As a college student, getting up in the morning can be a daunting task. It was easy to wake up at 6 am in high school to get to school by 7 am but now, you’re struggling to even get to your 8 am class. The best way to avoid waking up early is to avoid taking those 8 am classes, but sometimes you have to.

And maybe that’s a good thing. According to a study conducted by researchers at University of North Texas who observed the sleeping habits and grades of 824 undergrads, waking up early can improve your GPA. On average, students who were morning people had GPAs a full point higher than the students who stay up later.

Another study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, found that morning people tend to be more proactive than their peers who stay up later. Early-risers tend to be more conscientious than those who sleep in. But how can you become a morning person when you struggle to get out of bed in the morning? 

Understanding Sleep Cycles

Each night, you go through 4 to 6 sleep cycles. Each cycle consists of 5 stages, which range from a very light sleep (stage 1) to a very deep sleep (stage 4) and then the rapid eye movement stage which is where you’re most likely to dream.

It's harder to wake up out of a deep stage 3 or 4 sleep, that’s why you get so disoriented after waking up from a nap. According to Michael Breus, PhD, D, ABSM “Most people hit their deepest sleep between 4 am and 6 am, so its very hard to wake up during that time.”

Get Sunlight

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According to Lisa Shives, MD, natural light helps reset your circadian clock. Shives suggests going on a walk, or getting outside to get some fresh air before starting your day. She also suggests keeping your blinds open when you sleep so your room fills with light in the morning, it’ll help keep you awake.

Set a Bedtime

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One of the easiest things you can do to ensure that you’ll be able to wake up on time is to just simply set an earlier bedtime, and stick with it. Shives suggests starting out moving your bedtime just 15 minutes earlier each day about once or twice a week. Eventually, it’ll be easier to wake up in the morning.

Drink Water

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Caroline Liu

When you wake up have a glass of water. Drinking water will help replenish all the water that was lost while you were sleeping, leaving you feeling more fresh and energized. But if we're being honest, you should be drinking water all day long, check out these easy tips to add more water into your daily routine.

Turn Off Your Phone

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We’re all guilty of this but most doctors recommend not looking at a screen before going to bed. Meaning that your 1 am scrolling food Instragrams isn’t going to make it any easier for you to wake up for that 8 am. It's suggested that you avoid looking at a phone or computer screen 30 minutes before going to bed.

#SpoonTip: Read one of these food related books instead.