Last night I set my alarm for 6:30, laid out my workout clothes, and went to bed early with every intention of waking up early and getting ready for my 3 mile run. See the end of the post to see if you have any sleep disorder symptoms.
Did that happen? Nope.
Not when you have this face to wake up early to:
That’s actually an old picture, but it’s the same adorable yawning sleepy face. It was still dark and in a very deep sleep out when my alarm went off, which probably had something to do with the lack of any desire to climb out of my comfy bed littered with down pillows.
When my second alarm went off at 7:45, my normal early wake-up time, I rolled out of bed with a guilty feeling. The day hadn’t even started and I’d already failed myself. Sometimes I wonder if I have a sleeping disorder.
Lately my body just hasn’t been responding to the sleep schedule I’d like to have. I blame Daylight Savings Time, since I just can’t justify being awake when it’s still dark out. It also doesn’t help in the evenings when I want to run, but the sun is scalding and it’s 95 degrees out. Someone please remind me what the point is!
Now that the Daylight Savings Time bashing is out of my system, I’d like to share some of my tips for successfully waking up early and getting enough sleep to exercise (or whatever else you need to do).
These tricks always work for me, but this morning I went about it all wrong, so here I am, pouting about sleeping late and missing a workout.
Tips for Waking Up Early from a Deep Sleep
- Lay out the clothes you plan to exercise in the night before and set your socks and shoes in front of your bed.
- If it’s comfortable, go to sleep in your sports bra and running shorts. That way, half the work is already done when your alarm goes off.
- Whether you’re using a phone or alarm clock, put it far away enough so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
- Set a bottle of water close to your alarm clock, preferably with some lemon juice in it. Also, keep some no-bake energy bites nearby. You’ll need those first thing.
- When your alarm goes off, DO NOT HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON! and dont go back to sleep. I really can’t stress this one enough. Just don’t do it. Set the alarm for the latest time possible, so you trick your brain into thinking you’re in a hurry, rather than thinking, “I can sleep for 10 more minutes.” That 10 minutes won’t make you less tired. It will, however, turn into 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, then no workout for you. Trust me on this one.
- While you’re up, grab that bottle of water you set aside the night before and drink a good amount. The lemon juice will kick start your metabolism and help your body wake up faster. Then eat an energy ball or two. Chewing will let your digestive system know it’s time to start working, and the protein-packed bites will fuel your workout.
- Before you even think of heading back to sleep, put on your sneakers and the rest of your workout gear. Put in your headphones and start listening to some music. Now you’re ready to go before your brain has figured out what just happened.
No-Bake Energy Bites a.k.a. Protein Poppers
In my tips, I mentioned no-bake energy bites, a delicious snack from gimmesomeoven.com. I call them Protein Poppers (thanks to Troy for the clever name idea.)
- 1 cup dry oatmeal (the picture is deceiving, but I used rolled oats)
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup nut butter (I used 1/4 cup almond and 1/4 cup peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but I didn’t use them this time around)
1/31/4 cup raw honey (I found 1/3 to be too sweet for my taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla (I was out, so I omitted this)
1. Mix together all the ingredients. It takes a little time and some elbow grease, but you want to make sure everything is mixed together really well. This helps with forming the balls later.
3. Roll, roll, roll the mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter and enjoy!
I’ve made this recipe several times and omitted coconut and vanilla the first few times because I was out. The most recent time, I had coconut but not chocolate chips. As you can see in the first photo, I got out some dark chocolate. I was going to melt it and dip the balls in, but I ended up eating them before I had a chance.
This recipe makes between 20 and 30 balls, depending on how big you roll them. You can modify this recipe to your liking, but I don’t recommend messing with the honey and nut butter quantities. Those are important in binding everything together.
- White chocolate or butterscotch chips
- Dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped apricots
- Chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts
- Sunflower seeds or pine nuts
- Agave nectar for honey
- Sunflower seed or soy nut butter for peanut butter
*Update 8/29/12* Someone has told me that sunflower butter works well, but the mixture ends up a little gooey, so they added extra oats to make them stick together better. Also, I refrigerate them because I like them chilly, but as far as I know, they don’t have to be refrigerated, although they’d probably last a few weeks longer if they were.
Next time, I hope I can resist eating these long enough to try the chocolate-dipped version.
What are some common sleep disorders. I have heard that snoring can be an indicator of sleep apnea. Does anyone have any tips to stop snoring. How do you know if you have sleep apnea?
If you exercise in the morning, what are your tips and tricks for making yourself stop sleeping and wake up early and get out of bed? Is there anything missing from my list that I should try?
I'm not a licensed nutritionist, dietician or fitness trainer. I'm simply a healthy living advocate with a love for food and fitness, who enjoys sharing her experiences and ideas.
What works for me may not work for you, so please exercise caution and good judgment when completing any workout or following any recipes on this blog. Thank you for reading!
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