Flight attendant tips for waking up early

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I’m definitely not a morning person. But being a flight attendant, I don’t really have a choice. Often my alarm goes off at 04.00 in the morning. Waking up this early will never get easy and there have been mornings where I thought of so many reasons to call in sick. Yes, don’t lie we all do this 😉 But we love our job too much. To wake up early is something we just have to swallow. How horrible waking up so early can be, there are some things you can do to make life a little easier. Weather you’re a flight attendant, a baker or a nurse.

  • Take a hot shower in the morning. This is my number morning holy grail. No hot shower in the morning and I am tired and very cranky the rest of the day. A hot shower will give you just a few extra minutes to wake up. After a hot shower I already feel so much better.
  • The first evening before an early is the hardest. I always only sleep a few hours if I’m lucky. When I’m finally in my hotel I try to not take a nap in the afternoon. I know, it’s really hard not to. But believe me, this will come at the expense of your sleep at night. Try to stay awake by staying busy. Go to the gym, have a drink with crew or friends or go for a walk.


  • Don’t eat anything at least 3 hours before going to sleep. If you need to wake up early, have an early dinner. Going to bed without a full stomach is better for a good night’s sleep.
  • Music is the best remedy for everything! Ok, music and food 😀 If you’re having trouble falling a sleep, put on some relaxing music. I’ll just go on Spotify and look for relaxing go-to sleep piano music. Once my alarm goes off in the morning the first thing I’ll do is turn on my music again. Listening to my favourite music and singing along helps me with my cranky mood and to wake up.


  • Ask for a wake-up call. I always set my own alarm, but it doesn’t hurt to have a back up plan right? You’ll never know. Your phone might die or you’ll turn off your alarm and fall back a sleep again. My wake-up call saved me one time! I always set my alarm an hour before pick up and my wake-up call half an hour before pick up.
  • Turn your iPhone on ‘do not disturb’ mode. One of the hardest things to do for me with my serious Instagram addiction. But deep in my heart I know it’s better. I know how social media can literally take over your life and a huge part of your sleep. Research has also shown that the blueish light from the screen causes your body to produce less melatonin. Which is the main hormone for a good night’s rest. Instead of using your phone or an Ipad read a good old fashioned book before going to sleep.
  • Download the ‘The Sleep Cycle’ app. This app detects the phases of sleep you’re in. You’ll set your alarm within a specific time frame. The alarm will go off when you’re in the lightest phase of your sleep cycle. The app is for sale in the app store. The only downside is that your phone has to be charged during the night and not all hotel rooms are equipped with an outlet besides the bed. I personally did not notice a huge difference. But I know colleagues who swear by this app. So it might work for you.
  • Coffee! Yes. This doesn’t need any explanation right? I love a good cup of joe in the morning. Preferably black or occasionally a soy cappuccino. As soon as I go downstairs for breakfast, I make sure I get a coffee to go for the ride to the airport. You don’t like coffee? Grab a English Breakfast tea!
  • Make sure your suitcase is packed and everything is ready! This saves time in the morning and that’s a few minutes extra beauty sleep. I pack my stuff when I’m back from dinner. My uniform is also ready to be worn. I just have to throw my toiletries in my suitcase and I’m good to go. And if you oversleep you’ll have everything ready to go.
  • Only use this in consultation with a doctor! If I’m really tired, but still have trouble falling a sleep I sometimes use melatonin tablets. These tablets can be bought at any drugstore without a prescription. Melatonin can help you falling a sleep a lot easier. Please do read the instructions carefully before using them. If you haven’t slept very well and you’re in for a long day. The help of some energy pills can help you to get through the day and give you some extra energy. However I need something that is light and doesn’t make me feel anxious. I stil need to feel myself and get my job done in a normal way. Always try those pills at home to see how you’re reacting to it.


These are my flight attendant tips for waking up early.

Do you have any other tips for waking up in the morning. Please share them in the comments below!





1 comment

  1. Depends on where we’re going. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. We’re on the job so it’s not about having an holiday 😉 But most of the time we do and that’s a big plus about being a FA.

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