The EarlyBird Morning Cocktail
Waking up early and being productive sounds great in theory - who wouldn't want more time to pursue their goals, work on their hobbies, and passions without anyone awake to distract them?
Easier said than done. I can't tell you how many times I tried (and failed) to train myself to wake up early.
After years of sleeping late, I've managed to wake up early at 6 AM for the last several months and it's become second nature.
In this post, you're going to learn exactly how to train yourself to wake up early, with advice from someone who's actually done it themselves.
Let's jump in:
You can't, plain and simple.
Forcing yourself to start a new habit usually ends in failure - any cigarette smoker who's ever tried quitting will tell you the same thing.
Sure, you may force yourself to wake up one morning, but without the right plan in place, you'll probably get tired midway through the day, take a nap, and then you'll stay up late and sleep late once again.
Coming from someone who used to sleep late every morning to waking up at 6 AM every morning, I can assure you that waking up early is easy with the right plan in place.
Rather than forcing yourself to start a habit - in this case, waking up early - only to fail shortly thereafter, you can train yourself to be a morning person.
Our brains are malleable, which is a blessing and a curse. We can become addicted to bad habits like smoking, eating junk food or playing video games for hours a day.
On the flip side, we can also become addicted to healthy things like eating good food, exercising, and yes, waking up early.
In this post, you're going to learn how to train yourself to be a morning person, step-by-step.
Training yourself to wake up early may seem hard, especially if you've tried unsuccessfully in the past. I did many times and thought it was impossible.
But help from some persistence and joining Club EarlyBird (more on that in a bit) has helped me wake up at 6 AM every morning for several months in a row after being a late sleeper all my life.
Here's how I did it, and how you can too:
The EarlyBird Morning Cocktail
I've tried to become a morning person countless times, but it wasn't until I fully articulated why I wanted to wake up early that I actually made the change for good.
You need a good reason to wake up before the sun every morning and leave your warm bed to tackle the day, especially when it's 6 AM, you're tired, and your brain is telling you to go back to bed.
Knowing your reason will discipline you enough to wake up even when you don't want to that morning.
I wrote in my journal for more than an hour about my future goals as a business owner, father, husband, etc., and made a plan to achieve my goals, which included me waking up earlier to start the day right.
Not only am I more productive in the morning, I'm also more disciplined throughout the day when I wake up early. When you start the day properly and with discipline, it's easier to make more good decisions later on that day. One good choice is followed by another.
Likewise, hitting snooze and sleeping late makes it easy to continue making poor choices - for example, surfing Instagram for an hour after you finally do wake up late, skipping your workout because you slept too late, etc.
Don't try to wake up at 4:30 AM if you've been waking up at 9 AM previously. Such a drastic shift in your sleep schedule will surely come back to bite you.
First of all, such a drastic change will demoralize you in the morning, and you're likely to abandon the early morning routine altogether once again.
And if you manage to actually wake up that early off the bat, you'll probably revert to sleeping late shortly thereafter because you're so tired throughout the day, you can't take it anymore.
I've tried this strategy many times and I can assure you it doesn't work.
Instead, gradually wake up earlier every morning so you won't notice much of a difference from morning to morning.
For example, when I used to wake up at 9 AM, I'd set my alarm 15 minutes earlier every night until I was waking up at 6 AM feeling refreshed.
What's the bottom line here?
Instead of making a huge shift in your sleep schedule all at once, try making small changes every night until you reach your desired wake up time.
Training yourself to wake up early and staying up late past your bedtime don't go well together - something's got to give, and for most of you it will be waking up early.
Don't underestimate the power of a sound bedtime routine. Your bedroom should be your temple, not a place to stay up all night on your phone.
First of all, set a bedtime and stick to it. If you want to wake up at 6 AM, you should probably be in bed by 10 PM.
And that doesn't mean in bed on your phone. That means in bed, with the lights off, or at the very least, reading a book.
Aside from being addicting/making you stay up later, your phone's screen will keep you awake when you're trying to sleep and decrease your sleep quality.
Reading a book on the other hand doesn't emit any blue light and will make you tired quite quickly.
You don't want to associate your bed with anything else aside from sleep. If you consistently stay up late on your phone while in bed, you'll associate your bed with your phone, not with sleep.
Once I stopped using my phone or computer in bed and only reserved it for sleeping, I fell asleep MUCH faster once in bed.
While we're talking about going to bed earlier, exercise can help you fall asleep faster and will improve your quality of sleep as well. At the end of the day, you need enough sleep to feel good in the morning.
Drinking coffee isn't a replacement for a sufficient amount of quality sleep.
Go for a run, walk, bike ride, hit the gym, etc. and you'll have a better night's sleep, which makes training yourself to wake up early easier.
You can also habit stack - that means stacking one good habit after another. For example, you can wake up early to work out, and then you'll have an easier time waking up early the next morning to work out again.
The EarlyBird Morning Cocktail
Rewarding yourself is a crucial component of forming any new habit, according to Atomic Habits by James Clear, one of the leading books on habits available today. I highly recommend you read it if you haven't already.
I've talked a lot about rewarding yourself in my last post about waking up early for heavy sleepers, so I won't get into as much detail here on the science of habit-forming.
