5 Easy Ways To Wake Up Earlier & Maximise The Day

early riser tips
James Graham


Jan 10, 2017

If you want to cram more into your days in 2017, it stands to reason that getting up earlier is one of the easiest ways to do it.

But not all of us are hard-wired to rise before the sun does. In fact, sleep expert and clinical psychologist Michael Breus says it’s not really something you should be forcing.

early rising tips

“The ability to wake up early is determined by your genetics,” Michael tells Well+Good.

The good news is, however, is that Michael also has a few hacks you can adopt to short-circuit Mother Nature – and the snooze button on the pesky alarm clock.

Here are five he recommends to get the most out of your days

1.  Set a bedtime based on 90-minute sleep cycles

Sleep generally runs in 90-minute cycles—and the goal is to wake up at the end of one. “You’ll be in a lighter stage of sleep at that point, which is easier to rouse yourself from,” Michael says. Most people are best served by getting either six hours or seven-and-a-half hours a night, he says, not eight (you’ll be in the middle of a new cycle). So, if you know you work best with seven-and-a-half hours of zzz’s and you need to be up at 6:30 a.m., it’s lights-out at 11.

2. Move your alarm clock across the room

If your alarm is right next to your bed—or on your wrist—it’s so easy to hit snooze. Forcing yourself to physically get out of bed may be a simple trick, but it’s an effective one. Another option? Enlist a wake-up buddy, i.e., a person who will call you and hold you accountable, Michael adds.

3. Have water right away

When the alarm goes off at 5 a.m., your first inclination might be to sprint for a cup of coffee. Don’t. “Your body breathes out one litre of water a night and you need to replace that first,” says Michael. Hydrating right away will help give you the energy to avoid crawling back under the covers.

4. Find the light

Sunlight helps turn off your “melatonin faucet,” adds Michael, which in turn helps you avoid that groggy, I-seriously-don’t-want-to-be-awake-right-now feeling. Stand by the window for a few minutes if it’s light out (bonus points for drinking water at the same time!).

5. Throw a shower party

Michael recommends a cool—not cold—shower to get the blood flowing. And turn up the volume on your favourite songs. “Saving your workout music for your workout isn’t necessarily the best idea,” he says. The overall goal is to start off in a good mood, so you’re more likely to give the whole getting-up-early thing a go again the next day.



By James Graham


With over 20 years as a journalist and TV producer, James Graham has a wealth of experience covering the full media spectrum. James has a formidable reputation as a talented media veteran and worked as a reporter, script writer and as the producer of the TV documentary The Road To Athens. He has worked across newspapers, radio and the biggest flagship magazine brands in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, James was the News Director at Woman's Day and New Idea. Whether filing celebrity exclusives, or some of the biggest real-life splashes of recent years, James’ career has always been at the frontline of mainstream media. When not writing, you’ll find him at Royal Randwick, his beloved Long Reef Golf Club on the Northern Beaches – or visiting his mum in his native New Zealand.


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