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I am not a morning person.  (Who IS really, anyway??) I am a total night owl, and I love to sleep in. I’m blessed that I live on my own and have no one who wakes me up early or has demands of me at home, so I get the chance to sleep in every weekend if I really want.  In short, I’m really good at hitting that snooze button.

BUT I am a teacher and I have to be at work, awake, ready for kiddos, acting like a human, and prepared for my day by 7 am sharp on weekdays. And I have a half hour commute.  And I hate to rush.

Given all this I have been putting a lot of thought and ideas into my morning routine to make it enticing enough and worthwhile enough to get my rear out of bed at a decent time, wake myself up with a little wellness routine, and feel ready to tackle the kids DAY by the time I show up at work.

After some trial and error, and still some days of error, I have come up with 8 things that really help me wake up, GET up, feel refreshed, and be prepared for my day.


1. Use an app, like Sleep Cycle, to wake you up naturally.

This app (it’s free!) listens to you while you sleep (it’s not that creepy, I swear), analyzes your sleep cycles, and then gently starts to wake you at a time that you are sleeping more lightly.

Instead of blaring you startlingly awake from a deep sleep at a set time, Sleep Cycle waits for your breathing to be shallower within a set window of 15-40 min (you decide the window length) and then starts to gently wake you. 

I have been using this app for over a year and it really works. I especially love it because you can track lots of things about your sleep health.  You can track what you did before bed to help you relax or not (drink tea, no cell phone, walked outside, etc), and it keeps track of how long you sleep, shows you the cycles, and can even record your heart rate when you wake up if you want.

Super fun to use, easy, and it has really helped my sleep health overall!

2. Have an accountability partner CALL you (or poke you!) and make sure you are up!

Since I live alone, this was a CRUCIAL step for me.  With no one else to prod me or turn on the lights, it was so easy to just turn off my alarm and keep on snoozing.

I found a work friend who is actually a morning person and she wakes up an hour before me, so when she heard I was having trouble staying awake she said she’d give me a call during her breakfast for a least two weeks to help me get into the habit. It worked!

It’s such a nice feeling hearing someone alert and soothing at the same time; it really helps motivate me to get my rear in gear.

3. Put a salt lamp next to your bed to turn on.

 I like this one. It’s a soothing pink lamp that gives you a little energy and isn’t too bright. I turn mine on when my friend calls me so I don’t feel like a zombie talking to her and then once it’s on I have no choice but to be a little more awake.

Plus, when I switch it on my cat gets up and I no longer have the excuse to stay in bed and snuggle.

4. Get some comfy slippers.

Seriously, having a warm place to put your feet is SO crucial to being willing to put them on the floor.  These are my favorite!

Having a nice cozy robe or a long sweater to shrug into helps a lot too, especially if you’re in a cold place like me (Minnesota), and hate getting out from under the warm blankets.


5. Use a light therapy lamp to help wake you up more once you get out of bed.

I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka the Winter Blues, aka generalized depression) and really hate it that I wake up well before the sun rises in the winter (and most of the rest of the year too since I get up at 5:00!!).

Since a friend got me this lamp and I put it out next to my yoga mat, I have been turning it on for 10-30 minutes every morning while I do my gentle yoga stretches. I love it!

It feels like I’m doing something healthy and calming at the same time as giving myself a little more energy.

6. Keep your yoga mat in a place where you can just get on it and get going.

In your PJs, of course! I’ve had this mat for at least 10 years and it is still my favorite 🙂 Set out some weights too so you can just sit for a few seconds and stare at the light therapy lamp and do some gentle bicep curls before going into down dog.

Once you’ve started a little gentle movement, try to do a simple Sun Salutation, maybe just two or three times, and then try some deep breathing or even quick and forceful kapalabhati breaths for more energizing.

All of this gets your blood flowing and sends more oxygen to your brain. Wakey, wakey! Check out my morning yoga routine here!

7. Listen to a podcast, news station, or some upbeat music.

I have to have some noise, preferably adult human noise (as opposed to children making animal noises), to help get my brain turned on. I like music some days too, but most often I like to use my brain and hear what’s going on in the world to remind myself that I’m in it. Alive and ready to go.

8. Give yourself the promise of a comforting caffeinated beverage.

I have a nice coffee maker that can make lattes if that’s what’s on my menu. Otherwise, my English Breakfast tea made in a beautiful tea kettle is a lovely ritual that I get to as soon as I’m off my mat and ready to tackle the day. Add in a cute mug and you are ready to rock and roll!

My whole morning and wellness routine takes 45-60 minutes. I’m out of bed at 5:00, I walk out the door at 6:00, sometimes I have a few minutes to scroll Instagram, pet my cat, or write in my daily planner/journal.  I skip the shower (I’m a night bather) and do minimal makeup (kids don’t care, either do I).

So the fact that I have at least 30 minutes to do yoga, clean my teeth with coconut oil, and listen to the news all before I leave for work means I start my day with good healthy habits, which means I’ll be more likely to choose healthy habits as the day goes on.

Are you a morning person? Weirdo.   I mean… cool… share some tips!  If you’re not, what do you do when you have to get up early?  Comment and share below 🙂

(Please note that some links above may be affiliate links, meaning that I may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase after clicking on the links. Also, know that I only ever recommend products or services that I have personally used myself and find worthwhile!)

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