50 Ways to Wake Up Early and Start Your Day Fresh

I’ve always dreamed of becoming an early riser, because I perceive it as the habit of champions and difference makers.

I believe those who rise early can accomplish much more than normal people. There is something magical about the early morning that boosts your productivity and focus. It improves your mode, balances your day and sets you up for a fresh start.

Cat Li Stevenson of Think Simple Now beautifully expressed the magic of waking up early as follows:

“There is a sense of peace and belonging in waking up before most of the world. There is an abundance of clarity and creativity that waits for me at 5 a.m. This routine of wellness-waking–as I like to call it–has brought tremendous energy and gratitude to each day.”

As you know, dreaming is something and manifesting your dreams is something else.

I’ve always found it to be very challenging to wake up early. I don’t wake up too late, normally at 8:30 or 9:00 am. However, my dream was to join the tribe that rise at 4:00 am!

That was quite challenging to me.

So, I’ve done some researches on the topic of “How To Wake Up Early” and in this post I would like to share with you 50 ways that I have found the most useful to help you wake up early and fresh.

Under each group of tips, I will add a link to the source where I first found about the tips. If you would like to read more about how to implement a certain tip, just click on the source link to find out more.

At the end of the post, I will share with you the tips that I actually applied and helped me achieve my dream of waking up early.

I now wake up around 4:30 am EVERYDAY :)

Here are 50 ways to help you wake up early and start your day fresh

1. Don’t make drastic changes: start by waking 15-30 minutes earlier than usual, then gradually cut back more minutes, until you get to your goal time.

2. Sleep earlier: To get enough sleep. Makes sense!

3. Put your alarm clock far from your bed: This way you’ll have to get up out of bed to shut it off. Now, you are up and all what you need to do is to stay up.

4. Force yourself to go out of the bedroom as soon as you shut off the alarm: Don’t go back to bed for any reason and reject any self talk that tries to convince you to do so. Don’t rationalize. You know that voice that always tells you to stay in bed for another 10 mins.

5. Find something pleasurable to do when you wake up: like reading, writing, listening to music, exercising, watching a movie, watching the sunrise or meditating, or even playing video games.

6. Take advantage of the extra time: Between 4 am and 7 am you can accomplish much more than many people do the entire day. It’s a super productive period. Try to finish the important tasks first or maintain useful habits like exercising.

7. Enjoy the break of dawn: It’s the most quiet and peaceful moment of the day.

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8. Go To Bed And Get Up At The Same Time Every Day: your body will handle it more easily if you keep the same circadian rhythm.

9. Give A Promise To Wake Up Early: Works best with your family members, friends, etc. Show everyone you can stand behind your words!

10. It Takes 3 Weeks To Make A Habit: 3 weeks are enough for building an early wake up habit. Don’t worry, you won’t feel uncomfortable waking up early till the end of your life! Just commit that you’re going to do it no matter what in the next 3 weeks.

11. Let The Music Wake You Up: Set your alarm device to play your favorite song and set the time of alarm. What could be a better way to wake up?

12. Take A Nap In The Afternoon: It’s recommended that you sleep for no more than 30 minutes, or you will feel drowsy after waking up.

13. Sleep With Fresh Air: Open a window or take a walk outside before going to sleep. This will increase the oxygen level  in your body and hence enjoy a deep sleep and a refreshed wake up.

14. Ask Someone Who Wakes Up Early To Wake You Up: You feel as you have to get up because you don’t want that person to think they wasted their time on you and think you’re looser.

15. Create A Reward System For Yourself: reward yourself with something you want (like buying a new piece of cloth or gadget), if you could wake up early everyday for 3 weeks straight.

16. Do Not Eat Before Going To Bed: Have a light snack 2 hours before sleep time the latest. You can’t fully sleep while your organs stay awake digesting food.

17. Have Something Important To Wake Up For (or a good reason to wake up): It will play as a strong compelling reason to take yourself out of the bed.

18. Use Multiple Alarm Clocks:  Here is a brilliant trick: use 2 alarm clocks, and put your second alarm clock in another room. The need to turn it off before it starts waking up the whole family automatically becomes your “next action” to do as soon as first alarm goes off. You’ll get off the bed quickly because you know in 5 minutes another alarm clock in another room will go off, and that’s not what your family will appreciate.

19. Practice Waking Up: That’s a wild trick by Steve Pavlina. He suggests that you practice waking up like you do with any other skill you want to learn. During the day set the conditions as close as possible to what they are when you go to sleep at night. Set your alarm for a few minutes ahead and practice standing up when the alarm goes off. Your goal is to put your subconscious mind to work. Alarm goes off – you stand up. Alarm goes off – you stand up. Rinse and repeat.

20. Create a morning ritual that is easy to follow: Your goal is to program yourself to follow a plan that will make your morning pleasurable and productive. Example, wake up at 4:00 am, pray, read for an hour, when the sun rises go for a 15 minute walk around the block, take a shower, write, eat breakfast, go to work.

