Sunday, 14 January 2018

How To Get Up Earlier

lifestyle, how to get up earlier, tips on waking up earlier, how to sleep better, sleep, advice, dawn simulator,

I love being a morning person. Don't get me wrong, I love a lay in as much as the next person, but for the most part, I love the feeling of rising early. While I'm certainly not trying to sit here and tell you how to live your life (if you wanna snooze until 12pm, who am I to stop you?!), I do want to explain the benefits I've experienced of starting my day earlier. And if it's something you've dabbled in the idea of but haven't been able to take the plunge, read on for my tips on how I make that 4am alarm easier to bare.

For me, the reasons for getting up early are lifestyle orientated. I enjoy being able to get some personal tasks in before I start my day at work. Whether that's blogging, working out or just doing some house work, I like to start the day proactively but also calmly without rushing. I like to make the most of my day and rising early gives me the time to do that. I also find I sleep better and don't wake up at all during the night, and when I do wake up I don't feel as lethargic and shattered as I used to. 

Read on to see my advice for uncaging your inner early bird...

Go to bed early

I mean, duh. Getting up early does not mean compromising your length of sleep, so you will need to go to bed earlier. For some people, this is a really hard cycle to break so I recommend either trying to do this little by little or going straight in, do your first early wake up on your normal bed time which will leave you tired enough to want to go to bed naturally at the earlier time. If going to bed early feels like a waste of time to you, know this: everything that you would of done in the evening, you can do in the morning and you will probably do better because you've got a fresh mind.

Do exercise

When I don't do any exercise my quality of sleep and ability to wake up majorly suffers. I don't mean you have to hit it hard at the gym 5 times a week, but even 30 minutes of light cardio or yoga 2 or 3 times a week can make a massive difference. I don't know the science behind it, or if there's any science behind it at all, but this is an exact correlation that I have massively noticed in my own life. My physical activity really, really effects the quality of my sleep, I sleep so much better when exercise is a core part of my routine. And I love a good sleep so pass me the fucking dumbbells please. 

Cut out electricals an hour before bed and/or put your phone on a low light

The bright, artificial light of phones, TV or computer screens makes our brains feel more awake so not only make it harder to get to sleep but also affect the quality of your sleep. Combat this by cutting out staring at a screen before you go to bed, you will honestly notice the world of difference. If you absolutely have to refresh your Twitter feed up until the second your head hits the pillow, you can put your phone on a low light setting which adjusts the tone and intensity of the screen light in sync with sunset and sunrise.

Set more than one alarm

I know everyone is different but I absolutely need more than one alarm. Sometimes I can get up with one no problem, but there's always the chance of the dreaded 'woops, I've fallen back to sleep for an hour' situation. It's always better to be safe than sorry so I would stagger two or more alarms so your sleep is definitely interrupted and you absolutely do get yourself up. 

Have something to wake up for

I know that sounds deep and meaningful but it's really not. I'm simply talking about something like a cup of tea or a book you can't put down. For me it's the gym, blogging or just an extra 30 mins to spend sitting talking to James before I spend all day at work. Before you go to bed get a task in your mind that you want to wake up early to do. Get excited about it, that way when you wake up you'll instantly be buzzed to do this and have a surge of energy. 

Wake up warm

Waking up early is especially difficult in the colder months. Who the fuck wants to rip themselves from their toasty duvet when it's pitch black and freezing outside? The answer is no one. It makes getting out of bed so much easier when you're warmer, which is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a pair of fluffy, cosy pyjamas. If you get too hot in the night layered up and prefer to sleep with less on, one of my favourite tricks is leaving a super cosy jumper and slippers folded next to my bed so when I wake up I simply reach out and grab them and then change into them under the warmth of my covers to make getting up a lot easier.

Eat and drink right

Your food is your body's fuel and make no mistake in thinking that it doesn't have an effect on every part of your everyday functions, including your sleep. Apparently good nutrition helps boost the cell rejuvenation which happens while we sleep and I wholeheartedly believe I've experienced this myself. When I am well hydrated and am eating (fairly) balanced, I sleep like a baby and wake up actually feeling refreshed. For me, the worst thing I consume for my sleep is alcohol. I freaking love a cocktail every day of the night, but whenever I drink I play catch up on my sleep for a while afterwards. 

Use a dawn simulator 

I have personally never used a dawn simulator, but I have heard rave reviews about them. Dawn simulators act as a light alarm clock by gradually increasing in light in order to wake you up more gently and naturally, as opposed to the dreaded iPhone alarm sound we all know and loathe. By gradually increasing in soft but bright light, the eyes and body begin to wake up steadily over time rather than being jerked out of sleep from the rude awakening of the standard kind of alarm.

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