With the haze of newborn days behind us, getting a good night’s sleep is our current reality — something that feels both necessary and luxurious. And with more nighttime rest, I’m able to wake up earlier. Thus, it’s been one month since I started setting my alarm for the 5-o’clock hour. Without being overly dramatic, I think I’ve become a morning person. I crave the peace and quiet of our house (and for that matter, my mind). There’s something idyllic about the stillness — about the unhurriedness of it all.
Before you say, I could never wake up before 6am! I hear you. I was that person, too. But it is doable, and I’ll explain how. For starters, my husband is notorious for waking up by 4:30am. Yes, 4:30am. And for the longest time, I couldn’t fathom how he propelled himself out of bed that early. Now that I’m on an earlier schedule, I get it. The solitude of the morning is grounding. It allows for a less-than-rushed start to the day. Simply put, it’s an action turned daily habit.
StePs to Waking up earlier
1. Establish a nighttime routine. Begin by jotting down the next day’s to-dos, watch a bit of TV, or clean up the kitchen. Afterward, do whatever you need to do to relax. For example, I like to brew a cup of Cusa’s Deep Doze tea (EDIE20 for a discount). CBD also works. Regardless, have a goal of getting into bed before 9pm. Turn your phone on airplane mode + do-not-disturb. Open a book, and read until your eyelids feel heavy. Alternatively, listen to a meditation. Ideally, you’re asleep by 10pm. While we all need varying amounts of sleep, at least seven hours should do the trick. If you’re going to bed too late, waking up early will feel impossible.
2. Once your alarm goes off in the morning, don’t hit snooze. If you have to, put your phone on the opposite end of your room. You’ll have to get out of bed to turn it off. Immediately change into something else. Or, check out this sunrise alarm clock. If you plan to exercise, lay out your clothes the night before. At any rate, keep it comfortable. Wearing something other than your pajamas will signal to your body that it’s time to start your day.
3. Drink a glass of water (keep an 8-oz glass on your nightstand). Make your bed.
4. Pour a warm drink. Maybe that’s chai tea, a matcha latte, or coffee (EDIE15 for a discount) with creamer + collagen. Whatever it is, make a ritual out of it. However, if caffeine makes you jittery, drink something herbal. Save the caffeine to have alongside your breakfast. Starting your day by spiking your cortisol isn’t the goal.
5. Begin with something you want to do, not something you’ve been told you have to do. Whether that’s moving your body, prepping your meals for the day, or lighting a candle and journaling, take the time to do something that makes you feel good. It will ultimately set the tone for the rest of your day.
6. Last but not least, fuel up. Instead of reaching for a bowl of sugary cereal, opt for overnight oats with chia seeds and berries, scrambled eggs with avocado, or a protein-packed smoothie. Protein — a macronutrient — facilitates wakefulness because it increases dopamine levels. This helps you feel more energized. This macronutrient is made from essential amino acids which are required for the production of dopamine. Protein also helps aid in satiation / blood sugar balance.
Image courtesy of Jakub Dziubak.