21. Avoid Alcohol, Tobacco And Caffeine: If you can’t avoid some of these stimulants completely then at least try to avoid them in the evening within 4-6 hours of bedtime.

22. Use a glass of water: Put a glass of water near your alarm clock (make sure to put an alarm clock far enough from your bed, otherwise you can hit the glass of water) and drink the water first thing as you wake up. This will awaken your body’s sleeping organs.

23. Don’t sleep in for long hours in the weekends: it breaks your sleeping pattern and your body clock will not like it.

24. Start Your Morning With A Puzzle: What a wild trick. Put your alarm clock in a place where it can’t be easily turned off. For example, bring a chair, put an alarm clock high on the cabinet, then put your chair back into another room.

25. Create right associations: According to Tony Robbins, “We are all driven by the need to avoid pain, and the desire to gain pleasure.” Create a list of pleasures associated to waking up early and another list of pains associated to NOT waking up early.

26. Track Your Early Wake Up Progress: Put a calendar on the wall and mark every day when you wake up early. As you see your achievements, you’ll be inspired to continue the habit.

27. Understand Sleep Mechanics: Knowledge is power. When you understand more about sleep mechanics, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions. The most important thing about sleep mechanics is that we sleep in cycles of around 90-110 minutes each. A good time to wake up is at the end of each cycle. So try to adjust your alarm to turn on a the end of a sleeping cycle. For example, to wake up at 4:00 am, you have to sleep at 10:00 pm to have 4 cycles of sleep approximately. Or try setting your alarm an hour and a half before you have to get up, then resetting it to the proper time when it goes off. You should wake up more alert, since you have finished a complete sleep cycle.

28. Advertise Your Early Wake Up Habit: A good trick is to start a blog and record your progress so that you friends and family can monitor you.

29. Wake Up And Smile! That’s it.

30. Start Your Day Well: Replace any negative thoughts or thinking about problems by something pleasant and optimistic. What could be better than reading a good inspiring book.

31. Wake Up With the Sun: As soon as the alarm goes off, expose yourself to a bright light (ideally – to sun light) and you won’t get back to bed again!

32. Avoid Sleeping Pills: Sleeping pills depress the central nervous system, and their effect may extend after you wake up.

33. Strike with Overwhelming Force: Use several or ALL the tips shared in this post all at once! It’s fun to try.

34. Change your sleeping pattern in one day: This is the opposite of “Don’t make drastic change” tip. It works well for some personality types who are only motivated when they see faster results and flexible or used to abrupt changes.

35. Set Your Alarm for Bedtime: This will remind you to leave anything you do and go to bed. The leftovers can make a good compelling reason to wake up early to finish them.

36. No Snooze Ever! It is very stressful. You neither get up or get good sleep. 10 more minutes of sleep isn’t going to make you any less tired.

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37. Remove the option completely: Schedule meetings or deadlines early in the mornings.

38. Have a similarly motivated buddy: You’ll help each other to stay motivated and on track.

39. Experiment: Review your progress and see what works and what don’t. Experiment different tips and see what was easy and did the job for you. Keep experimenting different wake up time or going to bed time until you find a healthy balance you can sustain.

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40. Make your bedroom a partner:  A great bed, better pillow textures and form, and comfortable sheets will help you sleep better and deeper.

41. Dress right at night: Wear something comfortable and at the same time appropriate with the weather condition and your body’s temperature.

42. Sleep happy: End your day with a positive note. Never go to sleep with a negative last thought in your mind.

43. Get extra clothes ready for waking up: If it is cold be prepared with a thicker coat to wear when you wake up.

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44. Get into a routine at night that winds you down: Like the morning routine, have a night routine that helps your body relax.

45. Don’t go on the computer: or play video games at least 2 hours before you go to bed.

46. Eat a bit of yogurt or protein when you wake up to stimulate your mind.

47. Hot/Cold shower: Get a hot shower in the morning, and end it with a little bit cold shot. This will shock your body and often will help you wake up.

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48. Prioritize: You won’t be able to get things done as you’re used to. So, prioritize your tasks during the evening, so that you start your day out doing the most important tasks first thing in the morning.

49. Prepare for tomorrow morning: Try to do as much during the evening to allow for an easy, hassle-free wake up.

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50. Stop Believing The Myths: There’s nothing like a “morning” or “night person”. Human bodies can adapt to anything. You just have to be consistent until you develop the habit.

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Please feel free to add your tips or highlight the tips that worked out for you in the comments section below.

Here are the tips that worked for me

1. Put the alarm clock far from bed.

2. Go to bed early. I usually go to bed around 10:30 pm

3. Follow the 90-minute sleeping cycle. I now wake up in a much better state than before. Before I know about this scientific fact, I found it very hard to wake up when the alarm rings in the middle of the sleeping cycle.

4. Advertise my early wake up habit. Since I’m writing a blog post about waking up early, so I had to walk my talk first. Also, I advertised the habit among my friends and associates.

