Waking Up Early From a Deep Sleep

Waking Up Early From a Deep Sleep

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 to Exercise

Tips for Waking Up Early from a Deep Sleep

  1. Lay out the clothes you plan to exercise in the night before and set your socks and shoes in front of your bed.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)

Ingredients:

  • 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)
  • 1/3 1/4 cup raw honey (I found 1/3 to be too sweet for my taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I was out, so I omitted this)

Directions:

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.

2.   Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour. I’ve found that the longer you chill it, the better the balls bind together.

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.

Substitutions:

Dry ingredients:

  • White chocolate or butterscotch chips
  • Dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped apricots
  • Chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds or pine nuts
Wet ingredients:
  • 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.

 

I’m wondering…

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?

290 comments

  1. Love your tips for waking up early to exercise! Great site! Thanks!

  2. How long can these be stored? also can they stay out on the counter or must they be refrigerated?

    Thank you! ~C

    • Hey Chelsea,
      The longest I’ve stored them has been a week, but only because they get eaten really quickly in my house. I store them in the fridge because I like them cool, but all the ingredients are stored in my pantry, so I don’t see any reason not to store them on the counter. I’d imagine they could last as long as you need them to. I hope that helps!

  3. I exercise at 5:45am and a big motivator is convincing a friend to join you! No one wants to be the lame friend who doesn’t show up:) Plus – it’s super encouraging to see a friendly face at 5:45am who has the same goals you do. I’m excited to try your protein poppers – they sound yummy!

    • Unfortunately, none of my friends go to the same gym as me or run outdoors, and that’s my favorite thing to get up early for. But the tricks really do help when I’m on my own in the mornings. It’s all about willpower! I hope you enjoy the poppers! Let me know how they turn out ;)

      • Does your gym have a running club or early morning classes?

        My gym’s running club meets Tues evenings, Thurs am & Sat am. After running Tue/Sat for several months, I became friendly enough with some in the group that I actually WANT to meet them at 5:30am Thurs mornings. (doesn’t happen every week, but I try)

        And yes, I’ve slept in my running clothes too!

        • I’m not part of a gym, but my boyfriend has started going to work early Tuesdays and Thursdays. Once he’s up, I have a hard time going back to bed, so it’s a great reason to have two running days.

      • Something a friend and I started doing was working out “together”. And by “together” I mean even tho we live 2hrs apart, we would both set our alarm for the same time and the first person up had to call the other. I have a small child so I always wanted to be the one making the call instead of receiving the call b/c I didn’t want him to wake up. Plus having a little chat right away made it harder to fall asleep. Thanks for your tips! I will for sure be trying them!!

        • I do something similar with a friend who lives 2 time zones away. By the time she’s up and at the gym, I should’ve finished my workout, so she always holds me accountable. It helps having someone you can’t let down.

  4. I actually do the opposite of number 5. I set my phone alarm (next to my bed) to go off 10 minutes prior to my alarm clock; then hit the snooze on my phone and go back to sleep until my alarm clock (across the room) goes off. Sounds like work, but I’ve found it really helps me out if I’m not in the middle of a deep sleep when I actually have to get up!

  5. Do you think I could use Oat Bran instead of oatmeal? I am looking forward to trying out your tips! Thank you!

    • I don’t see why not! The beauty of these no-bake bites is that you can substitute just about anything. As long as you have your two binders, honey and nut butter, you can substitute out all the dry ingredients. Just try to keep the ratios the same and let me know how it works!

  6. Is there any substitute for the nut butter/peanut butter?

  7. Any idea of the calorie count/nutritional facts?

    • I used a recipe calculator and got this info:

      25 Servings

      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 103.6
      Total Fat 6.1 g
      Saturated Fat 2.4 g
      Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
      Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
      Cholesterol 0.0 mg
      Sodium 31.1 mg
      Potassium 9.1 mg
      Total Carbohydrate 11.0 g
      Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
      Sugars 0.4 g
      Protein 2.4 g

      The type of peanut butter, honey and chocolate chips you use makes a huge difference, especially in the sugar and sodium column here.

      I use raw ground peanut and almond butter from the farmers market with no salt or sugar added and raw honey from Y.S. Eco Bee Farms. There’s no way to factor that in with an online calorie calculator, but it should be close. I hope this helps!

  8. I have to start getting up at 5:30 next week for school (Who scheduled me a 7 am class?! oh, me…) So I’m definitely going to try these tips. I imagine there will still be an upward slope of my coffee intake though…

  9. Could the ground flax seed be omitted or exchanged for flax seed oil (might help it mix easier). I’m having trouble finding ground flax seed.

    • Try substituting wheat germ instead, if that’s easier to find. I like the flax seed for the boost of fiber and protein, but you can omit it if you don’t find anything else. Just increase the amount of another dry ingredient like oats or coconut flakes.

    • You can buy some on amazon. I use flax seed alot so i bought it in bulk and store it in the freezer.

      • Thanks for the tip! I know they also sell it at Costco. My mom sends me up 3lb bags of organic cold-ground flax seed since we don’t have a Costco around here.

        • I buy whole flax seed and grind it myself in a coffee grinder. Takes about 5 seconds to grind.

          • grinding flax yourself is actually the way to go! due to the high amount of oils in flax, it can go rancid quickly. it’s best to only grind what you need and store the rest of your whole flax seed in the refrigerator or freezer.

          • Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for the heads up. I have a huge bag right now that I just store in the pantry that I never even thought of storing in the fridge.

    • Buy flax seed and grind it yourself in a blender or coffee mill.

    • I make these without flax seed…I use chia seeds instead. Still awesome though. I found them at my whole foods store.

