- Growing tulsi to cultivate harmony
- Moving towards a sattvic life
- Endometriosis: an Ayurvedic perspective
- Which Ayurveda Are You Into?
- Your Ayurvedic Constitution Does Not Excuse Your Behavior
- Re-Grow Your Brain Cells
- Misunderstandings of the Modern Chakra-Healing Movements
- Eating for Your Ayurvedic Body Type
- Building Soma Through Balanced Agni
- Don’t Let Stress Break Your Heart: An Ayurvedic Approach to a Healthy Heart
How to Wake Up Early…Easily! (Energy Feed #11)
We are naturally designed to wake up in the earlier hours of the morning. (Yes, that includes you!)
If you have trouble dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, it’s an indication that you’re somehow going against nature—in Ayurvedic understanding, that you’re going against health, that something is out of balance.
The good news is that you can reprogram your body back to its inherent biorhythm so you can wake up earlier…and actually enjoy it. Once you’re back in the swing of your natural bio-programming, waking up early truly can be easy.
Why Is It So Hard to Wake Up?
Ayurvedically speaking, the morning hours of (approximately) 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. are kapha hours of the day.
Kapha dosha is comprised of earth and mud. It has a mudlike, heavy, grounding, slow, sluggish quality. Sound a bit like how you feel when you wake up in the mornings?
If you’re waking much after 6 o’clock in the morning, you’re working against that muddy, heavy, grounded, slow, sluggishness in nature’s external environment—while you, yourself, are INTERNALLY experience muddy, heavy, grounded, slow and sluggish qualities in your body. This is not a winning combination for getting out of bed with brightness, lightness and perk!
However, from about 2 a.m. until around 6 a.m., vata dosha is more prominent in nature (internal and external). Vata dosha is wind in space, and it is naturally very mobile, active, stimulating.
If you wake up before this mobilizing vata dosha gives way to the more immobile kapha dosha, you’ll be working WITH nature—going with a natural flow of stimulation and activity in the body.
Cortisol levels—which stimulate the body into activity—also naturally peak during the early morning hours, so you’re again working with nature if you wake during this time.
How to Start Waking with the Rising Sun
Your objective, if you want to begin waking early, is to reprogram your body back to its natural biorhythm (the circadian rhythm) of harnessing the energy of the rising sun.
To do this, follow these few steps each night:
#1. Eat an early dinner.
Finish by around 6 p.m. or as early as possible so you don’t go to sleep with a full belly.
Sleeping on a full stomach means waking up with a bunch of undigested food in the digestive tract—a heavy, toxic sludge that serves to weigh you down.
If your belly is still actively digesting when you go to sleep, you’re also less likely to sleep well, so getting out of bed the next morning will of course be more difficult.
#2. Go to bed early.
Aim to be asleep before 10 p.m. so you’ll reap the benefits of the most rejuvenative hours of sleep of the night (first half of the night) and sleep enough hours that you don’t feel like you need to stay in bed late.
#3. Set your alarm before or at 6 a.m.
#4. Know that the first few (or many) mornings will be tough.
Mentally prepare for that. If you wake up feeling tired because your body is so accustomed to snoozing later, DON’T STAY IN BED. Instead, commit to going to bed earlier that night.
Because you’re working WITH the forces of nature when you wake early, once your body is reprogrammed to its natural biorhythm, waking up DOES get easier (even for the sleepiest late sleepers I’ve ever worked with).
#5. Garner support!
Lack of support is one of the biggest reasons people don’t stick to their health goals. There’s no need to go it alone.
You can enlist support by asking a “morning person” family member or friend to call you a few minutes after your alarm clock is set to go off. If you live in a household with others, also enlist them; if they don’t want to wake early, you can simply ask for their moral support. (Another option: see my free offer below!)
I know a lot of you reading this rely on caffeine to help kick-start yourself awake. In next week’s “Energy Feed” I’ll be focusing on how to kick the caffeine habit so you can wake up fresh and have stronger energy all day. Stay tuned for that one!