5. Find something important to wake up for. I wake up at 4:30 am to pray. This spiritual activity provides me with a compelling reason to get out of bed everyday at such an early time. However, if I didn’t have a pleasurable morning ritual, most probably I would have fallen asleep after praying. So…

6. Have a pleasurable morning ritual. Mine is wake up at 4:30 am, pray, read for an hour, do breathing meditation, when the sun rises I go for a walk around the block, come back and take a hot shower, write for an hour or more, when my family wakes up we eat our breakfast together, then I start working on my blogging and speaking business.

7. Take an afternoon nap. It is magical and gives me an energy boost for the rest of the day.

8. This is a bonus tip (It is not mentioned in the 50 ways above)! It is based on my personal experience and it usually works like a magic. I call it the Mental Wake Up Alarm. The trick is to give your mind an order to wake you up at a certain time. Then, visualize the alarm clock ringing at the desired time and see yourself getting up out of bed fresh and happy. This trick works almost every time with me. Just give yourself enough time to visualize before you go to sleep. Try it today and let me know the result.

 

What tips have worked for you and what extra tips can you share with us to enrich the conversation?

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20 Responses to 50 Ways to Wake Up Early and Start Your Day Fresh

  1. heavy sleeper April 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Very good tips. Try to upgrade your alarm clock or to use the sun light as your alarm clock.

    Thanks Mohamed

    • Mohamed Tohami April 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      Thanks :) I like using the sun light as the alarm clock!

  2. Evan May 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    I really appreciate this compilation of great tips. I struggle with this and think it is important to count the cost of the change before you attempt to start anything new. If you think you can just dive right in without realizing the sacrifices and changes you have to make, then it will be very hard.

    I also heard about a wake up light that emulates sunlight so that instead of an alarm clock you have a light that slowly gets brighter to wake you up. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds like a great idea!

    • Mohamed Tohami May 5, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      That sounds like a very innovative product. It think it will make waking up a great pleasure :)

  3. Archana September 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Very well written post. Will follow it. The most effective tip is remind urself of the benefits that you can avail of if you wake up early.

    • Mohamed Tohami September 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks a lot. I’m glad you like it. Waking up early gives life a different meaning :)

  4. jaylaxmi March 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Hey, i have bad sleep pattern in fact abnormal sleep pattern. I sleep for 14-22 hours a day. I only sleep through the day i wake up at evening. I try so hard to wake up early at least on normal timings. It is just so impossible for me. Please tell me what can be done to wake up early?

    • Sumit May 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Try to know whats causing u to take such long sleeps.! Consult your doctor. Hope it will definitely help you. And don’t you have any work to do? lol

  5. Sumit May 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Thanks for sharing these great tips. Actually, many people know some of these tips,but what hinders them from getting up is less interest in life/daily work.

  6. PoojaRam July 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Well written post, I developed a habit of waking up early because of my boyfriend, He loved long walks in the morning and i used to get up and go outside just to meet him. Finally that habit developed, now my eyes open automatically at 6 in the morning!!!!

    • Mohamed Tohami July 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      Interesting! Walking in the morning and smelling the fresh breeze is awesome!

  7. melinda bohun November 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    everyday when l wake up during the middle of the night at 5.50 everyday or week and weekends too. l always wake up l’m a light sleeper at night here is melinda ‘s rountine
    1 wake up at 5.50 every morning before dawn
    2 go to the toliet and empty out your blooder
    3 weigh yourself every morning
    4 have a hot cuppa tea
    5 have a bath or a shower get yourself clean every day
    6 put on clean clothes
    7 most important of the day is the meal of the day ”is Breakfust Very Very Very Important of the day
    8 start my day doing housework all the time .

  8. Archana November 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    51st way to wake up early, read this blog post before going to bed :-)

  9. Meghan Sweeney November 14, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    What if u have your window covered and can’t use the sunlight as your alarm then what do you do

  10. Ethan December 15, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    Wow, 50 great reasons, good job. I found making it a challenge worked best for me.

    http://keystooptimalliving.com/6-am-challenge-the-benefits-of-waking-up-early/

  11. Rahul Dutta February 8, 2014 at 5:44 am #

    I am really .now I can wake up at 4:00am.thank u 50 tips

  12. Thoms May 15, 2014 at 1:31 am #

    This is fantastic. I’m going to try a few of these out. As for staying accountable to others. I recommend stakemyrep.com. It’s a brilliant way to let others know what you plan on doing.

  13. Sophie October 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    I loved the article and will be applying some of the tips. Thanks! I just wanted to give a note about tip number 50. There is, in fact, scientific backing on the morning bird / night owl “myth”. It seems we have one or the other structure (though I’ve read this year there’s a reduced group of people who need far less sleep than the majority and are both early-raisers and night owls”). In any case, you can make a habit out of anything but it will be much more difficult for a night owl to get up early since his nerve cells communicate slower upon waking up. If you think about it, we can easily tell which of our friends or family are night owls and which are morning birds.

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