For most of us adults, going to work, forces us to wake up much earlier than we would like. This is how you can manage to regularly wake up at an ungodly hour and actually grew very fond of it.Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, you’ll likely have to wake up earlier than you’re used to when you were a child.
So how do you make this as painless as possible? What it ultimately all comes down to is – sleep hygiene.
What is sleep hygiene?
It’s essentially your behaviors and patterns leading up to sleep. With a good sleep hygiene you’re able to fall asleep faster and maintain high quality sleep. But I’m not going to go into a detailed breakdown of every aspect of sleep hygiene. I’m going to share with you what the key factors into being able to wake up early day after day and not be miserable.
Consistency with your bedtime and your wake-up time is the most important factor. First, you will have to determine what time you have to wake up in order to get to work on time. Then subtract the number of hours of sleep you’ll need. Ideally, we should be getting anywhere from up to 8 hours each night. But this depends from person to person. Some are able to survive happily on 6 hours per night, where others cannot. Figure out what works best for you. Once you have determined your bedtime and wake-up time, you have to stick to that for every day. That usually means at least 5 days per week. Even if you have a chance to go to sleep an hour later, stick to your original schedule. You can use that extra time in the morning to get work done or have some breakfast. This will make the entire chore of waking up early that much more bearable. Technically you should be doing this on weekends as well for optimal results, but this can be hard if you’re trying to go out and have some late night fun. And that’s totally fine as long as you stick with having a consistent bedtime and wake-up time during the week.
Having a pre-bedtime routine will help train your body to wind down and get ready for sleep. This could be a warm shower or ten minutes of meditation. Something that you know you will enjoy doing. Limiting screen use before bedtime is a huge benefit. So you can say no screen time at least thirty minutes before bed. You would be surprised how big of a difference this little change makes. This is because the back light on TVs, phones, computers and other screens deceive your brain that it’s bright outside and that messes with your circadian rhythm. Limiting the use of these items in the 30 to 60 minutes leading up to your bedtime will both help you fall asleep faster and increase the quality of your sleep. You will feel a lot better when you wake up. If nothing else, try to use apps that transition the screens to warmer temperatures at night. This decreases the negative influence that back light from devices have on your sleep cycle.
Find an alarm system that works for you. Use smart phone as alarm as I’m sure most of you do. There are many alarm clock apps with spin cycle which forces you to get up and spin in circles to turn off the alarm or alarm clock that estimates your sleep stage and tries to wake you up during lighter stages of sleep etc.The important is not to go on a snooze upon wake up. It’s also extremely helpful to mimic sunrise to help tell your body it’s time to get up. You can either use a wake up light or another smart lighting system. It is actually a smart light bulb system that you can plug into regular light bulb sockets so it’s basically a dedicated alarm clock that uses light to wake you up. Another quick word on lighting is that when you’re sleeping the room should be pitch-black. So invest in blackout curtains if streetlight or daylight depending on your sleep schedule is creeping into your bedroom. You’ll sleep so much better.
On other tips is to avoid naps if possible or keep them short like 15 or 20 minutes tops. Taking naps during the day decreases the sleep debt that is so necessary for natural sleep onset. Obviously you should avoid stimulants in the late afternoon and evening caffeine late in the day will likely be more trouble than it is worth.Cooler temperatures are more conducive to sleep so a little bit cooler is better than a little bit warmer when it comes to bedtime. Don’t sleep with the TV on! This is terrible for your sleep quality but other background white noise like a fan is fine and can actually help you drown out other distracting sounds.Your bed is for sleep only! That means no working, no reading and definitely no TV while you are in bed. Otherwise you will subconsciously associate your bed with wakefulness. Try it out for a couple weeks yourself and see how it makes you feel.