Why is it so Hard to Wake Up Earlier

why is it so hard to wake up early

After reading Sapiens last year, I changed my mind about some things and understood many more, but one massive take-away for me was the deeper understanding of how story-telling has been ingrained into our development as humans and is the base of how we make sense of what surrounds us.

Not only the stories we carry from one generation to the next, or the ones we keep sacred in our hearts, but mostly the stories we tell ourselves:

  • ”I am a night owl.”
  • “I come from a long line of hot-blooded yelling people.”
  • “Sitting still is not in my DNA.”
  • “I am a hoarder, just like my mother used to be.”
  • “This is the way my family always ate.”
  • “We watch TV together every day to relax and disconnect.”
  • “I am not a runner.”

It’s not about making excuses or not trying hard enough, but it’s the old brain that tells us we should belong to the tribe or otherwise come up with a feature to make us unique and provide a reasonable explanation for our behavior.

So the first, most important reason why waking up early is difficult, is the story we believe to be true about people who embrace morning as their most cherished part of the day.

What is the story you tell yourself about them? How about the story you embraced about yourself?

What if instead you would state out loud, to people around you:
“I am a morning person.”
“Mornings are the BEST part of my day.”

In my experience, after we tackled the issue of the story we tell ourselves in regards to the early morning hours, we get faced with two possible reasons why we can’t happily rise early:

1. Tiredness

Aligning your mind with your schedule goes hand in hand. If you’re tired, you won’t enjoy your morning. If you don’t put systems into place to ensure you have proper night rest, you won’t have the physical ability to sustain early wakeup times.
You know your body and its needs better than anybody. On how much sleep do you thrive. Not survive or get by, but THRIVE. You’re creating a good life, not a miserable one.
I could get by with 7. I’m borderline productive and mildly satisfied. It’s not bad, especially when I look back at the sleepless nights when I was getting 6 or less.
But to feel EXTRAORDINARY – my mind is working fast and smooth, ideas are pouring, I am excited to spend time with the kids and husband, then I need 8-9 hours.

I had to become very intentional about how I spend the time I have with my loved ones. Yes, spending time together with my husband is very important to me, but sitting together on the sofa staring at the same TV screen while at least one of us also manically scrolls down social media feeds in the same time, is not quality time. It’s just TIME.

So instead of doing that, we take a walk after the kids are in bed and talk about our days, or we sit down on the sofa to have a meaningful undistracted conversation.
My bedtime is sacred because my mornings are sacred, so when the time comes (I have an alarm that tells me it’s time to get ready for bed), I say goodnight to my husband and go to read in bed. Sometimes he joins me, other times he watches House of Cards, but either way, we don’t just sit next to each other for the sake of “keeping company.”

2. Morning practice

When how I spent the first hour of my day became all about my own needs – silence, creativity, contemplation – waking up in the morning became like a celebratory dance out of bed. Finally! FINALLY it’s MY time! Let me get to it as fast as I possibly can.
Having a morning “dance” that works for you and fulfills your deepest desires, the ones you crave to have during the day, then your motivation to be up will be there. If however you wake up earlier to do more for other people, yet again, you will find yourself making excuses and ditching the habit quicker than it took to decide to embrace it.

Sow what will you do differently today?


Everything we attempt can be easy or difficult, depending on our perspective!

Why is it so Hard to Wake Up Earlier? 
Why do you want to wake up earlier? The answer will help make it easy or difficult.
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