“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. A man. Hmm. Does it do the same for a woman though? Well, that is a question for another day. Today we are going to talk about trying to inculcate that sweet, sweet habit of waking up early in the morning but almost always failing to do so.
While you may have tried all the tricks in the book, you still find yourself groaning and hitting the snooze button on that nasty alarm every morning, only to realize that you have woken up a tad too late (seriously girls, waking up at 9am when you have work in an hour is not cool).
So what do you do? Well, what you need to focus on is not what you’re doing right, but what you’re doing wrong.
Yep, despite doing everything right and telling yourself a thousand times that – “I am going to be up with the sunrise tomorrow!”–You are still probably going to see midday sunrays if you continue making the following mistakes.
Here are six mistakes you should avoid if you truly wish to wake up early in the morning!
1. Flooding Your Room With All Sorts Of Light
When it comes to waking up early in the morning, there’s just one formula that works- light bad, dark good. As rudimentary as that may sound, it actually works! This means if you want to hear the early morning birds chirping, you will have to stop making the mistake of bringing various light sources into your room.
Your body naturally induces a state of sleepiness when your eyes do not catch light rays from anywhere. The darkness signals to your brain that it is naptime, which lulls you into acomfortably deep slumber. This means putting away your smartphone, tablet, laptop or any other device for at least a good hour before you sleep. These gadgets are known to be the worst enemies of sleep(1).
2. Hitting That Much-Beloved Snooze Button
The alarm clock might be a nemesis for you that you’d rather defeat in true superhero style but it comes with a very handy redeeming quality – the snooze button. While hitting that thing may give you immense pleasure (and buy you those extra 15 minutes), tapping it is actually not a good idea. By dozing off again, you would most likely end up in deep sleep, after which waking up early will become impossible.
The best thing to do in such a case is to set your alarm for that exact time when you have no option but to wake up. That way your body will be able to adjust itself to a regular timetable. However, to do that you need willpower, so make sure you toughenup!
3. Skipping The First Meal Of The Day
Did you know that there is a concrete connection between having your breakfast and your sleep cycle? In fact, skipping this first meal of the day might be the reason why you don’t feel like waking up and consequently end up getting up too late (2)! The logic here is that breakfast helps set your body clock in motion. It helps your body clock to start counting down hours till it is time to sleep again. If you skip breakfast and move on straight to lunch, your body will get confused regarding how many hours it should wait before sleeping again. Hence, it increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which induces wakefulness (3).
4. Having An Unhealthy Dinner Feast
This one is a big no-no if you want to wake up early. Having a greasy, heavy meal and topping it up with a dessert can delay your sleep cycle, especiallyif you consume foods that are high on the glycemic index such as cakes and pizzas (4). If you want to indulge in such heavy foods, make sure you eat them 5 hours before bedtime.
5. Not Having A Proper Timetable
Your body will naturally always desire to stick to a particular timetable, which is known as its ‘circadian rhythm’. If you try to disrupt this rhythm by sleeping at different times each day, you will never be able to wake up early. Also you will feel extremely drowsy and tired. It isimportant you always go to bed at the same time.
6. Taking A Warm Shower
Warm showers maybe soothing after a long hard day but they can mess up your body temperature and make it impossible to fall asleep. Your body temperature drops naturally after 10pm, which helps in regulating the right temperature for sleeping(5). If you increase it with a warm shower, you would be tossing and turning a lot. Best thing to do? Take a warm bath only when there is enough time to cool off before you head to bed.
So if you really want to wake up early, make sure you never make the above mistakes. Following these basic rules will make it easier for you to become an early riser. Best of luck!