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Five ways to wake up earlier

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I have never been a morning person.

Before I had kids, I could easily sleep in until 10 or 11 a.m. – sometimes even noon.

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While sleeping in now means I’ll likely be getting up about 8, it’s still not easy to get up by 6 or earlier some days, especially this time of year.

Here are some tips for getting an early start, even when you don’t feel like it.

GET TO BED ON TIME

I know it seems obvious, but it can be tempting to stay up reading, playing Words with Friends, surfing Facebook or watching TV long past bedtime. If you want to get up early, try to go to bed at least eight hours before you plan to wake up. Studies show getting too little sleep can affect your health, your mood and your weight, according to WebMD.

It also can be a lot harder to get up early if you don’t feeling rested.

MAKE IT HARD TO HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON

Even when I have good intentions, the snooze button is just so tempting when I’m still half asleep in the morning. To remove temptation, keep your alarm out of reach. If you have to get out of bed to shut your alarm off, you’re less likely to reset it for “just five more minutes.”

GET MOVING

I like to use my cell phone for my alarm clock so I can wake up to a fun, upbeat song. Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell” always makes me want to dance, so that’s the song I currently wake up to. Switching songs every once in a while (or even every day) can make your wake-up routine a little more interesting, too.

RISE AND SHINE

Turn on the light right away. This time of year, when it’s still dark out in the morning, it can be especially difficult to get out of bed. So turn on the brightest light in your room – not the dim bedside lamp – as soon as you wake up. To make it more likely that you’ll actually do it, keep your alarm near the light switch.

REMEMBER YOUR GOALS

If you’re getting up early to exercise, meditate or just get out the door on time, keep a note reminding yourself of your goals. Tell yourself what you want to accomplish and how good it feels to be making progress toward those goals.

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