    • I buy regular flax seeds and ground them myself in a coffee bean grinder. It’s cheaper too!

  10. I always find that getting out of bed is the hardest part when i have to get up early to work out. once youre out the door you are no longer tired and a morning workout gives you the energy to make it through the rest of the day. i have also found that when i work out first thing in the morning i want to eat better throughout the day. i cant make the “oh, ill just run an extra mile tonight” excuse. once ive started my day healthily i want to finish it that way.

  11. Looking forward to trying these “poppers”.

    Tina, I buy flax seeds then grind them myself in my coffee grinder… i like the idea that the flax is “fresher” that way too…

  12. I have a son who is highly allergic to nuts. Have you found anything to be a good substitution for the nut butter? Also does it have to be raw honey?

    • I haven’t tried these personally, but sunflower seed butter or soy nut butter might work. Let me know if you try either so I can post a list of substitutions! Also, it can be any kind of honey.

      • Sunflower butter works pretty good. They were a little gooey even after 2 hours in the fridge so I gently sprinkled some extra oats on them to help them stay in ball shape. I tried one tonight after making them and they taste awesome!! Thank you so much for this!!!! I’m giving this routine a try tomorrow morning :) Thanks again!

  13. These sound great! Definitely trying these next time I am attempting a morning workout or when I go rock climbing.

    Do you have any substitutions for the coconut flakes? I know you mentioned to a couple people above about keeping the dry to wet ratios the same. I figure I could probably up the oatmeal?

    • The first couple times I made them without the coconut flakes and I didn’t even change the ratios. In fact, they stuck together a little better. So just go ahead and omit the coconut and don’t worry about the rest!

  14. I am allergic to honey, what else could I use.

  15. This is great! I teach an early a.m. (5:15) boot camp – some of them really struggle getting there – I am definitely going to share this with them – thanks!

  16. I wish my up early was at 6:30, I’m at work by then! I’m trying to convince my body to get up at 4:30, and my body isn’t buying it lol These are great tips though and I’m excited to see if they’ll work.

    • Wow, you’re a trooper! I hope they help! I’d need every tip in the world to get out of bed that early lol.

    • Im in the same boat Paige! Im at work at 6:30 and wake up at 5 already… I have never once successfully gotten up at 4:30 for a workout… but I am so trying this! I especially like the suggestion above to set your phone alarm for 10 minutes before your normal one! That may actually work!

      Im also really excited about the poppers, so Im going to make them this weekend! Thanks for the tips!

  17. Before I read these tips, I thought of mine–I actually just sleep in my whole running outfit (maybe that’s gross, but it’s gonna be gross as soon as I start running anyways, so I figure it doesn’t matter!) I was happy to see your suggestion of sleeping in your sports bra and shorts, but I just go for the whole thing. That way I know that all I have to do is put my shoes on, grab my ipod and go. It’s harder to convince yourself that it’s too much work!

    • I get really hot at night, so that’s probably the only reason I don’t sleep in all my clothes. But come fall, I’m tucking in with all my gear on!

  18. These tips are so obvious yet when I read them straight out like this it was like reality slapping me in the face!! lol I have been trying to convince myself to wake up before my toddler for months! I am going to do these steps tomorrow morning and hopefully there will be an awesome workout to follow! Thanks so much!

  19. 1) I know someone who runs with their dog, so after a few weeks, the dog is her motivator to run in the morning.
    2) I personally run with a friend at a local gym. (health wise we run inside, etc) and we car pool so we know we rely on each other.
    3) I put my running shoes in the bathroom. (I always use the rest room as soon as my alarm goes off) so that way, they are staring me in the face!!

    • I’m definitely going to start running with my dog more. Unfortunately, she had 2 knee surgeries so she gets tired before I do. But if I can build up my endurance, so can she!

      • Olga, be really careful with your dog running after those surgeries. Plz check w/the vet, it’s not so much a matter of stamina or exhaustion, many times it can be the pounding on the pavement. Had a dog w/joint issues, it’s super important not to push them, some joint problems cannot be “worked through”. And she won’t be able to tell you when she’s aching. But if you’re determined to have the dog w/you, you can always do what my neighbor did with her 14 yr old boxer – put him in a stroller & ran with him! It looks silly but it’s actually sweet & they’ve become neighborhood icons.

        • Thanks for your concern! I’m super careful with her and I never take her for long runs. I also let her run on the grassy side of the road, which she seems to do much better on, and at the first hint of exhaustion, I turn right around and walk her back. She’s my baby and I would never do anything that would put her in harm. The vet actually encouraged me to run her so she can drop some of the weight she put on after the surgery, but of course I take it really easy on her! And that’s too funny about your neighbor’s dog in the stroller! When Trina gets a little older, I can totally see myself doing that!

  20. Do you have an alternative to the peanut butter? I am allergic but i would love to try and make these..

  21. I tell my husband “I”m going to go running in the morning” not I’m gonna TRY to go running ( I feel like the word try is setting yourself up for wiggle room) then I feel like I have to go, that way if he asks about it later I don’t feel better about saying yes I did! Also, I run with my dog, we live a mile away from the dog park so as soon as I wake up I say “lets go run” and she gets so excited theres no turning back!

    • The “try” versus “will” thing is so true! Whenever I tell me boyfriend I’m GOING to do something, it’s more likely that it’ll actually happen. But if I’m only trying, then I’m halfway failing already!

  22. Also, best way to wake up is turn on the lights the second your alarm goes off. It signals your body it’s time to be up. Then I jump in the shower for 30 – 60 seconds, alternating very hot & very cold water as I turn front to back repeatedly so I get blasted all over. Wakes me up completely.

