You’ve heard the term early to bed, early to rise? Well, guess what. It’s a GREAT idea! We all complain about how busy we are, how hectic our lives are, and how we don’t have enough time to do things we enjoy. If we actually change our schedule a little, we can make time! All of us have our rituals, our routines when it comes to going to bed, or getting up in the morning. Some of us are night owls, going to bed after midnight. Some of us go to bed early, and possibly get way too much sleep, making us groggy in the mornings. Some of us hit the snooze button when it goes off, and waste time in bed trying to make ourselves get up. Some of us roll out of bed the minute the alarm goes off. What you do is your routine, but you COULD make it better. Yes, there is room for improvement!
SET YOURSELF A ROUTINE
Try it. Decide right now when you are going to go to bed each night, and stick to it. Set an alarm, whether it’s on your watch, your phone, your ipad, a timer, or even your oven timer. That way you have no excuse to say, “I didn’t realize what time it was.” If you are busy watching tv, you might not hear it, so make sure you put your timer or device NEAR you. You should not use the excuse “I didn’t hear the alarm”. Set yourself up NOT to fail.
It takes three weeks to make a habit. So, it’s going to take a while before you go to bed without thinking about it. For now, make a point of checking the time, and make sure you stick with your plan. When you go to bed, do the same things in the same order. Personally, I always brush my teeth, wash my face, and then go to the bathroom. And THEN I climb into bed. But before I even headed in into the washroom to do those things, I would go grab my phone, set my alarm for the morning, and then go shut my computer off for the night. We all have something we are doing at night, right? Whether it’s reading a book, enjoying a bath, watching tv, surfing on the net, or playing video games, we are all busy with something. Try organizing your evening so that you don’t start a bath late, and you go past your bedtime. Our bodies actually thrive on routine. Whether you are spontaneous or not, it doesn’t matter. Routine bedtimes are HEALTHY for you! They are important for your children, and they are just as important for you.
GET UP EARLIER
That’s right. You need to get up earlier. Why? Because you will get more done. I have to relate a funny story here. Years ago (waaaaaay back in 1991) I was working at CLA in Langley. The admins working there had to take a time management course, and we had to keep track of what we did all day long. I remember being so very excited about it, and realizing that I could organize my day better. I remember excitedly saying to Lexie, “you know, the earlier I get up, the more time I have!” DOH! What a very silly blonde thing to say. Not only did Lexie remember that, she actually told that story at my wedding reception. YIKES! Ha ha, but seriously, the earlier you get up, the more time you will have to get things done.
Getting up early has so many benefits. It doesn’t matter if you say you aren’t a morning person. You aren’t a morning person because you keep SAYING you aren’t a morning person. Well, stop saying that. Yes you are. Yes you can be a morning person. Your brain will believe and act out whatever you tell it. So set that alarm and get up. Don’t just lie in bed hitting snooze. Actually roll yourself out, and get dressed. Have a morning routine established too. Go brush those teeth of yours, because you probably have stinky breath. Put on your underwear, socks, and whatever else you choose. Make your way to the kitchen and make a cup of tea (or coffee). You can set your own routine. Some might want to take their pet for an early morning walk. Some might choose this time to do some bible reading, devotions, or any other book reading. Some might want to get on the internet and catch up on facebook. The point is, you have TIME to do these things that you wouldn’t if you were still sleeping for another couple of hours. It’s quiet in the mornings. The hustle and bustle of life has calmed down, and there isn’t much noise going on outside. You can actually hear birds chirping if you crack a window open a little. Depending on where you live, you might hear other noises (your neighbour’s car warming up), but don’t let it deter you!
DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY
I really enjoy getting online first thing. I have a quick look at the news, quick look at Facebook top stories, and then I like to play a Sudoku puzzle. Gets my brain working, and I love it. So – find your thing you love to do, whatever it is. Maybe it’s Candy Crush! (ha!) Maybe it’s reading a magazine! Maybe it’s looking for recipes! Maybe it’s writing a blog! Maybe it’s getting on the treadmill, or going to the gym to do weights. Whatever makes you happy, do it. If you have children, they will probably still be in bed. Claim these mornings for yourself, and enjoy the peace and quiet. It might not be that way every day, but I guarantee you it will be quiet for MOST mornings! I have two cats, and they really enjoy spending time with me. They follow me around, and love it when I spend time sitting with them, combing them, and petting them. They love bum and chin scratches, and they purr so loudly, it warms my heart. I love spending time with them before I leave for work.
DRINK WATER TO STAY AWAKE
When you start getting up earlier, you might struggle with sleepiness. Have a water bottle ready, and keep sipping it. It doesn’t have to be cold, and you don’t need to be thirsty. Just sip it anyway. What it will do is revive you (and make you pee) and keep you feeling awake. You can’t fall asleep again if you are upright, sipping on water. And as I said earlier, go put the kettle on, or the coffeemaker. The amazing aroma of coffee will get you going in no time flat!
