How To Get Out of Bed on Time!
How do you get up in the morning? Are you full of enthusiasm as you leap out of bed, motivated, energised and ready to give your all? Or do you crawl out after hitting the snooze button umpteen times, feeling down, tired and dreading the day? Getting out of bed is a constant issue for many of us, and I’m going to share with you my own struggles and successes in this area.
Most of us have to get up at a similar time every day in order to get to work, look after the kids, and go to college. Just think, if you live to be 80, you will have got up 28, 480 times! You’re going to have to keep on doing it, so you may as well enjoy it!
Getting up on time will allow you to become more organised and prepared for your daily activities, which will greatly reduce stress and increase your sense of wellbeing.
I’ve experimented over the last couple of years with different techniques for getting up early, with varying degrees of success. Some are conventional and some are a bit crazy. Find out which ones work for you!
1. Mind Dump
It’s a fact that many of us struggle to get up in the morning because we struggle to get to sleep at night. We can’t turn off our minds and are constantly replaying the day’s events, or thinking about things that might happen in the future. A great way to tackle this problem is called the ‘mind dump’.
Before you go to bed, take a piece of paper and write down everything that is on your mind; whatever it is, write it down. You might be surprised to find stuff you thought was over, or seemingly trivial issues you weren’t conscious of worrying about. Make a time in the next few days to focus on each issue, e.g. ‘Tuesday, 5.30, pay bills’.
This will allow you to relax because you’ve made an appointment with yourself to deal with your issues. Now fold up the paper and put it out of sight. If an issue pops into your mind, say to yourself, ‘I’m dealing with that, so I can sleep peacefully now’.
2. Practising Getting Up
I found this technique to be extremely effective. Get ready as you normally would to go to sleep. Then set your alarm for every minute for the next five minutes. Turn off the light, get into bed and close your eyes. When your alarm goes off, get out of bed, turn off the alarm and turn on the light. Repeat this process five times. You might be thinking ’that’s crazy!’ but I found that it really worked for me, so give it a go.
Repetitive behaviour like that trains you to function on autopilot when you wake up. If you were in the army, you’d soon learn to jump out of bed on the double because it would be an action you took every day. The problem when you wake up early, or even on time, is the voice in your head that says ‘go back to bed’ or ‘just another five minutes’, ‘it’s too early’ and so on.
By practising getting up, that voice starts to disappear. That’s because you have trained your mind and body to get up without thinking and it becomes an automatic response.
Practise until it becomes easy and keep on practising! Once you’ve mastered it you won’t need to practise every single day. I found that after a while I stopped practising, as I was able to jump out of bed every morning. It felt really great, but getting out of bed slowly started to become harder and harder. In the end I was back to where I was in the beginning! So, even when you’re a master, you still need to practise once in a while.
3. Sleep Cycles
I didn’t know much about sleep cycles before I started researching and learning about how to wake up in the morning. I learned that when you go to sleep your brain goes through phases of different types of sleep within one cycle. This cycle lasts about 90 minutes. At the end of each cycle is the easiest time to wake up. If you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, when you’re in the deepest mode of sleep, it is much harder to wake up than when you awaken at the end of a cycle.
Maybe this is why many people struggle to get up in the morning, because they set their alarm for a certain time and unfortunately it will be in the middle of a sleep cycle.
I came across a great website called sleepyti.me which can calculate the best time for you to wake up, according to when you go to sleep. If you know you have to get up at a certain time, it will also show you the most effective time to go to sleep. The best thing is it’s completely free! I noticed the difference straight away and you will too.
4. Water Bucket
This is the most extreme technique. Nearly everybody that I mentioned this technique to said I was nuts, and that they would never do it! I guess they didn’t want to get up in the morning as much as I did! Before you go to bed, fill a bucket with water to about ankle level. Leave the bucket next to your bed and place a towel on the floor next to it.
You’ve probably figured out where this is going…. When your alarm goes off, stand up and plunge your feet in the water. Hold your feet in the water for at least ten seconds and then step onto the towel. It certainly is a shock!
Someone I know told me that they followed my instructions, and that it didn’t wake them up at all and had no real effect on them. I think they were lying! If you try this, you will know that it is an intense feeling which definitely has some effect on you. I only ever once got back into bed after I had plunged my feet into the water. Bearing in mind I did this for a long time, I think that’s not bad!
If you’re crazy enough, give this technique a go!
5. Plan Your Day
I find it easier to get up in the morning when I have the whole day planned out. It helps you to realise that every minute of your day is valuable and that once you’ve woken up, you need to get up and get to it. Planning it the night before also helps to relax you and allow yourself to go to sleep more easily, as you know tomorrow you will be accomplishing things that are meaningful to you.
Don’t be vague; spend a few minutes thinking of specific stuff you need or want to do. You’ll find you feel much more motivated and enthusiastic about the day ahead, and you’ll feel in control because you’re the one making the decision to get up.
I found it much easier to get up when I had a plan of action for the next day.
6. What Are Your Reasons Why?
Another powerful technique is to have your reasons for living, or the reasons why you do what you do, written somewhere so that you will see them as soon as you wake up. It’s easy to have them on a piece of paper on your wall or on a whiteboard, so you will see them straightaway and be reminded of why it is important that you get up immediately and start your day.
I help people drill down to find their most important reasons why they do what they do. Your reasons have to be really compelling, so they motivate and energise you. Remember, this is it! You’re never going to have the opportunity to live this day again, so make the most of it.
All of these techniques have helped me, at one stage or another, to get up out of bed and start my day. Try them out, experiment, and discover which ones work for you. In my own experience, I found that once I had used these techniques for a while, I would actually wake up before my alarm clock. I was able to jump out of bed each morning and go after everything on my ‘to do’ list with passion, enthusiasm and excitement. So will you!