We all set goals and are determined in making changes to our life style to make us better versions of ourselves. We may want to adapt some daily habits such as exercise, reading, meditating, listening to motivational speeches, spending time with loved ones, and still get our work done. The factor all these things have in common is time. Time is essential to perform any task, and while we are all given the same 24 hours, how we spend them is what makes the difference. Sleeping is essential for our well-being, but then what happens when it takes out of the time for other important things? Some of us sleep late into the day and this, at most times, prevents us from making the most out of our day.
This takes up a lot of time. Some people sleep for about 11 – 12 hours and this is at least two hours more than the recommended 6 – 8 hours of sleep for our body. What can 2 hours do to hurt? In 2 hours, you are able to fit in 30 minutes of workout, 30 minutes of quiet time or meditation, and a lot of an hour to listen to or read something beneficial. Besides taking up time, sleeping for too long could make you easily tired, sluggish, and less reproductive during the day. So how about putting in more effort to waking up earlier so that you may make the best out of your day. Here are a few things you could do to help you wake up earlier:
1. Be determined: you have to be ready and disciplined to be mentally ready to cut off hours from your sweet sleep time. Set goals for when you wake so that you may have something to look forward to and will motivate you to wake up and want to stay up.
2. Avoid stimulants: caffeine and other stimulants may affect your biological clock and your sleeping habit, making it more difficult to wake up early. Cut back your intake of coffee and other stimulants.
3. Sleep early: I think this goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. Sleeping early gives some assurance that you may wake early because your body would have had enough time to rest and recuperate. Try to avoid late night habits such as working or reading late, as much as you can. Understand that working late into the night doesn’t always make you more progressive because sleeping late and waking early will make you tired and week during the day and you may not be able to get much work done.
4. Be realistic: you cannot sleep 2AM and expect to be up by 4AM. While some people may be able to do this, it is very difficult to do. It also means you being tired and weak during the day as not having enough sleep is detrimental to your health.
5. Transitioning: if you are accustomed to sleeping 11 hours a day, it is nearly impossible to cut it down to 7 in just one day without having to face the repercussions. Try cutting it down by at least 30 minutes daily until you reach your goal.
6. Put in effort to stay awake: it is not enough to wake early, but to stay up without going back to sleep is another load of work. Establish a routine when you wake to help you fight the temptation to go back to sleep. Splash cold water on your face to clear your eyes and perform a mind waking activity such as exercising or even singing out loud. Exercising is the best because it keeps your heart rate up as well and helps make you feel more accomplished during the day.
7. Diet: what you eat before sleeping and for breakfast are very important. Avoid going to bed with a heavy stomach. When preparing breakfast, eat more protein and avoid eating empty calories because these will cause you to crash later during the day and may also tempt you to go back to bed.
8. Alarm clocks: set your alarm to the time you want to wake. Its advised to set multiple alarm clocks of about 5 minutes apart, just in case you go back to sleep. You should also put it far away from you but within hearing range. This makes sure that you have to walk to go turn it off. This is a good way to wake up. Ensure to not roll back in bed
9. Consistency: try as much as possible to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. If you sleep at 10 pm tonight, keep sleeping 10 pm every other night and same goes for your wake-up time. This way, your biological clock is activated and your body adjusts to this new schedule so much that when it’s time to sleep, your body shuts down easily and you wake up just on time. After a while, you may not even need your alarm clock anymore. However, if this time does come, do not stop using your alarm because you may sleep past your wake-up time one day due to stress.