There are lots of reasons why you might want to become a morning person. Many successful people are early risers (even as early as 3:30 am!) and who doesn’t want an hour or two of peace before rushing off to school or work or dealing with your family. All the benefits of waking up early sounded appealing, but until a few months ago I never thought I could achieve it. I was the type of person who needed at least three alarms to wake up and I’ve missed 1:30 pm classes because they were too early for me. Here are four things I did to learn to wake up early:

Sleep

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. It’s hard to get up early when you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is a problem most students have dealt with and leads to lower performance at school and work but there are many ways you can set your sleep schedule right. One popular tip is avoiding your devices for an hour before bed or enabling “night mode” (a blue light filter) on your device or browser as blue light has been shown to “interfere with a person’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion.”

Let There be Light

Make sure your room is as bright as you can make it in the mornings! Open your curtains before you go to sleep or use thinner curtains. If sleeping with open curtains isn’t an option for you or you want to get up before sunrise, there are other ways of making your morning brighter such as light-up alarm clocks or plugging a lamp into an inexpensive timer plug. This sounds simple but I think I was only able to start waking up early because I moved into a room with a huge window! Now I live in a room with no windows and getting up has gotten a lot harder.

One Task

Make a routine out of getting up by replacing your snoozing habits or early morning social media scrolling with doing one small task the moment you wake up. This task can range from sitting up and stretching for a minute in bed to actually getting up and making your bed. The trick is to make the task simple, quick, but productive. It shouldn’t be hard to accomplish but it should be able to wake you up enough so that you don’t fall back asleep. And the momentum from being productive as soon as you wake up will hopefully carry through the rest of your day. The first thing I do every morning is sit up and drink a glass of water while listening to a podcast.

Make your Mornings for You

Give yourself a reason to get up earlier than you need to for work or school. Use your morning to make time for exercise, catch up on recreational reading, or make yourself a nice breakfast. If you set your alarm so you’re waking up just in time to make it to work or class, it’s so much harder to resist pressing snooze than if you had something you looked forward to doing before you had to deal with the pressures of the world. Making this reason productive will give you a good jump start to the day but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t used the extra hour to watch a few episodes of Friends before work.

Try some of these tips to jumpstart your mornings! If you’re really struggling with getting up, challenge yourself to only setting one alarm and not hitting snooze at all for a week.

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