7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Wake Up Early
Use these simple tips from sleep experts to become a morning person.
Waking up early in the morning is a great way to give yourself extra hours in the day, and this can translate into more ample time spent doing the things you love. Yet many of us find mornings difficult and struggle to trade in precious sleep for those extra hours or minutes added to the day. However, just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's unworthy of your effort—experts say there are several ways you can motivate yourself to wake up early. Read on to learn sleep experts' top seven tips for rising earlier for a more pleasant, productive, or meaning-filled morning.
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How to Wake Up Early
1. Set an intention for why you want to wake up early.
Consider taking a moment to reflect on and even write down the reasons you want to wake up earlier in the morning. Whether you yearn for a more productive day or it's a more leisurely morning you're after, finding your "why" can help you achieve it.
"Having an ultimate aim and purpose that you can focus on will help give your mornings structure and meaning," explains Isabella Gordan, a sleep expert, sleep science coach, and co-founder of Sleep Society.
2. Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
There's a difference between dragging yourself out of bed in the morning and waking up feeling refreshed. If you're hoping for the latter, you'll need to start preparing long before your alarm sounds.
"One of the best tips for getting motivated to wake up early is to establish a good bedtime routine. The earlier you fall asleep, the more refreshed you will be when you wake up early in the morning," explains Griffin Jackson, a sleep specialist and health expert for Sleep Pilot.
"To do that, disconnect yourself from smartphones and any other distractions 30 minutes before you fall asleep," he advises, adding that you should go to bed at the same time every night.
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3. Train yourself out of using the snooze button.
The easier it is to wake up in the morning, the more motivated you'll be to do so, experts say. Using the snooze button on your alarm clock may feel good at the moment, but it can ultimately drag out the process of waking you up and leave you feeling less rested once you're finally out of bed.
"The struggle is real, but try and resist the urge to hit the snooze button in the morning," says Gordan. "Instead, think of all the productive things you can do with your extra time."
If you really struggle with getting up at the sound of your first alarm, you can gradually wean yourself off the snooze button by setting strategic alarms.
"It's important to plan ahead so you don't find yourself snoozing your alarm five times over each morning. Try setting two or three alarms at intervals instead of one long snooze session, so that getting up becomes easier each day," Gordan recommends.
4. Use an alarm you like.
To motivate yourself to wake up early, it helps to make the experience as gentle as possible. Using an alarm you like can help ease the transition from being asleep to being awake.
For instance, an alarm clock that plays music or talk radio may help coax you out of bed with less resistance than one that blares with an annoying beep or buzz. By engaging your brain, it may also help you feel more fully awake than a single, repeating sound.
Looking for an even gentler way to wake up? Opt for a sunrise alarm clock, which emits a gradually increasing, ambient light to signal your wake time.
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5. Create a positive morning ritual.
One of the best ways to motivate yourself to wake up early in the morning is to make the most of that special time of day. For instance, planning breakfast dates with friends, taking a walk around your neighborhood, enjoying a long, relaxing shower, or finding time to exercise can all incentivize an earlier morning.
"Take the time to establish a calming, energizing way of starting your day, such as making yourself a cup of coffee or tea and practicing some mindful stretching. Having something to look forward to in the mornings will help get you out of bed each day," says Gordan.
6. Get enough sleep overall.
If you're getting the right total amount of sleep your body needs, waking up early shouldn't be a struggle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.
"This is arguably one of the most important tips for getting up early. Make sure you're allowing yourself enough time to rest so that your body will naturally wake up when it's supposed to," says Gordan.
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7. Stay accountable with a friend's help.
If you know someone else who is a natural early bird or someone who would like to wake up earlier in the morning, you can keep motivated by staying accountable to one another. This could be as simple as sending each other a "good morning" text without fear of waking the other person up uninvited.
Meeting in person or connecting over the phone in those early hours can add extra incentive. By starting your day with a meaningful connection, you can not only boost your mental and physical health but also improve your sleep, studies show. This will ultimately help create a positive cycle of social connectivity, accountability, and better rest.