How Does One Wake Up Early?

A little sleepy these days?
A little sleepy these days?

The Science Behind Sleep

What does our body do when sleeping? Just how much sleep are we really supposed to get? When should we go to sleep in order to wake up "well rested"? How does one become a morning person? To answer these questions, we must take a look at what I'll call the "science of sleep."

First and foremost, we must recognize that sleep is essential to life. The longest someone has stayed awake without sleeping was nearly 19 days! I think it's pretty safe to say that going without sleep like that for an extended period of time is a serious health risk. When we sleep, our bodies rejuvinate joints, relax muscles and "repair" themselves. It is a time in which we exhert little energy and our bodies recover from the day's activities. Without sleep, we would entropically self-destruct.

Not only is sleep essential, but the amount of sleep is important as well. It typically takes us approximately 90 minutes to enter into "deep sleep," sometimes also called REM sleep. This is typically when we have dreams, although they sometimes also occur outside of our deepest cycles of sleep. When sleeping, it is important that we sleep for a significant amount, lest we never fully revitalize ourselves. Scientists have debated for years as to how many or how few hours we should sleep each night. Some say six hours, others say at least eight. The most important think when considering how long you should sleep is whether or not your body will have sufficient time to enter into and sufficiently stay in deep sleep so that it can rest.

So, let's get on to answering the main question: How does one wake up early?

It is one thing to wake up early a handful of times. It is a completely different thing to wake up early on a consistent basis. Let us address each of these challenges seperately:

Waking up early (not consistently)

  • Take a cold shower- I would venture to guess that this could wake up a hibernating bear although I wouldn't recommend it!
  • Set your clock's time a certain number of minutes fast. This will set your alarm off early in case you tend to hit "snooze" too often. Set the time in correlation with how many times you typically hit snooze.
  • Splash cold water in your face.
  • Purchase a special clock. There are clocks available today that will literally JUMP off of your nightstand and crawl around on the floor. This causes you to have to get out of bed in order to find and subsequently silence the alarm!

Waking up early (consistently)

  • Make sure you allow adequate time for you to actually sleep deeply. It is harder to wake up having had six hours of sleep vs. nine hours.
  • Sleep deprive yourself. Let me explain: it is easier for you to wake up having had only five or less hours of sleep than it is to wake up having had six or seven hours of sleep. When you only sleep for less than about five hours of sleep your body hasn't yet entered the deepest cycles of sleep, so it is easier to awake from a lighter cycle of sleep than it is to awake in the middle of a deep sleep. This step is not recommended!
  • Get in a routine. Get your body used to going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier. If it helps, remind yourself that before "CSI: Miami"(or whatever show you want) comes on, you are supposed to be getting ready for bed. Your body will adjust and it will become easier to do.
  • Get to bed before midnight. Many studies seem to point to the fact that your body needs to get to sleep before midnight. It is as if our bodies are "hard wired" to do so. if you consistently get to sleep at 1 a.m. it will be much harder to wake up at 7 a.m. Conversely, it is much easier to wake up at 5 a.m. when you get to sleep at 11 p.m.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable and conducive to deep sleep. In fact, you could even get someone (spouse, medical professional, etc.) to evaluate your sleep. If you are tossing and turning frequently or if your breathing is irregular, it becomes harder for you to get well rested.
  • Exercise. Studies have shown that significant physical exercise causes the body to sleep more deeply at night and lets you wake up feeling more "rested" than if you weren't exercising. 

To summarize, in order to wake up early, you must get your body into a routine and allow enough time and create and environment conducive to deep sleep. If your body is rested enough, it becomes considerably easier to sleep deeply. If, however, you consistently get to bed past midnight, sleep for only six hours, etc. your body will have a hard time waking itself up from what was a restless night's sleep.

I hope this information helped!  Please don't take my word as
the Gospel Truth! As always, do your own research, and find
out what works best for YOU!  I cannot be held responsible
for your actions and/or the results of following this advice.
If I did, I would be sitting in jail bankrupted for a long
time!
 
