13 Tips For Establishing A Morning Routine, According To A TV Producer Who Wakes Up At 3AM

Friday, March 26, 2021

Normal sleep schedules and waking up early have never been my strong suit. Since I know I'm not the only one with this dilemma, especially during the pandemic (yes, I've replaced commute time with extra snooze time—and then some), I turned to a pro for help.

On this week's episode of my IGTV series, Network From Home, I FaceTimed with Adeja Crearer, a CNN morning show producer who wakes up at 3AM (I know, can you imagine!?) every weekday and she told me exactly how she does it. Read on for all her best tips and tricks for actually becoming a morning person without dreading it.

1. Don't leave extra time for yourself to hit snooze or stay in bed

Only giving yourself the time you need to get ready will force you to get up out of bed when your alarm goes off and not twenty minutes later. Instead, alloting yourself just enough time and nothing more will give you a little push out of bed.

2. Set your alarm earlier and earlier each day to ease into waking up early

If you have to wake up at 3am like Adeja, or even 5, 6, 7, or 8am, you'll want to ease your way into it, especially if you're used to sleeping in (@me). Set your alarm a bit earlier each day to get used to the sleep schedule shift.

3. Pay attention to the time your body naturally wakes up and start waking up an hour earlier from there

To really become a morning person, try starting by paying attention to when your body naturally wakes up. From there, you can more accurately set the "earlier" time mentioned above. Adeja recommends taking this time and slowly waking up earlier in hour increments.

4. Allow yourself 8 hours of sleep

While you're changing your wake-up time, you also want to be changing your bedtime. After all, just because you're getting up earlier doesn't mean you should be losing sleep! Instead, tack on that hour you lose in the morning to your bedtime so you're just going to bed earlier at night. If you can get 8 hours of sleep, do it! Repeat after me: waking up early doesn't mean sacrificing sleep.

5. Practice waking up earlier on weekends

Getting this new sleep routine down can seem a little intimidating but if you practice doing it on the weekends when you won't miss an appointment or meeting if you hit snooze one too many times, you'll eventually nail it. Just keep at it until you can finally do it without hitting snooze!

6. Only allow yourself 5 minutes to stay in bed in the morning

Even though snooze is off-limits, staying in bed for five minutes after your alarm goes off to breathe and give yourself a little pep talk for the day ahead is allowed, Adeja confirms. Just keep it at five minutes, alright? And stay awake!

7. Multitask in the morning to maximize your time

A key part of squeezing everything into only the time you give yourself for your morning routine may mean you have to multitask. That may look like turning on the coffee pot and letting it brew while your curling iron is heating up or making your bed while your skincare soaks into your face. THIS is called efficiency and we applaud it!

8. Stay off of your phone first thing in the morning and right before bed at night

Phone use before bed is something Adeja admits she is still working to cut out but one thing she absolutely does not do? Use her phone in the morning. Instead, she waits until she gets into the office to check her emails and officially "connect." While this may seem simpler in the wee hours of the night, the same rules apply at 7 or 8 am. You have plenty of time to be on your phone, the first hour of your day you can do without it.

9. Try reading, journaling, and/or drinking a hot (decaf) drink before bed

While it's great to turn off your phone even 30 minutes before bed, it's admittedly tough! Incorporating a book, journal, and/or a hot drink like tea before bed are great ways to adopt healthier habits before turning in for the night.

10. Find a way to spend alone time that fits into your daily routine

Even 10-15 minutes a day is perfect for disconnecting. Really tune into your feelings and silence the world around you. For Adeja, this looks like a daily walk to a park where she can stay off her phone and center herself.

11. Remember: self-care doesn't have to look a certain way

While Adeja's preferred method of alone time is walking outside and that other person you follow on Instagram takes bubble baths, your go-to means of self-care may look different. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to self-care so don't compare yourselves to others. Find something that truly makes you happy and can fit into your daily routine without it feeling like another task you have to cross off your to-do list—then commit!

12. Consider buying a daily devotional to practice mindfulness

Adeja swears by her 60-day daily devotional for women and if you're someone who loves mindful or inspirational reading, like myself, this tip is calling your name.

13. Read inspiring quotes or poems in the morning to start your day off on a positive note

Not really interested in buying a book? Inspiring quotes or poems are equally positive ways to start your day and get you motivated.

Check out my IGTV to watch the full interview with Adeja Crearer and hear her exact nighttime, morning, and wellness routines.