At some point in your college career, you’ll have to face the dreaded early morning class. We’ve all been there. You try for hours to rearrange your schedule, but there’s just no avoiding that 8 a.m. with a mandatory attendance policy. You convince yourself that it won’t be that bad, but as the semester drags on, the sound of your alarm blaring at an ungodly hour actually causes you physical pain. It feels like there aren’t enough espresso shots in the world that can wake you up. Believe it or not, it is possible for even the biggest night owls to become bright-eyed well before noon.
1. Create a relaxing routine.
Eight is your new favorite number. Repeat it over and over, almost like your new mantra. With exams, papers and projects it’s not always easy, but getting a full eight hours can make all the difference. The best way to ensure an easy morning is to sleep well the night before. Setting a relaxing nighttime routine that you enjoy doing will help you unwind. Take a shower, have a bedtime snack and then tuck yourself in for a good night’s sleep.
2. Turn off the electronics
Your brain takes a while to cool down after a long day of staring at your phone and computer screens. These bright lights suppress Melatonin production, making it harder for you to fall asleep, so try reading a book or listening to relaxing music instead.
3. Give yourself something to look forward to
A little incentive is a great way to accomplish anything, even when that thing is forcing yourself out of bed. If you really love PopTarts, bribe yourself with one the morning of that 8 a.m. class. If you crave Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, tell yourself that getting out of bed earlier will give you time to stop and get one before class.
4. Reward yourself
If you want to really get into it, try making a game. Give yourself a point for every day you successfully get out of bed and reward your efforts accordingly. Once you accumulate ten points, treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latte or a trip to the movies.
5. Ditch traditional alarms
There’s a pretty much zero percent chance you’ll actually enjoy the mornings if your peaceful sleep is ruined by the jarring sound of Marimba. Try setting your alarm to something a little more enjoyable, like the radio or your current favorite song. Waking up to good music will make an early morning much easier than a typical screeching alarm.
6. There’s an app for that
Another issue might be that you’re waking up in the middle of deep (a.k.a REM) sleep. The solution? Go to the app store and download Sleep Cycle. It’s a new kind of alarm clock that measures your sleep patterns and wakes you up at an optimal time. All you have to do is set a time frame for when you want to wake up, and then place your phone under your pillow. The app measures your REM cycles based on how much you move around at night. This means no more brutal mid-REM cycle wake up calls and a lot more energy throughout the day.
7. Get up right away
If you’re guilty of hitting the snooze button a few (or ten) times, this one is for you. Forcing yourself to get up as soon as that first alarm goes off instantly wakes you up and gives a burst of energy to start the day. While it’s always nice to snooze for an extra twenty minutes, try and save this as a weekend-only privilege. The easiest way to do this is to plug in your phone or alarm clock out of reach from your bed. If you can’t reach the alarm from bed, odds are you have to get up.
8. Hit the gym
Take advantage of your newfound extra hours during the day. Try and fit a workout in, even if it means getting up a half-hour or so earlier than normal. There’s really no better way to wake yourself up. If you’re one of those people that feel particularly sluggish in the morning, a run on the treadmill is the solution. You’ll feel more energized in the morning and all throughout the day.
9. Plan ahead
We all know the struggle of trying to fall asleep when your mind is running through a long list of things you need to do in the morning. To prevent this, get as much done as possible before bed. Pack your bag, lay out your clothes and fix a lunch. Basically make sure you make the mornings as easy for yourself as possible. Your future self will thank you for it.
10. Create the perfect sleep environment
Actual scientific studies have proven that a cool, dark and quiet room is essential to sleeping soundly. So turn off the lights, turn down the air and snuggle in with your favorite blanket. Try a pair of earplugs to put the roommates on mute or an eye mask to block out any light from their late-night studying.