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Wake Up Early Even On Dark Days

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The alarm goes off and for a moment I just want to stay wrapped up in bed. When it's cold outside and cozy in bed, it's much more tempting to hit the snooze button for ‘just 10 more minutes’.

But, on these darker, colder mornings as we quickly approach winter, we can do a few things to make it easier to get out of bed.  Because the benefits of being an early riser don't go away when winter arrives.  It's proven we get more done in the early morning hours.  In fact, it may be the only time we can exercise, meditate, pray, or read without interruption.  

Here are a few reasons why most people struggle in the morning and lose the ‘bedroom battle’…

1. Lack of Sunlight

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain to regulate sleep.  When it's dark your body produces more making you sleepy.  Light causes a drop in melatonin. So, the quicker you can open a window, turn on some lights, or go outside the quicker your brain will get the message that melatonin is for nighttime.  

2. Decreased Activity

During the winter, we spend more time on the sofa and less time being active. Getting up in the morning and doing something active will get your blood pumping and your brain awake.  It doesn't have to be a strenuous gym session. A walk or stretching is sufficient.   If you want something heart-pumping try a few rounds of pushups and jumping jacks before your shower. 

3. Poor Evening Routine

Staying up too late, staring at a device right before bedtime, or having caffeine too late in the day will disrupt the quality of your sleep.  Poor sleep obviously results in a more difficult time getting started in the morning.  Set yourself up to jump out of bed in the morning with a good bedtime routine. 

4. Morning Dehydration

When you sleep (especially in winter time) you may sweat due to heavy blankets, breath in the dry air since your heat is on, and obviously not drink any water for many hours. We wake up dehydrated which reduces alertness, increases tired feelings, and affects mental concentration. Have a big glass of water by your bed to rehydrate as soon as you wake up.  

Try to tackle these one at a time and you will start to feel more energetic when your alarm buzzes in the morning.  The key is to be consistent so it becomes a habit you do without thinking.  

Lastly, here is my one BIG tip for waking up early even on the dark days . . . 

Build a morning routine around something you look forward to.  It shouldn't be stressful and filled with a 'to do' list you dread.  Whether it's walking to the dog, reading the paper, listening to a podcast, or just quietly enjoying a cup of coffee . . . make it happen. 

Whatever would make a happy morning for you, make it part of your morning routine.  You will be ready to face the day and excited knowing that you are improving the quality of your life instead of just rushing around like most do. 

You will feel happier and more energetic.  I bet you even get more done the rest of the day.  As a result, you will continue to feel more motivated to get up and get going. 

These simple actionable tips should help you fight the early sunrise battle, and help you feel more ready to take on the day! Head over to Facebook and share with us your favorite part of your morning routine and follow along as we share other tips to improve the quality of your life.