10 ways to wake up earlier

The most successful leaders of the world are early risers. That includes business leaders, leaders of nations, and pop idols. Your brain is most active when you first wake up. Choosing to wake up early improves happiness and health. Despite this, most of us either find excuses or have trouble creating meaningful change.

1) Exercise

The first thing I do every morning is a handstand. Setting a practice of exercising first thing in the morning energizes us for the rest of the day. I also like to apply the law of inertia: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” If the first act of the day is to jump out of bed and do a push up, you’re likely to remain energized throughout the day. Exercise not only makes you feel better in the present moment, but also encourages better choices throughout the day.

2) Start the Night Before

While it’s easy to think our mornings start when we wake up, they really begin the night before. We accumulate stress throughout the day. Taking time to write ideas to remember helps to decrease stress and improve sleep quality.

In addition to nightly writing, quick practices to help improve sleep quality include avoiding large meals, alcohol, digital screens, and sticking to a bedtime.

3) Find Accountability

Without a reason to do something, it becomes difficult to make change.  Having a partner/system to check in with every morning can help to form the habit of early rising. Before 10am every morning I post an article to twitter I found interesting while consuming the daily news along with a description of my takeaway (@sweetmantech).

4) Sleep Consistently

Our sleeping and eating patterns are controlled by our circadian rhythm. As a natural response to sunlight and temperature, our bodies send signals and release chemicals to prepare us for sleep. Circadian rhythm causes our level of wakefulness to rise and dip throughout the day. The best way to improve our circadian rhythm is by setting a consistent bed/wake up time every day. Although individual sleep needs vary, we’ve got some math to help figure out how much sleep you need.

5) Sleep Enough – Sleep Cycle Math

We sleep in 90 minute sleep cycles. Knowing that, each sleep cycle may provide different lengths of time for each stage of sleep. The important thing is to ensure you get enough TIME spent in each STAGE of sleep. Some people may only need 4 sleep cycles to get enough NREM stages 3/4 while I need 5-6 sleep cycles to feel most awake.

6) Get Outside

The amount of light your eyes receive affects your circadian rhythm. Exposure to natural light in the morning not only helps wake us up, but also helps to reset our body’s clock to be more in tune with nature. Camping and exposure to natural light help prime your body for an earlier bedtime.

7) Pavlok – Negative Punishment

If you’re really struggling to get out of bed you can try Pavlovian conditioning. Ivan Pavlov discovered he could create a ‘conditioned response‘ in his dog so it would salivate when he rang a bell. This principle of classical conditioning can be used to incite a ‘conditioned response’ of getting out of bed.

In 2012 Maneesh Sethi created Pavlok, a wristband which provides an electric shock to discourage the wearer from bad behavior. One of Pavlok’s biggest use-cases is to help people get out of bed in the morning.

8) Silence

Laying in bed can often be the only period of inactivity we experience all day. As a result, in the first few minutes our minds often race through the day’s events. This leads to increased activity and stress which prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep. Taking time for silence during the day prioritizes your current state of being. The opportunity to value signals our bodies send us establish clarity and grounding. Examples of silence include meditation, prayer, reading, etc.

9) Affirmations

The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, originally meaning “to make steady, strengthen.” In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill reveals the ability to use affirmations to manifest ideas from ether into reality. Repeating affirmations on a regular basis helps reinforce the ideas we want to become habits. Some sample phrases which help improve sleep quality:

  • “I let go of fear, worry, anger, and blame. I release anxieties and stress. I release the heaviness of today and the weight on my shoulders. I let go of negative thoughts, and keep the happy ones. In my sleep will I find the freedom to know joy and peace again.”
  • “What has happened has been so, and there is no other way I could have or should have let it be. And so, I let it go and I let life be as it is. I forgive the people, I forgive the situation, and I forgive myself. I trust life and I am safe.”
  • “I give myself permission to close my eyes tonight, and awake refreshed tomorrow. I am allowed to drift into a good night’s sleep. My body, mind, and soul are worthy of their rest.”

10) Clean your Room

The cleanliness of your room represents your current mental state. People who make their beds every morning are more likely to regularly report getting a good night’s sleep. Organization creates symmetry. On an atomic level, we are made up of organized systems. Our bodies are well-regulated and well-organized. As a result, we subconsciously seek organization in our daily lives.


Posted by sweetAdmin

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