How to Actually Wake Up Earlier

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Maybe you've had a goal to wake up earlier for... forever. Maybe you even know how you'd spend those glorious morning hours! BUT—you just keep hitting the snooze button, and inevitably roll out of bed at the absolute last minute. (Been there, done that! Ahem, currently still doing that :))


If you've ever despaired of ACTUALLY waking up earlier, read on for tips from PowerSheets® goal planner users who have successfully made the switch to getting out of bed earlier... whether they identify as early birds or not!
  • Shift your wake-up time gradually. "I tried so many things over the years, but what finally worked was making my wake-up time earlier by 15 minutes a week until I worked up to a full hour," says Saprina.
  • Go to bed earlier. Once you know your ideal wake-up time, and the ideal amount of sleep you need, walk back your schedule to figure out what time you need to go to bed—and fit in the rest of your evening routine. "I try to go up for bed by 10pm, get ready for bed, meditate, and then read and try to be asleep between 10:30-11," says Michelle. "That allows me to wake up at the same time each day. I like being up in the morning hearing the birds!"
  • Throw those covers off immediately. "I don't give myself time to think when the alarm goes off," says Veronique. "If I lay there for even a few minutes, I know I'll go back to sleep and not get up. Once the alarm goes off, I open my eyes and get right out of bed with no time to debate. Once I'm actually out of bed, everything else is easy." 
  • Make it harder to snooze. "I use my phone as an alarm, but charge it across the room so that when it goes off, I have to get out of bed to turn it off," says Rachel. Brutal but effective!
  • Wake up your brain. Julie uses the app Alarmy. "It’s a phone alarm that makes you perform a task in order for it to turn off, such as doing simple math, taking a picture of your kitchen sink, or remembering a pattern. It’s been a game-changer." Other users mentioned an alarm clock that rolls around your bedroom, requiring you to chase it down to turn it off!
  • Use the power of natural light. Depending on how bright the environment outside your windows is overnight, consider leaving your curtains or blinds open so the sunrise can work its magic and wake you up gradually. If leaving curtains open isn't a possibility, try a sunrise alarm clock. They can be expensive, but are beloved by many users.
  • Use the power of natural light, part two. Studies have shown that the earlier we can expose ourselves to natural light in the morning (ideally between 6 and 8:30am), the more strongly we'll signal our body to wake up and be alert, which kickstarts a cycle of sleeping well and at the right time. So get that Vitamin D as early as you can! Morning coffee outside, anyone
  • Use your mornings for the things you love. "I have built my morning routine so it's full of things I look forward to," says Sally. "I don't skip it. I even get up at 5 am on weekends because I just need that quiet hour to myself." Jessica agrees: "I've stopped trying to be 'productive' during my early morning time. I look forward to getting up early and I get up on the weekends as well, but it's because it's more of a "rest" time that helps me start my day in a good mood. I like having my coffee, lighting my favorite candle, and having quiet prayer time. After that I might read or watch videos on Youtube!"
  • Put a consequence in place. "I started scheduling really important meetings that I had to look presentable for really early in the morning," says Mandi. "I have no choice but to get it together. Admittedly, there's some anxiety, but it worked." Ha! When all else fails...
For more on establishing healthy morning and sleep rhythms, PowerSheets users recommended two books for additional reading: Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stephenson and Miracle Morning by Hal Elrond.

We'd love to hear: 
are you a reformed snoozer? What's made the difference for you? Or are you a happy night owl? :)

P.S. 10 Intentional Ways to Use Your Mornings
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