Super Mom vitamin. Do you use it? – I’ve seen the ads on your site.
    Thanks,

    A

  12. Rivki Locker says:

    Great strategies. Some of these suggestions are so simple (like getting enough sleep!) but easy to lose sight of. Thanks for this list!

  13. This is an area that I am currently struggling with. I stay up way to late each night, about 1 am most nights. What I usually am doing is blogging or folding laudry while watching a show. I get sucked in to TV alot. I have 6 children and homeschool my oldest 3 boys. The other 3 play and caue trouble. I have been trying to get up before them for weeks now. They get up about 7:30 ish. I have been trying to get up about 6:30, would love for it to be 6 am. I need to get on a Bible reading schedule for early mornings and blog before the children wake up. Hubby leaves for work at 8 am and gets home at 5″30. I have no energy after dinner most nights. I have to force myself to clean up after meals. I will try some of your tips and pray it helps!

    Thank you for sharing!

  14. I’ve been working on this myself! Great tips!

  15. Thank you for the admission that you feel tired. I’m aiming to get up earlier. My littlest {special needs} is 3.5 and finally sleeping through the night. I’m now ready to get up earlier but it’s hard and I”m tired. It’s nice to know that I”m normal 😉 {or at least as normal as you}

  16. One thing that has worked in the past for me is starting off at my normal rise time and then every couple of days setting the alarm clock back a few minutes. So if you wake up normally at 7:30a then move the alarm back to 7:20 for 3 or 4 days and then move it back again to 7:10 or 7:00 for a few days and then move it back again and again until you get to where you want to be getting up. It’s easier on your body because its more gradual. I went from 7:30 to 5:00am this way and it was a lot easier than a flat transition!

  17. Jane squires says:

    i did this for years. Got up at 5 am before the kids and got so much done. Initially I’d get up and prep for school, do research etc. then for several years I’d go to the gym. And be able to get it over with and still get to work on time. Then when I’d get home I would be guilt free, and could pretty much relax.

  18. Another tip is to have labs drawn and see if your body is lacking anything. I was severely deficient in Vitamin D, B12, and magnesium. Now that I’m on supplements I can’t keep my eyes open past 10:00, whereas before I was a night owl, staying up until 2:00 a.m. on any given night.

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