Did you find this information useful?  Leave a comment below! 

 

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What do you think? 81 comments

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa

Great hub! I made a request similar to this one a few days ago, nice to see there are more techniques out there!


Virtu Creative profile image

Virtu Creative 8 years ago from Tulsa, OK

Nice info. I am not a morning person and find that consistently getting enough sleep is the only way to manage!


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Glad you liked it! I, too, am a natural night owl, but I've used some of the above techniques and they've done pretty well for me. We'll have to see how it changes once we have the baby in April, though...


SirDent 8 years ago

I always found that snoring causes me to get up early. My wife pokes me in the ribs and tells me to turn over.


Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa

Tell me about interrupted sleep - what does that do to your rest, the sleep cycle, etc.? (You know, scientifically speaking . . .)


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

SirDent- funny stuff! haha

Kat- as far as interrupted sleep it's all dependent upon several factors: How much do you actually wake up, what do you do (sit up, talk, open eyes), and so on. A good gauge of how far you actually wake up is how much of it you can remember the next morning. Compare that with what your partner (in our cases) remembers you doing, and you might get a good feel for how interrupted your deep sleep cycles were. To the degree that you wake up you are interrupting your deep sleep cycles. For example, if you wake up and go get a drink of water in the kitchen, you are seriously impacting your body's REM sleep. Conversely, if you simply remember waking up but don't even open your eyes, your sleep cycles aren't as interrupted! On that note, though, regardless of how much you wake up, it is easier for your body to resume deep sleep compared to going to sleep in the beginning.

On a funny note- I am an avid sleep "actor." I have sleep walked, yelled, spoken, etc. Before we were married (and while we were still at college), my wife called me in my dorm, and I had a full blown conversation with her for about 10 minutes. Apparently I was short tempered with her but making complete sense. I only know this story because she told me after the fact but I was CLUELESS to any of it! I suppose my deep sleep cycles weren't as interrupted since I didn't get up and walk around and remember it, BUT I was exerting physical strength so I did lose some rejuvenation! (For the record I have more stories like this! haha)


zodiac_axis profile image

zodiac_axis 8 years ago from Philippines

great one there! :)

waking up early in the morning is one thing that i've been trying to "accomplish" for a long time now... i really think that you're right with what you have there in your hub -- you have to be consistent about waking up early. that's exactly my problem. sometimes i wake up at 5 a.m.,sometimes at 11 a.m., sometimes at 9 a.m. grrr... nothing's consistent with my wake up schedule anymore because of my different class hours :) and the snooze button... that's one hilarious thing about alarm clocks these days... i always tend to hit it every now and then, and yet i don't get up at my desired time :)

anyway, i would like to share a piece of what i do to get some good sleep... i drink a glass of hot milk before i go to bed and that alone gets me in the mood. it relaxes me, gives me a sound sleep, and (i believe) it helps me wake up easily early in the morning with a very energetic disposition. :)


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Nice thoughts zodiac! Yeah, milk has muscle relaxants in it that tend to get us more ready for sleep. I've used that method in the past as well.

And as far as you hitting snooze, you should check out the alarm clock that vibrates and jumps off the stand! There is actually another type of alarm clock that I've heard of- it actually takes off and flies in the air! I haven't looked for it online yet, but if you could "get your hands" on an alarm like that you might help cure that snooze difficulty!


rajasekharan profile image

rajasekharan 8 years ago

Great Hub! Sound practical advice. Looks like you took the time to put this one together.

And, nice to meet a fellow CS fan :). I have a Hub on half life if you'd like to check it out:

http://hubpages.com/misc/All-About-Half-Life


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Thanks Raj. I'll check it out. Being a fan of the video game "counterstrike" sure doesn't help being a morning person, does it? It's hard NOT to play into the night!


amackens profile image

amackens 8 years ago

Very informative and creative! When I had to get up at 4:45am five days a week for the Navy, I NEVER got used to it. It was horrible any way you diced it. But you're right...getting into a routine does help.


Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 8 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

Red wine and going to bed early works for me!


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Red wine is a good thing, I agree, but I find that if I drink more than a glass my body temperature rises too much and I end up being too hot to go to sleep!


Scotty Knows profile image

Scotty Knows 8 years ago from Canada

It seems like we're all trying to get to sleep earlier and getting our days started earlier. The routine of things is where it's at. Your sure right about our bodies reacting to the routine. The consistancy will continue to make it easier and easier!

Nice Hub for sure.


menschtx profile image

menschtx 8 years ago

I set the alarm for 4 am and when the radio goes off with christian music I wake up with a song in my heart inspired the only True God.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

It's always great so start off on the right foot, huh menschtx?


Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States

Great hub! Getting up is not my problem these days. It seems to be I can't get to sleep at all! Slept 4 hours the past 2 nights! LOL. I guess sleeping tonight may not be an issue.

Normally, when I am sleeping, I get to sleep by 11 and I am bright eyed and bushy tailed at 4 a.m. without a clock. Occasionally, though, my brain won't be still and let me sleep (like the past 2 night). Luckily, i have a great boss (that would be me) who couldn't care less about my schedule as long as I complete my tasks LOL.

Bonnie


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

haha well great that you've got that flexibility.

As far as your lack of sleep---OUCH! I would be one grumpy person with that few hours!


Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States

LOL I am too busy reading and writing hubs to be grouchy! Who could be grouchy in Hubland?


Flashfire profile image

Flashfire 8 years ago from United States

Nice site wedding consultant! I enjoy your wit.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Glad you like it flashfire!

For more humor, check out the following:

http://hubpages.com/entertainment/When-I-met-Clint

and

http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Sitting-in-a-cha...


Z. Perry profile image

Z. Perry 8 years ago

Good article. My alarm clock is really loud, but I'm often tempted to press the snooze button a few too many times. I do have an old alarm clock with no snooze button; hard to say if that would make me get up immediately or if I'd just turn it off...


Alpha Romeo profile image

Alpha Romeo 8 years ago from ashwinspower .blogspot. com

Nice tips WC, it's great that you got all the scientific stuff about sleep in there too.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Thank you Z and Alpha!

Z- I had a roommate back in college years ago who would hit snooze AT LEAST 3-4 times every morning. Anyway, as much as I liked the guy, that habit of his drove me nuts! Sounds like you're in the same camp, so if you have a wife, I feel for her! haha


newlife profile image

newlife 8 years ago from Malta

Personally, I have my own wake up call each morning.. My son wakes up before anyone else. He is 10 and still he wakes up at 6am each morning.. including Sundays. I would like to know how to stay in bed!! HAHA.. Great hub though. Thanks:)


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

haha newlife, I hear you on that one. Pretty soon we'll have a daughter that will probably be one of our "best" helpers in getting us up early.

And by early, I mean at the buttcrack of dawn.


MOmmagus 8 years ago

thank you for the insight. i am not a morning person, so this may help.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Sure! I hope it does help. The biggest things are getting into a routine and having enough quality time to sleep at night. Good luck!


Z. Perry profile image

Z. Perry 8 years ago

Oh, I try to keep it down to one "snooze" when anyone else is around :) The weather tends to affect how much I sleep - on a hot summer night I often stay up later waiting for it to cool down (or get kept awake by the air conditioner noise) and I'm usually in no hurry to get out of bed on a -10 degree winter morning.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Um, wow, I would not be inclined to get out of a warm, comfortable bed either if it was -10 degress outside!


Decrescendo profile image

Decrescendo 8 years ago

Pretty serious health issue. Appreciate the tips.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Sure thing, thanks for the visit Decrescendo!


wball 8 years ago

Great article. I am a night shift person and these tips can certainly help when I have to adjust to a dayshift schedule. Great work.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Thanks for your comment wball. It becomes very hard when you're doing night shift. I did that for several months myself and I'm sure you know- it's HARD! Once you get used to it, it's easier, but I found it very hard to be awake when others were sleeping and vice versa!

