A couple days ago I finished my first 30 day challange (it was about waking up really early).
Did I succeeded? Partly yes, but third day I must have changed my initial assumption. I was about to wake up at 5 am but I realized that two times a week I finish my russian classes at 10 pm so I won't physically be able to fall asleep at 11. This way I started waking up at 5.30. And this was the time I usually maneged to wake up without any sleep deficit. Sure, there were days (like after parties or when we have deadline for our group project - that means work till 4 am) when I pushed snooze button couple of times but at the end of month I usually woke up befere the alarm went off.
Did it give me anything? Surely but it didn't make my to-do list shorter (you can read that fact you're an owl or lark doesn't affect your productivity here). You may as well burn the midnight oil if it suits your body. I've never been an "real owl", the only factor I work for long night hours is that silence. No talks, no phones, no mail allerts (all right, for last 13 years I used to had a dog snoozing next to me when I worked but somehow I didn't pay attention to him). But you know what? You can compared it to working at 6 am! In my case more important was fact that I didn't stay in bed for a long time (and even if, at 8 o'clock I was genuinely done with "lounging")
And here are some tricks that helped me during this month (you may need them soon as we put the clock back at the end of March!)
- Consistent schedule. Try to fall asleep and wake up more or less at the same time. Good if it would be a multiple of 90 minute sleeping cycle.
- No alcohol and no food. Full stomatch needs few hours to digest a dinner and alcohol derange sleep stages and makes us tired and sleepy during next day.
- Don't drink coffeine.
- Go to bed relaxed.
- Don't sleep with your pet. Just no. They're snoozing, they're taking your all bed (really, my dog liked to sleep across the bed), they're kicking you and trying to get under a duvet. And if you're a happy owner of a cat you probably had a "massage" in the evening/morning.
- Don't watch TV. Or laptop, pad or smartphone for at least 1.5 hour before falling asleep. They emitate so called blue light that makes our brains think it's still a day.
- Have a reason to wake up. Even if it's only a sunrise watching
- Work out. Fires up in the best way
- Find your alarm clock... tradicional with a ring or this with Stephen Fry's voice (just imagine - you sleep and your personal Jeeves “Come come, sir. Let us not be defeated. Let seize the day, and take it roughly from behind. As the Colonel used to say, in his unfortunate manner”). And if you prefer an alarm in your mobile choose a song doesn't turn you into a Hulk
- ...and put it far away from your bed.
- Have a fucking great breakfast
- Don't stress.
- Go to bed earlier.
- Let go of your morning baggage. How do you think, is it easy to wake up if your only reaction is "I hate mornings, it's pure evil"?
- Imagine your ideal morning.
- Get rid of excuses to sleep in. Accurate air temperatue, automatic coffee perking. And don't don't keep your curtains closed.
- Don't skip weekends.