Let me preface this by saying, until very recently, I’ve never been the early to bed, early to rise type. In high school I stayed up late and got up early. In college I stayed up later and slept in. It wasn’t until I finally got a 9-5 job that I started getting into better sleep habits. A few months after that, I got a wild hair and started getting up at 5am to work out. With a new job, I’ve been forced to get up even earlier. Now that I’m used to it I feel better than ever, and am sleeping like a baby. By some miracle, it’s not too terrible when my alarm goes off at 4:45 (unlike in college, when i wanted to curl up and die if I had to face the world before 10am).
Obviously I have to get up early now, but I honestly feel SO much better being on such a good sleeping schedule. I used to have problems falling asleep at night, but now I’m tired by 9 and fall asleep easily. I realize 9 is pretty early, but hear are a few tips for anyone trying to change their sleeping habits:
- The first day you wake up early, do not take a nap. This is very important. I realize you feel like you could fall asleep mid-day, but just stay awake until at least 8 and your life will be so much easier. I made this mistake, and it actually makes it harder to sleep at night, then you feel even more tired in the morning. Lose-Lose.
- If you have trouble going to bed so early at first, do something relaxing before bed. Take a hot bath, read a book, whatever. Some people say no phones/TV, but I find it easy to fall asleep to a show or movie in bed. If you find yourself getting sucked into your phone or a TV show before bed, don’t even start!
- Prepare the night before. Lay out your clothes, pack your lunch, whatever you need to do to make the morning go more smoothly. I’m usually far from peppy at 5am, so this makes things easier for my tired self.
- Slowly change your bed time. If your usual bedtime is midnight, but you try hopping into bet at 10, you probably won’t be tired. Change your bedtime 30 minutes at a time, and slowly make it earlier. This will give your body a chance to get used to a change.