You know that feeling when your alarm goes off, and you dread getting up, wishing you could hit the snooze button for the rest of the day? If you wake up groggy and feel like you’re walking in molasses for the first few hours of your day, it can put you in a funk that’s hard to get out of. Here are five secrets to waking up early.
Have a bedtime train
The key to waking up early is … going to bed early. It’s not rocket science, and yet this can be so hard to put into practice. Whether you stay up late, binge-watching a show on Netflix or doing work on your computer, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you continually turn off the lights light past 10 p.m. Every hour of sleep you get before midnight replenishes your body significantly more. Treat your bedtime like a train that leaves the station at a set time, and you can’t afford to miss it!
Train your mind for deep sleep
If you’re lying in bed at night, with your mind racing – thinking of all the things you have to get done the next day (or all the things you didn’t get done that day) – it’s hard to relax and fall asleep. Instead, train your brain to relax at night for a continuous sleep. Using guided meditations or even hypnosis to access deep relaxation can be tremendously beneficial. Here’s a deep sleep meditation that you can use to fall asleep or to get back into a deeply relaxed state if you wake up in the middle of the night.
No screens before bed
There are various neurochemicals in your brain and body that determine the quality of your sleep, the most important of which is melatonin. Reducing screen time before bed is one of the best ways to start relaxing your mind and body. Your iPad, computer, television and any other screen emit high levels of blue light rays. This blue light suppresses your pineal gland, thereby lowering the production of melatonin. Turn off ALL screens at least one hour before bedtime to optimize your sleep.
Get your gear
A key factor in how human sleep is regulated is exposure to light or to darkness. Your body will get to sleep faster and wake up feeling more rested if you keep your room dark at night. If blackout curtains aren’t an option, get yourself a sleep mask to improve the quality of your sleep and enhance melatonin production. Ear plugs can also support you in having a more restful sleep.
Combat adrenal fatigue
Cortisol, the main stress hormone, plays an incredibly important role when it comes to waking up early and getting enough rest. Your cortisol should be at its highest in the morning when you first wake up and gradually decrease throughout the day until it reaches its lowest levels late at night when you go to bed. If you’re slow to wake up and often groggy in the morning or have a hard time winding down at night, you may want to get your cortisol levels and adrenal glands tested by a naturopath. A cortisol or adrenal imbalance is often the culprit, and once you get these levels back to normal, your sleep patterns can change dramatically.