Morning people are a rare breed, but it’s a goal we all wish to achieve at some point in our lives. Mornings tend to be associated with productivity and creativity, giving early risers the chance to get in touch with those aspects of themselves ahead of everyone else.

A technique known as the RISE-UP method, won’t get you all the way there, but it can make an impact and get you one step closer to being a morning person.

This method has science support, and it can help when experiencing that morning grogginess that makes you want to hit the snooze button and get back in bed. The RISE UP method was devised in 2018 by sleep researcher Kate Kaplan and other colleagues. After thorough research and testing, researchers devised six principles that can help minimize sleepiness.

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Each letter stands for:

  • R: Resist the urge to hit the snooze button
  • I: Increase your activity for the first hour
  • S: Shower (or wash face and hands with cold water)
  • E: Expose yourself to sunlight
  • U: Upbeat music
  • P: Phone a friend

Kaplan spoke with the Huffington Post and explained each step in depth, discussing why they mattered and why they could help people be more active and take better advantage of their mornings. “Try to have consistency in the time you get out of bed,” she said. “That helps to keep our biological clock in the same time zone. When we vary our sleep times from weekdays and weekends, that kind of chronic jet lag can be pretty confusing for the body.”

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Common actions, like hitting the snooze button every half hour, interrupt our REM sleep, making us feel unrested and like we need more sleep. If you go to bed late, Kaplan says it’s better to wake up at the same time and take a nap later, that way your body can stay with that consistency and stick to that routine.

As for the other steps in the process, Kaplan explains that increasing your activity during the first hour of wakefulness is pivotal, whether you’re preparing coffee or taking your dog out on a walk. The latter might be the most helpful of them all, exposing you to sunlight and allowing your internal rhythms to align. Sunlight is especially helpful if you’re staying indoors for the majority of your time.

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Lastly, calling a friend can always be helpful option, since social contact has been correlated with alertness. You can read a more detailed explanation about each step here.

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