16 simple tips to help you wake up early and emulate successful people (maybe)

Saturday 08 August 2015 16:30

It can't have passed you by that some of the world's most successful people swear by their four hours of sleep a night, or waking up in the early hours in order to make the most of their day.

Apple's Steve Jobs and his successor Tim Cook, Yahoo! boss Marissa Meyer, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, even Donald Trump, they all swear by an early morning routine that means they're up and running before the competition have even gotten out of bed.

While you might not exactly want to emulate Trump, here we present some of the best tips for getting up early. With a big HT to this Quora thread.

Have a reason to wake up early: Before the how, you will need a why, writes Dan Luca, productivity coach and founder of something called 5AMcoaching.com. It can be any kind of motivation, from just not having enough time in the day to get everything done, whether that's seeing your family or making the most of your job.

You don't have to follow the extreme example of George HW Bush and only get two hours of sleep per night - get your seven to eight hours by going to bed early, at around 10pm.

Avoid stimulating your brain too much in the hours before sleep, this means not eating or exercising close to bedtime, and, yes, putting away the smartphone or any gadget. Your bedroom should be a screen-free zone!

But don't snub all technology: Alarm clocks that gradually wake you, with either noise or light are much more effective than suddenly jolting you out of your sleep.

Make sure your bedroom is a place of almost total darkness - keep light out by reading before bed in another room.

Your body will adjust to a regular routine - you can train yourself to be tired at a certain time of night just by sticking to a schedule. You can also slowly readjust to waking up early by setting your alarm clock back 15 minutes at a time.

This might sound obvious but it's amazing how many people wouldn't immediately consider it; drink less caffeine, and even consider eliminating all caffeine post lunchtime. Alcohol can have the same effect, although you may pass out from drinking too much, it will not allow you to experience REM sleep. This explains why you can still feel tired after getting drunk and having a long sleep.

Exercise in the morning can help energise you and start the day at full tilt, while exercising later in the day can help you rest and eventually get to bed on time.

Fall in love with breakfast again. Having some delicious food to coax you out of bed can be a great motivator; it doesn't have to be complicated either, you don't have to be Ron Swanson to appreciate the appeal of breakfast food.

Just do it: Oprah Winfrey apparently leaps out of bed immediately after waking up. While we can't all have her enthusiasm, we could all perhaps think and plan less about the day ahead while in bed.

And if all else fails... just put your alarm clock on the other side of the room. Apps like BetterMe can automatically post standardised posts on your Facebook wall that you failed to get out of bed on time, while the more extreme Aherk goes one step further and posts embarrassing photos every time you hit snooze. It all depends how badly you want to wake up early...

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