Confession: I am old. Well…when it comes to sleep that is. I currently try to be in bed between 9 and 10 each night, and up sometime between 5 and 6. I know, some people look at me like…
But waking up with the day has its major benefits. Now do I do this everyday? Hail to the no. Saturday…my love, Saturday…I sleep in. Sometimes until like 9. And when I’m on vacation, game over. Vacations are made for sleeping in. But right now I work at one of those places where the earlier you go, the earlier you can leave. So that surely has its benefits. Plus, I’m one of those crazies who would prefer to get my workout done in the morning. Sometimes that’s just a 20 minute walk with the dog, and sometimes it’s boot camp mixed with other things. But one thing’s for sure…I don’t like to rush. I like to be early and on time (my family can attest to this), and so waking up early just kind of works for me.
So, here are my tips for getting up and getting the day started early. And maybe if you’re up, you could add a little workout. Why not? You’ve got time!
1. Get some sleep the night before. This shouldn’t be underestimated. Sleep is awesome. You know that awesome feeling in the morning when you don’t want to get out of bed? Just think of that when you’re watching TV that you don’t care about. Move-self-to-bedroom. It’s-not-easy-argh-ugh-but-must-turn-off-t-v. The Real Housewives and Jeff Lewis will all be there tomorrow. So will the Property Brothers. Probably the same episode too. Put down the remote.
2. Don’t eat a few hours before bed. You’ll be more inclined to get up in the morning if you’re a little hungry. If I go to bed at ten, I try to eat dinner around seven and maybe a little snack or glass of wine after dinner. When I get up at 6 or before, I am hungry.
3. Read before bed. Or meditate or whatever floats your boat. Listen to music. Do sometime relaxing that isn’t electronic. Put away your phone and your iPad. Tuck away the Kindle. Pick up a good ol’ fashion book and read–it makes your eyes sleepy and allows your brain time to unwind. I really like reading at bedtime, and I like it more and more the older I get. It’s like prepping yourself for awesome-dream-world. (Unless you’re reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series…then you’re setting yourself up for weird-trippy-dream-world.)
4. Don’t SNOOZE. It’s not very good for you to snooze 1,500 times. Yes, I admit, we all do it sometimes, and I end up feeling like crap when I do that. Chances are, I snooze right on until I’m almost late for work and then I’m mad at myself and stressed out. No time to eat. No workout. Sometimes no shower. Not a happy Bean. Not a good way to start the day.
5. Put your alarm/phone across the room. This works well when you sleep with a partner or even have a roommate because you have someone else saying, “turn that damn alarm off!” Accountability is key, right?
6. Sleep in a sports bra–and running shorts if that’s comfortable for you. Or yoga pants. Whatever. You’ll be more inclined to get up and get moving if it doesn’t involve a lot of thinking. Sure, getting dressed shouldn’t require as much thought as it does, even at 6 am, but well…it does. So plan ahead. If that’s not comfortable for you, lay your clothes out the night before so you’re ready to go! (ps: secret about me- in elementary school, I used to sleep in my school uniform–a clean one–so that in the morning I got to just pop up and then I got to watch Saved by the Bell for a longer amount of time. WINNING.)
7. You are awake. I think. Maybe still sitting in bed but eyes are open. Now drink a big ol’ glass of water. Or even water with lemon. I like setting this out the night before so that in the morning the water is room temperature, which makes it easier for chugging.
8. You did it! You’re physically out of bed! Now have a quick sip of coffee or espresso shot. Or a sip of green tea. Whatever your forte may be. Not a whole cup at this point, just a jump-start. The tip here? Program your coffee maker the night before. David does this every night and it is such a treat to get up like you live in a Folgers commercial. Except not Folgers because it’s bland. We live in an 8 O’Clock Coffee commercial, and it rules.
9. Get a partner. I can’t tell y’all how lucky I feel to have a husband that want’s to get up and be active with me. (HINT TO SINGLE FOLKS UNRELATED TO THE SLEEPING HINTS: Find a partner who matches you’re priorities. It makes life easier when you agree about things like, “eating right is good for me” and “being physically active is important”). David and I almost always get up together to walk the dog or do yoga or go running. It helps because you’re not alone when it’s dark outside, and it also helps because someone else is holding you accountable.
10. Last tip, exercise. That’s right. Full circle here people. Exercise when you wake up and you feel energized and awake afterwards. It’ll also help you sleep the next night because your body will need that down time to recoup. If you only have 20 minutes, go on a walk. Hey–if you only have 5 minutes, do some push-ups and jumping jacks. (PS: depending on height and weight, you burn 2-4 calories PER jumping jack! So do 200 jumping jacks–or 4 sets of 50–and you burned 100 calories! In like 5 minutes!) Sure, if you have an hour and 20 minutes, go on a walk/run/bike ride and then do some yoga/strength training/weights/crunches whatever when you get home. Get you’re heart pumping and then come back shower, eat and get ready for the day! It’s like 8 am and you already worked out and ate breakfast! Think of how much you’ve accomplished in this day already! Good job, you!
Any other early risers out there have any tips?