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If you often stay up late , chances are that you struggle to wake up in the mornings. Hitting the snooze button has become part of your daily routine. And when you finally stumble out of bed, you always feel foggy and disoriented – not a great way to start your day.
If you sleep late and wake up early, the following methods will help you do so without feeling completely exhausted:
- Do your best to get at least 7 hours of sleep (Plenty of tips on how to do that later).
- Develop a morning routine.
- Develop a bedtime routine.
- Plan your day the previous night.
- Have a good reason to wake up in the morning.
- Use an alarm clock app.
The rest of this article will dive in-depth into how you can implement each of these strategies. To learn how you can sleep late and wake up early without feeling tired, read on.
1. Get Enough Sleep
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting adequate sleep. It’s not only healthy for your brain but also helps in your emotional well-being.
Ever noticed how you get irritated or angry over small little things when you don’t get enough sleep? Or how you forget things that you’re sure you know? These are the effects of sleep deprivation.
So how much sleep do you really need? Well, according to CDC and NIH, adults should sleep for at least 7 hours. These are just guidelines; sleep needs vary from one person to the other. The trick is to assess your needs and habits. Pay close attention to how your body responds to different amounts of sleep.
Keep tabs on your mood, energy levels, thinking, and alertness after a good and bad night’s sleep. Also, write down how much you sleep on a regular schedule each night. Figure out the number of hours of sleep you need to function at your best then make it a priority.
In order to hit that number, you need to adopt habits that encourage better sleep. Doing away with unhealthy lifestyle choices and habits can improve your quality of sleep tremendously.
So what can you do to ensure you sleep better at night? Consider these simple tips;
Take heed of what you eat and drink
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and sedatives at night. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and can disrupt your sleep at night.
While alcohol can help you sleep faster, it can block the REM sleep, interrupt your circadian rhythm (body’s internal clock), and sleep pattern, leading to poor quality of sleep. You should also avoid eating large, heavy meals three hours before bedtime.
Reduce or avoid using electronic devices before bed
The blue light-emitting screen from cell phones, laptops, or tablets will not only take you longer to sleep but also confuses your brain and delays your circadian rhythm.
It is not just good for boosting your endurance and energy but also improves the quality of your nighttime sleep. However, you should avoid any physical activity that elevates your adrenaline levels closer to bedtime.
Stick to yoga, stretching, light jogging, and other low-key exercises.
Address your stress
Worrying about your life, work, finance, family, or whatever else that’s bothering you can interfere with your quality of sleep. Manage your stress by getting enough daylight, practicing relaxation & wellness techniques, adjusting your diet, and exercising.
It is also a good idea to write down the sources of your stress before bed. Determining the stress triggers can help you develop strategies to manage them.
Develop a sleep routine and stick to it
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Once your mind and body get accustomed to your routine, you will sleep better at night and wake up feeling happy, well-rested, and energized.
Be consistent even on weekends, night outs, or when binging a new show on Netflix. But if you have to stay up late, limit the difference to no more than one hour. If you’re staying awake out of necessity, like caring for a sick child, try and get back to your sleep routine as soon as possible.
Create an ideal sleep environment
Turning your bedroom into a sleep cave is as easy as keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using apps or gadgets that block noise that may cause a disturbance to your sleep. The devices include earplugs, fans, and noise-canceling headphones.
If you keep losing sleep because of your partner’s snoring, try investing in anti-snoring products.
Limit daytime naps
Mid-afternoon nods are sometimes necessary if you feel a bit fatigued or unfocused. However, it can impact your ability to sleep at night if you take it at the wrong time, like close to dinner time or when you nap for more than 20 minutes.
According to sleep experts, the best time to take a nap is between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Not everyone has a 9 to 5 job. Some people like firefighters, nurses, police officers work at night, or have irregular shifts. These individuals are at risk of sleep disturbances and sleepiness because the non-traditional hours can interfere with their circadian clock.
