Do you beat the sun to rise in the morning?
If not, would you like to?
I’ve been rising early most days for over two years now, besides rest days or where circumstances have messed up my bedtime (like when I used to work nights etc.).
But for the most part, on every weekday, I’m up by 5AM at the latest, and for 2016 I’ve chosen 4AM as the time to rise and start my day.
If you’re a late riser and you’re aspiring to start taking charge of your life and circumstances, waking up early is something that will definitely help you kick more ass with less struggle.
The pre-dawn peace and stillness allows for a focused and strong start to a day of glorious hustle…
For those of you who want to start rising before the sun, or struggle to do so without feeling incredibly exhausted, here’s my top 4 tips to get you up and feeling strong and energetic as your day starts:
- Work With Your Sleep Cycles
This is something that really helps when utilized properly, and can allow you to get away with not getting a full 8 hours sleep, without feeling sluggish or exhausted as your alarm goes off…
Basically, throughout the night we oscillate through cycles of light and deep sleep, each cycle lasting for around 90 minutes.
The time when your sleep cycle ends is when you’re in the lightest phase of sleep, and is when you’re the most lively and energetic when woken up.
So, if you struggle with sluggishness and the inability to even open your eyes early in the morning, you’re probably trying to wake yourself up right in the middle of a sleep cycle.
As I said, these cycles last for about 90 minutes each, so try to the best of your ability to time your wake up time to coincide with a 90-minute interval since going to sleep.
For example, in order to feel as fresh and as lively as possible, you would want to wake up after 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5 or 9 hours sleep. This is when you’re going to be the most refreshed and in the lightest sleeping phase.
Since being aware of this, I’ve noticed that when I’m sticking these intervals, I’m more and more often feeling refreshed and waking up isn’t so much of a challenge, even if I’m a little sleep deprived.
Also, there is an app called Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock, that detects your movements while you sleep in order to wake you up in the lightest sleep phase.
- Don’t Force Yourself To Wake Up Too Quickly
I used to try to force myself to wake up as fast as possible and get straight into productive work, reading or writing etc. And not allow myself time to really wake up.
The result was that if I woke up at 5am, by 8am I felt cooked and ready for bed again.
Recently I’ve been more relaxed when waking up, and not trying to “take off” right away as fast as possible, but allowing myself 30 minutes to “gather speed down the runway” by drinking some lemon water, doing some stretches deep breathing as I go.
I’ve found this to be really effective for managing my energy throughout the day, rather than stressing myself out to try and get moving as fast as possible.
- Early Morning Walking
What I love most about getting up early in the morning is being able to see the sun rise.
I take my dog up a trail walk up the side of a mountain, and while she’s chasing kangaroos through the bushes, I’m either listening to a podcast, an audio book, or just talking to myself and airing out some thoughts and/or ideas.
Besides the beauty and the peace of it all, it’s a really powerful way to get some high quality thinking time in, it wakes you the fuck up, AND walking in a fasted state is really good for fat loss.
Here’s a picture I snapped a couple of days ago from my view of the sunrise:
- Black Coffee
No surprise here, but nothing gets you up quite like a strong black coffee. I recommend one 30 minutes after waking.
If you’re not currently getting up early, I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot for a couple of weeks, you’ll be amazed at how much you can have done by midday…
And you’ll most likely start to look forward to 4am Monday morning like I do.
All the best,
Ryan “4AM” Kuchel