A High Schooler’s Guide to Waking Up Early
One of the most irritating things about high school is waking up early, and most students do not wake up excited to learn. First period classes have a slow start, and many people’s brains are not awake enough to focus. There is nothing we can do to change the start times, so we might as well make the best of it. Luckily, there are many techniques that can help you become a better morning person. Even if you absolutely despise the thought of waking up early, trying just a few of these methods may make your mornings a little less dreary.
The biggest distraction for teenagers are phones; we use them for almost everything we do. After a long day, many of us enjoy lying in bed while catching up on social media and fitting in a couple extra episodes of our favorite Netflix series. Before you know it, two hours have gone by, and you know you will have a rough morning. If you want to get more sleep but cannot put your phone down, set an alarm for when you need to be in bed. Once you hear the alarm, stop whatever you are doing and sleep. I promise everything will be there tomorrow. This requires a lot of self-discipline, but going to bed on time will make your mornings much more bearable.
A few hours have passed when you suddenly hear the same horrid noise you hear every morning. If you are anything like me, you are in a steady routine of pressing snooze until you absolutely have to get up. Try leaving your alarm/phone on the other side of the room. This way you have to actually get out of bed and walk to your alarm which will help your body wake up much faster. This may be difficult to start, but it is one of the most effective.
A hard habit to transition into is making your bed every morning. It is a relatively quick and easy chore, but somehow it never happens. A good way to get this done is to start making it up as soon as you get out of bed. Not only will this help you wake up and keep your room clean, but you also started your day by accomplishing something. This will put your brain in the right mindset to be productive throughout the day.
High school is the time when many students discover the wonders of a hot cup of coffee in the morning, but there are many ways to get energized in the morning without putting your body in a caffeine routine. You are typically dehydrated when you get up which only accentuates feelings of fatigue, so drink a glass of cold ice water to refresh you. If you want to feel extra energized and get a dose of antioxidants, try adding freshly-squeezed lemon juice. The citric acid of the lemon stimulates your enzymes giving you an extra burst of energy. If you are about to fall right back into bed and need something quick, wash your face with a cold, wet washcloth. The sudden temperature increase from the cool water will get your blood flowing down to your vital organs and let your body know it is time to start another day. These techniques will help you wake up more quickly and leave the drowsy attitude in bed. You may add in a cup of coffee if you absolutely cannot go on without it, but it will not be necessary if you follow these methods.
You hear this phrase all the time, and that is because it’s true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even though popular cereals and on-the-go items may be labeled as a breakfast food, it is one of the last things you should be putting in your body when you start your day. Even though your favorite cereal may include whole grains, studies show that a one-cup serving of many cereals contains the same amount of sugar as three chocolate chip cookies. Some granola bars are just as healthy as eating a candy bar first thing in the morning. They lack protein, and the healthy chocolate coating actually has no nutritional benefits. If you want a breakfast that will last, try cooking some eggs however you like them. They take five minutes at the most to put together, and you can add some cheese or a piece of toast to make it extra filling. If you are not super hungry in the morning, try making a fruit smoothie. You can pre-freeze your fruits and add a liquid into the blender for a nutritious, light breakfast. Look around on different websites to find a breakfast recipe that works for you!
Lastly, the goal is to enjoy your morning, so set aside five minutes to do something you actually want to do. Whether that is scrolling through social media, listening to music, or watching the news, set a five-minute timer and take a moment to enjoy yourself.
There is a lot to try, and you should not throw it all into your morning routine at once, but start with one technique and see if waking up is a little easier for you. If it is helping, add another, and your mornings may not be as bad as they used to be. By the time you need to wake up you are probably exiting your deep REM sleep, so getting up a little earlier to be productive will not take a toll on you. With self-discipline and intentionality, your mornings could become the best part of your day.