At a high level, our brains like rewards, and you need to reward yourself for doing something hard like waking up early.
You can do something in the morning that you enjoy like drinking a tasty smoothie, meditating, reading, etc.
Waking up early allows you to start your day the way you want, so doing something you enjoy is important. Without rewarding yourself for the new habit, you won't be incentivized to continue.
I personally like to drink EarlyBird in the morning as my reward for waking up early. It tastes great and gives me everything I need to wake up feeling refreshed, ready to take on the day.
There are 3 things you need to wake up early in the morning: hydration, energy, and a good mood.
EarlyBird has three nootropic blends that address each one.
You become dehydrated overnight, losing up to a pound of water just from breathing. Without hydrating in the morning it's unlikely you'll want to wake up.
EarlyBird mixes with water and has electrolytes, both of which supercharge hydration.
Next, you need energy to start the day. EarlyBird has a clean energy blend made from things like fruits, vegetables, and green coffee bean extract. It gives your brain and body all of the nutrients they need to get sh*t done.
And lastly, mood enhancement. You don't want to "wake up on the wrong side of the bed" or you'll have a terrible day. EarlyBird uses Theobromine, an alkaloid found in chocolate, which gives you that feel-good feeling without the sugar or the crash.
EarlyBird is like the cheat code for waking up early without feeling tired. It was made by people who wanted to wake up early so they could be more productive.
If you want to train yourself to wake up early in the morning, you need EarlyBird. Click here to check pricing, order your first tub, and start waking up early for good.
Wake-up lights help you wake up naturally, as opposed to hearing a blaring alarm in the morning.
I started using wake-up lights recently and they changed my mornings forever.
I used to hate hearing my alarm blaring in my ear every morning, so I decided to try a wake-up light that gradually gets brighter over 30 minutes, simulating a sunrise.
The light wakes me up in the morning on time, and it feels natural. Rather than being jolted awake, I wake up on my own, ready to drink my EarlyBird and tackle the day.
As a backup, I have another alarm that uses a motor to shake my bed (yep, I'm a deep sleeper) but I usually don't have to use it because the wakeup light does its job.
While we're on the topic of alarms, keep yours away from your bed. When your alarm is within arm's reach of your bed, you're likely to wake up, roll over, turn it off (or hit snooze), and go right back to bed.
When you set your alarm and leave it across the room, you're forced to wake up, get out of bed, and turn it off. At that point, you're already up, and you just have to avoid rationalizing why you should go back to bed.
As soon as you turn off your alarm, get out of your room. Go open the blinds, use the bathroom, brush your teeth, splash your face with water, take a shower, make breakfast - it really doesn't matter, as long as you're not getting back in bed.
Do something to wake up in the morning. You only have to fight through the first few minutes of grogginess once you're out of bed, and then you're good to go for the rest of the day. And if you drink EarlyBird, you'll feel better even faster, and have energy that lasts all day long.
Whatever you do, when that alarm goes off, NEVER hit snooze and DON'T get back in bed.
The EarlyBird Morning Cocktail
Planning your morning is one way to implement the last tip, and it's incredibly effective. If you want to go for a run in the morning to wake up, you can leave your running clothes/shoes out the night before.
Now when your alarm wakes you up you can turn it off, drink your EarlyBird (if you want to wake up easily) and then put your clothes on, without having to think.
Conversely, if you don't leave your clothes out the night before, it's much harder to get dressed and go for the run, because you have to pick out clothes. That extra layer of friction doesn't seem like a lot when you're awake, but your sleepy brain that wants to go back to bed will make every excuse in the book, so you don't want to give yourself the chance.
Planning your morning is a great way to train yourself to wake up early.
Waking up at 6 AM every morning of the week only to party on Friday and sleep until 2 PM on Saturday isn't the best idea. You're undoing all of the hard work you put in during the week.
I only recommend embarking on this journey if you're committed to making it a lifestyle and waking up early every morning, including weekends.
Yes, you can sleep in once in a while as long as it's not a regular occurrence or happening most of the week. But there's a big difference between sleeping in for a few hours and waking up in the afternoon, hungover.
Lastly, having a friend, family member or colleague who can hold you accountable will make the process much easier.
Training yourself to wake up early is difficult when it's just you on your side, but when you have a peer that's keeping you accountable, it becomes much harder to slip up.
They can call you in the morning to make sure you're awake, or wake you up if they live with you.
Earlier in the post I suggested you reward yourself for waking up early. With an accountability partner, you can penalize yourself for sleeping in late.
Having rewards/penalties for waking up early or sleeping in late makes it much easier to train yourself.
You should also track every morning you successfully wake up early, versus the mornings when you sleep in late or hit snooze. Seeing it on paper makes it much easier to know how you're doing, and it's also motivating to track your forward progress.
It took me several weeks of consistent early mornings to get used to it. It was a gradual process of waking up slightly earlier every morning and implementing all of the tips above.
You can't expect to get used to it after a day - any habit takes a while to form, but the more you work on it, the easier it becomes. Now, thanks to my discipline (and a lot of EarlyBird) I'm able to wake up at 6 AM every morning like it's second nature, despite being a night owl for most of my life.