If you think being an early riser would just mean less sleep with no real benefits, you’re not alone. So, then why would you want to sacrifice on your early morning shut eye and be an early riser? Well, there are several positive characteristics that early risers are associated with. Early risers tend to be more socially active, have a more optimistic outlook on life and are less prone to depression or addiction.
Benjamin Franklin, the famous American and the inventor of the bifocal glasses, was actually the person behind the popular quote ‘Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’ He used to wake up at 5 am everyday and use the time to plan his day’s work. Other notable early risers include Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, Immanuel Kent, Theodore Roosevelt, Benito Juarez, and Daniel Webster. So, if you are enticed and interested in a few tips on how to be an early riser, here are a few:
1. Sleep Earlier
The best way to start rising early is to sleep early. If you find yourself using social media or reading the news on your phone before you sleep, then stop. Make sure you put your phone away at least an hour before your intended bedtime. Using devices like your phone right before you go to sleep disrupts sleep quality, which helps you get up earlier, and makes you wake up drowsy.
2. Take baby steps
Don’t try to wake up 2 hours earlier than your normal wake up time suddenly. This will disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm and make it harder for you adapt to the sudden change in schedule. Set your target and start slowly – wake up 15 to 30 mins early than usual for a few days. Then continue to cut back 15 minutes more until you reach your target.
3. Use an alarm that you actually like
Liking an alarm might sound bizarre, but the right technology and research can help you find an alarm that you don’t mind waking up to. Options include alarms that wakes you up with coffee, or a special type of light or an app that forces you to mimic some gestures before turning the alarm off.
4. Maintain a distance from your alarm
Placing your alarm at an arm’s distance will only increase your probability of hitting the snooze button. But, keeping your alarm far from your bed will force you to walk and get there. Just make sure it is audible.
5. Get up after the alarm rings
Choosing to stay in bed after your alarm goes off will only prolong your sleep time. Don’t fool yourself by mentally saying 5 more minutes because sleeping extra after waking up from an alarm will disrupt your REM cycle and make you feel crankier. Once your alarm goes off, resist the urge to stay in bed. Head to the bathroom or the kitchen. By the time you’re done with your morning rituals, you will be awake enough to carry on with your day.
6. Engage in a physical activity
Exercising is the best way to make sure that you are fully awake. You can choose your favorite type of exercise, preferably cardio, to get your blood pumping as you start your day. Whether you choose morning walks or yoga, just make sure you start your day with some form of physical activity to become fully awake.
7. Take advantage of the extra time
Getting extra time will act as a good incentive to roll yourself out of bed. It will motivate you to get up and going. If you don’t find anything you want to do with your extra time, you might risk falling asleep again. Maybe you want to finish some of your work, make food for the day or read, regardless of what you’re interested in, use the extra time to get going.
8. Reward yourself
Rewarding yourself after waking up early will act as a reinforcer. Even if you might not look forward to getting more things done during the extra hours, as you work towards becoming an early riser, you’ll subconsciously look forward to your reward. The reward can be a cup of coffee, a glass of smoothie, watching a beautiful sunrise or reading a book you really like. Identify something that works for you and get going.
If you are interested in becoming an early riser and getting some extra time during the early hours to reflect and plan then keep these simple tips in mind.