If you’re a shift worker, these simple tips can go a long way toward improving your sleep quality and resolving fatigue/sleepiness:
- Expose yourself to bright sunlight at work. This promotes alertness
- Try to avoid non-rotating shift schedules
- Avoid long commutes. The longer the commute, the shorter the sleep duration
- Limit your caffeine intake, especially towards the end of your shift
- Take walks, stretch a bit during breaks to keep your focus, and prevent fatigue
- Stick to your sleep schedule as much as you can. This helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle
- Make your bedroom as dark as possible when sleeping during the day
- Take a 90-minute nap before your shift starts. It also helps to take a brief nap during your break to re-energize your body and mind
- Avoid running errands after your shift
- Do not watch TV when you get home. It’s also a good idea to switch off your tablet, laptop, and stay away from your mobile phone
- Watch what you eat. Opt for foods that are easy to digest, avoid sugary foods as well as heavy meals, and, most importantly, don’t forget to hydrate
- Wear dark sunglasses on your way back home to block bright sunlight.
2. Build a Consistent Wake-Up Habit
What do you do when your alarm clock goes off in the morning? Hit the snooze button and go back to sleep? Lay in bed and think about how your life sucks? Jump out of bed immediately and get to your morning routine?
To be honest, not all of us can bolt out of bed every time the alarm goes off. We tend to turn the damned thing off as we ponder whether we should wake or not. There’s always the little voices inside our heads that are constantly debating what we should do.
Do I really need to go to the gym today? What would happen if I sleep a bit longer? The world wouldn’t end, would it?
I even didn’t get enough sleep. Doesn’t sleep deprivation have spooky effects?
Just 10 more minutes, and I’ll be up. Do l really need this job?
These are just normal reactions. There’s no shame or blame in the morning struggles. In fact, according to sleep studies, a whopping 53 percent of people feel ‘awful’ every time the alarm goes off in the morning.
But how do we blast away negative energy and create a positive morning routine? Conquering early morning wakings doesn’t happen overnight. You need to be determined to do better and be better. Baby steps, and you’ll eventually get there.
Also, once you realize waking up early is a battle to be fought on two fronts, your mindset will change.
While the goal is to be consistent, keep things simple. Trying to fit too much in the morning or copy someone else’s routine can be a recipe for disaster. Experiment with a few things to find out what works best for you.
Well, we know stacks of different things you can do as soon as your alarm goes off that can help you win the fight:
- Drink a glass of water –Drinking water first thing in the morning does a lot more than rehydrating your body. It helps fuel the brain and increase your level of alertness. What’s more, it flushes out toxins that store in your body and fires up your metabolism. How about starting your day with a glass of water instead of coffee?
- Stretch your body –Morning stretches can help keep your muscles awake and get them primed for the day. It’s also a great way to release any stress from the previous day. Standing quad, neck, cobra, hip flexor, and knee to chest stretches are perfect for mornings.
- Take deep, slow breaths –it may seem insignificant, but taking deep breaths can increase your energy levels and lift your spirits –only if it’s done with intent. Try doing it for 5-10 minutes every morning, and you’ll see improvement in your sense of being and mental health.
- Meditate –morning meditation practice is another terrific way to kick start your day on a positive vibe. The calmness and clarity can easily change your perspective and makes you look forward to the day ahead. It can be as short as two minutes or as long as ten minutes.
- Write a gratitude list –jotting down what you’re grateful for when you wake up each morning gives you’re a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
- Exercise –it’s an open secret that an early sweat session goes a long way towards making you feel energized throughout the day. Studies also show that it can improve your focus and mood hence giving you an optimistic outlook for the day.
3. Create a Bedtime Routine
Having a bedtime routine helps get you well rested and ready for the next day. While it’s tempting to hit the sack after a long day at work or night out, it might not be a good idea. It’s great to give your brain time to transition into sleep. Spare a few minutes for your routine.
Establishing a sleep ritual is not as hard as you think. But keep in mind what works for your partner may not work for you—it all about personal preferences. Just think of activities that calm you down and stick to them. The key is to keep it simple and relaxing.
