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My top 10 tips on how to wake up for sunrise

I’ve never been an early bird - but I changed. For a long time, I was the typical frenchie who would go to bed between midnight and 1am and would be extremely happy to wake up no earlier than 9am.

This now feels like a distant past life…

I think Australia truly changed me in many ways and waking up early is a big one. Now I know I can wake up for sunrise most times - unless I am way too tired, the weather is extremely miserable or cold, or I am too hungover. But, yes, I can do it - those are the only exceptions.

It hasn’t been an easy road to sunrise though and although I now feel comfortable to get up, it took me a while to mentally prepare myself for it.

And because I think everyone should experience this more often, see and feel the very first sun rays and welcome the day with such a beautiful gift from nature - here are my top tips on actually getting up and enjoying it.

Sunrise surf in Manly Beach, Australia. Photo: Marine Raynard

Sunrise surf in Manly Beach, Australia. Photo: Marine Raynard

  1. Spoiler: go to sleep very early!

There’s no secret here… If you go to sleep late, you’ll struggle waking up early! Figure out how many hours you at least need to function and try to go to sleep a little bit earlier than usual.

If that’s hard of seemingly impossible for you, try to have a big day to sleep early or relax by reading a book - no screens! Surely, you’ll fall asleep quicker than you think.

2. Visualise yourself

This is a technique I’ve always learnt and used recently but I swear it helps! Even though you feel weird for doing that, just try it. So before you go to sleep, just visualise yourself, physically going to that place you want to watch sunrise from, meeting your friends or preparing your photography equipment, and the feeling you’ll have from watching the sunrise. Hopefully, those little visualisation tricks will help you get up faster when you wake up!

Pink sunrise in Manly beach. Photo: Marine Raynard

Pink sunrise in Manly beach. Photo: Marine Raynard

3. Get everything ready to go the night before

One big strategy I have is to not lose a minute when I get up super early so I can maximise my sleeping time. So obviously, prepare everything the night before - cameras, bag, clothes you’re going to wear, snack, water - so that all you have to do is dress up, grab your stuff and go watch that sunrise!


4. Have a strong motivation

So you want to wake up for sunrise but you don’t know how. BUT you do want to wake up and watch that sunrise, so that’s already some motivation here! Use every little bit of motivation you can and why in the first place you wanted to get up that early. Surely this will help you to actually do it.


5. Get into a habit

As everything in life, the first few times will feel a bit tough to wake up so early and get organised. However, you’ll quickly notice that the more and more you do it, the easiest it will get for you to get up in the morning.

Set up a little challenge and tell yourself you’ll do sunrises at least twice a week for a month and see how you go! After a while, you’ll surprise yourself and wake up before your alarm (I certainly do that now…!)


6. Get some friends and unite

There’s nothing like knowing your friends will also be there for sunrise! I love that little text as 5am being like “you awaaaake?”. It motivates you so much knowing you’re all in the same boat, you’ve all woken up so early and you will all witness an amazing sunrise.


7. Remember how good you felt / imagine how good you will feel

If you’ve gotten up quite early a few times now and loved the experience, try to take a moment to print that feeling in your brain. This seems silly but when you have to visualise yourself again to motivate yourself, this is quite important!

That happy  / emotional / still / calm feeling you had? Hang on to it and you’ll feel it again at the next sunrise!


8. Pick your favourite spot

Needless to say, if there’s a beautiful place you know about and you love watching sunrise from, this will help you!

If you don’t know it yet, search where you think the sunrise will be most beautiful, and change it up by trying different spots facing east. Every sunrise is unique!


9. Go back to sleep after… or not!

If really you think you’re going to struggle waking up so early, then you can always go back to sleep after or go for a nap!

But I personally think that sunrises really energise ourselves so it would be a shame to not start the day the best way. But I don’t mind a little arvo nap if I’m tired!

10. Be proud of yourself for accomplishing something different / getting out of your comfort zone / being one with nature!

If after all of this, you’ve made it to sunrise - congratulations! You can be truly proud for being an early bird and pushing hostels to do something different and appreciating the beauty nature has to offer.

You also had the power to do a little change in your life and you took it! So all props to you for being so awesome.

So are you ready to get up early this time? Let me know if you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them!

And if you want to see more of my sunrise pictures and stories, head to my instagram @thefrenchieescapes !