Where our night owls at?
After learning extensively about how important sleep is, we’ve been doing our best to implement sleep routines for ourselves.
The first thing we learned was…it’s hard. Especially the whole waking up part.
Most of us probably start the day by hitting snooze a few (dozen) times, followed by 10-15 minutes of mindless puttering on our phones. It’s a hard habit to break, trust us, we know.
Science tells us that what we do in the morning affects our entire day. Studies also show that our brains are literally wired to operate at a high level in the mornings (sounds unbelievable but it’s true).
With some good ol’ fashioned trial and error we found a few things that work for us. They just might work for you, too.
Here are some tips on how to start your day the right way.
Wake up Slow
The usual advice is to put your alarm across the room and jump out of bed as soon as it goes off. That might work well in the military but for the rest of us, that habit is getting dropped real quick.
If you want a habit to stick, it has to feel good and jumping out of bed right away does not feel good.
Instead, try the two-alarm approach.
The first one is close to you so it wakes you up and you can turn it off. Then, do something you really enjoy; listen to a podcast or music, read or write, or snuggle up with your SO or pet. This is called a habit stack and it works wonders.
Set the second alarm for 15 minutes later and put that one across the room. When it goes off, it’s time to boogie.
Give Yourself a Strong Reason “Why”
Changing this habit is hard and if you want it to stick you need a good reason for it. Be really clear about what you want to get out of the extra morning time.
Do you want to use it to work more on your side hustle? To cook a delicious breakfast? To spend some extra time with your pets or loved ones? To make more time for learning and reading?
If you don’t come up with a good way to spend your mornings, they will automatically be used for sleeping in. That’s just how it goes.
And trying to come up with the right thing to do at 6 AM is a recipe for failure. At that time your brain will always come up with the same priority: sleep more.
Before you even start waking up early, you have to make a plan for how you’re going to use that extra morning time.
Start With a Dose of Happiness
If your “why” is not something you’re super stoked about, say working out, for instance, do something joyful first.
Spend 10 minutes with a warm cup of coffee and a book, or a quick gratitude exercise. Take a stroll outside in the sun or just sit quietly and let yourself wake up a bit.
This will let your brain associate waking up with something you enjoy and it will make it that much easier to get up.