Just a pointer- I found that switching back and forth from overnights to dayshifts were VERY hard when done regularly. Hopefully you'll have enough flexibility at your job to "break into" dayshifts more slowly. Every day = 1 hour adjustments, so to recover from being 12 hours off, you'll really need 10-12 days.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Pete, I am a morning person LOL so I love mornings and I love waking up early. :) There's truth in what you said. If your body is rested enough, it is considerably easier to wake up early. Great hub!


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Thank you ripplemaker! I bet you've got a ton of good advice for those of us who aren't naturally morning people (that is, without a cup of coffee)!


charmaine_zp 8 years ago

Great hub!

I still remember my mom-in-law who for 2-weeks was not able to sleep, nor was she able to even take a nap. She became desperate for rest, she cried and cried to God for help. Miraculously, He answered her prayer.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Thanks for the testimony charmaine! Oh and nice new profile picture.


traffickahuna profile image

traffickahuna 8 years ago from Pittsburg

Thanks for the information....I needed that! LOL


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Sure thing! Now go out there, get a cup of coffee and get started! haha

Glad I could help.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I started waking up at 4 and 5 in the morning when I was teenager and have done it ever since. I go to bed at 10pm at the latest, but usually by 9. On those rare times when I don't sleep well, a swig of Southern Comfort (Ny-Quil will also work in a pinch) lets me sleep peacefully troughout the night.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Wow 4 or 5 am? Good for you! Early bird gets the worm, they say. Thanks for adding your input- good advice.


secondsamuel profile image

secondsamuel 8 years ago from Seneca SC

The US Navy got me in the habit of waking up early when I was in boot camp. That was 38 years ago. I wake up consistently between 3:30 and 4:30 AM every morning. I have not used an alarm clock since the Navy either. I do have a problem going to sleep and sometimes have to take medication to help.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Wow Samuel, you really wake up that early? You are seriously ahead of the game there! Boy if I woke up that early I couldn't even imagine the things I'd have time to do. Awesome!


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

I had sleep apnea for several years. A little research revealed that sleep deprivation has a cumulative effect. Kind of like a bank account. If you are overdrawn by a hundred dollars, depositing ninety still leaves you short of the mark. Informative hub. Great tips!


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

yes very true rmr, thanks for pointing that out. Continually getting a lack of sleep has many long term effects and many studies have proven that.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

That's interesting that you mentioned how it's easier to wake early after having less sleep... it's true, now that I think about it!


roastedpinebark profile image

roastedpinebark 7 years ago from Iowa

yeah, from what ive come acress 8 hours of sleep is about the mid mark. Great information : )


Superman 7 years ago

The best way to wake up in the morning is to set your mind to it. That is the siplest and most effective way i have found


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Yeah, but you have to be honest, doesn't it help even just a *little* that you're Superman and all? I mean that's a pretty uneven playing field for you.


bobby 7 years ago

thx


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

welcome


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 7 years ago

Exercise is definitely important for me. Having some level of physical fatigue is important; but of course not right before bedtime. But routine is probably the second most critical thing. Good info.!


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

I agree, exercise is vital. There are almost endless studies that show exercise leads to more restful sleep, causes your brain to produce "feel good" chemicals, etc. etc. But you're right- don't exercise before bed :)


MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 7 years ago from Sydney

I get out of bed every day of the year at 5.30 Am.

Although I must admit in my younger days of falling to sleep at a set of traffice leights. No cops and very little traffic

May be I was a little lucky.


ashtina 7 years ago

question: is it ok to sleep even once in a week for about 10-12 hours?


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

@MrMarmalade, you don't know how often I've been tempted to fall asleep at a traffic light! I just wish they made a sound when they turned green so that it would wake me up!

