At night, you’re full of motivation. “I’m going to get up early tomorrow!” you tell yourself. “I’ll exercise before work and get a head start on the day!”
But the second that 5 a.m. alarm goes off, all that enthusiasm from the night before goes right out the window. Or actually, it slinks back under the covers. “I’m not getting up now,” you think to yourself (if you’re even capable of thought at that godforsaken hour). “My bed is warm and comfortable and being awake is stupid.” There’s just no way you’re getting up, no matter what happens.
Of course, by the time you do get up, you’re disappointed in yourself for not sticking to your original plan. So what can you do? Don’t worry, night owl; there are a few tricks you can use to make yourself get up early. We can’t promise you’ll be happy about it, but at least you’ll be up.
Go to bed early
We know, easier said than done. But it’s true: if you go to bed early, it will be that much easier to drag yourself out of bed when your alarm goes off insanely early. We know that you have dozens of episodes of “Friends” to binge-watch, but we promise they’ll still be there tomorrow.
But if your internal clock simply won’t allow you to fall asleep before midnight (hey, you need to watch Jimmy Fallon‘s opening monologue!), don’t worry – there are other ways to ensure you get up early.
Lay out your workout outfit the night before
To get at least one mental process out of the way beforehand, figure out exactly what you’ll need for your workout: sports bra, shoes, socks, sweatpants, shirt, headband, water bottle, towel – absolutely everything. Lay all the items out in the order in which you’ll put them on, so you don’t even need to think about your outfit when you wake up in the morning.
Sleep in your workout clothes
If your brain reeeeeally doesn’t work in the morning, consider sleeping in your workout clothes, with your socks and shoes kept right next to the bed. You can literally roll out of bed and start your workout within minutes, even if your brainwaves are still flatlined.
Place your alarm across the room
No snooze alarm here! Make sure your alarm is not within arm’s reach so that you can’t sleepily turn the buzzer off and fall back asleep. If you have to physically stand up and cross the room to turn off that blasted sound, you’re much less likely to doze off again.
Force yourself awake with special alarm apps
Of course, some of us sleep enthusiasts can easily get up, walk across the room, turn off an alarm, and get back into bed. As if five measly steps could prevent that! That’s why there are smartphone apps for exactly that reason. Apps like Walk Me Up or Step Out of Bed! require you to take a minimum number of steps before the buzzer will go off – you can set it to 30, 50, 100, or as many steps as you think it’ll take.
Keep your sports drink next to your bed
Fill a water bottle with water or Gatorade and place it on your nightstand. Once that alarm goes off, start chugging! One, it will get your metabolism going (making it harder to go back to sleep), and it might also trigger your bladder so that you’ll have get up to use the bathroom. (Just don’t get back into bed afterwards!)
Workout with a friend
Make a workout date with a friend, and make it early. You’re much less likely to flake on your sunrise exercise if you know there’s someone waiting for you. Of course, the trick here is to pair up with someone who likes getting up early – if you pick a similarly nocturnal friend, it will be way too easy for you both to agree to skip the workout altogether. (One downside of texting culture.)
And one thing to repeat in your head, always: you will feel amazing after you work out, and you won’t have to spend your day writhing in self-imposed guilt. So just do it.