clock displaying the time 7 o'clock on a bed

Our 7 Tips for How to Wake Up Early Without an Alarm

Our 7 Tips for How to Wake Up Early Without an Alarm

If you have any sort of morning schedule, whether that’s school or work, you’ve probably incorporated an alarm clock to ensure you can be where you need to be on time. However, when you wake up to an alarm clock, your body can find it jarring, and you’ll often feel as though you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep. The truth? It’s because you probably didn’t.

Depending on alarm clock can mean your sleep quality is lacking

Your body clock alarm, aka your circadian rhythm, controls your natural sleep cycle. It tells you when to feel tired (or when to hit the snooze button) and when to feel alert. With enough sleep and a consistent sleep wake schedule, your circadian rhythm will help you feel alert during the daytime and sleepy in the evening. But, if you’re sleep deprived, you might have trouble waking to your alarm – and in the worst of times, you may even sleep right through it!

Alarm clocks can be aggravating and disruptive, and many of us prefer to wake naturally rather than be jolted into consciousness. Our body’s greatest trigger to wake up in the morning is natural light. If your body can’t jumpstart to the morning light and needs an alarm clock, it might be a good indicator that your body isn’t getting the sleep it needs.

If this is you, that’s OK! Check out our 7 tips for how to wake up naturally without an alarm.

Tip no. 1: Experience some natural light

flowers in a field at sunrise

If you spend all day indoors without getting a wink of light outside and you’re wondering why you’re a night owl, it’s probably because your biological clock is confused. Night owls’ biological clocks tend to be distorted due to little or no natural sunlight. Unlike early birds, their bodies are unsure of when to feel sleepy and when to feel alert.

If you work an office job or work from home and don’t often get the chance to experience any natural light, make time for a walk or leave your bedroom window uncovered so some light can shine on! You’re in a much better position to get a good sleep when you let the natural brightness and darkness determine your sleepiness/alertness schedule.

Tip no. 2: Try a more consistent sleep schedule

Some days, you’re in bed by 9 pm with the lights out, and other nights you’re at the bar with friends until 2 am and up again for work by 6. While having the occasional night out won’t throw your circadian rhythms out the window, it’s a good idea to try to stick to a proper schedule for better sleep. A regular sleep schedule reduces the odds of sleep deprivation and it tells your internal clock what time to wake up and what time to go to bed. If you want to wake up early, try to go to bed consistently at 9:30 pm or 10 pm.

Tip no. 3: Exercise early in the morning

If you want to go to bed earlier to wake up at a good time in the morning, try exercising earlier. Regular exercise is great, but if you hit up your weights session at 5–8 pm (especially if you use pre-workout or other caffeine supplements), you might struggle to fall asleep or even stay asleep during the night time. Incorporate exercise into your morning routine. It’ll keep you alert for when you need to be alert and help you fall asleep faster in the evening.

Tip no. 4: Put your mobile phone in another room to charge while you sleep

a mobile phone charging on a table

All that blue light right before bed can really mess up your sleep quality. It’s a proven fact that blue light, particularly when it comes from a screen that is held up very close to your face, can suppress the release of natural melatonin in your body which causes you to feel sleepy. Try a bedtime ritual that is blue light free and ditch the phone 2-3 hours before bed. Instead, replace it with a book or a chat with a partner.

An ideal bedtime won’t involve electronic devices, but if you must answer an email or send a text before bed, opt for blue light glasses! They can protect your eyes from harsh lighting and may benefit your body’s natural hormone secretion.

Tip no. 5: Avoid eating too close to bedtime

woman eating dessert

Eating before bedtime can cause disrupted sleep. If you want to wake up without an alarm clock, it’s highly recommended that you have your last meal 2-3 hours before going to sleep. Opt for a light snack if you absolutely need to eat before bedtime.

Why is this the case? It’s because your body needs time to digest your food. If you go to sleep while your body is still digesting, it might cause an upset stomach, acid reflux, or even indigestion. That being said, don’t ditch a meal just to follow this rule! It’s not hard and fast – if you simply had a busy schedule that day and you’re eating closer to bedtime than you’d like, it’s OK to do once in a while. Try easy-to-digest foods like toast, rice, nuts, and fish.

Tip no. 6: Try some wake-up lights

Like alarm clocks, wake-up lights work to help you wake up naturally by simulating a sunrise within 30 minutes and two hours of your desired wake-up time. This way, you won’t have to hit snooze, because your biological clock will be telling you that it’s morning.

Wake-up lights can get you started to better your circadian rhythms, but they’re not something to be depended on. You’ll want to first try to be sure you’re getting a quality seven to nine hours sleep and that you have no pre-existing sleep disorders which are causing a distorted sleeping schedule. Once the wake-up lights have done their trick, try implementing a few or all of our other tips listed here.

Tip no. 7: Consider your other lifestyle factors

Sometimes, it’s not about the hours that you spend lying in bed, but the quality of those hours. For a good quality sleep, you’re going to want to address the other things you have going on in your life before you can expect to get quality hours of sleep. Consider any health conditions, injuries, or bedroom environment issues which may be contributing to you feeling groggy. If your bedtime routine is off because of your work schedule, try a bedtime routine to get yourself all relaxed before you try falling asleep.

When all else fails, it’s time to consult a physician. Sleep is imperative to your well-being and as essential to your overall health as nutrition and water. If your sleep quality is lacking and none of these tips seems to help, get in touch with your family doctor.