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Are you a morning person? I’m not! Mornings are the bane of my existence, having to get out of bed, getting ready for work, facing the day, ugh. It’s not so bad once I’m actually awake but gosh getting there isn’t easy.
Have you ever Googled ‘tips for falling asleep’, or ‘how to get out of bed in the morning’. They’re two sides of the same coin. How can you get up in the morning and expect to feel refreshed if you can’t get to sleep at night?
The problem with the results of those Google searches; they all say the same thing. They tell you to turn off your electronics a couple of hours before you plan to sleep, stay away from the caffeine and cut back on the alcohol. Let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen.
I have to assume I’m not alone in this! I mean, I know morning people exist, and I want to know their secret. I want to be one of those people who can bound out of bed before their alarm goes off energized and ready to take on the day. But, I’m not ready to give up all my vices! So, I’ve come up with some things to help us get the results we want without giving up the things we enjoy.
If being a social worker tought me anything, it tought me how to change behaviour. I’m going to give you some tips that have helped me to get to bed and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and invigorated.
The key to changing behaviour is to set a goal and make a plan. So for 4 weeks I decided I was going to be a morning person! Some times you have to fake it till your make it, right?
My Plan to Get Out of Bed
No more hitting snooze – I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, for a while I was setting my alarm 40 minutes before I had to actually get out of bed knowing I would hit the snooze button at least 3 times. So, I set my alarm for when I actually needed to be up and got my butt out of bed.
Set a bed time – I set a second alarm to tell me it’s time to go to bed. Having a bed time is very effective for children, it gives them a schedule and sense of predictability. They know when it’s bed time and that’s all there is. It’s easy to get carried away reading a book, watching television, cleaning the kitchen (I can only wish). I have a habit of saying five more minutes for hours. Before I know it, it’s the wee hours of the morning and I know I’ll be struggling the next day. Having a set bed time fixes that problem
Plan for the morning – Whether it’s exercising or preparing a beautiful breakfast, if I have something to do in the morning I’ll get up and do it. But, it’s really hard to get out of bed knowing I have nothing at all to do for the day.
Some Tips to Help You Get into Bed
No naps – Have you ever taken a half hour nap in the afternoon only to be left tossing, turning and wide awake for most of the night? I have. Which is why one of the first things I did to get my sleep habits in check and become a morning person was stop taking after work naps. The first couple days were awful. I’m not going to lie, I was tired. One day I even went to bed 2 hours before my scheduled bedtime. Luckily though things settled down after a few days and I was going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up feeling refreshed every day.
Hide the clock – Do you ever lie awake in bed looking at the clock and calculating exactly how much sleep you’ll get if you fall asleep at that exact moment. I’ve had more nights like that than I can count. Covering the clock eliminates the temptation to stimulate your brain with the mental math. It also eliminates a light source that can keep you awake at night.
Reserve your bed for sleep – Well, sleep and the other s-word we’re not supposed to talk about. When you use your bed for things like reading or watching movies, you train yourself to think of your bed as a place to relax, but not sleep. Relax on the couch, around the kitchen table, outside on the lawn, anywhere but your bed.
Work out – Sweating a bit or getting some fresh air will leave you feeling better and ready for a good night’s sleep. Just don’t do it too close to bed time, exercise can energize you.
Dim the lights – Bright lights keep you awake. Possibly because artificial lights limit the production of melatonin which helps to regulate the sleep and wake cycle. By dimming the lights a few hours before you plan to go to sleep you’ll make things much easier on yourself.
Stop working – Set work aside in the evening. I promise it will still be there in the morning. By thinking about work before you go to bed, you’re priming yourself for a night of being stressed out and worried about whatever it is you didn’t finish today.
Turn on the lights – Exposing yourself to light first thing in the morning will make going back to sleep unpleasant. I’ve heard of some people having lamps on a timer to gradually light up their room. This sounds like a wonderful idea and something I absolutely have to try.
Have a plan – If you know what you’ve got to do for the day you’re more likely to do it. This is especially important if you work from home and don’t have a boss you’re accountable to.
Move your alarm clock to the other side of the room – This will physically make you get out of bed and turn the alarm off. I mean you can go back to the bed after, but you’re already up.
Sleep is obviously a very important part of out life yet it’s so easy to neglect. Getting a good nights sleep is a huge step towards taking care of yourself. I think you’ll notice a positive difference pretty quickly if you start prioritizing sleep as part of your self-care routine.
Looking for more ways to take care of yourself? Great, sign up for my email list (over the right side bar, or toward the bottom of the page if your on mobile) and you’ll receive a monthly self-care calendar with daily self-care activities. alternatively, you can take a look at my Seven Day Self Care Challenge.