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  1. Search Harvard Health Publishing
  2. related stories
  3. 5 Reasons You Wake Up Too Early – And What You Can Do About It
  4. 8 Tricks To Make Yourself Wake Up Earlier

Jerry Seinfeld had one simple accountability trick up his sleeve: The chain motivated Seinfeld to stick with writing. Just think of how motivating a calendar hanging within eyeshot of your bed would be, the days begging to be crossed off with a big red marker. Did you know that your struggle with rising early has a lot to do with self-belief? Your body needs time to adjust to this new routine.


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By Sarah Peterson 5 minute Read. Getting rid of the electronics eliminates the chance to be tempted and stay up late. Many people manage to get out of bed early, but an hour later they still feel groggy and go back to sleep.

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Changing your wake-up time to a few hours earlier is hard. While your body gets used to the new timing, you will feel sleepy in the first few hours and going back to sleep will be tempting. Go outdoors as soon as possible. Do a quick morning routine to refresh yourself and hit the door immediately. Something about being outdoors makes it easy to stay awake.

Feeling the cool air on your skin, smelling the grass and flowers, hearing the rustling leaves.

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Nature tends to melt away all the grogginess. Get your heart rate up. Accountability is becoming mainstream. Getting friends and family to keep you in check helps a lot. Hiring a coach or making a financial commitment on sites like stikK. But there is no better accountability than a hungry cat in the morning. The downside to that approach is that she might also decide she wants some play time at 3 am, but oh well… cats will be cats. You can fall back asleep easily but you can also get up and start your day.

Of course, you also know about the other mornings. Mornings where waking up early is terrible: The difference between those two cases is the sleep cycles. When we sleep at night we experience a few cycles that our bodies go through. Each cycle passes through different stages, illustrated on the graph below. Stage 4 is the deepest one and Stage 1 REM is the lightest one, meaning the closest one to the awake state.

The closer to the awake state you are when the alarm goes off the better you will feel. The deeper you are the worse you will feel.

5 Reasons You Wake Up Too Early – And What You Can Do About It

So how can you use that to your advantage? If you feel terrible when the alarm goes off at 7 am, try 7: Once you find that sweet spot, you can begin gradually moving your alarm back by 10—15 minutes earlier, and shift your sleep cycles until you hit your target wake-up time. This approach works only if you have consistent bedtimes. It only takes your body 4—5 days of waking up and going to bed at the same time to adjust to the new schedule. However, getting yourself to do those 4—5 consistent days is a different story. Being able to do it depends on your current habits.

If you get six hours and you need to wake up at 6 a. And don't nap during the day.

8 Tricks To Make Yourself Wake Up Earlier

When you've been able to sleep most of your allotted six hours for five to seven days, go to bed 15 minutes earlier, repeating the process until you reach optimal sleep efficiency: This technique, called sleep restriction, may at first make you feel sleep-deprived, but it can be very effective if you stick with it, while also continuing other efforts to improve sleep, including sleep hygiene and the relaxation and cognitive behavioral strategies listed below. If you find that you're falling asleep too early in the evening, keep the lights up bright where you're sitting or working.

This can slow the release of the hormone melatonin, which rises when it's dark, promoting sleep, and falls when it's light, promoting wakefulness. You can't get back to sleep if your mind is racing or your muscles are tense. To calm the mind and relax the muscles, consider meditation, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or biofeedback. For biofeedback, which monitors physiological states such as muscle tension and hand temperature, you need special equipment and the aid of a specialist.

During biofeedback, you learn how to control tension by sensing how it is affected by various thoughts and relaxation techniques. Progressive muscle relaxation involves alternately tensing and relaxing muscles throughout your body, starting with your feet and working your way up. The purpose of deep breathing also known as diaphragmatic breathing is to replicate the way you breathe during sleep slow and from the diaphragm , as opposed to the faster and shallower way you breathe when you're awake.

Meditation typically involves sitting quietly and using an image, a repeated phrase, or rhythmic breathing to focus attention and quiet the mind. A form of meditation called visualization helps you mentally distance yourself from stress by imagining a place that makes you feel at peace — say, a seaside retreat or a quiet garden — and thinking about what you see, hear, feel, smell, and taste there.

Practicing relaxation techniques during the day for 15 or 20 minutes not only offers many health benefits, it also establishes a routine that you can invoke when you wake up in the middle of the night. American Academy of Sleep Medicine www.


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  • Is your toddler waking up too early? Here are 6 ways to cope;
  • National Sleep Foundation www. Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT teaches you new ways to think about problems in your life and better strategies for dealing with those problems.

    How To Wake Up Early & Change your life! 2017

    Research has shown that CBT provides better long-term relief for insomnia, especially primary insomnia, than sleep medications. People with insomnia often become preoccupied with sleep and the consequences of poor sleep, replaying unproductive thoughts as they lie awake. These thoughts may include misattributions "When I feel nervous during the day, it's because I didn't sleep well the night before" , unrealistic expectations "I must get eight hours of sleep tonight" , and exaggerated fears "If I don't get to sleep soon, I'll mess up at work tomorrow".

    A cognitive behavioral therapist will work with you to substitute more accurate and constructive thoughts "My job doesn't depend on how much sleep I get tonight"; "I'll probably sleep better tonight". The biggest obstacle to successful CBT treatment is failure to stick with it. Some people don't complete all the required sessions usually one session per week for four to six weeks ; others stop practicing the techniques after having used them for a time.

    Internet-based programs, which people can practice on their own and at their own pace, might help address this problem. Several small studies suggest online CBT programs that teach good sleep hygiene, relaxation techniques, and other strategies can help people with insomnia sleep better.

    For two online programs, see "Selected resources. Harvard Women's Health Watch. Sleep-maintenance insomnia common complaint among women at midlife Updated: May 1, Published: