Lifestyle & Wellness

How to get up earlier in the morning – 6 crucial tips

Woman stretching in the morning - How to get up earlier in the morning
Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

This post is for people out there that struggle first thing and want to know how to get up earlier in the morning, in the easiest way possible. Well, it’s never easy, but we can make it more bearable.

The hardest time is those cold, dark winter mornings but hey, it can still be awful if you’ve had a rough night, if it’s dark, cold or lots of other reasons. How to get up earlier in the morning is something many of us battle with.

Disclaimer: I am not a morning person. I will never be a morning person. Not even a baby or pet has made me a morning person. But…you can waste so much time if you don’t make the most of your mornings. It can affect your health, work performance and relationships.

If like me (pre-baby!) you struggle with getting a move on first thing, try to incorporate as much of the below as you can. Let’s tackle the challenge of how to get up earlier in the morning…

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1. Improve your sleep and wind down routine

To feel better about waking up in the morning, the first step to tackle is improving your sleep in the first place. If you’ve had enough quality sleep, it won’t quite feel so hellish first thing.

You may have heard of some of these, but in case you aren’t covering them all, let’s break it down:

  • No caffeine after lunchtime. It stays in your body for hours and can disturb your sleep
  • Try and go to bed at roughly the same time each night, so your body clock sets nicely
  • No heavy meals or booze. It can cause havoc later (or the next day)
  • If you are in the habit of stressing out over things and playing them over and over, write it all down and tell yourself you will deal with it tomorrow. Keep a notepad by your bed for to-do lists too.
  • Read a book. Make it a paperback or Kindle adjusted for light levels so you don’t strain your eyes.
  • No screen time before bed. Limit TV and your phone use as the blue light after effects will steal your sleep later (I’m not going to lie, this last one is the hardest for me)

I won’t go so far as to suggest a lavender bath session with candles and windpipe music, but do as much as the above to give yourself the best chance at some decent sleep. The aim is chilled time without too much stimulation, so your body and mind can relax.

2. Prepare all you can in advance

If you can prep the night before, that’s less to deal with in the morning. This allows you to be more efficient and causes less anxiety while still half asleep first thing. You can prep by:

  • Laying out your workout gear or work clothes (or work from home casual!) all ready
  • Preparing your coffee machine
  • Ensuring your bag has everything you need, if you head out to work or the gym

Think about other parts of your morning routine that you could do in advance. It may save your seconds or minutes but it all helps make you feel ready to tackle the day ahead.

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How to get up earlier in the morning

3. Get strategic with your alarm

Whether you use your phone or have an old school alarm, the below tips are essential:

  • Put your alarm on the other side of the room, so you have to get up and walk (well, stagger) over to it (it’s harsh but effective)
  • Do not hit the snooze button! Not even once. I had a colleague who said they would hit it for over an hour! What a waste of time. It’s such a vicious cycle to get into. Look, you feel crappy whether you wake up straight away or delay it again and again, so you may as well deal with it head-on.
  • Rethink the sound you wake up to. Do you need more soothing sounds, or something more vibrant? Would a natural sound like crashing waves help, or would a favourite song help put you in a good mood?

4. Expose yourself to light first thing

It’s important to let light in early to help wake you up and stimulate the senses. You have two choices.

The first is to jump up and open the curtains (or turn a light on if it’s a dark morning). You could do this as you’re crossing the room to turn your alarm off! Double harshness but we’ve got to drag you out of bed somehow.

The second choice is to treat yourself to a gentle body clock light alarm that brightens slowly akin to a sunrise! I tried one years ago (I don’t need it now with my daughter waking me up at silly o’clock) and it was a lovely way to rise. You just sense the room brightening up in a more gentle way.

There are lots of models to suit different price ranges so shop around but one of the more popular ones is the Lumie Bodyclock Glow. Lumie has lots of models with different settings and fancy sounds! Lumie even has a sunset mode to help you wind down the night before.

These types of clocks can really get you excited about bedtime and rising. Test one out and see if helps you overcome your battle to get out of bed.

5. Have an exercise plan

You may find it helps to make a plan to exercise each day as part of your morning routine. Whether it’s heading to the gym or out for a run, knowing you need to workout first thing is a good motivator. If you need accountability, plan to exercise with a friend so you won’t want to be late or let them down.

For more ideas on getting your body read how to start or restart running again or how to sneak in exercise when you work from home. These cover motivation and ensuring exercise fits well into your day, so you keep it up.

If you sign up and pay for a class package or gym membership, that might make you more inclined to get out on time. As said earlier, lay out your gym clothes the night before too so they are ready for you to get into quick.

Exercising outdoors has so many benefits too and will give you the kick of fresh air and vitamin D first thing to wake you up. It will help you feel better through the rest of the day.

Whether it’s running, cycling or outdoor workouts, this is a way to get yourself out the door first thing. Read more on ways to exercise outdoors.

Women standing by patio doors in the morning - How to get up earlier in the morning
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

6. See your GP or a sleep specialist

This last suggestion is for those of you that have tried all the above and more yet still really struggling with getting out of bed in the morning.

It’s worth exploring whether you just hate mornings, especially the cold, dark ones of winter or if there’s more going on. Not wanting to get out of bed in the morning on a long-term basis could be sign of depression or anxiety.

You could already know what’s going on, if it’s linked to your job or other situation getting you down. Practice self-care and reach out to get help from your GP or local health practitioner.

