How to wake up early for dawn patrol

September 26, 2019 | Surfing
Dawn patrol: enjoy the early morning waves | Photo: Shutterstock

There are several reasons why surfing in the morning is generally a wise and fruitful option.

Not only are the wave and wind conditions better, but you'll also find fewer surfers hassling for the same scarce resources.

In theory, waking up early for a super session is a good move, but from a practical perspective, it is never easy or even doable.

Whether you start working at 9 am, or you've just had a long Friday night at the disco, getting out of bed at 6 or 7 am might not always be feasible.

And when wintertime comes, how do you convince your brain to leave the warm sheets of your comfy bed for a cold air and water surfing experience.

The question is: how can you prepare your body - physically and mentally - for an early morning surf? Is it possible to train your mind to accept the challenge?

Sure. Just think of the epic, memorable, and uncrowded waves that will encounter at dawn, as the first rays of sun touch the glassy seawater.

Dawn: the surf is often better with the early rays of sun | Photo: Shutterstock

1. Eat Healthy Food

On the night before the dawn patrol, try to eat a light and healthy dinner, including vegetables and fruits.

They will help you with better digestion and will improve your sleep quality.

2. Avoid Alcoholic Drinks and Coffee

Beer, wine, white drinks, and cocktails, alongside coffee, are the worst enemies of a surfer's dawn patrol.

If you're hungover or simply can't get into sleep mode early, your early morning surf will be a nightmare.

Keep cool. Drink water on the night before, and protect your body.

Dawn patrol: paddle out while it's glassy | Photo: Shutterstock

3. Reduce Your Pre-Sleep Activities

Contrary to what you might think, a 30-minute run before going to sleep might not work in your favor.

In fact, too much physical exercise could promote sleeplessness. So, one hour before going to bed, opt for relaxing activities that will help you fall asleep quickly.

4. Reduce Screen Time

If your goal is to replenish your energy for tomorrow's historic swell, sleep time is your best ally.

Try to reduce screen exposure before bedtime. And that includes smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs.

The more you're exposed to light-emitting screens, the harder it will be to get into sleep.

5. Get to Bed Early

If you're planning to get up at 6 am for a special surf session, make sure you get to bed at 10 pm, or 11 pm maximum.

Although sleep requirements vary from person to person, you should always enjoy at least seven hours of rest.

Make no mistake: a good night's sleep will make you a better surfer.

Surfing: waves are always less crowded at dawn | Photo: Shutterstock

6. Sleep With Your Curtains Open

There's no secret in this one.

The idea is to let the daylight pour in and wake you up slowly and naturally.

7. Read a Book

Now that you're in bed, ready to rest, try reading a book or magazine.

As a stress reducer, it will allow your mind some time to relax before turning out the lights and falling asleep.

8. Set the Alarm Clock Far Away from the Bed

The time has come. Yes, you're sleepy, and yes, it's cold outside.

But the alarm clock is so noisy that you really need to get up and shut the alarm off.

See? You're out bed - ready for a good breakfast and a strong coffee.

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