Struggle with waking up early? Here's how to become an early bird.

A few years ago, there was no way you could drag me out of bed before 9am. No way. Not gonna happen. I cherished my sleep, and thought that anyone who got up before 8am on a Saturday was crazy. My regular bedtime was 2am, and there was no way I could ever fall asleep a few hours prior to that without lying in bed wide-eyed. I liked the way I lived my life and I didn’t want to change it.

Suddenly, something happened that caused me to change my lifestyle. During college, I was hired by the YMCA doing Surround Care for elementary children. My job was to watch over the kids whose parents had to leave for work earlier than school started, taking care of them in the early mornings before school started and after. Thus, to make it to work on time for 6am, I had to wake up at 5:00. I dread waking up early so much, it churned my stomach. I thought that I would always be tired and wouldn’t have a life. Little did I know, this job helped me form life-changing lifestyle habits.

Becoming a morning person changed my life. I feel that as a person, I am more holistic, have a better outlook on life, and am more productive. There is just something about getting up with the rising sun while most people are sleeping, and feeling content about it. I found that I was able to get most of my work done in the morning when there were fewer distractions. In addition, my energy levels were high and I felt positive; ready to take on any challenge that my day threw at me.

If you are looking to become a morning person, let me help you. I truly believe that anybody can make a few simple changes and become an early bird. I geared this post towards a person who is not a morning person by any means, and is looking to take some small steps that will guide them in the right direction.

Prepping yourself to be a morning person

Step 1: Changing your bed time

Bear with me on this one. I’m not asking you to go to bed 3 hours earlier than you normally do. If you normally don’t fall asleep until 1am, it would be very difficult for your body to adjust if you suddenly rolled into bed at 9am. The first week that you plan on changing your routine, go to bed half an hour earlier than you normally do. The second week, increase it to an hour. The third week, increase your time by another 15 minutes, so you hit the sack an hour and 15 minutes earlier than you did the first week. Start with small, simple changes. It takes 30 days to make a habit. You definitely won’t be able to fall asleep early if you try to go to bed hours earlier in the first week. Give your body time to adjust to your sleep schedule. Gear it each week for what works for you. If you think you can increase your time by another hour by the 4th week, go for it.

Step 2: Establish a bedtime routine

You may struggle with falling asleep the first few weeks while your body adjusts. It’s extremely important to establish a routine to tell your body, “It’s time to quiet down.” Here are some helpful ways to stimulate sleep:

  • Put the phone away an hour before you plan on falling asleep
  • Turn the TV off- it stimulates your brain.
  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Meditate
  • Do not exercise within 3 hours of when you plan on falling asleep
  • Drink some non-caffeinated tea
  • Write in a journal (handwrite- don’t use a computer!) One of my favorite journals is this adorable Lollipop Tree Journal
  • Listen to soothing music

It’s really important to stick with your routine! It’s hard to become a morning person if you wake up feeling like a zombie. Keeping the same routine every night will eventually become habitual and will calm your brain.

Tackling the morning

Step 3: Learn to get up to your alarm…the FIRST time it goes off

I know, this can be a tricky one. I have been known to set 8 different alarms and hit snooze on all of them! It can be extremely hard getting up to an alarm that says 5:30 or 6:00 if you are not used to it. One thing that has helped me get up on days when I’m not feeling like sticking to my routine is setting my phone (with my alarm clock) across the room. This way, I am making sure that I am sticking to my sleep schedule. Sidenote: Once you get up and walk across the room to turn off your alarm, don’t crawl back in bed!!

Step 4: Exercise

You don’t have to exercise in the morning if it’s not your thing, but studies have proven that exercising in the AM is one of the most effective ways to wake your brain up. In addition, those endorphins will give you a jumpstart to your day. After a morning workout I always feel refreshed, happy, and ready to tackle my day.

Step 5: Establish a morning routine

Just like setting a bedtime routine, making a morning routine is equally important. Give your morning routine plenty of time! Nothing is worse than running out of the door feeling rushed. I hate those days where I am running late and leave my house forgetting my coffee and my papers, with my hair still wet. Giving yourself as much time as you need to wake up, get ready, and prepare for your day. Here are some effective tips for a healthy morning routine:

  • Read when you wake up
  • Meditate
  • Eat a healthy breakfast
  • Make some coffee
  • Listen to music

In addition, you can jumpstart your day with these tips.

