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5 Ways to Make Waking Up Early Easier

Updated on December 9, 2015
These 5 useful tips will help make mornings much easier to deal with.
These 5 useful tips will help make mornings much easier to deal with. | Source

Sometimes waking up in the morning is next to impossible. Your eyes are heavy, feet dragging, and it feels like you're in a haze. You wish you didn't have to set your alarm so early. This is especially true when we have to wake up for something we're not particularly excited about, like work or running errands. If you compound this with not getting enough sleep the night before, you're in for a rough morning. The CDC recommends 7-8 hours of sleep a night, but the National Center for Health Statistics reports that nearly 30% of adults get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. The fact of the matter is most of us are overtired, overworked, but need to get up anyway. Over the years, through trial and error, I've found ways to make the process of waking up as painless as possible. I've summarized them for you in an easy-to-read list of 5 useful tips that work for me every day. I hope they can do the same for you!

Tip #1: Bundle Up - Especially Your Feet

Keeping warm in the morning is essential. If you have to climb out of your warm cocoon of sheets and into a cold room, your body's first response will to tell your brain to get back into bed. Staying warm and toasty with comfortable clothes like sweats will help to make the transition out of bed much easier.

I know what you're thinking- what do my feet have to do with fighting grogginess? Heat - or lack of heat- radiates upward, and walking on a cold tile or hardwood floor will send chills up your spine. If your house is already warm and you don't have to bundle up, still try to wear socks or slippers. Being cold is just another factor to make your morning more miserable than it has to be. The goal is to eliminate as many of these factors as possible so you can focus on getting ready.

Tip #2: Get Up Earlier and Shower

I know this seems counterintuitive- who would want to get up any earlier than they have to? It's worth it to take a shower. Taking a shower will help warm you up much faster and can provide a type of meditative state where you can transition from grogginess to thinking about and planning your day. Moving around to wash your hair and body in the steamy environment will help to get the blood flowing and loosen up your muscles. It seems like tiredness washes right down the drain and leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Showering also has the added benefit of eliminating bed head.

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Tip #3: Ditch the Coffee and Try Caffeine Tablets Instead

If you're like most people, you can't get your day started without a cup (or a few cups) of coffee. Coffee takes time to brew, and allows you to idle while you sit around and drink it. I call this a "morning routine rut" and these ruts can sometimes be difficult to climb out of. They have the possibility of slowing you down and helping you lose track of time. Plus, there's always the ever-present possibility of burning your mouth!

A solution I find to be much better is to take one half of a 200 mg caffeine tablet. The average cup of coffee has between 80-120 mg of caffeine depending on how you brew your cup and how large your cup is. Getting your fix from coffee beans can vary on a daily basis, leading to some days where you just don't get enough in your morning cup. Caffeine tablets allow for accurate dosing and make sure you're always getting the right buzz you need to start your day.

So what I propose is this: Store a bottle of caffeine tablets in your bathroom's medicine cabinet. Take 1/2 - 1 tablet right before you shower and allow the tablet to kick in. This way, when you get out of the shower, you'll feel twice as awake. I recommend this brand as they can easily split in half and are incredibly inexpensive. One bottle will last you 2-5 months depending on the strength of coffee you used to need to get going in the morning. Switching to tablets will almost certainly save you money on your caffeine habit. It will also eliminate the 10-20 minute coffee ritual, so you can squeeze in the shower that I suggested above without having to wake up any earlier. If you really miss that cup of coffee, you can always have a cup of decaf after your shower or save the cup of coffee for later in the day.

Tip #4: Listen to Music

Playing music can have all of the right ingredients to help you hit the snooze button less often. It can be motivating, inspirational, or empowering. Putting on some favorite songs, a podcast, or audio book can help you find a groove and help you focus on the present, which will put you into a flow state. And people who find their flow state are often happiest. This can help dramatically on mornings when everything else is telling you to be miserable and sleepy. Listening to music also has the added benefit of helping you keep track of time. If each of your songs are 2-4 minutes long, then you know about 15 minutes have passed after listening to 5 of them. This is a great way to keep track of time in the background.

Tip #5: Portion-Controlled Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet many people neglect the powerful benefits it can have on your mood, energy levels, and well-being. Aim for something filling, but not too big- just enough to stoke the metabolic furnace. Having a massive feast will actually put your body into "digest-mode" and make you feel sluggish and tired. Greek yogurt with granola, eggs and fresh fruit, or whole wheat toast with some natural peanut butter are all great choices. Try to incorporate as much protein and fiber as possible to make you feel full, load your body up with nutrients, and give your body the fuel it needs to tackle the day. For those of you in a hurry, try a protein shake with oats, greek yogurt, and frozen berries. Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Whey Protein is probably the best protein you can find on the market today in terms of price, taste, and quality.

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In Summary...

  • Stay as warm as you can when getting out of bed
  • Take a caffeine tablet, start some music, and hop in the shower
  • Find your flow and focus on getting ready
  • Have a light and energizing meal or shake
  • Try to get the right amount of sleep the night before!

I hope these tips can be as useful to you as they are to me. Be sure to leave a comment below!

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