A few months ago I got into quite a bad habit of setting my alarm to the latest time that I could get away with whilst not being late for my commitments that day. For a few weeks I felt a bit, well…smug. “Look at me getting all this sleep and still being on time!” But actually, I’d wake up, get ready in a rush, haphazardly attempt to put my make up on (often resulting in dodgy eyeliner) and end up having to grab a coffee on the go, regularly missing breakfast.
My light-bulb moment appeared whilst listening to a podcast on “Stopping the glorification of busy with Katie Richardson” on the Jess Lively show. During this episode Katie spoke about waking up early to exercise and to take time for herself. It got me thinking firstly, ok, I can’t imagine waking up early to exercise but it would be nice to use my time in the morning just for me. So I started thinking what would I like to do with my mornings? I’ll admit I’ve started small with my aims: I would like to have enough time to practice meditating for ten minutes and to make and enjoy a cup of tea.
So I am currently trying to wake up 30-60 minutes earlier than my usual wake up time. Sometimes 60 minutes earlier is just too far, but that’s ok. Even if I wake up 15 minutes before my usual time I’m happy – that’s my meditation time sorted! Sometimes I sleep past it, but that’s ok too, I’m just determined not to let my late sleeping become a habit again.
Here are some of the tricks and tools that help me to wake up earlier:
- A Lumie light. I recently invested in one of these lights and I am obsessed with it! The Lumie promises to wake you up with a sunrise, which can help to naturally re-set your sleep/wake cycle to help you feel ‘refreshed, alert and energised’ all day. I have to admit waking up has been much more pleasant with this light.
- Keep your alarm away from the bed. I was horrendous for either pressing snooze countless times or perhaps worse spending ages scrolling through all of my social media outlets and news sites on my phone before getting out of bed. Putting my phone out of reach means I actually have to get out of bed to turn it off.
- Put a song you love as your alarm so you wake up smiling. Mine is currently ‘Work B**ch’ by Britney Spears. (This song is also the anthem to my PhD, but that story is for another post!)
- Meditate! As soon as I’m sat up I try to meditate, I might still be waking up as I start the practice but by the end of the ten minutes I feel awake and focused for the day ahead.
- Vitamin D supplements. So of course taking a vitamin D supplement isn’t going to wake you up instantly, but over time taking this ‘sunshine’ vitamin can help with overall energy levels. Since I’ve started taking this vitamin regularly (due to my many hours indoors studying for my PhD!) I have noticed a definite change in how easy I find getting out of bed.
I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions for waking up earlier! Please leave a comment below or tweet me @makingitmindful.