How to wake up early
Want to enjoy the smug feeling of knowing you’re accomplishing things while others hit the snooze button? Our resident advice columnist, Nectarine Girl, breaks down how to become a morning person.
Morning has broken like the first morning, Nectarine has spoken. Well, I’m about to anyway. The skill of rising early comes naturally to a select few, but I also find bragging about this attribute comes equally as naturally to these people. Me? I had to train from the ground up and I remain forever humble.
You need to begin by choosing a really poignant alarm – something shrill to get you moving but comforting enough that you enter the day with a smile on your face. The first time my boyfriend stayed over he was delighted to be awoken by Hall of Fame blasting out at 7am. He shot up and said, “What on earth is that?!” My reply: “Don’t worry, it’s only The Script.” No snoozing after that.
If you find you’ve become immune to your alarm, fear not. I dare you to try this method I implemented many moons ago. It entails hitting your head against the pillow the same number of times as the hour you wish to awake. Eight knocks and I’ll see you at exactly 8am! “The Pillow Clock” (trademarked by me, just now) is pretty foolproof other than you can’t be too specific: quarter past is tricky, let alone 25 to. I’m still working on it.
Back in my day, before all this Netflix, on-demand television business, we had to watch shows adhering to the broadcaster’s schedule. That sounds as though I was born in the 1950s or something, but I really didn’t struggle for long – the iPlayer launched when I was nine. Back then, Everybody Loves Raymond always aired at 7am on Channel 4. And I really loved Raymond, enough even to get up at the crack of dawn.
That is to say, if you don’t get up, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Mornings are full of nature’s gifts: spring sunrises, the song of a blackbird, dew on the grass and, of course, the Emmerdale omnibus on telly. If that’s not enough to entice you, how about the pure joy of feeling like you’re better than everyone else?
My friend Darcie likes to wrench herself out of bed so early that sometimes I haven’t even gone to sleep by the time her alarm goes off. She will run 5k and remind herself she is accomplishing something while others are hungover. We can’t all be Darcie, but I can vouch for occasionally feeling superior when I pass clubbers still queuing at the door while I’m popping to the big Sains for juice, croissants and the morning paper.
I stayed in a hotel recently and opted for the wake-up-call service. It’s so lovely to be woken by the soft voice of the hotel receptionist – I really wish she would continue to ring me back at home. The app “Wakie” was a craze in 2014, replacing the common alarm with a call from a random stranger. Needless to say, I was one of the first to try it, but my only experience left me absolutely terrified after a Russian man shouted, “You’re going to be late to school!” down the phone. I was fuming, but in his defence he wasn’t to know it was an inset day. I’m now thinking I should get into this industry myself, as I would love to give the call. And my dad pays my phone bill so it could be pretty lucrative for me.
So get up, get shaking! Early bird catches the worm and all that. Once you’re in the routine, I promise it does get easier. I now thoroughly enjoy the wee hours. Each day, I make a coffee and whack on Hairspray’s Good Morning Baltimore. I wouldn’t change it for anything.