I think I can say I’ve always been a morning person. I used to jump out of bed in the morning to go to school, and this is when my energy levels are the highest and I feel most productive.
With going to uni however I started staying up late, meeting friends, going out, and generally just not “needing” to get up early. Waking up at 10am would be early enough to go to my lectures and I tried to stay in bed as long as I could as a treat.
But in the evening I was often too exhausted to be productive and do things I wanted to do, whether that was writing this blog, taking photos, doing sports or starting another hobby.
I thought to not be tired I just needed to sleep longer but that didn’t help.
Increasing sleep quality
In January I felt really tired even after sleeping 9 hours. I started researching what influences the quality of sleep. Besides enough hours I found that regular exercise, reducing caffeine intake, not taking late afternoon naps, and going to bed and getting up at the same time every day has a huge impact on your sleep quality. I wanted to focus on the latter since the other points didn’t really apply to me.
So I followed some steps to achieve better sleep and wake up at the perfect time for me.
1. Decide what time you want to get up
I watched many videos of people getting up at 5.30 am and talking about how much time they had in the morning. But I just couldn’t imagine walking up THAT early.. And what would I do with so much time? So I would suggest to just go backwords. When do you want to be at uni, work, etc.? I wanted to be at the library at 8 am to study for my exams. What other steps do you have at home before that? Like eating breakfast, making your bed, getting dressed, etc. Besides the things you “have to” do in the morning, also think about why you want to wake up that early.
2. Find a reason to wake up that early
Knowing the why always helps us to stick to something, to motivate us. For me: I wanted to do yoga in the morning because I never had enough motivation and willpowerr to do it in the evening. Having this reason (preferably something enjoyable) helps you to actually get up. Waking up I thought ahhh I wanna go back to sleep, but then I thought about how good it would feel doing yoga and how soothed I always feel afterwards. This is a huge motivation for me to actually get up.
Of course it doesn’t have to be yoga or sports, it could be reading a book and drinking tea, working on a new idea, cleaning, … Whatever you want to have more time for and feel like you can’t fit it into your day otherwise or don’t have the energy to do them after work/school/uni.
Decide how much time you want to have for your activity. I wanted to be able to do yoga for 30 minutes.
Add up the amount of time you need for all your steps so you know when you have to get up. I “had to” get up at 6.15 am to have to time to relax and do all my steps. With time I actually started waking up before the alarm at around 6 am.
3. Find helpers to go to bed at the right time
Getting up early + getting enough hours of sleep = going to bed earlier.
Think backwards again. How many hours of sleep do you wanna get? I want to sleep 8 hours, so I’m trying to go to bed at around 10 (I know that is superrr early). But actually I don’t feel like missing out on too much. The days I’m not meeting up with friends in the evening or going to an event there is not a lot to miss out on anyway other than watching netflix or youtube. THe days where somethings is going on I just go to bed a little later and get a bit less sleep. Still waking up at the same time gets your body awake nonetheless. Just remember to catch up on your sleep the next day.
- Listen to your body. When it is tired in the evening go to bed.
- Cues: If it is 10 pm and you’re just not tired – don’t try to sleep anyway, because it’s not going to work. Instead read a book, listen to a podcast or audiobook, meditate. Start integrating cues for your body into your evening so it knows that it’s time for bed soon.
- No-screen time: Try to not look at a screen an hour before you want to go to bed. The blue light inhibits your hormone Melatonin, which is your sleeping hormone, to be released. So you don’t feel tired and can’t fall asleep.
Generally try to ease into going to bed early so it is easier for you to get up early.
4. Establish a routine to get you out of bed in the morning
So you went to bed early, you got enough sleep, and you know what you wake up for in the morning. Now try to establish a morning routine, also doing the same activities in a set order so you start doing them automatically. It makes it easier, you don’t forget anything, and you don’t have to think, you can just enjoy.
I hope this article was helpful for you in any way, please ask me questions in the comments below and tell me for what you want to get up earlier for? I would love to hear all your inspiring reasons.
I’m also planning on writing a blogpost about my morning and evening routine so that tuned for that!
Have an amazing day, enjoy it. Talk to you soon!