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Tricks for Waking up Earlier

Tricks for Waking up Earlier
For those of us who aren’t naturally early risers, we’ve assembled a few tips for waking up earlier.

Decide that you’re going to wake up early.

In one German study, researchers found that people who were warned that they were going to be woken up at 6 a.m. already had alertness-driving stress hormones building in their bodies at 4:30 a.m. “Our bodies, in other words, note the time we hope to begin our day and gradually prepare us for consciousness”.

Clear out your morning.

To say that something has a high cognitive load means that you have to put a lot of mental effort into it, like memorizing a poem or figuring out what to do with an Excel spreadsheet. You don’t want high cognitive loads in the morning, since it’s a waste of the scarce amount of willpower we have in a day, and it’s annoying to have to think about things when you just woke up.
Routine is an ally in the war against the cognitive load. Wear the same clothes, eat the same breakfast, do the same workout every day, and it’ll free up mental space.

Get the sun as soon as possible.

Like every other living thing on Earth, humans get turned on by sunlight. People who get a bit of bright light early in the morning were more alert than a sun-starved control group. They also showed more activity in cognition-heavy parts of their brains. It also helps fight off Seasonal Affective Disorder during the short days of the winter months.

No matter what happens, don’t hit snooze.

You wake up with a wave of stress hormones; it’s your body’s way of getting you ready for the day. But if you hit the snooze button, then you’re telling your body to do the opposite, so you’ll end up feeling even more clumsy than
if you’d just stayed upright.

Give yourself a pinch.

Participants who massaged their pressure points got a boost of alertness. The study had volunteers stimulate five pressure points on the body for three minutes each: the top of the head, the point between your thumb and index finger, right below the center of the knee cap, below the ball of the foot, and the base of your neck.

Get up at the same time every day.

Our bodies function most effectively when they’ve got a consistent rhythm, which sleeping in on the weekends can interrupt. If you wake up at the same time every day, you can train yourself to wake up without an alarm clock.

Wake up with a more gentle alarm clock.

The more jarring the sound that you wake up to, the more “sleep inertia” you’ll feel when you open your eyes. “Sleep
inertia can feel worse when you’re awakened abruptly”. “A clock that allows you to wake up gradually may ease those first few moments of sleep inertia, which are the worst.”

Get moving.

Your blood gets a little stagnant when you’ve been sleeping all night. Get your circulation going by exercising. It doesn’t have to be a marathon; three minutes of basic yoga poses can wake your body up.

Get hydrated.

This one’s easy. You lose water by sweating and exhaling through the night – it’s part of the reason you lose a pound or two by the time morning comes – so you naturally need to replenish liquids when you wake. One full glass of water should do the trick.
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