4 AM to 5 AM is considered as early morning or ‘Brahma Muhurta’ when Gods and Goddesses are believed to come closer to earth and hence the best hour for knowledge and longevity. We often wonder how most of the successful people or billionaires make it a point to wake up at 4 AM every morning. Waking up early is the toughest struggle we face and even after trying several times to get up early,we hardly ever follow up with this strenuous routine. But it seems that the successful people are quite aware of the working of their brain and wake up accordingly. Since they know that their brain is at receptive mode they meditate,listen to affirmation and intentionally set their tone of the day. Therefore if we want to follow their routine we have to know the scientific reasons behind this particular routine.
How does brain work in the morning?
Our brain produces electrical patterns (waves). In the morning,when we wake up, our brain works at 10.5 waves per second. The range from 8-13 Hertz (cycles per second) is the alpha stage when our subconscious mind is known to be most active. It’s often referred to as the Gateway to the Subconscious mind. At this time we are capable of doing any focused work with ease. We can indulge into profound learning.
Benefits of Waking up Early
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy,wealthy and wise.
– Benjamin Franklin
- High Efficiency: You might think that you are a nocturnal creature and therefore your body has a different clock. But this theory is baseless. Your body becomes what it is adjusted to. So if you finish your tasks late at night,consider this- all the negative emotions, experiences and weariness of the day is also brought to the table. Your brain efficiency is even less than 50%. Only in the morning you’re capable of 100% efficiency. Studies show that between 4-8 AM one can achieve things that could otherwise be achieved with one months effort.
- Competitive Advantage: If you wake up 3 hours earlier,you can read up to 150 pages,workout,get ready for office .By waking up this early,you are 3 hours closer to greatness in 3 hours. You are awake before your enemy is and get so much done while they are busy dreaming. This achievement can give an enormous psychological edge. You feel confident.
- Plenty of time : If you complain a lot about your life and think that you don’t have time,well you’ll find plenty of time after waking up early.
- Mental Health : You will find that you feel less stressed and pressured. You will be at peace with your thoughts.
Why can’t you wake up early?
“I don’t sleep when I’m tired,I sleep when I’m done.”
– Muhammad Ali ,Boxer
- Negative Self talk: You signal your mind that it’s difficult to wake up early. Thus,your mind comes up with thousand excuses why it’s so difficult. These excuses are mostly made up by you. For example,”I will feel dizzy at office if I don’t get 7 hours sleep”. Therefore you sleep off during the premature hours of the day.
- No Goals: You don’t have enough reasons or preset goals to wake up early. For example,if you have to catch the early flight or train for your dream travel destination,you wake up early excited even though you hadn’t have enough sleep last night.
- Stay awake till midnight : You perform all your tasks or watch TV series,movies or chat in social media till late night. Therefore you lack the necessary rest to wake up early.
How to Wake up early
Before you jump into the tips, remember tips and tricks only make sense when you are awake,in other words,tricks impact on conscious mind. Therefore for long term effect you need to get access to the subconscious mind. Also,make a realistic transition- if you wake up at 8 AM now, start trying to wake up at 7 AM and then eventually at 4 AM.
1. Ask Yourself ‘Why?’ :
“People who have something to look forward to don’t need any alarm clock,because they have a reason to wake up.”
You need to know what purpose will get solved if you start getting up early. Give yourself a valid reason. Maybe you will get enough time for yourself, maybe you’ll be able to finish all the tasks at hand,maybe you’re tired of living a mediocre life and want to be productive. When you know your ‘why’ and repeat to yourself that you can easily wake up early,your subconscious mind comes up with reasons why it’s easy for you to wake up and you wake up early easily. For example it might tell you, “It’s only 4 AM,I have previously woke up for exams at this time.”
2. Create a night routine:
The thoughts and activities you conduct the previous night, sets the mood of waking up the next day. Make a to-do list for the next day to wake up relaxed yet motivated. Also, make sure you go to bed relaxed the previous night. Try turning your phone off or the notifications 1 hour before going to bed because these cause maximum distraction. Meditate,take a warm shower,read book or whatever suits you to calm your mind.
3. Go to bed early:
Between 10 PM and 2 AM is when you get the most regenerative and deep sleep. Within 1-2 hours after sunset,your melatonin levels start to rise signalling you to go to bed. At 10 PM your body needs a reduction of activities so that it can react for the increment in your melatonin levels. This reaction helps in restoration of your whole body. Therefore if you go past the 10 PM bedtime you’ll not get quality sleep and wake up tired next morning.
4. Right career:
This might look like an odd one out but,when you’re happy with what you are doing with your life,you get up excited to do the work. But if it’s not possible right now, setting goals for the day or to know what you’re up to can help waking up early.
5. Wake up time consistency:
Choose a time to wake up and stick to it. You don’t always get to choose when you go to sleep. Even in that case get up early somehow. Once you wake up early and feel the grogginess for lack of rest, you automatically go to bed early that day. This way you incorporate the habit of going to bed early and get complete sleep to wake up early the next day.
6. Other ‘hacks’ :
The previous mentioned are the methods to wake up early even without an alarm and making it a habit. But there are other short term hacks which don’t really work in long run but will help you for now.
- Keep away your alarm clock at a distance which is unreachable and yet the alarm is audible.
- You can drink a lot of water but it might wake you up at the middle of the night breaking your sleep cycle. So see if it works for you.
- Alarm for 6 hours 15 minutes or 15 minutes after the time(6 or 7 hours) you want to wake up. The extra 15 minutes after your sleep cycle is over will give you a satisfaction for the extra 15 minutes.
- Avoid naps or keep them short (15- 20 minutes) if necessary.
- There are different apps to wake you up with loud alarms or make you solve a math problem before snoozing.
Tips to make early rising a habit:
Even though we wake up early,we have to follow a good routine through the day to be energized to get up early the next day. For that you can do these things for the next 66 days(not 21days!) consistenly to install the habit.
1. The 20/20/20 Formula:
Author Robin Sharma introduced this formula in his book ‘ The 5 AM club ‘. The first hour after waking up early is ‘victory hour’; therefore he suggests to divide this hour in three 20 minutes segments. The first 20 minutes should be invested in mindfulness and exercise because these release Seratonin which causes happiness and boost metabolic rate. The next 20 minutes should be invested in reviewing the goals for the day. The last 20 minutes are for learning in any way possible: e-books,audiobooks,podcasts. This formula is necessary to build up a early morning routine.
2. Drink water :
To prevent yourself from going to bed again,keep a glass of water beside your alarm clock. You will be able to drink water immediately after snoozing alarm and thus feel energized.
3. Accomplish something:
After waking up and performing your routine try accomplishing something. Write that pending article or something that needs to be done. Check off your to-do list. When you do this there is this flow of accomplishment which keeps you pumped up for the day and takes the essence to the next day.
If you do what is easy, your life will be hard. But if you do what is hard,your life will be easy.
Always remember that nothing works if you’re not ready for it. So if you don’t want to see yourself in the same position after 5 years , challenge yourself once. Your future successful billionaire self will be grateful.