Rising early, as you may have heard, can set you up for success.
You have time to work with fewer distractions from family and coworkers and to exercise before appointments get in the way. Still, many people struggle to find effective tricks for getting out of bed in the morning.
The good news is that some of the easiest strategies for waking up earlier are ones you can employ tonight. We browsed several Quora threads and highlighted ways that you can prepare in advance to rise and shine.
Try them all and see which ones work for you:
1. Place your phone or alarm clock across the room
One survey found that the majority of Americans sleep with their phone right next to them. If you use your phone as your alarm clock, that makes it all too easy to hit 'snooze' or turn off the alarm entirely.
Instead, take a tip from Ho-Sheng Hsiao:
I put the charger of my phone and my glasses in a place that forces me to get up and walk across the room to turn off. I had noticed that moving the body and physically getting out of bed helps start transitioning from sleep to being awake.
2. Limit your caffeine intake in the late afternoon and evening
'Some people are extremely sensitive to caffeine,' says Kevin Jon, 'and don't understand how it can still keep them awake much later.'
One study found that consuming 400 milligrams of caffeine -- that's about how much is in a Starbucks Venti coffee -- even six hours before bedtime disrupted sleep.
The researchers suggest that people limit their caffeine consumption to before 5 p.m. at the latest.
3. Have something to look forward to
If the only thing you have planned for the early morning is showering and trekking to the office, then it's no wonder you can't find the motivation to get out of bed.
That's why Quora user Paul DeJoe says, 'You have to be excited about something to do in the morning. If you're not, then sleeping in as an option is always gonna feel better.'
DeJoe breaks it down further, telling readers to take some time at night to write down five things they'd like to get done the next day.
4. Set a bedtime alarm
To wake up earlier, Ben Mordecai
says that 'you just need to set an alarm both for when you want to wake up and when you will need to start going to bed.'
The bedtime alarm won't necessarily force you to start putting on pajamas, but it will jolt you out of whatever non-sleeping activity you're currently doing, like browsing your Facebook News Feed.
5. Start an enjoyable nighttime routine
Create a nighttime ritual you enjoy and that lets you ease into bedtime.
Simon Haestoe shares his experience with this strategy:
I didn't have to do things that bored me. Instead, I could watch non-intense movies, listen to relaxing music and I could turn the whole thing to an experience I enjoyed and that I looked forward to having, all day long.
6. Register for an early-morning activity
'Sign up for an early class, something that requires attendance and you are really, really, really interested in,' writes Anita Singh, who recently started hitting up a 6 a.m. yoga class. 'Once you have a stake in the cause you will be more likely to follow through.'
Preferably, the class should be something you pay for, since research suggests that the prospect of losing money is motivating for most people.
7. Set your coffee maker for the time you plan to wake up
Varun Vishwakarma recommends creating an 'appealing early morning routine' by setting your coffee maker on a timer 'that fills the house with a delicious aroma.' You won't be able to help seeking out the source.
Plus, research suggests that the mere aroma of coffee can be a wake-up call -- at least in rats.
8. Cut your screen time at night
'We are actually more sensitive to artificial light and computer screens than we realise,' writes Steven Ericson, 'so stay completely away from screens and any brightly lit environments for three to four hours before your target bedtime.'
Indeed, research suggests that staring at the blue and white light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing the hormone melatonin, which lets your body know when it's time to hit the hay.
So it becomes harder to fall and stay asleep -- and presumably to wake up feeling refreshed the following morning.
9. Chug a glass of water before bed
An anonymous Quora user recommends drinking a full glass of water before going to sleep so you have to relieve yourself in the morning.
'After some trial and error, I realised that drinking 300 mL of water before going to bed would wake me up exactly at 7 a.m,' the user writes.
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