    • I’ll be trying that shower tip first thing tomorrow morning. Never thought of it, but that sounds genius! Hopefully I make it to running stadiums as planned.

  23. This is great! Got here via pinterest. Another tip is to turn on the LIGHTS asap and/or open your blinds! Sometimes I also try to make my bed immediately when I get out of it. Lights help especially when it’s sooo dark out or when it’s a cooler time of year. You can also set up an automatic timer to make your lights turn on a couple minutes before your alarm goes off. Never have tried that… but the lights thing usually does help. :)

  24. When I was in the academy, our PT was at night, so we wouldn’t be sweaty in class all day, so that really screwed me up. Plus I’m naturally a night person, up till 3am most nights, and getting up is a hassle. I’m definitely going to try these tips, since there have been many mornings when I just hit snooze and slept away!! And having the alarm across the room always helps me get up, not too cheerfully, but I get over it. Thanks for the tips!

  25. Amen! Thanks for this post! Now I know I’m not the only one with good intentions who even sets my clothes out the night before but fails. Thanks for the tips and I will definitely be trying those no bake balls.

  26. I find that if I don’t exercise in the morning, I don’t get it done. Unfortunately, my morning starts at 4:45 if I want to exercise. It’s VERY hard to make myself get up and move that early. Maybe these Energy Bites and the lemon-water will help! Thanks.

  27. I’m assuming these need to be refrigerated, do you know how long they last for?

    • I refrigerate them because I like them chilly, but none of the ingredients have to be refrigerated, so I doubt anything in them would go bad. I’d imagine a few weeks, but I always eat them too quickly to find out.

  28. I am super excited to implement this plan. I am also excited to try the protein poppers, but do you have any substitutions for the oatmeal/oats? Everyone I eat oatmeal/oats, I feel like I am swallowing shards of glass, so I stay away! Thanks for the info!

    • Lol! I’m sorry you feel that way about oats! Perhaps you can try oat bran? I don’t have a lot of suggestions here besides upping the dry ingredients a lot… but then they’d be pretty unhealthy with all the sugary stuff.

  29. I have an evil recipe for peanut butter balls and they are not good for you in the least bit :) but I bet for those who have a hard time with the protein balls could coat them in chocolate for an added sweetness and willingness to eat! Plus I’ll be able to get my ADHD kids to eat them (protein in the morning is a must for them!)

  30. I work out in the am, and my big tricks are about like yours, but I give myself an extra treat on bad morning days. I will earn something I want (and would most likely get anyways) like a glass of wine that night or a new sports bra… etc. I like using calorie treats because then I dont feel as guilty treating myself because I worked out. The secret is you tell yourself you cant have it if you dont workout.

  31. I just made these for my morning run. I snuck a bite of one before putting them in the refrigerator. They were amazing!

  32. Sure sounds like some really good ideas. Will give it a try;)
    Thanks

  33. Great post! I have been struggling with trying to get up early to workout. I will definitely try your tips and the recipe for Protein Poppers.

  34. Another thing that might work when you are trying to wake up and it’s still dark outside is to set up a light in the room with a timer to go off the same time as your alarm. Again preferably across the room, so you cant easily roll over and turn it off. :)

    • That’s a great idea, but unfortunately my boyfriend likes to sleep in :( I do, however, run to the bathroom and turn the lights on in there, so that helps a lot.

  35. Is it 103.6 calories for just one?

    • Yep, but it’ll vary depending on what type of honey, peanut butter, chocolate chips, etc you use. I get all my nut butter and raw honey from the farmers market and Amazon, respectively, and there’s no way to tell the calorie calculator that my ingredients are way healthier than what it thinks I have. It’ll also vary based on the size of the balls and the brands.

  36. I just made the poppers and they are great. They are a little too sweet for me though, especially in the am. Can I replace some of the honey with more nut butter?

    • I’m glad you liked them! One time I made a batch that was a little too sweet, so next time I just put in a little less honey and it made them harder to roll. I imagine if I’d replace it with nut butter it would’ve made it a lot easier.

  37. For the other folks like me who, by “early”, mean sometime in the 4:30-5:00 range, try a wake-up light. They’re about $100 on Amazon, but it slowly brings the room to full light. Also, rather than a tone on my alarm, I use a song that never fails to get me moving.

    • That’s a really good idea! I’m going to try making a song my alarm for every day and changing it once a week to keep me guessing. Thanks!

  38. Do the protein poppers give you energy? Ive been trying to find something that will give me energy throughout the day. Im always sooooo tired. Even after i workout. I know i dont get enough sleep sometimes because i go to bed between 1-2am and get up between 6-9. (i have two young kids)

    • They definitely perk me up a little, and they give me more endurance to get through the day or a workout. They’re no coffee, but they’re a better choice than unhealthy snacks. I actually received some ENERGYbits in the mail yesterday, and I’ll be reviewing those as soon as I try them. They promise to give you lasting energy and help you focus, so they might be right up your alley too!

  39. I made three batches of these but ran out of Honey for the second batch so I used corn syrup. They were a little dryer so I threw in a little extra Peanut butter. They taste good and not so sweet.

    Thanks for all of the great suggestions!

    • I never thought of corn syrup as a substitute, but that’s a good suggestion. I’ve actually been using a little less honey myself, since they seemed a little too sweet for me. I’m glad you liked them!

  40. I’m out and running by 8am three times a week. One thing that motivates me to get up and on the road is dedicating my run to God in prayer for a specific intention.

