It’s 4 AM, you wake up, and go to the bathroom. Looking at your alarm clock you think to yourself, “people really get up at this time?” And then you close your eyes for another 2… maybe 3 hours.
But yes, people actually get up at 4, 4:30, and 5 AM every single day! But why?!
Household names like Apple CEO Tom Cook, Oprah Winfrey, and Michelle Obama all get up before 6 AM.
I’m not saying that waking up before 6 AM is going to make you a millionaire or a genius, but waking up early in the morning will allow you to get more done during the day.
If you have been wanting to wake up early in the morning, have attempted and failed at waking up early, or just simply want more time in your day you’ll want to read every inch of this blog post.
Today I will be sharing with you 7 actionable tips to help you wake up early in the morning.
*This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing a product or service through an affiliate will earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. Please read our Disclaimer Policy for more information about the use of affiliate links on this site.
Tip #1: Wake up progressively earlier
Getting your mind and body to wake up early in the morning can take awhile.
Sure maybe one day you wake up at 4 AM and have already worked out for the day, replied to your emails, got showered, got dressed, and had breakfast by 6 AM, but most likely your body won’t want to do it again the next day.
Rushing into waking up early in the morning can lead to burnout quickly. A better approach is to slowly introduce your mind and body to the 4 AM alarm. To do this, start by waking up at your normal time for a week.
You need to be consistent and disciplined for this to work. Waking up at 6 AM every morning is better than waking up at 6 AM on Monday, then 6:30 AM on Tuesday, and then 5 AM on Wednesday. Your body needs to get into a predictable routine.
After the first week of waking up at your normal time push it back by 10 to 15 minutes. So now instead of a 6 AM alarm, you push it back to 5:45 or 5:50 AM.
Keep pushing back your wake up time week by week until you get to your goal wake up time. If you want to get up at 4 AM, but normally get up at 6 AM, it will take you a few weeks to get yourself adjusted, but that’s ok. You are giving your mind and body time to adjust to this new routine.
Here’s an example weekly wake up schedule you could follow:
Tip #2: Find your morning motivator
If you are already not a morning person, it can be hard to change your night owl ways. However, you can change your attitude towards mornings by finding a motivator that makes you want to wake up early in the morning.
Whether it is your favorite freshly brewed hot (or iced) coffee, herbal tea, your favorite news channel, a podcast, a workout class, journaling, or bible study–add this motivator to your morning routine and only allow yourself to enjoy it in the mornings.
For example, every morning when my 4 AM alarm goes off I get up knowing that my reward is a freshly brewed cup of hot coffee with creamer. Yummy!
Tip #3: Find your why–why the heck do you want to get up so early?
I don’t think anyone is loving the 4 AM alarm clock or is raving about it to their colleagues at work. When I tell people I wake up at 4 AM they just call me crazy and tell me to go back to bed.
At the end of the day, waking up early in the morning is something you do for yourself. But to consistently wake up early in the morning and to make it part of your routine you have to have a reason or a “why” behind it.
Your “why” can be anything. It doesn’t matter how simple or complex it is and it can be ever-changing based on your current season of life.
Personally, my “why” to waking up early in the morning (for me its 4:30 AM, but recently 4 AM) is to have alone time before my day gets started. As an introvert, I get pretty exhausted even from the thought of interacting with people and I need the opportunity to charge up before work.
I also use this alone time to get work done outside of my 9-5 job, like working on editing vlogs for my YouTube channel, working on my blog (I’m writing this sentence at 5:05 AM), or prepping/studying for my graduate school program.
Tip #4: Go to bed earlier
The quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” sums up this tip perfectly!
If you want to wake up early in the morning, you need to go to bed early! By going to bed early you are able to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep and wake up feeling well-rested.
There is NO WAY waking up early can be sustainable long-term if you are going to bed at midnight only to have to wake up 4 or 5 hours later.
Tip #5: Place your alarm clock out of arms reach
If you’re anything like me, your phone is your alarm clock. Having your phone be your alarm clock can make waking up early in the morning challenging because at night all you want to do when your eyes grow heavy is set your phone on your nightstand by your bed, right next to you as you sleep, or on the floor.
All three of these scenario places your alarm clock aka your phone within arms reach. And if your alarm clock is within arms reach it is easy to hit the dreaded “snooze” button unless you are self-disciplined.
But let’s face it, your bed is so cozy the moment that alarm clock goes off, so what harm could a 5-minute snooze do? Until it is an hour later…
To resolve this problem you either need to:
- Have a designated place for your phone that’s out of arms reach
- Ditch your phone as your alarm and use an alarm clock and place it out of arms reach–like on your dresser across the room
For option #1, you’ll need to stop using your phone before bed or muster up the energy to crawl out of bed to place your phone out of arms reach. Personally, the healthier choice is to stop using your phone before bed and placing your phone out of arms reach.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends discontinuing the use of electronic devices 30-minutes before bed. This is because the blue light being emitted by your phone can alter your body’s natural sleep and wake cycles. Blue light keeps you and your body more alert, and thus making it harder to fall asleep.
Option #2 does cost money if you have always used your phone as an alarm clock. However, purchasing an alarm clock can help you separate your sleep life from your phone.
There are some pretty neat, functional alarm clocks on the market today. Some are even able to simulate the natural sunset and sunrise. I wish I had that as a kid!
Tip #6: Take mid-day naps as needed
When you trying to wake up early in the morning your body will feel tired. It’s not used to this new routine and neither are you. If needed, take a midday nap on the couch.
However, try to not nap for too long. In reference to tip #4, you need to go to bed early enough to get enough sleep so you can wake up early. If you nap for too long it may be hard for you to fall asleep later. If you need to nap, take a 30-minute power nap in the early afternoon.
Tip #7: Aim to create a routine over spontaneity
Understandably, there will be times in our lives when waking up at the crack of dawn is the only option. Whether it is to catch an early morning flight, an unexpected fire alarm that accidentally got set off, or an early morning meeting across town–you are bound to have to wake up before your normal time.
However, if you want to wake up early in the morning and make it a long-term habit you need to aim to make it a routine rather than be spontaneous and unintentional about it.
By making waking up early in the morning an intentional goal in your life and creating an early morning routine you are allowing your body to become accustomed to this new lifestyle. Your body and mind love routine!
Recall the last time your routine got thrown off–didn’t it stress you out?! Waking up early one morning, sleeping in the next, and waking early again the next two days will stress your body out!
Take some time to construct a plan detailing how you will wake up early in the morning by using the tips mentioned above.
Here’s how you can go about it:
- Decide or determine your goal wakeup time
- Decide or determine your why for waking up early
- Start to incrementally push back your wakeup time by 10 to 15 minutes every week or morning (see tip #1)
- Allow yourself to indulge in your morning motivator–like making a hot cup of coffee or tea and enjoy it as you go about your morning routine
- Track your habit of waking up early in the morning by journaling or utilizing a habit tracker
- Stay in tune with your body and adjust as needed
- Be forgiving of yourself while developing this new routine of waking up early–it’s not as easy as it looks!
Concluding thoughts on how to wake up early in the morning
Waking up early in the morning can be a wonderful way to give yourself more time to focus on yourself, your hobby or side hustle, or just simply get more done. However, it can be difficult to actually get yourself out of bed.
In today’s blog post we discussed 7 actionable tips to help you wake up early in the morning. Hopefully, you found these tips helpful and inspiring!