A bird looking with confusion into a spiraling hypnotic hole, in front of an early sunrise setting.

The Early Bird Gets...Tired? Tips for Coping with Waking Up Too Early

We've all heard the saying "The early bird gets the worm." But what about the rest who wake up too early – but, don't want to be up?

Waking up early can be a real struggle for many people, and it can make for a really rough start to the day. Everyone is asleep. It is dark, and it is cold. And the day ahead... it looks like it could be horrifyingly long and capped by a night filled with wondering about what time the next day will begin.

It's been a long time, but I have been there. And of all the various forms of insomnia I have struggled with over the years, the early morning wakings were the most challenging to cope with. For those who are awake too early – and perhaps also having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning – from my experience, these are my tips for waking too early with insomnia.

Tips for waking too early with insomnia

Choose how you will respond

First, recognize that although we might not be able to change our sleep right at that moment – we do have a choice in how we respond to that situation. Yes, it is upsetting, and those emotions are very legitimate. But wallowing in the upset doesn't serve us or help our sleep.

I try to find a way to be happy to get physical rest in bed without the agony of tossing and turning with frustration. I set aside the urge to want things to be different than they are – and enjoy the physical feeling of laying in my cozy bed. I love my crisp sheets! Why not?

Open a window

Secondly, I have found that it helps to open the window if it's safe and let the morning air in while you rest softly under the duvet or comforter. When my bed is a wonderful place to be, it makes it easier to be there. And the crispness reminds me that I'm grateful for the corny things – like being 1 of the lucky ones to wake up that day.

Avoid the clock

I also like to avoid watching the clock and using it to tell me when to start my day. I have an alarm that tells me when I need to get moving, so checking my clock or phone to see 'how much time I might have to sleep' only adds pressure and stress to the situation.

Watching the clock nearly guarantees I won't sleep anyway. If I'm bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I just get up early that day. If I'm not, I rest – and get up when the alarm goes off.

Begin the morning with gratitude

Finally, I try to ensure my morning is enjoyable and full of gratitude. It's not always easy, however. Changing my morning from a 'recovery from battle' scenario into 1 that is fun, relaxing, and self-nurturing has helped me enormously with living my days while I was recovering from insomnia.

Beginning with gratitude helped me start my day's mindset off on a positive note, and it also is motivating in and of itself!

My morning routine

I wake up, take a shower with a cold blast at the end, listen to a short motivating app audio, and then go downstairs to get coffee, exercise, and then start my workday.

This habit and morning routine continue to this day.

How do you cope with waking up too early? Maybe your routines can help someone else!

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