  41. LOL. Thanks for the A.M. tips! I have been trying to get myself out there now for Weeks :( Nice to know I’m not the only one! :) I live in a neighborhood where alot of people are walking, biking running etc… I like to be by myself so My trick is i try to be the first one out in the A.M. then as the day goes by and i see the people go by my house i Chuckle to myself and say “haha I beat you”.. In a nice way! Its my own form of competition. lol
    Sad to say it has not been working recently but reading this makes me want to keep trying! :)

    • I do the same thing, only on my way to work! But living in a college town, I get jealous seeing all the students running at 9am before class. If only that was “early” for me!

  42. The snoozebutton was always my downfall! Then I got a new phone, bought an alarm app, and this app gives you the option to not provide a snoozebutton when the alarm goes off. Sometimes I try to reset it to go off in ten minutes manually…but staring at the bright screen wakes me up before I can accomplish it!

    • Same here! Once I try to manually reset it, I might as well be up.

      • I have always had a problem waking up early, especially to work out. I’m super excited to try out these tips (and protein poppers)! Thanks for the tips! I am very much a night person, however my boyfriend introduced me to an alarm app for my phone where the alarm won’t shut off until you solve a math problem. I have it set pretty easy (basic math) but he has it set to relatively hard (trig). It doesn’t always work, but the screen flashes, the volume gets louder, and it won’t stop until to successfully answer the math question. It’s great!

        • That’s brilliant! Although if I had an app like that, my alarm would be going off forever. I’d need one where I have to play connect the dots or something.

  43. I’ve had my clock set 1 hour and ten minutes fast for two years now, and the adrenaline rush within those first moments of wakefulness – when my brain doesn’t even recognize the existence of math, and therefore thinks I’m very late – is what gets me going. I lay my clothes out, too, and I set 2 alarms on my phone, three minutes apart (and it’s Stewie from the Family Guy doing his “mom, mommy” routine, lol, which is funny but annoying). Anything that helps a non-morning person like me get up every morning at 5am :)

    • Never thought of that! That’s actually a great idea, since my alarm clock just sits there and I use my phone alarm. When my phone alarm goes off, I can look over at the clock, freak out, and then I’m up. LOL at the ringer, that’s brilliant!

  44. The only thing you need to get yourself out of bed early in the morning to exercise is…

    someone waiting for you.

    Seriously – you can’t leave a friend hanging at 5:30 in the morning.

  45. And if your normal wake up time is 5:30 am just to have time to shower before work??? My problem is early mornings…

  46. I totally admire you. I get up at 7am and get my kids ready for school. My goal has been to drop them off at 8:30 and then head to my gym (which is just around the corner) but I’ve been really off my game this week. Perhaps sleeping in my gear would be better – though I prefer to swim and I don’t think sleeping in my swim suit would feel all that great! Ha! But the lemon water… great tip. I wonder if yo did a frozen bottle of lemon water next to the bed, if it would be perfectly cold by morning? Super cold lemon water always gives me a boost.

    • Yep, the frozen trick works, too! Just make sure to put a towel under it or it makes a huge mess defrosting. What about putting your gym clothes on before you go to drop the kids off? Or teaching them to say “Mommy, go to the gym!” when they say bye to you? That way you’re already dressed, and you don’t want to disappoint those smiling faces. :)

    • thermos makes water bottles that keep your water ice cold for 24 hours. i have one, and it’s absolutely amazing. literally ice cubes still in there when i wake up. it totally shocks my body into consciousness.

  47. Love your tips…my tip to get me going is setting my alarm off away from my bed (like you mentioned) but I set my alarm to say funny saying or motivational sayings when I look at my phone. Right now, it’s set to say “Suck it up. Get fit. Don’t puke.” :)

  48. Hiya! I don’t usually click on the blogs from pinterest but your title for this one totally grabbed me. I really appreciate what you’ve put together here. I’m going to try this and see how it works for me. Thanks!

  49. I asked one of my co-workers to ask me if I worked out when I get to work every morning. The ability to say, “Yes!” is a big motivator to get out of bed and get moving.

  50. Thanks for this post! I already get up at 5 am for work, but I am constantly trying to figure out how to get myself moving faster so I can add a run into my morning routine… I never even thought of sleeping in my running clothes, I will give it a try! (It can’t make me sleep any worse than that darn daylight savings time!!! I’m with you about the DST grumbles – ruins everything!)

  51. drink a ton of water before bed and you wont be able to snooze when the alarm goes off. once youre up and walking to the bathroom its much easier to stay up, plus youre hydrated for a nice long morning workout.

  52. Good tips! Remember, especially for those of us who tend to be night owks, one obvious thing is going to bed a little earlier will make it easier to get up earlier. :)

  53. I really really want to make some with pumpkin puree….any ideas as to if this will work or how much or whether to substitute it for the peanut butter maybe? Thanks! :)

  54. These look great…and love the tips! So, you said you used rolled oats…do quickcook oats work just as well?

  55. Really early what a joke 6:30 is not early get off your high horse and get a real job and life. Professionals are at work by the time you have to get out of bed. So stupid, people get your advice from qualified individuals not people that think 6:30 is early.

    • I think “early” is subjective based on what your day involves. I work 9 to 5, so 6:30 is early for me. Thanks for reading! :)

    • Wow, Courtney, that was incredibly rude. Early is not a specific time but a relative one based on an individuals schedule. I think her tips were really good and I will take tips from whomever I please.

    • I cannot believe that someone that portrays themselves as a “professional” would post a negative comment like that. That really was uncalled for and very rude. That comment could have been put across in a more professional manner. I am grateful and excited to try some of the ideas that work for her. Everyone’s opinion is all in the matter of their circumstances.

  56. Thank you for sharing your tips and experiences; you have motivated me to try once more :/

    I also enjoyed the comments people have posted, until, that is, Courtney’s! Wow, what a pill! But I guess since she has to get up early to work and not for quality time for herself, she’s just angry. I guess I would be, too. Tomorrow, when I get up at 6:30 to run, I’ll be thinking of her and wishing her a good day.

  57. “2. 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.”

    This is GENIUS! Love it.

  58. I find in the morning once my alarm goes off I get on my phone and check my email and stuff and the light from the phone wakes me up as well as getting my brain going reading. Then I’m more awake

    Making the energy bites for my husband who has to get up by 3:45 most mornings thx! :)

    • I recently started doing the same thing! I take the phone into the bathroom and check my e-mails while I brush my teeth, etc. I hope your husband enjoys them!

  59. New here….I make a similiar popper without the oats since I’m trying to eliminate most grains. So the other filler besides the coconut is raw sunflower seeds. Rolling them in sesame seeds is good too, both for you and taste!

  60. Great tips! Maybe I’ll actually have to use them and start doing my run in the morning, although, I’d be waking up at 5-5:30 since I already wake up at 6 ugh..

    • I have a pretty hard time running that early myself, so I tend to run in the afternoons. For me it’s because I can’t properly hydrate that early and avoid getting cramps. You can always try a Jillian Micheals 30-Day-Shred video (20 minutse) or 10-minute trainer. That way you don’t have to wake up too early.

  61. I struggle with this all the time!! I spend my day with guilt, wishing I got up earlier. Thanks for your tips- I’m going to try all of them tomorrow :)

  62. great tips. I know this sounds werid but I used to do a summersalt out of bed to turn my alarm off. I would just do it before I could think about it and by the time I flipped right side up I would be awake. my husband found this to be hilarious.

  63. I was in the habit of waking up at 5:15 to work out for months, then my habit broke and I’ve been trying to get back into it for the last couple months. THANK YOU! I think tomorrow I might finally force myself out of the land of pillows and cuddling, and into the land of the healthy!

    • I hope the tips help! I find it so hard to leave the land of down comforters and snuggles myself in the morning, but it’s easier for me knowing I only have a short workout ahead of me.

  64. I have actually gone back to sleep in my car in the gym parking lot. Sleep is a drug. I’m an addict. Shameful.

  65. Can we add protein powder to your poppers?

    • Absolutely! To keep the ratios the same, try taking out half the flax seed and adding back 1/4 cup of protein powder. Or take out the coconut flakes and add protein powder.

  66. How many of the protein poppers would you recommend eating?

  67. I actually wake up at 4 am…I know early, right? But after I get my hour in….I can go lay back down and rest for a couple hours before work.

  68. hmmm, I love this. The lemon water and sleeping in my workout gear sounds like a great idea. I’ll have to get up at 6:00 to have time to workout…maybe possible? lol

  69. Thanks for the great article. I tried out your protein bites and instead of using chocolate chips I used about 2 tsp of cocoa powder added the chocolate flavor without the added sugar. Monday morning will be a lot easier when I have them before my run!!!

  70. Thanks for the tips! Going to make the poppers tomorrow they look amazing! I liked the idea of sleeping half dressed! I have such s hard time getting up sometimes so this idea should really help! I’m going to try it Monday!!! Yay! Thanks!

  71. I just made these and yummmm. Its a good way for me to sneak some chocolate in. I added about a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon because I love it but I’ve always heard it good for ya too. Thanks for the recipient.

  72. I made the poppers tonight, they were amazing dipped in chocolate! Thank you for the recipe:)

  73. What if you aren’t allowed to eat the protein poppers, because I have braces and they will break and get stuck in the wires, Is there any other kind of Protein Poppers that you know of that I can eat? :)

  74. I love this! Can I please share your recipe for the poppers with my blog followers! They’ll love it and I’ll tots give you the credit! I have found that if I wipe my face with a wet cloth in the morning or splash water on my face it helps tremendously!

  75. Exercise is so important to your health and well-being that if you plan you workouts you are more likely to actually do it. Most of us have pretty crazy days so leaving your workouts to later in the day makes it tougher to actually accomplish the workout.

    • I agree! It can be hard to motivate myself after work, so sometimes I would change into workout clothes at work so that my next stop had to be the gym, not my house.

  76. I’ve been looking for something light, but sustaining, to fule my early morning runs. This sounds like a perfect option! I’m making these today- peanut free version.

  77. starting a bootcammp Monday. Thanks for the tips!

  78. Hi thats so kool ,so this would be your breakfast then ?

  79. I just made my first batch. Hemp seeds work well as a substitute for flax seeds!

  80. My alarm goes off at 3am so that I can workout and be home by 5:30 to get the kids up for school. I already implement a few of these tips, like getting clothes out the night before. Cant wait to try the bites!

  81. Great blog. Getting up early to exercise can be hard at first, but you can get used to it. Laying out your clothes is essential. That’s what I do. I get up at 5:50 am, but I am moving to 5:30 this week. I lay out my clothes, put ice water in the fridge, and generally have everything ready the night before. I’ve been doing this for about 3 months now and I LOVE IT. No more worrying about being able to fit in a workout or missing a workout. This way fits perfectly into my life, it’s automatic like brushing my teeth. The shower afterwards is just pure nirvana. Working out is a wonderful way to get some me time and start the day.

  82. ntrition value?

  83. These bites are addicting! I just made a batch to share with my family for breakfast and I ate almost the entire batch before they even got into the refrigerator.

    I added orange flavored cranberries from Trader Joes and used unsweetened coconut with 1/4 c peanut butter and 1/4 c almond butter.

    I’ll def be making these again! Thank you for the recipe.

    • I can’t wait to get a Trader Joe’s so I can get all those yummy foods I keep hearing about. I also made mine with 1/4 c PB and 1/4 c almond butter before, but I found them a little harder to roll. Thanks for posting your results!

