8 time tested tips for an easier wake up, early in the morning

For some reason, I always end up having a job where I am required to wake up really, really early in the morning. It’s been like that pretty much constantly for the last 6 years, when I started working at a bakery.

I’ve had to set my alarm as early as 4h45 AM to go to work. Even in the peak days of sunlight duration, it’ still way dark out at that hour.

Getting up and ready isn’t always an easy task, so people are often asking how I do it.

Over the years, I’ve managed to create a routine that works well for me. I’m well aware that not everyone is built the same way and that it may not work for all people, but I still think that some of these ideas could be useful for people who are trying, but having a hard time in becoming morning people (growing into adulthood kind of forces most of us to become that way!). Here are 8 tips to help you wake up early in the morning and have enough energy to get through the day:

1: Have more than one alarm set. This helps so you can wake up a bit more slowly. The first alarm will wake you up, then you can relax a little bit more until the next one sets off (5 or ten minutes later). I usually set 7 different alarms. I’m crazy, I know, but I rarely let them all ring. It’s just a safety so that I don’t sleep right on through and open my eyes 1 hour later, when I should be arriving at work. Knowing that all these alarms will make sure I get up helps me calm down and have a better night’s sleep.

3 alarm clocks

2: Give yourself time. An hour is what I need before I leave for work. I get that some people will prefer to sleep more instead of waking up earlier but for me, I’d rather have an extra 30 minutes to relax and slowly open my eyes before I put my boots on and head out of the house. It’s not that I have a lengthy makeup routine (at all) or that I take time to choose my outfit. I just find that smoother wake ups help to have more energy as you go through the day.

Relaxing in bed

3: Drink a glass of water almost right away, before breakfast and especially, before coffee. It’ll help by refreshing and hydrating your body, which hasn’t been replenished in water for the last 8 hours. This is actually a quite common practice in certain places around the world like Japan, and has been proven to work. I’ve been doing this regularly for the past 2 months and I really see the difference.

Glass of water in the morning

4:Go gradually on the lights. I start out by turning on my computer and lowering the monitor’s light setting. Eventually, perhaps ten minutes later, I turn the lights on in my room. This helps to prevent those flashes and headaches provoked by sudden exposition to too much light.


5: Have your clothes and makeup chosen the night before so you can chill a little bit in the morning. I know that it’s easier said then done for some people but once you are used to doing it, it’ll come easily. I have tons of clothes but I tend to stay within the same kits for work. I wear the rest of my stuff on my days off, when I have more time to create different outfits.

Preparing outfit night before

6: If you can, walk a little bit. If the bus stop is right at your door, perhaps walk to the next one? Fresh air and exercise will help to stimulate your body. I’m lucky, my job is a short twelve minute walk away from where I live so I get to do this every morning.

Winter boots photo

7: Take some Vitamin C, but not right away (start with water first). Having a glass of orange juice or a clementine an hour after waking up is great. I say to wait a bit after waking up because the sugar that is present in fruits and juices will give you a momentary high, but have you crashing again not long after. If you are still at home when the sugar’s effect stops, it’ll be harder to get back going.

Orange juice in the morning

8: Have some good mood music on hand. Not every morning is the same. Some days your body wants to wake up slowly and peacefully, where as on others you need a stronger beat. Here are three examples of music that I use to wake up:

For those days when I want to meditate and contemplate, some Swedish ambient electronic tunes:

For those days when I need a brutal wake up, some Japanese punk rock jams:

For those days when I’m in a festive mood to begin with, some Cuban salsa music:

I don’t drink coffee and I tend to split breakfast into two parts (waffles with tahini and honey at 6h, cliff bar at 9h). This routine has worked well for me over the past 6 years.

I’m no nutritionist or doctor, so I can only vouch for  these tips through personal experience. I hope they can help you and if you have any tips to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comment section!

Morning view Montreal

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