So lately I have been trying out a new morning routine where I get up at 5AM. I have tried getting up early in the past but I have struggled to be consistent with it. I have never gotten up this early in my life except perhaps to catch a flight! So far it is going well, please see my getting up at 5AM tips below:
Get up at the first alarm: Setting multiple alarms is confusing and it trains your body to not get up and to continue sleeping. If you want to build the discipline to get up early you just have to get up at the first alarm – every time until it becomes a habit.
It takes 66 days to build a habit: According to Robin Sharma, a leading author and life coach, the new research is showing that 30 days is not enough to build a consistent habit and that 66 days is more like it. I have marked day 66 on my calendar and I am going to reward myself in some way when I get there.
Do it every day: It is hard to consistently get up early when you are doing it some days and not others. It has to be a habit that you are building everyday – that includes weekend days also! If you have a late night it is better to take a small afternoon nap or to go to bed earlier the next night.
Get to bed early the night before: Ideally you will start winding down around 8.30 and be in bed by 9 depending on how much sleep you need. I am currently trying to not use the computer in the evening as I find that it keeps my brain active and it is much harder to wind down and sleep earlier. I was finding that the time after 9PM was largely unproductive wasted time anyway. Here is a great calculator that can help to determine your bedtime based on your sleep cycles:
Sleep calculator: http://sleepyti.me/
Timing is everything: Your body goes through important detoxification cycles at different times throughout the day but ideally you should be in a deep sleep by 11PM as your body does most of it’s heavy detoxification of the liver and gallbladder between 11PM – 3AM.
Don’t eat too late: Don’t eat your last meal of the day too late as your body will still be busy digesting food and it will be harder to fall asleep. I also think it is not ideal to have a large meat based meal at the end of the day, if you want to eat meat I would have it at your lunch meal as it is harder for our body to digest and it takes a long time to digest. Fish is the easiest meat for our bodies to digest. I have found since cutting out all meat except fish five years ago I sleep much better and feel much more rested when I get up.
Drink water and exercise as soon as you wake up: Don’t rely on coffee to get you going – have a big glass of water and start with some exercise to wake yourself up. This will help to reset your body and let it know that this is the time it should be awake. As little as 10-20 minutes may be all you need to kickstart your body and brain for the day.
Do you have any more tips? Please feel free to share them below.
(Photo: Kristine Weilert)