Maintenance

Step 6: Wake up early on the weekend

Now that you are actually getting used to your routines, it’s important to stick with them! Nothing will screw you up more than getting up at noon on a Saturday. I know weekends are tough, especially when you may have so much going on and are staying out late, but try as hard as you can to get up at a reasonable hour on Saturday and Sunday. It doesn’t have to be as early as you get up during the week. For example, I usually get up at 5:30 or 6am on weekdays, but on weekends I sleep in until 7. This way, I am allowing myself to sleep in, but am also not screwing up my sleep schedule so much.

Step 7: Be motivated

It’s hard to get up in the morning when you don’t have a reason to get up! Get motivated and find your passion. Be excited to get up and live your life. Otherwise, getting up can be a huge struggle.

Do you struggle with early mornings? Do you have any other tips to add? Leave me a comment below!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of compensation. I PROMISE you guys that I only promote products that I truly love! Thanks for supporting brands that make Inspiration Indulgence possible!

Xoxo,

Can’t get enough of my self-improvement post? Check out these!
How to Manage Your Time Like a Pro
How to Be Happy During a Rough Time

 

  • Being a morning person myself, I could relate to every word of this post. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much! :)

  • I’m so with you — those quiet morning hours before everyone else is awake are pure magic. I remember being that kid who woke up at 6:00 every weekend, and I would sneak downstairs to make my own cereal and have the whole house to myself. I still love it! These tips are perfect for anyone looking to become a morning person, especially #1. It’s okay to start slow!

    • Chelsea

      lol! That’s so cute! Agreed. I think it comes easier as you get older for sure…If my teenage self knew that I was a morning person now, they would never believe it!!

  • leah herring

    Love this post, I wake up at 5am every day and it’s the best way to start my day!

    • Chelsea

      Yay! Early birds unite!

  • When I’m able to get a workout in and quick blog post before I go to work, I feel like I already accomplished o much for the day. It makes tackling the hard parts of my day (work, boo!) a lot easier for sure.

    • Chelsea

      Exactly! Sometimes, you just need to jumpstart your day by accomplishing little things before the big things!

  • Lindsay Katherine

    These are great tips! I totally agree with your point about getting up the first time your alarm goes off. I don’t really need that anymore because I have a baby to wake me up, but it always bugged me that my husband would set his alarm for 20 minutes prior to when he actually needed to get up. I will definitely share this with him :-) Lindsay http://www.itssimplylindsay.com

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing, Lindsay! I don’t have kids yet so I can imagine you are FORCED to be a morning person 😉

  • Charlotte Marie Whitehead

    This is an amazing idea! I stay up late right now too lol. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks for reading!

  • Laura Powell-Corbett

    Great idea about slowly bringing your bedtime forward. I find the same, mornings where I have a plan I move a lot faster!

    • Chelsea

      Hopefully they help! This is the tip I struggle with most with.

  • Shannon Willett Ketchum

    I recently started waking up earlier on the weekends. I used to sleep in until 9:00 or later, but lately I’ve been waking up between 6 and 7 and I am loving waking up and getting my day going. I take my time on Saturday mornings relaxing with a cup of coffee and snuggling with the dog, and then I have breakfast and take her for a hike and when we get back, it’s still early enough that I have the entire day in front of me.

    • Chelsea

      Aw Shannon that sounds like a perfect weekend morning! :)

  • Sandra Litcher

    I find the mornings I wake up early and get a walk in, are far more productive days, but getting out of bed is so hard. Love these tips! It is totally bed time that gets me, I don’t go to be early enough consistently to make getting up early easy. I need to establish good routines! Thanks for the tips!

    • Chelsea

      Same here, Sandy. I’m great with my morning routine, but struggle with my night routine!

  • Great tips! I find getting lunch and everything together the night before makes for an effortless morning and there’s no last minute scrambling.
    Great tips – god I need to go to bed earlier!! Been saying this for years now!!

    • Chelsea

      Exactly, Lindsay! I feel like my day starts off so much smoother if my I make my lunch the night before!

  • Good tips! I definitely struggle with getting up in the morning!

