Dear American Girl,

Every morning, I wake up late and run behind. I set an alarm, but it's so hard to drag myself out of bed. Then I get flustered, and in my rush, I miss breakfast or forget something for school. Does anyone have any tips for how to wake up on time and improve my morning routine?
-Not an early bird

Here's your advice:

Make sure that you have all of your homework, books, and notes ready to go the night before. Then you just have to grab your backpack and head out the door.
-Virginia, age 11, Georgia

Splashing cold water on my face helps me wake up. I'm not an early bird either!
-Gwendolyn, age 10, California

To save time in the morning, lay out your outfit for the next day the night before.
-Crissy, age 13, Tennessee

Try putting your alarm clock across the room so that you have to get up to turn it off. This really helps!
-An American Girl fan, age 11, South Dakota

Before I walk out, I always double-check to see if I have everything. It takes less than a minute, and it saves me a lot of stress later in the day.
-An American Girl fan, age 12, West Virginia

I listen to a fun song in the morning and dance around as I'm getting ready!
-Allie, age 13, Washington

Every time you get up on time (or early) for a whole week, reward yourself with something small, such as a new nail polish or a trip to the park. This always helps me!
-Cece, age 11, California

I have a set routine that I follow every morning. I try to do things at certain times (for example, by 6:45 I should be brushing my teeth). I stick to the same schedule every morning and it keeps me plugging along.
-An American Girl fan, age 13, Delaware

If you're in the habit of missing breakfast, keep a few granola bars in your backpack or in the car. That way, you can have something to eat on the way to school.
-Rebecca, age 12, Michigan

Here's some motivation for getting up on time—you'll feel a lot better when you get to school. When you do things that make you feel good, such as washing your face or eating a healthy breakfast, it'll be easier to smile when you start your day.
-Jenna, age 11, Texas

Every morning, set your alarm a few minutes earlier. As it gets easier to get up earlier, aim for waking up 30 minutes to an hour before you have to leave. Your mornings could be a lot calmer.
-Lily, age 12, New Jersey

It might be hard to drag yourself out of bed because you need more shut-eye. Try to go to sleep earlier. Right before bed, don't use your computer or read books—those things can make your thoughts race. Instead, take a bath or listen to soft music. You could sleep better and feel more relaxed the next day.
-Abi, age 13, Colorado

On a dry-erase board, make a checklist of the school items you'll need the next day. Put your backpack near it, look at the list, and make sure you've packed all of the things you need.
-Caci, age 12, Maryland

Try not to sleep in too much on weekends—that way, your body won't get used to sleeping in late. Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on Saturday and Sunday.
-Shae, age 10, Washington

When you wake up in the morning, think about the exciting things that could happen that day. Maybe someone will be bringing in a birthday treat—yay for afternoon cupcakes! Or you might play a fun game in gym class. Think about the good stuff that could happen, and if you get ready sooner, you'll be closer to the fun!
-Merlot, age 10, Texas

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