a student on the left yawns while the student next to her has his hand on his face while in a classroom with lots of students in the background

Morning class mastery

September 26, 2023
Author: Samantha Allan

Conquer early morning classes with these tips

Early morning classes can be challenging when you’re not a morning person. It’s not always easy to wake up and make it to class on time, especially if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. But do not worry! With some creative thinking and a few clever techniques, you can learn how to master those early morning classes.

Read on for some tips that will help you make it through the week without missing an assignment or showing up late.

Set your alarm

If your alarm is too far away from your bed, heavy sleepers know all too well that there’s a chance it may not even wake you. Roommates and family members love that. Keep your alarm right next to your bed but put it on top of a pile of books or on a high shelf so that you must sit up or stand to reach it before hitting snooze!

Test the sort of tones that work best for you. Some people prefer bold and obnoxious alarms, while others enjoy waking up to an energized tune. Technology can be your friend. If you have a smart home hub like an Amazon Echo Dot or a Google Home paired with a smart bulb in your bedroom you can set a morning routine that will turn on the lights and play music for you.

Make sure you get enough sleep

It may sound like common sense, but getting enough sleep is essential when dealing with early morning classes. Consistency is key. Aim for eight to nine hours of sleep each night to give yourself plenty of time to rest and recharge for the next day. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, try using calming activities such as reading or meditating before going to bed. Avoid taking sleep aids and opt for natural sleep remedies. A chamomile tea paired with a guided mindfulness exercise from YouTube will help relax your mind and body so that you can drift off to sleep with ease.

Have breakfast ready before bedtime

One way to make sure that you do not skip breakfast (which we all know is essential for starting your day off right) is by preparing it the night before! That way, you can grab a quick bite before heading out the door. Overnight oats or hard-boiled eggs with nut butter toast are both easy and nutritious options. They take minimal effort but provide maximum energy for those early mornings. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, time your caffeine intake to coincide with your morning classes, providing a mental boost and enhancing alertness when you need it most.

Start a bedtime routine

As a part of your bedtime routine, take the opportunity to remove complex decision-making from your early mornings. Prepare your study materials, pick your outfit, and prepare your breakfast and lunch the night before to streamline your morning routine and reduce the chances of running late or feeling rushed. Take a few minutes to review your schedule for the next day, making a mental note of any appointments, deadlines or important tasks to keep yourself organized and focused. Finally, reflect on the positive aspects of your day or practice gratitude to cultivate a positive mindset before sleep.

Make it social

Connect with classmates or friends who share your morning classes and create a support system to help each other stay accountable, motivated, and engaged. Participate in class discussions, ask questions and take notes to help maintain focus and retention during early morning sessions. The pressure of speaking up in front of a whole classroom of your peers or being called upon unexpectedly can wake you up quickly.

Create new habits

Building a repertoire of small habits that your mind associates with morning and waking up can help kickstart your day.

  • Establish a micro-routine: Create a short, consistent routine (for example, brushing your teeth, making the bed) to signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up and get moving.
  • Hydrate first thing: Drink a glass of water with ice or lemon to kickstart your metabolism, hydrate your body and awaken your digestive system.
  • Two-alarm strategy: Set two alarms, one for waking up and another for starting your morning routine, to create a sense of urgency and prevent you from hitting snooze.
  • Morning affirmations: Recite positive affirmations or visualize your goals for the day to inspire confidence and motivation upon waking.
  • Aromatherapy: Use an essential oil diffuser with invigorating scents like citrus or peppermint to awaken your senses and boost your mood.
  • Splash of cold water: Splash your face with cold water immediately upon waking up to increase alertness and circulation. If you’re brave, start having cold showers in the morning instead of a warm shower.


Early morning classes can be difficult if you aren’t a morning person, but they do not have to be impossible! With these tips, you can manage those early starts more effectively so that you can focus on learning instead of struggling through another day of exhaustion and sleep deprivation. So put these tricks into practice today – who knows? Maybe tomorrow won’t seem so daunting after all!


Samantha Allan is a first-generation learner of Indigenous and British ancestry with home roots across the province of BC. She graduated from VIU in June with a Bachelor of Business Administration, major in Management. She is currently in the Joint Degree Program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders at the University of Victoria. Her long-term goal is to work in law and economic development.

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