    • Chelsea

      Hope they help! :)

  • It also helps when you have a husband who gets up at 6 to go to work at 7 and a 1 year old who wakes up at 6:30! 😉

    • Chelsea

      For sure! I don’t have kids yet, so I can just imagine!

  • Hannah Diane

    This is a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing. We get up at 4:30 so I can fix breakfast for my husband who leaves at 6. :)

    • Chelsea

      Aw you’re such a good wife!!

  • MrsBarBelle

    Love these tips. We get up at 4am but are in bed before 8:30pm. =)

    • Chelsea

      Good for you! :) Doesn’t it feel great getting up early in the AM? :)

  • These tips are great! I used to be the same and could never ever imagine getting up early and actually liking it, but now I am always up early and find I’m super productive in the morning! My bedtime routine needs a little attention, I really have to put the phone down, but I agree it’s so nice to be up and about early, I feel better, more positive and I definitely have more energy!

    • Chelsea

      I’m so glad you can agree!! I’m with you- I need to work on putting the phone down as well!

  • Christine Hawkins

    This is such a great post! I am a morning person, I get up at 530 on my days I have to work on my days off I sleep in until 7! ( and that’s if i’m lucky) Music helps, I love my coffee. I really need to get in habit of taking a walk or a jog in the morning, that will help with my morning cloud I get. Thanks for sharing Chels!

    • Chelsea

      Same here, Christine! My coffee is was really jump starts my day and helps me feel refreshed :)

  • Daria Vinning

    Thanks for sharing these tips! I have to be at work for 7am, so I have two different alarms set for me to get up. I’m truly not a morning person but prefer this time for work because traffic in the mornings are not bad and evening traffic isn’t either since I get off at 4pm. I’ve been having these hours for about 7 years now but getting up and enjoying it still is a hassle, lol. I tried to get up to exercise in the am before work but that hasn’t worked out either. I’m still trying to figure out a way to make it work. Your tips are awesome!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much, Daria! I haven’t been the greatest lately with exercise before work, but I would love to get back into it!! It definitely helps me start my day off right :)

  • Dayne Prescott

    This makes me giggle because I’m thinking of what a rough time I had getting up this morning! I will definitely have to try pre-bed exercises! That sounds great! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Chelsea

      Hehe it’s okay! We all have those sleepy days!

  • These are great tips and oh my goodness! the change you had to make in bedtimes!!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much for reading! :)

  • I just love all of your blogposts. You come up with such wonderful content. I need to take a lot of these tips into consideration into my morning routine! :-)

    • Chelsea

      Aww Taylor you made my night! Thanks so much!! :)

  • Serene Mom

    I so needed to read this. My son is a morning person and I’m not and we’re clashing right now. Mommy wants to sleep and he wants to wake up at 6am. I’m gonna try these tips though and see if that helps.

    • Chelsea

      I don’t blame you…if I was a mom, perhaps I would feel differently!!

  • I really REALLY need to bookmark this and keep reminding myself these tips! I would love to be a morning person, but it’s just never been my thing. But tonight I’ll try and go to sleep earlier! Thanks for the great tips!

    • Chelsea

      I understand it can be really hard for someone who isn’t used to this lifestyle. The main thing is, finding a routine that works for you! And it’s totally okay if you aren’t- some people are more productive at night, and that’s okay!

  • Bethany Magnie

    I love this post. These tips always help me be a awake and cheerful mom for my early riser baby.

    • Chelsea

      Glad you enjoyed it, Bethany! xo

  • DT

    This is a real struggle for me.. Gonna try some of these to make my life a little better.
    —DT | Here I Scribble

    • Chelsea

      Best of luck!!

  • kayla

    Lol I enjoyed reading this! I had to become a morning person because I had kids lol. Coffee is a must! I need to start exercising in the morning tho! I think that may help wake me up!

    • Chelsea

      I’m sort of prepping myself for when I DO become a mom!! And girl I know…I don’t have a personality without my coffee!!

  • ashley

    Routine is very important for me. I am def a morning person. I have to get up at 5:30 daily to get hubs to work and start the day w my girls
    & coffee is a must!

    • Chelsea

      Routine is CRITICAL!! I get so much more done in the morning :)

  • i REALLY needed to read this! Thank you!!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Hayley!