  84. Hey! Great list, but I have one thing to add! :) When I am really bound and determined that I need to wake up a little extra early I drink more than my usual amount of water closer to bed time. That way my body forces me to get up early becuase it’s either get up or pee the bed! haha Once I’m out of bed I get dressed asap and that way I’m not inclined to get back in bed and be lazy. I know it won’t work for everyone, but it sure works well for me.

    • I never thought of that, but it’s a good idea. Once I’m up, it’s a lot easier to stay up, and waking up for the bathroom is much more motivational than waking up for exercise lol.

  85. Thank You very much for those tips. I’ve just made those protein bites. They’re amazing.

  86. I thought I was the only one that did this! Love your tips! thanks!

  87. These are great tips. However, my day starts extremely early 4:45 a.m. to be exact. I go to bed around 9:30 p.m. What do you suggest as far as an exercise routine? I don’t think I can possibly get up any earlier. I have an hour commute to work and like to be @ work no later than 7:30. Thanks!

    • If you don’t have time in the afternoons either, I suggest sneaking in exercise whenever you can throughout the day, like sitting on an exercise ball at work or walking on your lunch break to grab lunch instead of driving somewhere. http://violetsage.wordpress.com/tag/lazy-girl-fitness/ has some GREAT tips and ideas. I also really like the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred videos, which are only 20 minutes. If nothing else, try to squeeze one of those in when you get home from work.

  88. I have a small lamp by my bed set on an auto timer to turn on about 5 minutes before my alarm clock goes off. It makes the wake up transition considerably more easy. I’ve also found that if I check my facebook/email/twitter/something to wake my brain up I’m less likely to fall back to sleep.

    • I do the same thing. As soon as the alarm on my phone goes off, I start checking e-mails to tell my brain that it’s time to wake up and get to work.

  89. I just put together the 4 main ingredients to see how I liked it by itself before adding the optional stuff. Tasted it before I put it in the fridge, yum! Now to wait for an hour. lol
    I used Quaker instant oatmeal (was the only kind around the house), sunflower seed butter, good old flax, and regular everyday honey. The ingredients could have been better, but just to try it out. :)

  90. These tips are great thanks =) Also, I added mint extract to my water this morning instead of lemon juice, because we were out, and the scent of mint when you are not quite awake has the effect of immediate complete wakefulness. It’s really quite astonishing…

  91. Wonderful tips! Skippedmy workout this morning because of laziness, and I’m regretting it already. But now I have motivation, thanks to you! Can’t wait to make the energy bites, either.
    Thanks!

  92. Just found these through pinterest! I have so much trouble waking up to run and usually end up late for work because I couldnt start on time. I can’t wait to try these tips. One thing I would also add is a strong cup of coffee ready to go made by a coffee maker with an automatic timer. I know my runs would never happen without coffee…

    • I wish I could drink coffee before a workout! I find that it makes my heart rate a little too fast and I end up feeling really winded, really quick.

  93. I’m not a runner, but I get up at 5 to walk my dog before I go to work. Sometimes I put him on a long leash and let him run with me while I ride my bike. If I didn’t take him out, he would whine until I left for work and I would have something unpleasant to clean up when I got home. That’s motivation enough for me. I wait until I’m back from our walk for my coffee and shower.

  94. Great tips! I use a fair number of them already and can’t wait to try the recipe you included – it’ll be a nice change up from my usual granola bar.

    My best trick so far has been my dog. I take her with me on a quick run in the morning before work. When my alarm goes off, I remind myself that while I’m getting to leave the house for the day, she has to stay inside by herself until either my husband or I get home. I started this two weeks ago and it’s gotten me going everyday except 1.

    • It seems like dogs are really motivating for a lot of you guys. Mine motivates me too. I’d hate to leave her locked up for 8 hours with no way to get the energy out.

  95. Wow – this list is great!! I love how the goal is to trick yourself to get up & go before your brain figures it out – I need do the same thing! My morning brain is my biggest problem…nice to know I’m not alone. :)

  96. Great tips and I just made the protein poppers! They’re great but was wondering if you know the calories per popper?

    Thanks,
    Tanya

  97. i like your tips.i shall try them next morning:) my problem is that i switch off my phone alarm-while sleeping! then i just go back to my bed.next morning i wake up and think to myself what happened earlier in the morning???

  98. Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I’m inspired! Very useful info specifically the remaining phase :) I handle such information much. I was looking for this certain information for a very lengthy time. Thank you and best of luck.

  99. I’ve been doing the exact same thing. I will definitely be trying all you tips! Thanks :)

  100. What do you early work out people do with your kids? My hubby is up and gone by 4:30 or 5am I have the kids dropped off by 6:45-7 and I’m at work by 7:15 so am workouts just dont work…but then pm doesnt either with homework and dinner and baths and such there just arent enough hours in the day. I can’t wake my kids up at 5:30 to sit in a stroller thats cruel!

    • What time do your kids get up? Could you sneak in an at-home workout before they get up? Or involve them in your workout plan, go to the park and play a game of tag!

  101. In order to get my butt to the gym I make it so I *have* to go. I keep my shower stuff, makeup, straightner, brush, everything in my gym locker so I have no way of getting ready for work without going !!! There are times I’m SO mad that I did that, but it gets me there! I get up at 4:30am and get to the gym at 5:15am and it is ROUGH! But the more I go, the easier it gets.

  102. Andrea, That is the best idea ever!!!! Put your get-ready stuff at the gym so you have to go there it’s perfect. And if you combine that with the above wake-up tips, then you’re awake early and all your stuff is at the gym, so you might as well go work out! Perfect.

