How to Wake Up Early (Without Relying On An Alarm!)

Waking up can be a really difficult thing for us, humans, to do. When we are healthy, our sleep is deep and it lasts a long time. It can be hard to rise from the depths and feel alert early in the morning. But for some of us, it is required for our jobs or schools. Not everyone has the luxury of a lie-in. Many things will contribute to how easily you get up in the morning.

Some of the most important factors are our natural rhythms, the way we get ourselves awake, and our motivations for trying to get up earlier. We will look into each of these and more in this article. It’s no good to be getting up and feeling tired all day or starting to feel drained by 5 pm. There are a few different things that you can do to adjust to rising early.

How to Wake Up Early: The Science

According to research, the average person needs between 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. This can be slightly different for each individual. In fact, 10 percent of the population falls outside of this completely, with 5% needing around 6 hours, and 5% needing 9 hours to feel totally rested.

The absolute golden rule of getting enough sleep while still rising early is to go to bed at the right time. Make sure that you are getting the right amount of shut-eye. You can probably guess whether you run on less, average or more sleep by looking at how much you sleep naturally when you aren’t woken up artificially by alarms.

If you do not let your body have the sleep it dearly needs, then you will rack up a lot of ‘sleep debt’. This is bad for you when it comes to your performance at work or school . You will have a lower ability to learn new things and will be more susceptible to bad moods and crankiness. The effects of chronic sleep deprivation can also be far-reaching, contributing to cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes, and weight problems.

9 Tips For Waking Early & Preserving Your Health

Here are some tips for making the switch from morning grogginess to morning freshness. Use the ones that work the best for you.

1. Ease Yourself In

When you take your normal schedule and turn it on its head, the effects could be quite negative for a couple of weeks. Big changes need easing in. Bring your waking time forward by 15 minutes each week until you reach your desired rising time. Make sure that you are also bringing forward your nightly bedtime! Without the right amount of sleep, you will not be able to continue your new habit for long.

2. Sleep Schedule

Make a sleep schedule and keep to it. Set a time for bed, and a time for waking up. Having a plan is proven to increase the chances of the habit sticking. Having a schedule for sleep that is consistent (even on weekends!) helps your body to adapt.

3. Set Rewards

If you want to want to wake up in the mornings, then set yourself a reward for doing so. You have to bait the hook to suit the fish here. Think of something that you love (for me its drawing, reading or exercise). Make sure that you make time for that thing in the morning after you wake up.

4. Stop Drinking Coffee

Not forever, just in the afternoons and evenings. Generally, you should have your last cup of coffee before 4 pm if you don’t want it to adversely affect your sleep. Bad quality sleep leads to more tiredness, and thus, makes it harder to get up in the morning.

5. Use An Alarm (With a Trick)

There are numerous apps in any app store that help with getting up in the morning. Those that do not turn off until you have figured out the solution to a math question, or solved a puzzle are good options if you’re not at risk of annoying the person you sleep with.

Alternatively, you can set up a silent alarm on your Fitbit or other fitness trackers. Force yourself to get out of bed by placing the alarm in your hallway or in the closet on the highest shelf. Of course, for youngsters it might be worth investing in a budget alarm clock for them to use, as it can be unfair to expect kids to adhere to a strict schedule.

6. Accountability

For some of us, a big motivator to do the things we say we will do is to tell someone we are going to do them. Tell your partner or friends to hold you accountable for not getting up in the morning if you fail to do so.

7. Electronics at Night – Switch It Off

The blue light from our electronics has proven to mess with our daily rhythms. Your body mistakes the blue light for light from the sun at midday (that has a lot of blue in it). Evening sun has less blue and more red light in it, and in normal circumstances, our brains would register this and adjust our clock to fit the evening time. The brain registering the blue light from our screens in the evening results in a bad quality of sleep and difficulty getting to sleep in the first place.

8. Remember Your Motivation

In the morning before you turn off that alarm, think about what your motivation is for getting up early. Remind yourself many times during the day of all the benefits that you will reap from this adjustment. Listen to podcast episodes that underpin these ideas. Complete immersion will allow you to get into the right mindset.

9. Use a Sleep Cycle Recognition Tool

There are many gadgets and apps out there that recognize from your movements, breathing, and heartbeat whether you are in REM sleep or not. If you are woken during the REM stage of your sleep, you will likely feel tired and annoyed. To combat this, you can purchase a smartwatch, fitness watch or app that can track your sleep cycle and adjust your morning alarm to wake you at the most optimal time in the cycle. These are probably some of the most valuable tools for waking refreshed and energized.


The above are just starting points. It also takes self-control and effort to change the habits of a lifetime. In my experience, by far the most effective tool to help you wake up earlier is a device that can adjust alarms to sleep cycles. Fitness watches can do this and wake you with a silent, vibrating alarm so that if there is anyone in bed with you, they will not be disturbed from their beauty sleep.

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