Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Dec

7 Tips to Get Out of Bed

yawnYou have the best-laid intentions for your weekend. You’re going to wake up at 6, and before the kids are even halfway through their cartoons, the gutters will be cleared, the garage will be cleaned, and the lawn will be mown.

Right. That’s not happening, thanks to the nefarious invention known as the snooze button. Why is waking up early – or even on time, for that matter – so darn difficult? Even when we go to bed at a reasonable hour and avoid the late-night munchies, some of us have a really hard time waking up as early as we’d like. If you’ve made sure you are eating nutritious foods, cut out stress, gotten into a good exercise routine, and have ruled out a health condition, you might find these tips to be helpful in rousing you from your VIMPS (Very Important Morning Pillow Sessions).

1. Give yourself the command.

This is the simplest, most overlooked key to waking up early (or on time). Simply tell yourself, in a clear, direct manner, that you will wake up at the desired time. Do this right before going to bed. Say it to yourself with conviction and complete focus. You’ll be surprised how effective this simple habit is. You may even find yourself waking before your alarm rings.

2. What’s your mission?

What is your purpose in life? What is your primary mission? Whatever it is, your daily actions are (hopefully) done with your purpose in mind. Waking on time is validating your life’s purpose and giving authority to your dreams, hopes, aspirations and goals. Recognize that this tiny step – waking up – is the first action in a purposeful life. Reinforce it daily.

3. Smile!

Even if you feel like a curmudgeon upon waking, force yourself to smile. While it won’t necessarily make you feel happy, you will feel a little better. Find something to focus your smile’s intention on – a bird chirping, the puppy panting in excitement for the day to begin, or your children knocking on your door.

4. Think of the benefits.

Sometimes a beneficial thing can feel like a chore if we don’t consciously remind ourselves of the benefits. Force yourself to think positively and recount the excellent reasons to wake up early. Just as the exercising battle is won by simply putting on your sneakers, your day’s tasks and challenges are won simply by getting out of bed with promptness and a positive spirit. Think of all you will gain by getting started early. Write the benefits down and keep the list by your bed if necessary.

5. Reward.

If getting out of bed early feels impossible, be generous with yourself for a brief time. Go ahead and reward yourself with whatever indulgence or treat is necessary – a massage at the end of a week of early rising, a hot-fudge sundae for breakfast at the end of a successful week, or a daily evening soak in an herbal-infused tub.

6. Commit to others.

If you can’t find a reason or a reward for yourself, make morning commitments to others that absolutely cannot be broken. Though you might be miserable for a few days, you’ll quickly adjust. As you do, begin to implement positive thoughts and rewards so waking early becomes a joyful thing rather than drudgery.

7. Non-negotiable schedule.

Go for a test run: give yourself a non-negotiable schedule for 30 days. Go to bed and rise at the same time, no matter what. Do not think; just do it. Tell yourself that after a month, you can go back to whatever you were doing before. By the end of the month, you will be completely habituated to your new schedule and it will feel like second nature. Be sure to congratulate yourself!

– Adapted from Today Is That Day

mikeautry1 Flickr Photo (CC)

Further Reading:

Insomnia Sleep Tips

How to Avoid Jet Lag

5 Tips for Better Sleep

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I feel like when I rip my self up out of the bed in the morning I have a much better chance of actually contributing to society.

    Dave Eggers wrote on December 7th, 2007
  2. Fooey!

    Your list is silly! You might as well make a list like this:
    How to Succeed in Business:
    1. Tell yourself to succeed
    2. Give yourself goals and achieve them.
    3. Stick to your plan.
    4. Make lots of money.

    Sure, it would work, but it’s a good deal trickier in the execution, isn’t it? If I had a robot friend, he could commit to a non-negotiable 30-day plan, but I’m not so sure humans work like that. After all, staying up late and being involved with weekend craziness is why we put up with the repetitive predictability of the week, is it not?

    McFly wrote on December 7th, 2007
  3. I disagree with you, McFly. Just because advice isn’t easy, doesn’t mean it’s “silly.” A 30-day schedule is tough, but something to strive for. And number 3 and 5 (smiling, and rewarding) are simple enough to try, though most people have never considered these as part of the wake-up routine.

    As for me, I don’t see Monday through Friday as the “repetitive, predictable” part of my life, I see the weekdays as times for me to work on my goals and my Self. My life is more than weekends.

    Glenda wrote on December 7th, 2007
  4. Yea, the smiling thing sure works for me :) I get so happy when i’m actually out of my bed!
    One little trick that really worked for me was setting my snooze period to 2 minutes (as low as it would go) I’m really amazed at how well that has worked.

    Naomi wrote on December 8th, 2007
  5. for more comprehensive list check http://www.howtowakeupearly.com

    cheers
    Helen

    Helen wrote on December 8th, 2007
  6. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for commenting on my related post ( http://www.geek-fitness.com/2007/12/10/defeat-the-snooze-button/#comment-130 ). Your point 7 is one I completely overlooked – I heard (and can’t remember where) that you need to do something every day for 21 days to make it a habit, and getting up early definitely becomes second-nature quickly if you do so every day.

