How To Wake Up Early: A Comprehensive Guide

For some people, waking up at 4:00am – 6:00am is effortless.But to others, it seems impossible. The lure of the bed is too strong. The good news is that you (yes you!) can also wake up early, and I’m going to show you how.


It’s All About Motivation

Waking up early is all about motivation. When your alarm goes off in the morning, there are two primary desires competing against each other:

The desire to stay in bed and the desire to get up and do something productive.

If it seems impossible to get out of bed when your alarm goes off, it simply means that your desire to stay in bed is much stronger than the desire to get up.

We need to change that.


This guide will show you how to:

1. Reduce your desire to stay in bed.

2. Make it irresistible to get up out of bed.

If you implement the instructions this guide, I can pretty much guarantee that you will be able to consistently wake up early and start to dominate your mornings. 

Let’s jump in!



The Three Ingredients


To become an effortless early riser, we’re going to need three things:

1. Purpose

2. Sleep

3. Accountability

Ingredient 1: Purpose


You need a clear reason why you are waking up early.

If don't have a reason for getting up early, it's going to be nearly impossible to maintain an early waking lifestyle.

When your alarm goes off, your brain is going to make a decision on whether to get out of bed, or go back to sleep.

If there is no clear reason to get out of bed, then your sleepy and tired brain is nearly always going to opt for more sleep.

You need to have a very clear understanding of what you are waking up early to do.

That way, you don't have to think about it when you wake up.

For instance, you may decide:

“I'm going to wake up early and go for a run before work.”


“I'm going to get up early and practice piano for 1 hour”.


"I'm going to get up and do some focused work on my side project".

Having a clear reason for waking up will be the foundation that we build on when creating our early waking strategy.


Your reason needs to be more important to you than staying up late.

The beautiful, quiet hours you will gain by waking up early aren’t free. To get extra hours in the morning, you need to give up the same number of hours at night.

This means that whatever it is you are going to do in the morning needs to be more important to you than what you are currently doing at night.


Ok – So you have your reason, and you know what you are going to be doing in your early hours. Great! Let’s move on.


Ingredient 2: Sleep

You’re probably going to need to go to bed earlier.

There’s no getting around it – humans need sleep. If you start waking up early without maintaining enough sleep, you will crash HARD after a few days.

Even if you do manage to force yourself out of bed in a sleep-deprived state, you won’t be able to perform anywhere near your peak.

It simply isn’t sustainable to wake up early without getting enough sleep.


You’re going to have to go to bed early.


But before you despair, I want you to ask yourself the following question:

What do you currently achieve between the hours of 9pm to 12pm?

Answer honestly.

For many of us, these hours are filled with media consumption, gaming, snacking, social media and drinking. Activities that are typically passive and low value.

Whereas the activities that you are likely to do in the morning – exercise, study, focused work, practice, meditation – these are high-value activities that can significantly boost your satisfaction in life.

Waking up early means you're trading low-value night hours for high-value morning hours.

Based on my experience - this is a very worthwhile trade.

Optimise your sleep quality.


Aside from getting enough sleep, it is good for an early riser to focus on sleep quality.

For our purposes, sleep quality comes second to sleep quantity. But by improving your sleep quality, you can improve how rested and alert you are when you do wake up.

For those of us who are trying to maximise productive hours by sleeping as little as possible (~7 hours), sleep quality can make the difference between waking up ready to go, or waking up groggy and slow.


The primary ways that you can improve your sleep quality are:

  • Reducing (or eliminating) alcohol before bed
  • Reducing caffeine usage in the afternoons or night
  • Aiming for consistent sleep and wake times
  • Not exercising directly before bed
  • Not eating a large meal just before bed

Once you have your sleep quantity and quality dialled in, it’s time to move on to the last critical ingredient: Accountability.

Ingredient 3: Accountability


Accountability is an incredibly powerful tool.


Imagine that you have a job that starts at 5:00am in the morning, Monday to Friday. Your work is strict, and if you arrive even a minute late, you are docked an hour of pay.

Would you be able to get to work on time each day?

I think most of us would.

But what if, instead of waking up to go to work, you decided to get up at 5:00am each morning to go for a morning run?

For most people, getting up to go for a 5:00am run is significantly harder to maintain than getting up at 5:00am to go to work.


The difference? Accountability.

If you don’t show up at work because you slept in, there will be consequences. You are accountable to your boss. Your employment, reputation and professionalism are at stake.

This forces you to show up to work on time, even if it’s cold, wet, or you had a late night.

On the other hand, going for a run has no accountability.

If you decide that you don’t feel like running today – you can skip it. Nothing happens. Nobody yells at you. The world moves on.


Accountability keeps you waking up early when your motivation fades.


If you have a strong purpose and are getting enough sleep, it can start to feel quiet easy to wake up early.

This is especially true when you first start a new projector establish a new goal. Your motivation is high. You are driven and passionate.

The problem is that internal motivation like this comes and goes. We never stay permanently in a state of strong motivation.

You may be pumped to go to the gym for a few weeks or months. But slowly the novelty starts to wear off. It starts to become a chore. You start missing workouts. Other things take over.

But when you add accountability – everything changes.

If we're serious about unlocking the benefits of consistently waking early, we need to introduce some accountability.


How to make yourself accountable to waking up early.


In the same way that you might get fired if you show up late for your job, we need to add a negative consequence for not waking up early.

We need to increase the stakes.

We want to make the consequences for staying in bed bad enough that you will desperately want to get out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off.


This is why we created the 'High Stakes Alarm’.

The alarm is an app that allows you to fine yourself if you stay in bed past your intended wake up time.

The amount you stake and the conditions you set are completely up to you.


When your alarm goes off in the morning, you need to tell the app that you are awake, otherwise you will be fined. And you won’t be getting it back. 

This creates a very real negative consequence for waking up. Imagine getting fined $10, or $100 or $1000 for staying in bed!

Trust me, you'll be out of bed within seconds after your alarm rings - every time.

This is a powerful tool that will force you out of bed any time you want.

Don't abuse this tool. It has the ability to get you out of bed even if you haven't had enough sleep, which for the reasons mentioned above is not sustainable.

But when you use the High Stakes Alarm alongside a purpose and sufficient sleep – the results are incredible.

Never again will you roll over and go back to bed. You'll develop discipline and unlock hours of quality, productive time in your mornings.

Your mornings will become effortless, satisfying and consistent.


Recap & Final Thoughts


I hope this guide has given you some insight into what it takes to consistently wake up early.

For years I struggled to get out of bed when my alarm went off. I wanted to get up, but I just couldn't will myself to get out of my comfortable bed.

I can attest first-hand to the power of waking up early. For me, I gained productivity, improved mental health and was able to establish a habit of consistent exercise that I had always struggled to do due to lack of time.

To recap, the three things you need to do are:

  1. Identify your reason for waking up early.
  2. Get enough sleep.
  3. Add accountability by using the High Stakes Alarm (coming soon).

There’s a whole lot more information I want to share with you to help you on your early-rising journey.

Things like caffeine usage, sleep habits, phone use, alcohol, cold mornings, motivation and the science of sleep.

If you enter your email below I can keep you in the loop as soon as the High Stakes Alarm is launched.

There will be special surprises in store for early users of the alarm, so it's worthwhile signing up.

Ready to begin your early morning journey?

Here's where to go from here.

Next Steps

1.    Sign up for the High Stakes Alarm

2.    Take the Wake Up Early Assessment Quiz

3.    Sign up for the Wake Up Early Newsletter


If you have questions – feel free to email me at I'm always open for questions or feedback and try to reply to every email received.

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