I’ve never been a morning person. When my alarm goes off, I’m one of those people who stumbles over to my phone with half-closed eyes and starts to push buttons until I manage to hit snooze and can fall back into bed. Mornings just are not my thing.

However, my normal wake up time is 4:45…in the morning. That contradicts everything I just wrote, so let me explain. 5:15 in the morning is the easiest time for me to go workout, and so I decided that I was going to begin to practice self discipline and get up early enough to get to the gym by that time. Although it sucked for a long time (and sometimes still does), I learned a few tips and developed a few habits that make getting up that early a lot less painful. So, whether you want to wake up before the sun to workout or you just need to be up a couple hours earlier than you usually are, here are my top five tips:

Get enough sleep.

Okay, this is kind of a no brainer, but it’s honestly something we tend to forget about. In order to wake up earlier, you’re going to have to get to bed earlier. I’ve discovered that it’s very hard for me to get to bed early enough to get a full 8 hours of sleep, so usually I aim for at least 6 and try to schedule a nap in the afternoon to recharge a bit. That’s what works best for my schedule, but try to figure out what time it works best for you to get to bed.

Have consistent bedtimes and wake up times.

Your body is going to adjust much more quickly to an obnoxiously early wake up time if you’re going to bed and getting up at about the same time every day. Personally, Sunday through Thursday night I try to go to sleep between 10 and 10:45 PM and wake up at 4:45 Monday through Friday mornings. I am a night owl though, so Friday and Saturday nights I let myself stay up a bit later and sleep in the next two mornings, and then I make sure I get to bed pretty early Sunday nights to reset.

Quit eating fairly early the night before.

This might not apply to everyone, but personally, I get super nauseous in the morning if I don’t stop eating a couple of hours before I go to bed. If you struggle with the same thing, especially if you work out in the morning, I highly suggest you try cutting off food far before your bedtime.

Make your morning effortless.

Do what you can the night before to prepare for the next morning. Maybe that’s packing your lunch, or it could be laying out your gym clothes. Whatever it takes to make things as effortless and painless for your brain the next morning, do it.

Figure out what YOU need to do to function in the morning.

In my case, my brain doesn’t usually wake up for about twenty minutes. So, I know that I need to just make myself put on my gym gear, get in my car and then turn on music that I can tune out for the entire drive to the gym. Everybody wakes up differently, so figure out what is that you’re going to need to do to function. Maybe you need to buy a coffee pot that can start brewing five minutes before you wake up, or maybe, like me, you just need to plan to not use your brain at all for the first twenty minutes you’re awake. Figure out what you need and then do what it takes to implement.
Hope this helps everyone who needs to wake up obnoxiously early.

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