    I also set a Vitamin B12 next to my water bottle (which is next to my alarm clock which is across the room high on a shelf), and the B12 wakes me up and gives me energy.

    Another trick I do is set a very loud alarm clock down the hall (I live in an apartment building) and set it so that it would go off about 5 minutes after my initial alarm. That way I am forced to get up and go down the hall so that the alarm doesn’t wake up my neighbors (who would be so mad at me!) By then, I’m wide awake and can’t fall back to sleep even if I tried!

    • I think I’m going to start taking Vitamin B12 also, since so many people have recommended it for a variety of different ailments. I didn’t know you could use it to boost your energy in the morning also, but that’s even more reason to try it!

  103. Hey, if the main thing is getting out the door to start your run (I run in around my neighborhood too), then try to find a way to put something outside which you HAVE to get in the morning after your alarm goes off. I’m brainstorming ideas like.. hiding something you need in a bush so you have to go get it. An alarm clock would work if it is wireless and that way you’d have to go turn it off before it woke up the neighbors. Haha if there are any ideas let me know!

  104. I made this and really enjoyed them, my question is how you store them. I can’t decide if I like them better in the fridge or freezer. I guess I could freeze and leave by my bed at night in a bowl or baggie but never tried.

    • I just leave them on the counter in some tupperware. I like them cold or room temperature, but never tried freezing them. I’d imagine they’d be rock hard, but they could defrost overnight.

  105. May I suggest adding protein powder? I’m afraid without the extra protein the fat and calories per serving are not very nutritious…?

    • Absolutely! That’s a great idea. I’d probably take out some of the dry ingredients like coconut flakes and add in the protein. I’ll have to try it and post my results.

  106. This article is wonderful! It’s hard to find motivation to get up and run when it’s early, dark, and where I’m from, 30 degrees in the morning. These tips are great, no more excuses for missing morning work-outs :)

    • Ouch, in 30 degree weather, it would be hard for me to crawl out of my warm bed too! I guess we’re spoiled in Florida. When it’s under 60, I’m in the gym indoors.

  107. Hey Ladies,

    I second the coffee timer suggestion…set it so the timer goes off about 5-7 minutes before my alarm is set for – the noise of the machine, not to mention the heavenly smell will motivate me to get up and get at it and I have it to look forward to after my workout is done.

    I also get dressed right away in my gear including running shoes because sometimes, that’s half the battle. And lastly, I always have water by my bed and I usually have a really good swig before I even pull the covers back. I often wake up hungry, so I look forward to these little bites being an easy bit of energy to get me out the door.

  108. I totally had a good idea what if u used orange extract instead of vanilla, use dried cranberries instead of coconut and use the white chocolate chips! ooo i’d get up in the morning for that yum!!

  109. Hey this might sound obvious, but its where a lot of people mess up. One of the most important parts of being motivated and energetic in the morning is what you eat the night before. Carbs and Protein in reasonable amounts provide a great amount of sustained enrgy when you wake up, but eating a large amount of anything right before bed is a Baaaaaaaaaaaaad idea. Make sure you have at least an hour between dinner and bed time, at the very minimum, and eat appropriate proportions, which should be standard since your trying to stay in shape. Late night snacks or sugary drinks are just gonna make your mornings worse. Since sleeping well is important to any healthy lifestyle, avoid caffeine in the evening, even tea. Those middle of the night bathroom trips can wreck havok on a nights sleep.

    • I completely agree with you! Whenever I eat heavy or late the night before, I feel so full and bogged down in the morning. It’s easy to forget it’s not all about the mornings, but has a lot to do with the night before.

  110. Drinking a large glass of cold water right before I fall asleep helps me wake up because I have to pee so bad when the alarm goes off! Great article!

  111. I pretty much do all these things. Great advice. If you have a good pre workout drink I put that by my bed and down it first thing. It will force you to get up!

  112. I’ve tried the poppers before. We enjoy them with no chocolate chips and mushed raspberries mixed in. I would love to be able to get up at 6:30 to exercise! I get up at 5:30 just to get to work on time, which would be 4:30 if I want to get a workout in beforehand, which I’m contemplating on the two days a week I work 12 hours, because I don’t want to workout when I get home b/c I’m wiped!

  113. I get up most mornings at 3:45-4:00 am. I haven’t always been an AM exerciser, but now that I am, I wish I’d done it years ago. The trick for me is going to bed early. Around 7:30 I am heading to bed to read for a bit and often am fast asleep within 15 minutes. I don’t actually leave for the gym until 5:15-5:30, but I have found I love the quiet morning time to do emails, have my coffee, and just enjoy the peace to do what I want to do without anyone needing anything from me. The peaceful quiet time is actually what often motivates me to get out of bed- that, and I always have a better day when I work out in the mornings. That said, it’s getting to bed early that really allows me to keep this schedule. Thanks for your tips and the energy ball recipe! I am looking forward to trying them!

    • I love the time in the mornings between waking up and actually going to be productive to just enjoy me time! Maybe if I do that instead of head straight to the gym, it will motivate me and give me something to look forward to when I get out of bed.

  114. Love the recipe! I used your suggested amount of honey, omitted the coconut flakes and used dark chocolate chips and fell in love! Thanks for that! Even my family loves em! :)

  115. Great ideas. I used some of your suggestions when I first starting attending boot camp in the early morning.

    I’ve shared your link on my health and wellness blog

  116. Could you add mashed bananas or berries to these?

  117. I started training for different things to get my exercise in. Start with a 5K, move to a 10K, and eventually 1/2 of full marathons. Knowing I’m training for a race is motivation to get out and exercise. I’ve tried races without the training and they are just not pretty. If I sign up for a race, like Tinkerbell im doing in January, I know I’ve spent money and want to do well. It gets me out of bed.