If you have problems specifically around sleep (such as insomnia) then again, you should talk to a professional. You may be able to see a sleep specialist that can support you in this area.

Q & A’s on how to get up earlier in the morning:

Why is it so hard to wake up early?

There are plenty of reasons: late night, needing more sleep (and quality sleep) but also, just that shift to your body and brain waking up. If it’s still dark, that’s particularly disorientating.

Depression or even just feeling low can factor in so you need to look at the whole picture.

Do sleep needs and patterns change with age?

Yes they do. Babies and young children need more sleep but adults still need decent and quality sleep, so get the conditions right to improve your sleep and it will help with your early morning rising.

You need a mix of deep, light and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or dream sleep to feel you’ve slept well. And we all have different sleep needs.

How long will it take to get into the habit of waking up earlier?

All habits take a while to ingrain and it is different for some. Some might feel better about early rising within a week, others a couple of months.

And remember that the seasons, lighting and temperature conditions play a big factor. Also, ensure you get that daily exposure to natural light which will help you set your new rhythm.

Final thoughts on how to get up earlier in the morning

The above ideas should show you how to get up earlier in the morning without making too much sacrifice.

As I’ve said above, I’m not a morning person but as you get older, you only have more responsibility and less time to get things done. So the days of lazy lie-ins are sadly a sweet memory of student days or weekends in flat-shares. Oh, I do miss a lie-in…

If you have children, you will likely be up at a shocking time and won’t have a choice about waking up early. Likewise, if you have a pet, because they will be letting you know they need to be let outside or fed. So it seems pets or children are one solution to the problem of how to get up earlier in the morning.

Do try these ideas and let me know what you suggest on how to get up earlier in the morning…I’m sure some of you have got your own unique methods!

If you have mum friends who don’t have this problem but have their own issues with sleep or powering through the day, please share my posts on how to survive the day as a sleep-deprived mum and finding an alternative baby bedtime routine. I struggle when I don’t have good quality sleep and I know many (mums or not) that feel the same.

Thanks for reading and sharing! Pin this – How to get up earlier in the morning.

How to get up earlier in the morning

The information provided is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. This site is not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information.


  • Karalee

    These are great tips! I’m not a morning person either, but I have to get up earlier to take my daughter to school. I definitely agree it helps to prep the night before, and I will make my daughter’s lunch, set out her clothes, etc. so I’m less stressed in the morning. I also recently changed my alarm so it is soothing music that plays instead of a blaring alarm. I’ve also stopped hitting the snooze button because I read that it’s worse for you to hit the snooze button because you won’t get quality sleep within that 5-10 minutes and you’ll end up feeling even more tired when you do get up.

  • Jenny in Neverland

    Some fab advice! I’m definitely a morning person – I’m far more productive in the morning and I like the peace and quiet of the morning although I would like to try and get up a bit earlier as I hate to feel like I’m wasting the day when I stay in bed a little too long. During the pandemic, I was waking up at 6:30 and it was really lovely!

  • Benny

    Love this post on getting up earlier in the morning. Although I consider myself a morning person, I do sometimes tend to struggle with getting out of bed. I apply the jump out and open the curtains technique. But some of the going to sleep tips I find difficult. Such as no screen time before bed. I do also have the bad habit of waking up in the middle of the night and looking at my phone. But I’m working on it and I like my morning routine I have. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Danielle

    I am not a morning person either so thank you for these tips. But because I am forced to be, I do know I am more productive in the morning and agree that establishing some good routine in the evening is very helpful to how we rest and wake. When I implement those good habits at night it makes waking earlier so much easier.

  • Courtney

    I think I need a new alarm clock. I use my phone and then I’m looking at my phone the very first thing. I’ve also gotten into a bad habit of hitting snooze! I’m a tea girl, and I always love to wake up to a full kettle ready to be switched on–but for some reason getting myself to fill it at night is tough. Time for some new habits!

  • Michelle Latinovich

    This post came at the perfect time! I am working on a better morning routine. Your post has some very helpful tips…the no caffeine in afternoon is definitely a tough one for me….but I know that is important for a good night’s rest!

  • Heather

    Love this post! I’m also NOT a morning person. But having a consistent – and doable – routine has helped keep my mornings running smoothly and has made me more productive overall. I especially agree with your tips about preparing for the morning by getting everything you need ready the night before. I always regret it when I skip this step!

  • Amanda

    Oh my goodness thank you so much for sharing this! One of my bigger goals this year is to become a morning person and get up before my kids for some me time! I am the worst at it. Awesome tips, thank you 🙂

  • Lucy

    These are great tips for getting up earlier in the morning. This is a habit I need to start doing again as I have lost my way of getting up early in the morning!

  • Rachel Thornhill

    Loved your post! As someone that is not a morning person and has trouble turning my mind off when I need to go to sleep, your tips just might help me. I’m going to try turning the lights on right away when I wake up and also brain dumping before bed.

  • Lauren Brock

    Love this post! So much good information. I am a morning person, but I really struggle to wake up early this time of year when it’s cold and dark. I’m going to try a few techniques you’ve touched on to hopefully make mornings a little easier!

  • Yzzy

    Thanks for these tips! The idea of setting the alarm far away so you have to get up sounds good. Another thing that works for me is having water on the bedside and drinking as soon as I wake up, that makes me want to go to the bathroom and get up.

  • Katherine McLee

    This post has come at the perfect time! I love a good morning routine but it’s actually getting up earlier I’m not great at! Going to save this post and try these tips out!

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