    Dave

    Dave Child wrote on December 11th, 2007
  7. ..this one is dead easy..make a lighbox using Solux 3500 k 24 degree 50 watt bulb or bulbs..cost you perhaps 30 bucks with the bulb and transformer.

    Put it on a timer and bingo when it wakes it’ll trick you’re brain.

    Listen doubters if it will work in -34 Alberta darker than dark it’s a sho-in.

    All good things, buggers.

    Sinc.

    Simon Fellows

    simon fellows wrote on December 18th, 2007
  8. I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with McFly. As someone who has struggled with this their entire life and tried absolutely everything, I would have to say that this seems a bit unrealistic.

    Mandee wrote on July 9th, 2008
    • Me too, it made no sense, it was more like motivation for staying alive – not getting out of bed in a morning. Maybe it would have been good for someone considering suicide. This helped me http://www.dumblittleman.com/2008/04/7-simple-ways-to-burst-out-of-bed-each.html.
      My plan though, which I thought of before this is to force myself to get up after I have gone back to sleep three times. I don’t need to use an alarm clock because I haven’t got a job to go to. And when I get up to open the curtains immediately and start dancing immediately and yoga maybe. The hardest thing will just be getting out of bed, but it is just forcing yourself because you know your body doesn’t really need that lay-in, it is just accustomed to the lay in.
      I tried doing yoga under the covers to warm up before getting up, but it worked fine the first time, but over time I got lazier at that so it didn’t work. Just jumping out of bed and putting yourself in an assault course is the only way I think will become a strong habit. Any new routine that seems easy the first time, probably isn’t going to keep working.
      I have found in the last few months that getting out of bed is about the most difficult problem I have.

      Geo wrote on March 30th, 2013
  9. What my friend did when he still lived at home, is he had his mum say something like ‘jump technique’ when it was really important for him to wake up at a certain time. If you jump out immediately hell yeah, you’re woken up!

    Otherwise, I have a lamp in my alarm clock that starts lighting up half an hour before you should wake up. And as a last resort you could put some good music on your alarm: Radiohead’s Everything in its Right Place or Broad Daylight by ehm.. google it.

    Angelo wrote on March 25th, 2010
  10. best advice I ever recieved:

    “turn your brain on”

    I like to play a game of solitaire on my iPhone (seriously works a charm).

    if you want to get up at 6:30, set your alarm for 6:20 (on loud), get up to shut it off, force yourself to finish a game.

    Chris wrote on October 20th, 2010
  11. All I had to do to start getting up early was to get completely sick of oversleeping and move my alarm clock to the other side of my room. Once you’re out of bed you’re done unless you do something stupid like get back in.

    Matt wrote on December 6th, 2011
    • That easily failed after a few days for me.

      Geo wrote on March 30th, 2013
  12. The thing that has helped me most with getting into a better bedtime habit is a lightbox. I’m a “night owl” and used to find it very hard to be in bed before 1:00-2:00 a.m., and even then I had to be exhausted in order to drop off to sleep. Now, 30-60 min. of light therapy before 9:00 5-6 days a week, and I’m sleepy much earlier. I don’t always make my new 11:00 p.m. bedtime perfectly, but do manage this several nights a week. Other nights, it’s around midnight or so. Not great, but still better than 1:00-2:00. And, I have no trouble falling asleep. Of course, getting to bed earlier makes getting up at a reasonable time much easier. Especially if I tell myself I can have a nap later. ;)

    Darlene wrote on March 26th, 2012
  13. 9:00 a.m., that should read. For night owls, light therapy needs to be done early in the day in order to properly reset the body’s internal clock.

    Darlene wrote on March 26th, 2012
  14. Waking up is one of the biggest concern and that too early. Your tips are fine but they are not for people like us who despite knowing all these facts still get up late from bed. Overall best tip in my opinion so far is to force yourself early to bed and that is all. Ti becomes difficult to tune up yourself with it but it there is a point. You will remain Fresh through out your day.

    Anya wrote on March 28th, 2012
    • Yeah I kind of agree. There must be something about late March since that was the last comment, and another comment in late March 2010 – well I suppose that is when the clocks move – but I had completely forgot about that and that means it must be happening tonight.
      I think the best way I can think of is to force yourself to get up not necessarily at a certain time – for me I’m going to try to get up after I’ve gone back to sleep two times, and on the third time I wake up to get up – and then to put yourself into an assault course. Let the light in, or go out in the light, drink lots, do intense exercise, make a big meal – just go in complete overdrive mode and the habit will form strongly. Go out for a morning walk – before you have to really go somewhere, even better – a sprint, or a real assault course!

      Geo wrote on March 30th, 2013
  15. I totally love number 3, and found that smiling really does help.

    I’ve actually created a list opposite to this on how to fall asleep fast. Just in case anyone may find it useful, here’s the site: http://fallasleepsnug.com/

    Rahat wrote on March 13th, 2014

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