Would you rather be dreaming or working for your dreams? It is not a secret that many successful people including scientists and billionaires who wake up early, start their days beating the hardest tasks on their lists when most of us are still sleeping.
Keep on reading and you’ll find a surprise so you don’t miss a single step to maximize your productivity in the mornings!
How to wake up early and not feel tired
Of course, there’s no use for you to wake up at 4 am if you’re going to feel groggy and sleepy. Then what can you do to feel more energized when waking up early? The key is on your sleep routine, these are all the steps you take before bed, even without noticing it, there is a pattern which is not that hard to change.
Why having a bedtime routine is important
Humans are prone to establish routines, certain behaviors tend to stick more than others, that’s why it is so important to consciously set up healthy nighttime habits to have a good night sleep and wake up with more energy in the morning. Before bed, you can set up everything to have the most productive morning,
To wake up early, you have to sleep early; the earlier you want to wake up, the earlier you’ll have to go to bed. Always keep in mind the recommended amount of sleep for adults, don’t try to be a superhuman and sleep only 4 hours to wake up early, because it will wear you down in the long run.
Creating a healthy sleep routine
Changing your sleeping habits is not something you can just switch; a night owl can’t become an early bird overnight. Nevertheless, you can try to modify it gradually, taking baby steps into the best bedtime routine for you to ensure a productive morning.
Why is my sleep routine not working?
If you find that you can’t wake up early even with an alarm there are some major changes to be made in your night time routine; as a heavy sleeper as you could be, after a good night of resting sleep you should be able to wake up when the alarm rings. Maybe it is not loud enough, or maybe you’re missing some of the next steps.
Establishing a night time routine
1. Reduce screen time:
Screens are a source of blue light that reduces our bodies’ production of melatonin (the hormone of sleep). If you must use your devices turn on the night mode or apply a filter for blue light, so it doesn’t mess with your circadian cycle
2. Have dinner earlier:
A light dinner would be better for this time of the day, try avoiding fatty or spicy food and caffeinated drinks that might interfere with your sleep. Also laying down right after you’ve eaten increases the risk of heartburn and indigestion which traduces in an uncomfortable night.
3. Get a nice environment to wake up to:
Nobody wants to wake up to a cold, messy room. If possible try and tidy up anything that’s out of place. On cold days program the heater to turn on about 30 minutes before you’ll wake up so it isn’t that difficult to leave your comfy sheets.
4. Make a to-do list for the morning:
Why would you wake up early in the morning for no reason? If there is an exciting project you´re working on first thing in the morning is probably the best time to make some progress. Experts in neuroscience advise tackling the most difficult task in your list in the morning, this is the optimal timing for productivity.
5. Set up an alarm and place it away from bed:
Recommended by various productivity gurus this trick only works if you have set up your alarm to a time where your body is already fully rested, you’ll have to break your comfort zone to turn it off, and it is more likely that you stay up.
6. Have your “me-time”:
Take a nice shower/bath, listen to your favorite music, do some yoga or meditation, put on your comfy pajamas, give yourself a foot massage or read a book. Whatever it is that one thing you need to feel relaxed and forget about daily stressful situations, this is the moment to do it, everyone needs some me-time before bed.
7. Drink water:
This is a personal favorite, drinking water right before going to bed, it’s a bit tricky because the effect of having to go to the bathroom might happen on the middle of the night, but in most cases, if you naturally have a deep sleep pattern, by the time you wake up the urge to go to the bathroom will keep you out of bed.
Check the time when you lay down let’s say it is 23:00; really visualize the numbers and then visualize the time you want to get up 6:00; this helps you to mentally prepare your body for this challenge.
9. Go to bed early:
Take note of the time you want to wake up to, and count down at least 7 hours of sleep, this should be the time you go to bed. You can do this gradually through the week until you get to your ideal wake up time, for example, if you want to wake up at 5 am, but you usually wake up at 9 am, try reducing 1 hour every couple of days until you get to wake up at 5 am without feeling grumpy.