  118. I know I am a strange person, but I get up every morning at 5:00 and love it. I do put my alarm across the room, but most mornings it wouldn’t be necessary. I am a total morning person and a good workout before breakfast is so important to me. Makes my day just go better. Of course by 9:00 PM I am ready for bed, but it all evens out.

  119. I don’t think any tips are enough inspiration for me to get up earlier. But then again most people don’t leave there house at 4:30 am for work.

  120. I just made the recipe myself (they’re chilling in the fridge). I was going through the list of ingredients to make sure I had everything and lo and behold – I didn’t have peanut butter! What?!? So after a trip to the store I started on the poppers. I didn’t have raw honey so I used the regular stuff, and I did 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup slivered almonds (to kind of balance out the honey part).

    They look wonderful already, and I can’t wait to try them! Thanks so much!!

  121. I love these, thanks for sharing! My kids like them too, and that beats the heck out of sugar cereal for breakfast. I found it easier to mix if you flick some water in and mix around before adding the pb. This also allows you to use less pb, if one didn’t want quite as many fat calories from the pb part.

  122. Any suggestions for a Mom with 2 kids under 2? None of these suggestions work for me especially since my hubby works third shift and has to sleep from 8:30am (when he gets home) until 3 or 4pm when he goes to job #2.

  123. I was under the impression that sleeping in a bra is harmful to the breasts and can cause pre-mature sagging…?
    All these other tips are great! However, my favorite way to get up is to use the old Alarm Clock Calculator: http://sleeptiming.com/
    It calculates what time you should go to bed, depending on the time you want to wake up, so you can wake up at the end of a REM cycle. It’s been VERY helpful to me in getting up earlier.

    • Actually Caitlin, your bra theory is backwards. I never slept with support and by age 35 my 36DDs had to get a breast reduction due to sagging & stretching. The doctor told me to always sleep with some support. (Like an athletic bra, a leisure bra or at least a tank top that has a “shelf”)

  124. My tip for getting up early when it’s cold is to set your programmable thermostat to turn on the heat for 15 minutes before you get up. This way you don’t have the excuse… but it’s so cold. The more times you get up early the easier it becomes. I feel great after an early AM workout.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  125. How long do they stay good for and where do you store the?

  126. I turn on all the lights, get dressed and make the bed. I also don’t allow myself to sit down anywhere, esp the couch.

  127. This may sound crazy, but what works for me is going to bed and getting up at the same time every single day, including the weekends. In bed around 8-9 pm, up by 4-5 am. EVERY day. NEVER miss a workout that way, and still get all the sleep you need! :) It may take some time but you can get your body used to this if you just try.

  128. Is there something about the lemon in the water that makes it more healthy or does it just taste better?

    • If I had time I’d include some scientific links but basically the lemon wakes up your metabolism and it cleanses your body because it forces the water to be processed through your kidney instead of just going in and out. In larger quantities it also helps balance your body’s acidity levels (believe it or not it’s alkaline). Acidic foods = an acidic balance which is a great environment for all the things that makes you sick. If you eat alkaline foods and lemon juice in the morning before food is a great option, you make your body a more alkaline environment so it’s not a happy place for diseases to grow. Yay for lemon!

  129. Nutrition information for energy poppers? Thanks!

  130. Love the protein poppers!! My kids love them too they are a great breakfast food and snack :) I don’t know if this was already stated but after I mix them I push them into a wax paper lined 9×13 pan, chill and then cut into bite size pieces or bars :)

  131. Are coconuts an important ingredient for energy? nutritional value? Are the suggested substitutions alternatives to using coconut?

  132. What time u sleep then?

  133. Hi thanks so much for your post! I have been struggling with waking up SO MUCH and it’s making it hard to fall asleep and so the cycle continues. I think this is the best list I’ve come across.
    You asked if we had any other tips for your list. I would say that if your CD player could be an alarm, playing any kind of upbeat music is good. Same with your phone tone – something high tempo is a must. Not some dreamy lovely piano or guitar piece.
    Thanks again!

  134. How many calories in one ball?

  135. they are so delicious! I used a cookie scooper (like you would cookie dough) and shaped them really quickly. Ate one this morning before my run. yum! whats a serving size 1? and how many calories per serving?

  136. Some solid tips, thanks for sharing. The only one I haven’t tried is the bra one ;) lol!

  137. Does walking in my PJs count as sleeping in my workout clothes??

  138. Does walking in my PJs count as sleeping in my workout clothes?!

  139. your suggestions are great think I’ve probably tried each of them at one time or other. getting to bed on time makes a big difference to thanks

  140. I’ve actually been using your recipe for protein poppers for about 6 months now, and I love being able to throw in any random nuts, seeds, granola, raisins, chocolates, cereals, etc that are hanging around my cupboard.
    I can attest that my fiance has messed with the ratios of ingredients beyond what a normal human would try, and they’ve always still turned out delicious. He eats them for breakfast and I eat them as snacks when I work out.

    Also, lemon water is good for your metabolism, but my dentist reminded me that the acid can erode your enamel if you drink it every morning, so it’s a good idea to brush your teeth afterwards to prevent long-term damage. Science! :)

  141. hi! i love this recipe however every time i make it my mixture does not form into balls, rather a dry texture similar to trail mix. i am using all of the proper ratios. any suggestions or tips?

    Thanks!

    Natalie

  142. I just finished making these and they are amazing. I’m blessed to own a Vitamix, so if you own one just wanted to let you know that by using the 48 ounce container and the tamper saved me all the elbow grease, it was really easy and they taste amazing. Thank you so much, my husband will love the new “cookies”

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