I am a natural night owl born and bred. It has always been natural for me to stay up until 2 or 3 am, only to be shaken awake in the morning before noon. I love my bed, and I often spend time there for as long as possible.
With the burden of being a college athlete and a full-time student, practices are conveniently placed at 5 in the MORNING! This means my alarm usually goes off at 4:30 am. 4:34 am. 4:36 am. 4:40 am. and 4:45 am. I have perfected the art of going to sleep in my workout gear and getting ready in 7 min to ensure I can sleep in as long as possible.
This isn't the best or smartest way to go about getting up in the morning. So I've done some trial and error on the best ways to get up in the early morning and how to help keep your inner night owl under control
1. Drink Water!
Before you go to sleep, drink water. When you wake up right away, drink water. Feeling that midday snooze, drink water. There are so many benefits to water, and we should take full advantage.
I have come the the conclusion that if I drink a bunch of water before going to sleep, when I wake up in the morning, I'll have to pee so bad that I'll be forced to waking up and getting out of bed. Plus once I'm up and have gone to the bathroom, if I drink more water, I feel refreshed and more willing to start my day. There are so many benefits to drinking water, especially with staying awake and and being attentive. Drink water. Just do it. Okay?!
2. Completely Prepare Yourself for the Day Ahead
One of the best parts about being habitually nocturnal is getting to cozy up in bed and watch Netflix or read, but fight the beckoning call to bed, and get your shit together. What ever your early morning brings, chances are it requires some extend of preparedness i.e. clothing, makeup, breakfast. Get all your things ready for tomorrow the night before while you are still wide awake, then cozy up in bed.
Chances are you will wear yourself out and make it easier to fall asleep, too. Pack your lunch, set out your clothes, print all materials you need for class. If you are going to workout, make a water bottle and already put protein powder in your Blender Bottle for convenience later. The more you can get done the night before, the easier it will be to wake up in the morning, while capitalizing on a few extra minutes of ZZZ's.
3. Say Goodnight to Social Media
Along with the 21st century emerged the addiction to social media. I love social media, so much that I sleep with it every night. Being a night owl adds another little perk to this addiction because everyone you would physically socialize with, has gone to sleep. Now you're scouring through America's Got Talent videos on Facebook or swiping and talking to the only people who are up this late at night on Tinder. Hashtag booty call? Hashtag thirsty?
There is some compromise with falling asleep with social media: give it a bed time. How late I stay up on any given night varies by the amount of fun I'm having from the glowing screen, but your devices deserve to go to sleep, like the rest of us! Set an alarm for 15 min before you want to fall asleep overnight, and try and keep it consistent during the weekdays. My phone's bedtime is 11pm. I have no trouble falling asleep soon after I shut off the bright screen, and neither will you.
However, some nights I lay restless even after and I toss and turn over analyzing everything. Take this time to reflect. Think about a mantra you can tell yourself when you go to sleep, as well as one to help you get ready in the morning. At night I always recite to myself, "Have the power to accept the things you cannot change, change the things you cannot accept, and the knowledge to know the difference." This tells me that what ever happened today, I cannot change, and I will get a fresh start in the morning. Then, while I brush my teeth and wash my face in the morning, I pay homage to Pr. Barack Obama with the mantra "Fired up! Ready to GO!" This really gets me pumped and ready to conquer the day. Find something to tell yourself to set the tone for your sleep the night before. Or you could always sing your iPhone a lullaby.
4. Change Your Alarm
The human body is smart. So smart in fact that it can become accustomed to ignoring frequent sounds, like the fan or your dad snoring down the hall. Eventually your alarm will be added to the list of the brain's "please Ignore" list whether the time it goes off or the sound it makes. Change the time of your alarms by three-ish minute increments, but do not set them too late.
Also change the sound that will be awaking you from slumber. I usually pick a song or something really obnoxious. Currently I wake up to "Trumpets" by Jason Derulo, but my other alarms have the typical alarm sound and bird chirping to really get my conscience flowing. It doesn't really matter what you change it to, but you should definitely mix it up when waking up. Side note: when picking a song, find something upbeat and positive because ain't nobody wanna wake up to I hate world music.