Strive to maintain a consistent routine even when you don’t feel like it. Both your mind and body will be grateful. It’s easy to forget about your ritual the first days, so it’s wise to set the alarm as a reminder.
Here are some ideas you can try;
- Take a warm bath or shower
- Wind down with a book
- Do some yoga, deep breathing, or meditation. If you’re religious, prayers will do
- Brew some chamomile, passionflower or herbal tea
- Listen to soothing and calming music
- Write a journal. Always keep a notepad and pen by your bed
- Do some low impact exercises like stretching
- Have a light snack if you feel hungry that is while listening to music or reading
- Consider guided imagery. The trick is to create something within you that completely consumes your thoughts.
- Counting sheep. While this doesn’t work on everyone, it’s an excellent strategy to fall asleep.
- Spend time with your loved ones. If you’re married or in a committed relationship, you can engage in intimate conversations with your significant other. Or spend time with your pet(s).
An individualized bedtime routine takes time to figure out and establish. But after a series of trials and errors, you’ll find what works best for you.
4. Plan for the Day the Previous Night
This could actually be part of your bedtime ritual, but there was a need to expound on it. Planning your day the night before is a trick that only a few know its benefits. We all know planning is the key to success, no matter what we do.
Planning will not only save you time and ease your morning stress but also help you be more productive throughout the day.
This ritual only takes a few minutes. Just think about what you need to do the next day and write it down. It also involves organizing things that you might need for the following day. Here are a few guidelines:
- Choose the next day’s outfit
- Package your lunch /drinks/snacks for the next day
- Choose what to eat for breakfast, then get everything you need and set them on the countertop or in front of the cabinet. A lot of people skip breakfast because of the morning rush, yet it’s an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Get everything ready to go. Pack bags, backpacks, handbags/purse, access card, car keys
- Clean the kitchen so that you can start your day charging ahead
- If exercising is part of your morning routine, choose which workout you need to do
- Take note of upcoming deadlines
- Add reminders for future projects
- Make a list of tasks, meetings, and assignments for the day ahead
5. Have a Reason to Wake Up in the Morning
This is a no-brainer, really. When you have something to look forward to, getting out of bed is much easier. It doesn’t have to be complicated or related to your professional life. Just something that fulfills you and gets you excited.
It could be something simple, like trying a new exercise routine, enjoying a good sunrise, or an interesting activity you recently learned like skating or riding a bike.
What do you love doing? What’s your passion?
What are you good at? We all have our ‘thing,’ what’s yours?
What are the things that make it all worth it?
For some, it is wrapping their arms around their children. Others find joy in seeing the sunrise. Some people have the drive to make the world a better place. Others are passionate about their jobs because it’s something the world needs.
Going for a morning run is what some people need to get through the day, while others have a positive mindset towards life and everything in general.
Some do it for their partners and kids, while for others, it’s all about seizing the day. Some people just love life and want to make the most out of it every single day.
Once you figure out what drives you, waking up early and getting out of bed won’t be a problem for you anymore, even if you’re not a morning person.
6. Make Use of Alarm Clock Apps
These apps are designed to force you to get you out of bed. There are tons of useful alarm clock apps available for both iPhones and Android devices, take advantage of them.
You can try Alarmy Sleep If U Can, FreakyAlarm, or SpinMe.
Things You Should Avoid Doing in the Morning
- Scrolling your phone in bed when the alarm goes off. Spending time in bed can trick your mind to go back to sleep. And once you fall back asleep, you’ll have trouble waking up because your ’25 minutes’ nap can turn into an hour or two. Then you’ll feel groggy all day.
- Not rehydrating. If you want to maintain optimal brain activity and boost your energy, drink water before you leave the house.
- Listening to the wrong kind of music. Find music that motivates you to get out of bed.
- Hitting the snooze button. It disrupts the REM sleep that our bodies need, which ends up disorienting our mind and body. And according to experts, it can affect your health if you make it a habit.