  • CourtneyLynne Storms

    Hehehe pre mommy days I dreaded morningings!!! Now that I have a solid routine most days, I gotta admit, I don’t mind mornings and I actually sorta kinda like them.

    • Chelsea

      I’m not a mom yet but I’m sure it will help solidify my routine!!

      • MicheleM3

        Funny how we are all different. I was a big time morning person before I got married and had children– and I could stay up late, too. After my second child was born (who nursed every two hours around the clock for months) and after my third child who was sick quite often as a baby, my being a morning person slowly slipped away. I have never been the same since– becoming ill myself with an autoimmune disorder that requires I take meds hasn’t helped either now that my children are older. I sure do miss that happy morning feeling. It is not that I don’t get up early anymore (I still do most days) but that good feeling is pretty much gone.

      • Aw that is sad for me to hear!! I hope you find that feeling again <3

  • Maintenance is the really hard part for me, aside from just getting up and getting going in the beginning when starting a new routine. It’s so hard to stick with it because I’ve been trained that the weekend is different than the weekdays. This is definitely something I’m going to start trying to be better at! Happy Friday!

    • Chelsea

      I agree, it can be so hard to get off track on weekends! Happy Friday, Heather! Hope you have a great one!! :)

  • These are great tips. I won’t even tell you when my bedtime is :-) I still get up early, but I’m super tired.

    • Chelsea

      Coffee = life!!! 😉

  • This is a great post. I struggle with this because I stay up LATE and then have a hard time getting up in the morning. I need to start implementing some of these ideas – putting my phone away an hour before bedtime, listening to music at bedtime, and slowly moving the wake up time earlier. – Trish

    • Chelsea

      Thanks for reading, Trish! That’s my biggest struggle too.. especially lately, I’ve been going to bed late because I feel like I’m just not finished with all of the things I need to do!

  • Becky @Disney in your Day

    I’m still working on this. The biggest motivation for me is that I’m training for a half marathon, and I know that if I get up early the weather will be a lot nicer. If I wait til later in the morning it will be hot and miserable. But I still find it so hard to wake up early. I’ll use some of these tips!

    • Chelsea

      Great point! I like working out better in the AM as well- especially in summer! You go girl!! Best of luck with your half!

  • Liz

    I think bed time is the biggest part of it. I love getting up early, but if I don’t get enough sleep – I can’t do it!

    • Chelsea

      I definitely struggle with this as well!!

  • This is such an issue with me because I wake up at 4am because of schedules and having 4 kids and two bathrooms. Sometimes I swear my boyfriend has to pull me out of bed by my toes to get me going!

    • Chelsea

      Oh my goodness! I supposed you are FORCED to be a morning person! hehe

  • I don’t think I’ll ever fully become a morning person, but I do find when I stop hitting snooze and get up at the same time on the weekends, things run much more smoothly.

    • Chelsea

      It can be so hard! I let myself sleep in, but I try to not sleep too late! I know…it’s a constant struggle!!

  • This is a great list of suggestions! I am NOT a morning person, but have learned to sort of be a functioning human in the morning! Lol! Great tips! :)

    • Chelsea

      Lol I hear ya girl! Thanks so much for reading!

  • Emma Byers

    It’s like you KNEW that this was one of my goals for August! Thanks so much for sharing your great suggestions. :)

    • Chelsea

      Aw good luck girl! Baby steps 😉

  • Great tips! I don’t think I could ever be a morning person. Not that I sleep all day or am lazy or anything, I just do not like being up at the crack of dawn haha I’m a night person and am 10x more productive after 7pm so it’s almost impossible for me to get to bed early.

    • Chelsea

      Hey Keating! And that’s perfectly fine; there is nothing wrong with that!! I don’t think that people who aren’t morning people are lazy or not as productive as those who are night owls. Mornings just work better for me, that’s all. :)

  • I used to be such a morning person, but for some reason, lately I just can’t be bothered before 10:30 am…lol

    • Chelsea

      Hey it happens to the best of us! lol

  • Shaniqua Garvin

    I love the tip on bedtime because its 2:03am now and I know I need to keep dialing back. A few days ago I was going to bed at 3-4am, Will do this for sure,

    • Chelsea

      Oh my goodness!! So you are TOTALLY a night owl!! lol!