BENEFITS OF GETTING UP EARLY
- You get to do something you enjoy, without interruption
- You have time to exercise
- You have time to eat breakfast
- You have time to do a little reading
- You have time to get on the internet
- You have time to watch the news
- You have time to relax before the day truly starts
- You are not rushed to get out of the house
- You have time to spend with pets
- You have time to fold laundry you forgot the night before
- You have time for tea/coffee
- You have time to spend with your significant other (wink wink)
- You have time to empty the dishwasher
This list could go on and on. Whatever it is you don’t have time for, you can suddenly have that time in the morning. Doesn’t that sound great?
GET UP EARLY TODAY!
I am proud to say that I have been getting up at 5:00 a.m. for years now. I have found that the earlier I get up, the better day I have. Seriously. I have done so much by the time I’ve gotten to work, it’s a great feeling of satisfaction. I’ve had time to relax, enjoy myself, and I’m not rushing or feeling stressed because I’m running late. By the time I’ve gotten to work, I feel like a million bucks. Trust me, getting up early is easy. It’s not hard. It only seems hard because you’re saying you aren’t a morning person. STOP RIGHT NOW. Decide right now that yes you can be a morning person. Say it out loud. “I AM A MORNING PERSON!” And start setting your alarm earlier than usual. You may not want to suddenly jump by two hours, if you usually get up at 8:00, try 7:30 for now. Adjust by 30 minute increments, and then after a couple of weeks of getting used to it, try a full hour earlier.
Some mornings I’m finally ready to head for work, and realize that I still have tons of time left before I need to leave. I could try to get to work early, or what I do is find something else (usually housework related) that I can do. Today as a matter of fact, I went and cleaned out the litter box before I left. I usually do that chore at night, but hey, if I have time, why not in the morning! Now it’s done. Yay! Some mornings I have written out a grocery list. Some mornings I have caught up on Facebook. Some mornings I have played a word game on my phone. It’s nice to be able to find time to enjoy something, and relax without any morning rush pressure. Ahhhh.
GO TO BED EARLIER
What will happen when you get up earlier, is that you will probably feel tired earlier than you used to. You won’t be able to be a night owl if you are getting up at 5:00 a.m. The average person needs a minimum six hours sleep a night, but best is 8 hours. So, if you are getting up at 5, then you need to be in bed by 9:00 p.m. I realize that is really early, and maybe you watch shows later than that. Well, use your PVR and record it instead, and watch it at an earlier time. Watch it in your morning instead, because you’ll have time to forward through the commercials, and it won’t take a full hour. See? Better already! I thrive on six hours sleep, so I go to bed at 10:00 myself. I sleep solidly, and feel great when the alarm goes off. Do what works best for you – only you know how much sleep you need.
When you get used to being an early morning riser, and you get used to getting so much done, you will become addicted. You won’t be able to sleep in on weekends anymore either. My hubby and I typically are up by 7:30 or earlier on Saturday and Sunday. We enjoy tea together, and enjoy the quietness. We also get so much done – it’s great! By the time we roll back to work on Mondays, it feels like we have had a week off, because of all the things we accomplished.
GETTING UP EARLY WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Yes, yes it will. It will change you, and how you approach your day. Getting up earlier will give you benefits that nothing else can. Getting up earlier gives you time to relax, and starts your day off on a peaceful calm. Getting up earlier is one of the healthiest things you can do. If you oversleep, your body will just be groggy when you do pile out of bed. You’ll struggle all morning, and why face challenges when you are feeling tired? We all handle things better when we are wide awake. Join me in changing your life, and your habits. Only YOU can control what you do. Change your thoughts, and change what comes out of your mouth. You ARE a morning person. Say it – believe it, and act on it. And voila – you will be able to get out of bed, and find time to do things you cannot do at any other time. Start exercising, and release endorphins that will ALSO make you feel better. Most of us get lazy later in life. I’m talking 30’s and above. Get up if not for anything else, but to incorporate some sort of exercise into your life. Or – get up and read if that’s what you like doing. Find whatever it is that you’ve always said you don’t have time to do – and DO IT IN THE MORNING. It will be a great way to start your day.
PEOPLE WHO GET UP EARLIER ARE MORE SUCCESFUL
Yup. I couldn’t end this article without telling you this. It has been researched, and the results are in:
- In 2009, research by Harvard biologist Christoph Randler found that people who wake up early are more likely to anticipate problems and deal with them more efficiently, leading them to be more successful.
- A 2012 study from the University of Toronto also found that morning people tend to be happier than night owls since they tend to display more positive emotions.
GO CHANGE YOUR ALARM SETTING FOR TOMORROW
And GET OUT OF BED!