Anyone who has ever woken up early cannot deny the productivity gains of doing so. By waking up hours before work or school starts, individuals can participate in a number of activities without rushing. They might use the time to work out, enjoy a book, watch a television program, check emails, work on homework, or just enjoy a cup of coffee while the sun rises. Since the benefits of early rising are so great, it is puzzling why more people do not get up earlier. The truth is many people simply do not know how to wake up earlier.
Waking up at an earlier time seems like an easy task to accomplish. If someone wants to wake up an hour earlier, they can set their alarm for that time. A strange thing happens when the alarm goes off, though. Suddenly, the person no longer feels it is important to wake early. They rationalize a few more minutes sleep, roll over, hit the alarm a few times, and wake up much later. Even those with a great deal of will power in other areas of their life have a hard time conquering the snooze-button habit.
Many people think they can conquer their morning alarm battle by going to bed earlier. If they usually get seven hours of sleep, they simply count backwards from their anticipated waking time. If they want to wake at 6:00 a.m., they go to bed at 11:00 p.m. The problem with this strategy is that going to bed is not the same thing as going to sleep. If a person is not tired at 11:00 p.m., but they force themselves to lie in bed for an hour, they are wasting an entire hour that could be spent doing something else. Wasted time through an unnatural bedtime defeats the purpose of gaining time by trying to wake early.
The best way to learn how to wake up earlier is to force a habit of getting out of the bed when the alarm goes off, not force a habit of going to bed at a certain time. Individuals should go to bed when they are sleepy. The body may require different amounts of sleep on different days. After a few days of hiking, the body may need more rest than it does when days are spent in an office, for example. Allowing the body to regulate the amount of sleep one gets is much more productive than rolling around in bed for hours. If enough sleep is not gained in one night, the body will likely prompt sleep earlier the next night.
Regardless of when someone goes to bed, they should wake up at the same time each day. While the habit is being ingrained, they should set their alarm even on weekdays. When the alarm goes off, they should immediately rise from the bed and begin their day. Immediately putting clothing on helps solidify the waking experience. Lounging in pajamas can tempt someone to return to the comfortable bed for a few more minutes. Although it may be hard to learn how to wake up earlier, the more someone practices getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, the easier it will be. After several months, it will be more difficult to stay in bed than to get up and get moving!