"There is a great feeling of accomplishment when you get two hours of work done before anybody else starts their day, and if you're willing to do that, it's a great idea to not rip the Band-Aid off," says Shawn Stevenson, author of Sleep Smarter.
If you've been getting up at nine in the morning, and now want to start your morning at six, take your time and don't do it all in one night. Instead, implement the gradual method. Set your alarm clock back for fifteen minutes earlier each day for a week. Continue this strategy until you get to your desired time. Start off slow and you'll avoid feeling overwhelming fatigue in the morning.
To prepare for your early wake-up call, check out Stevenson's tips and tricks for waking up with ease:
Prevent hitting the snooze button by moving your alarm clock across the room. "This super easy hack will give you a reason to get out of bed," Stevenson says.
When it comes to your alarm ringer, avoid loud calls and alerts. Instead, play an audiobook from one of your favourite authors, expert or spiritual leader. Whether it's Joel Osteen or Deepak Chopra, set yourself up to do the right thing.
Fact is, sleep is all about the hormones. "If you look at evolutionary biology, you can see that hunger-gatherer tribes have certain hormonal rhythms and so our cortisol is designed, throughout human evolution to be elevated first thing in the morning," Stevenson adds.
For most of us, however, our cortisol is too low in the early hours and therefore; we have a hard time getting out of bed. To get your rhythm back on track, Stevenson recommends becoming a morning exerciser and working out within the first forty-five minutes of waking up. Even five minutes of exercise can encourage that normal cortisol spike that many of us lack.
"It's not advantageous for somebody to skip on the breakfast," says Stevenson.
Help support normal hormone rhythms by eating something nutritious in the morning. Your morning meal should look less like dessert and more like lunch. Skip the sugary cereals, waffles and bagels. Instead, incorporate healthy fats like avocados, coconuts, and eggs into your flat-belly breakfast recipes. Vegetables like kale, spinach and zucchini are also going to be important. These powerhouse foods will boost your energy and fuel your day.
Once you're up, remember your purpose. "You have to have a reason to get up. I think a lot of us are disconnected with that," says Stevenson.
Remember your goals and allow them to motivate you to start your day. To create a new neuro association with waking-up, Steven recommends literally jumping out of bed. Get up, stretch and feel happy to be alive.
This article originally appeared on Rodale Wellness