Getting up early is one of the most important things you can do for your health and fitness. If you want to learn how to get up early then have a read through this ‘how to’ guide.
Why Should I Get Up Early Everyday?
You might be thinking that you don’t need to get up early. After all, most people like sleeping in when they get the chance. Usually when I tell people that they should get up earlier they say:
“I’m tired enough as it is. Why should I get up earlier?”.
And I think to myself: “Well, lots of reasons actually”.
Part of the reason people are so tired is because they go to bed and get up at different times everyday. They stay up late on Friday nights, sleep til midday on Saturday and then try and get back to normal by Monday. This is no way sleep and will really put your body clock under some pressure.
So what’s my point? The point is that even though you might not want to start getting up early you should still read this post. There are a lot of benefits to the early mornings and you may find that getting up early gives you more energy, not less.
What you NEED to teach yourself to get up early
Before we look at how you get up early we need to look at a few things that you absolutely must have before you start.
1. A firm promise
If you don’t make a firm promise to yourself that you are going to start waking up early you never will get there. It is simply too hard and too deeply chiseled into our habitiual mindset. Make a vow to yourself.
2. A reason
If you do not have a concrete reason for getting up early the lure of the warm covers will trap you in there until late in the day. Discover why you want to get up early and really decide that is what you want to do.
3. A stable bed time
If you go to bed at different times every night how can you expect to be awake at the same time each morning and feel great? Pick a time, it doesn’t matter when, and go to bed at the same time every night. Vital.
4. A method
We will go over the methods you can choose for getting up early next.
How to Get Up Early Everyday
First we will look at the different ways you can start getting up early everyday. After that we will touch on some of the benefits that you can reap from making an early start.
Method One – Gradual Reduction
Sleeping is like an addiction and like any addiction you can gradually move away from it. If you are a heavy sleeper you might want to start gradually getting up earlier and earlier everyday until you reach your target time.
This method has the advantage that you will not have to jump right into the early mornings. However, I have found a lot of people are not as successful with this method as it is too slow and gives you too much time to fall off track.
This is how I first started to becoming an early riser. I decided that I needed to wake earlier but didn’t want to just set my alarm for 5.30am because I knew I could never do it. So I began chipping away at it. I reduced it 10 minutes per week with the thought that the change would be so gradual I would never notice. Not true. I did notice. 5am was still 5am.
However, I have found that some other people really like this approach. The gradual change is more gentle and often leads them to some spontaneous change where they feel they are ready to tip it all the way to a very early start.
Method Two – Immediate Change
If your reasons are good enough and your will is strong enough the best way to get up early is to start tomorrow. Set the clock for the right time and get up no matter what. Your mind will try all sorts of games with you but you must ignore it and stay strong and in charge.
I have found this to be the best method. As aforementioned, 5am is always 5am and always feels bloody early. I actually have a little story attached to how I started waking early.
I was in North India in the Himalayas and spending a lot of time with my Tibetan friends. They would wake early every morning to do prayers and go on long meditation walks. At the end they would all sit around and have tea and breakfast together (the whole neighborhood!). Of course they wanted me to join. These walks started at about 5am when it was still dark and almost freezing. Many mornings it was snowing and as you can imagine this made it so much harder to get out of bed. However, I did not want to be rude to the little kids knocking on my door so each morning at 5am I would be ready.
After two weeks it became normal.
After a month I couldn’t sleep in after 5am even when I wanted to.
It had become habit.
I personally think this is the best way to wake early. Promise yourself you will get up at a certain time and then do it. Don’t change for anything, no matter what.
Benefits of being an early riser
The benefits of getting up early are many.
1. You will become fitter
The morning is the best time to workout. The air is clean and cool and you have more energy at any other time in the day. Working out in the morning actually leads you to feel MORE awake and energized during the day. As time goes on your early morning workouts will keep you happy and awake during the long work days.
2. You will become thinner
Weight loss workouts in the morning are more effective because you have little to no available energy sources in your body. In this situation your body looks to its fat stores for energy to fire your workouts. Perfect.
3. You will get more done
If you are at university or have a lot of work to do then getting up early is the best solution. Morning hours are much more productive; you are more alert and much more awake. You will also increase the number of hours you have available to do chores and so on which will lighten your load.
A summary of what you need to know to be an early riser
To conclude this article I wanted to highlight a few important points that will help you wake early everyday.
- Avoid coffee, wine and chocolate around bed time. It upsets the acids in your stomach and disturbs sleep.
- Go to bed at the same time each night; even if it is late.
- Wake at the same time each day; even on weekends.
- Don’t have too much food or drink before bedtime.
- Make sure you aren’t too hot or too cold when you sleep.
- Put your alarm far away from your bed so you have to physically get up to turn it off.
- Make a firm promise that you will get up at a certain time.
- Have a solid reason as to why you need to get up.
- Do not engage in ‘mind games’ that keep you asleep and lazy.
It will be hard to begin with but once you are in a routine you will find getting up early really isn’t that hard. In fact, you will wonder why you didn’t do it earlier.