LIFESTYLE & MIND
How To Wake Up Earlier With Minimal Misery
Are you a slave to the 'snooze' button? This could be part of the problem...
As the nights continue to feel long, and with the fun of Christmas and New Year now behind us, getting up in the morning can be even more of a challenge.
Here are some simple tips to help you get up on time, or earlier.
This probably isn’t what you want to hear. Unfortunately, if you have trouble getting up in the morning, one of the causes could be because you're going to bed too late. How much sleep each person needs is variable but typically, for most people, it’s between 7 and 9 hours. Some people can sleep for 6 or less hours and they can be absolutely fine - that’s around 1.5% of the population though. Our sleep cycles are usually 70 - 90 minutes and we need to ensure we get ideally 5 of these cycles in.
So if you’re not waking up when you should or want to, experiment with going to bed earlier. If you struggle with it, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night for a week, then another 15 minutes the next week. And so on. And remember to install a good night time routine before bed to aid in falling asleep. Ideally no screens for 30 mins (ideally more than 60 mins) before bed and no bright lights in the house the hour or so before bed.
Waking up at the same time each day (including the weekends) will allow your natural body clock (circadian rhythm) to work out exactly what’s going on. With different wake-up times, it becomes more challenging. This might not be easy, especially as on Friday and Saturday nights you might go to bed much later than the rest of the week. It might be better to still get up and have a nap during the day so that your body clock stays in rhythm.
Also, coupled with point 1 above, if your alarm is going off and you’re struggling, it might be that you are in your deepest part of the sleep cycle. There are apps that can be coupled to an alarm on your phone to wake you up at the lightest part of your cycle and that can help. Just be sure that these work when in airplane mode and keep them as far away from your body as possible (especially head).
The theme so far has been to keep in line with your natural body clock and one thing that can be useful is a sunrise alarm clock. They work by setting a time and 30 minutes before, it slowly starts to brighten. This mimics how we would normally have felt the sunrise gradually to wake us from slumber. Being in a dark room and then having an alarm clock blaring you into waking is a really shocking way of waking up for the system. Sure you could have some mellow tunes waking you up, but having the light gradually brighten allows for the body to slowly register its time to wake up.
If we don’t have something to get up for, it can be a lot harder to get up in the morning. Perhaps you don’t like your job or your boss. If you don’t have a purpose to your day that excites you, it’s going to be harder to get up. Find something in your life worth getting up for and keep reminding yourself of that. Even if it’s putting pictures up, having words written down or some other method.
Along with seeing pictures in our head, we also hear voices. Yes, we all do. And no, you’re not crazy. These voices say things like “Just five more minutes” and “Have a lie in, you deserve it” along with “We’ll go to the gym this afternoon, or tomorrow.”
As you know these voices and phrases are going to turn up, I encourage you to come up with - ahead of time - phrases or counter-arguments to these convincing arguments to stay in bed. When the first voice comes in, you can counter with the second voice. In the beginning, it might take a conscious effort to do so, but after a while, you can train it to be an unconscious reflex action.
It’s really hard in the winter getting up when the room is freezing. It might sound simple, but make sure the heating is set to come on and have your place warm enough by the time you want to get out of bed. If you’re like me and super sensitive when the temperature in the room changes, you’ll have to experiment a little. Otherwise, you will wake too early when the room gets too warm for your naturally cooler sleeping body.
Hari Kalymnios is a London based leadership speaker and trainer on mindset, resilience, wellbeing and how to feel SUPERHUMAN. A TEDx speaker, Hari regularly speaks to businesses, universities and schools on high-performance leadership. Hari's philosophies and frameworks on wellbeing are simple, practical and life-changing. He shares them freely and weekly on his YouTube channel, blog and other media outlets such as The Huffington Post. Hare is the author of the mindest-shifting book - 'The Thought Gym' and can be connected with on all social media platforms @thethoughtgym.
Photo Credit: Asdrubal Luna
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