Why and How to Wake Up Early

Throughout April I set myself a challenge: to get up before 8am every single day. I know, I live a crazy life. I have accomplished this on all but one day, the morning after I got home late from a concert. That’s a pretty high success rate I think! But what is the point of all of this? And more importantly, should you sacrifice your lie-ins?

I’ve been quite an early riser for much of my life really; I’ve only been on the other side of the school system for a couple of years, so early starts are all I’ve really known for the majority of my own lived experience. Even on the weekends though I was never too late up, and I never had that typical ‘teen’ phase of sleeping in past 12 on a Sunday.

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However, even though I never really stayed in bed for too long each day, I was starting to feel like the morning itself was controlling me and dictating my mood for the rest of the day, rather than me taking charge of the time in a way that suits me. This was the moment I realised: getting up early every day isn’t important in isolation, the positive impacts of this action are found in the detail, or rather, inserted into the phrase. It is important to get up early at a similar time each day.

Routine is a vital part of getting this challenge to impact your lifestyle positively, and once I had come to terms with this, I decided I needed to pay attention to getting up before 8am each day for a fixed period. Which is how April was allocated early starts: I wanted to start this challenge with a tangible goal, an achievable goal.

I guess what people reading this really want to know is – does it actually work? Does getting up early really help you in other aspects of your life? From my experience over the last thirty days, I’d say yes. It has helped me and I think it could help you too.

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Why should I get up early every day?

  • Increase productivity – perhaps the most obvious benefit, but how could I not mention it? You have more time so you can get more done, it really is that simple.
  • Reduce stress – rushing around in the mornings can make us feel panicky, and like we’re really not on top of things. Giving yourself that extra thirty minutes can give your mind the time it needs to process the day ahead and prioritise what needs doing.
  • Reduce anxiety – for much the same reason as above, running up and down the stairs six more times than necessary in the morning can make you feel overwhelmed and like you’re not coping. Having time to plan can stop these unwelcome feelings arising.
  • Boost mood – so now you’re feeling on top of things, you’re probably going to feel better about yourself, right? Even just feeling that you’re making the most of the morning or that you’re awake ahead of the rest of the world can improve your positivity about the rest of the day.
  • Better organisation – all of these qualities lead to a day in which tasks have a little more space to breathe, and nothing has to be rushed through.
  • Dedicate time to self-care – even if you’re not using those extra couple of hours each morning to do things typically seen as being ‘productive’, you can make use of the time by dedicating it to self-care activities.

Read: My 8 Self-Care Spring Rituals

  • Sleep better – humans love routine, and our bodies are no different. If you can get yourself into a regular bedtime pattern, your body is going to show its appreciation by giving you a better night sleep.
  • Feel a sense of achievement – this is something you’re accomplishing every single day, you should be proud of that!

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How do I get up early every day?

  • Get enough exercise throughout the day – if your body feels well used, it’s going to welcome sleep more easily, and this is what you want if you’re attempting to get up early the next day.

Read: How I Use My Bullet Journal to Track Fitness

  • Establish a night routine – start to wind down some time before the actual ‘lights out’ moment by getting your mind and body to do similar things each night. Maybe that’s some bedtime yoga, reading, having a bath or shower, or even just chatting to your family for a while.
  • Have an earlier bed time – it follows the logic that if you’re getting up earlier you should probably be going to bed earlier too. That’s just basic mathematics.
  • Put your alarm out of reach – this is a mean one, but can really work for some people; if you have to physically leave bed to stop that annoyingly loud and repetitive noise then there’s less chance you’re rolling over and going back to sleep.
  • Open your curtains straight away – the alarm has gone off, you’re letting out a groan and your eyes crave the dark. Don’t give in. Let in the sunshine, or at the very least (in England) some dreary grey attempt at daylight, and allow your eyes to adjust.
  • Know what you’re having for breakfast – and make it something you’re looking forward to, preferably something that is also healthy though. This puts the solid thought in your head that you have an action to get done straight away that’s also achievable.

Read: Ice Cream For Breakfast?

  • Have something nice to wake up to – as I mentioned before, it isn’t vital to be productive from the moment you stick your toes out from under the covers. If you’re giving yourself some extra time, you could always use it to read some blog posts or listen to some music. In other words, entice yourself awake.
  • Write a to-do list the night before – so that frazzled, panicky feeling has no chance to make an appearance. If you go to bed knowing what the next day has in store for you, it’s going to be a lot easier to get up and face it.

Do you think getting up early is beneficial? How do you convince yourself to stick with it?


If you enjoyed this post, you might like:

Clearing Out My Wardrobe: How Spring Cleaning Promotes Good Mental Health

April Bullet Journal Setup

Taking Control Of My Life Decisions


Want to collab with me? Check out the topics I want to write about with you and send over an email to alysjournals@gmail.com.


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29 thoughts on “Why and How to Wake Up Early

  1. The diary of Ellie says:

    I used to hate waking up early, it was the worst! If i didnt need to go anyway i’d be up at about 12 but latley my sleeping pattern has been messed up and ive found myself waking up about 9/10 and i feel so much better for it! You get more of the day to do things x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. questionsfromateenager says:

    I have phases where I wake up at seven on the dot and phases where I can sleep until 12. It really depends on what’s going on with my life. I love this post though and all of the tips you gave within it! I wholeheartedly agree with what you said about getting enough exercise during the day – it makes SUCH a difference in your sleep. xx

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Laura says:

    I was so bad at waking up early but since I’ve been working my sleeping routine has been so much better. Your tips are really good – keeping your alarm out of reach is such a good way to wake you up! I have mine on the floor so I have to get out of bed to get it – I hate myself in the morning but it’s worth it ahah axx

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Bexa says:

    Yess! I totally agree Alys, waking up early can make so much difference to your day 💖. It’s amazing that a small change can have such a positive impact. I’ve recently got into the habit of writing a to-do list each night. I agree that it really reduces anxiety and makes the next day so much easier. Fab post lovely! 😘 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It Girl says:

    I tried waking up early for a while, but I don’t think it really worked for me, because I tend to stay up quite late. Recently I’ve been experimenting with getting up at around 8-8:30 again though so I will see how it goes haha

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hilary Tan says:

    I’m on break now and have been sleeping in but last semester I had to wake up early. I found that I did accomplish more and prefer to study in the mornings/afternoon vs evenings. Go figure! I used to stay up and study until 2am in the morning and did worse on exams when I did.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. crystalsandcurls says:

    YES YES YES! I actually really was one of those teens that could sleep in until 3, but waking up at a decent time of the morning, having a full morning routine and being productive is SO MUCH MORE BENEFICIAL. It makes me feel way more organised and motivated – plus, there’s just more time in the day. Great post girly xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Paolo B. says:

    Good tips for getting up early! Early too bed eArly to rise. The more sleep the better I say👍 if it’s possible of course, only so many hours to get things done in a day right 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  9. thegiraffeslifeblog says:

    The past few days I’ve started writing to-do lists just before going to bed so I know exactly what I’m doing the next day. I also like to get up early and go to the gym, even on the weekend so that I’m showered and ready for the day early instead of finding myself with my hair wrapped in a towel at noon!

    Such a great post and something I subconsciously have been trying to do the past week or so. My productivity levels have quadrupled and it feels so good! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hannah says:

    I have to get up at 6am everyday for placement and it is killing me because I am so used to sleeping in till 10am everyday! But now my body automatically wakes up at 6am on a weekend so I definitely can fit more into my mornings than previously. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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