@ashtina, I don't think there's anything wrong with sleeping in once a week for 10-12 hours, especially if you're younger. During growth spurts, you might be inclined to sleep 10-12 hours every night for several weeks. Your body often needs this extra sleep to rest and to make up for lost sleep the night before.


kat wants to rise early-- 7 years ago

nice info..thanks i''l be doing that now.. i have a question? is taking a bath every night affects the stimuli of waking up early?....and actually i always set my alarm to 4:30 am the weird thing was it didn't alarm at all. And i really don't know what to do so this week i never set my alarm again but i wanna rise ealy for me to take a jog or a walk before going to school coz i really a notice this bulgy tummy of mine..huhu


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Kat, good question. Having a warm bath right before bed isn't a good idea since it will raise your body temperature. However, it will increase blood circulation and, if done maybe an hour before bed, will have a good impact on your ability to fall asleep.

Here's an article supporting this if you'd like to read further:

http://www.tipsforinsomnia.info/articles/a_warm_ba...


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Always! Becoming a morning person is no easy feat, but it's somewhat necessary in today's working world.


kat wants to rise early 7 years ago

thank you very much. i am having my thesis i cant afford to take a bath after the long time facing the comp. and read the articles. My insomia has taken over a weeks now and my rising-early-plan was posponed. Anyways thank you it was a great help.


shiva4u_88 profile image

shiva4u_88 7 years ago

great job ! i woke up late in the morning.but it helps me a lot to wake up early


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

@kat- glad I could help.

@shiva4u- ditto! :)


swathin2 profile image

swathin2 7 years ago

waking up early is a difficult task for me. i can work late but waking up early is really a difficult one for me. i will try with the special clocks that are available in the market and may be they might change my timings and reduce my stress or laziness.

feel free to comment on my hubs


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Waking up early is pretty hard for me too...


tdarby profile image

tdarby 7 years ago

Even though I never want to, I have been getting up around 5:30 am for the past 15 years. Sometimes I hate it--passionately. Great Hub. I have found exercise and consistency are the best things for me.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Wow, 5:30 is pretty respectable!

I was reading yesterday that apparently John Wesley (famous for founding Methodism) woke up at 4 am for 60 years of his life. I wonder if they had coffee back then...


EverythingMouse profile image

EverythingMouse 7 years ago

I wake up really early these days and get so much more done. I like being awake around 6am. I get all my work done before anyone else gets up!


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Wow that's great EM. Isn't it a great feeling when you wake up early and get a ton done before the rest of the world "wakes up"?


jamesmspacey profile image

jamesmspacey 7 years ago from Hobart, Australia

I wholeheartedly agree with exercising. I started early shift work a year ago used to have a lot of trouble waking up early even when I had a good 9 hours. But when I started exercising for 30 minutes a day it got a lot easier. Now I enjoy waking up early and usually get up before my alarm goes off.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Wow, that's great! Yeah, exercise really does help the body wake up earlier.


Yangtze profile image

Yangtze 7 years ago

Actually,I am a morning person!I am used to getting up early in the morning constantly which gives me much energy in my daytime work and life.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 7 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Wow, very nice Yangtze. Kudos to you for being a morning person!


beckykolacki profile image

beckykolacki 7 years ago from Bethlehem, PA

I'm going to be attempting to have a better sleep schedule soon, when I start student teaching and need to wake up every morning at 6 am! Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful.


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 6 years ago from DC Metro Area Author

Wow, 6 am? That should be fun!


Andy Johnston 6 years ago

Waking up from a good night sleep is not my favorite thing. I recently purchased a moshilifestyle.com alarm clock and it is such a huge help getting me up in the morning. It doesn't make annoying sounds and it even recognizes my voice. I love it. Great hub.


rebu profile image

rebu 6 years ago from Coorg,India

Thnks for sharing.:)))


tasksgirl profile image

tasksgirl 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

lol I definitely need help with this..


Journey * profile image

Journey * 5 years ago from USA

There is some great information here. Thanks for sharing.


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 5 years ago

Wow, great hub! Thanks!


MarloByDesign profile image

MarloByDesign 5 years ago from United States

"Get in a routine." - I love being a morning person and you are right, routine is key! Love your Hubs and great profile photo.

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