How long should a bedtime routine be
This can take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours or more depending on your family dynamic or if you are a single person and the routine only depends on you. I’ll set up these examples for families and individuals, but times can vary greatly. Besides, this isn’t necessarily the order in which you should take the steps; maybe having your me-time right when you get home is better for your routine, you can adapt them to your own pace of life.
|Meal prep||40 min||10 – 20 min|
|Dinner||30 min||10 – 15 min|
|Quick clean up||10 min||5 – 10 min|
|Get ready to go to bed (me-time)||40 – 60 min||25 – 40 min|
|Schedule next day tasks and set up an alarm||10 min||5 – 10 min|
|Tuck in kids||20 – 25 min||–|
|Fall asleep||10 – 20 min||10 – 20 min|
|Total time||2h 45’ – 3h 15’||1h 05’ – 1h 50’|
Right when the alarm beeps
1. Don’t hit snooze:
What a gentle way to start your day with a failure; hitting the snooze button. Don’t let this happen, right when you hear the alarm get on your feet and turn it off. The next thing to do is making your bed, so you don’t even think about going back to it; once you’ve made your bed you’ve accomplished your first victory of the day!
2. Go straight to the bathroom:
This is the moment when the glass of water before bed trick kicks in; release your bladder, and splash some fresh water in your face, brush your teeth, comb your hair, for a step up and supercharge yourself take an energizing shower.
3. Have a glass of water:
After 7 hours or more without water, your body is dehydrated, even without you noticing it, water helps you boost your metabolism and is part of the energetic processes in our organism.
4. Have breakfast:
The most important meal of the day, you can’t miss this one or eventually, you’ll run out of energy and all your hard work in getting to wake up early will be lost. Whole grains, carbohydrates, and proteins are fundamental in your breakfast, try and make it as complete as possible.
Get that blood pumping up and down your body, stretching is a great way to shake out the laziness you might feel after waking up early in the morning, in addition, you can do some quick exercises or a yoga routine (always is a good time for yoga). Warming up your body increases the metabolic activity in the brain cortex, take advantage of this morning exercise to tackle your highly cognitive demanding tasks once you’ve raised your body temperature a little bit.
6. Start your day:
Now it’s time to beat the heck out of that to-do list. Remember, don’t think about it twice, just sit down and get the job done. Or stand on your feet and get to work, whatever it is on the first place of your list, start it right over. Get things done!
Wake up early and be productive
It is a no-brainer if you have 2-3 hours of work done before the world starts to wake up and bombard you with notifications, calls, requests. You are several steps ahead in productivity than most. Take advantage of the perks of being awake before everybody, you’ll have uninterrupted work time, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll find this to be the most productive time of the day.
How long does it take to establish a sleep routine
A sleep routine is a sequence of daily habits that you’ll include in your night to make the best out of your sleep hours. As habits, they would take anywhere from 18 days to 256 days to stick. Do you feel overwhelmed about that number? How about if I tell you than in just 8 days of waking up earlier and having 3 hours of work done, you’ll have 24 hours of PRODUCTIVE working time.
You’ve just added one full day of uninterrupted work to your week. By just making a little effort, self-discipline, and strength. Is it worth it? Of course, it is, In 256 days you’d have 32 EXTRA days of productivity, by making these little changes in your routine.
How to maintain a sleep routine
Does this mean that I’ll have to wake up early every day? Yes, every single day, weekends and holidays included, this is the only way you can maintain your sleep routine and your peaks of early morning productivity. Start slow, have some realistic goals according to your usual routine, it might take you 1 month or 3 until you actually start feeling comfortable by waking up early, and your bedtime routine starts flowing naturally, but it is so worth it.
Don’t miss a single step
I’ve created a one-page PDF with this Step by step process. Print this Cheatsheet and place it where most of your routine takes place, so you don’t miss a single step, also you can track the days you’ve woken up early to stick to this good habit. You can download it at my FREE Resources page, to get access sign up below:
I’m a medical student and mom of twins, I love to write and I’m sharing my journey in achieving my degree while raising happy kids.