How to wake up early

The most common wrong strategy is this: You assume that if you’re going to get up earlier, you’d better go to bed earlier. So you figure out how much sleep you’re getting now, and then just shift everything back a few hours. If you now sleep from midnight to 8am, you figure you’ll go to bed at 10pm and get up at 6am instead. Sounds very reasonable, but it will usually fail.

No, No, No!

After weeks partying during the holiday season and new year, my sleep pattern is completely out of order. And each evening I set my alarm clock for 7:00am and then find myself waking up … just before noon at 11:00am and then feel terrible about the lost time.I tried again many more times, each time not getting very far with it. I figured I must have been born without the early riser gene. Because whenever my alarm went off, my first thought was always to stop that blasted noise and go back to sleep

After a while I couldn’t ignore the high correlation between SUCCESS and RISING EARLY, even in my own life.

On those rare occasions where I did get up early, I noticed that my productivity was almost always higher, not just in the morning but all throughout the day. And I also noticed a significant feeling of well-being. So being the proactive goal-achiever I was determined to find the best method to rise early. And it is working pretty well for me so far:

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Benjamin Franklin

There are two main schools of thought about sleep patterns:

One is that you should go to bed and get up at the same times every day. It’s like having an alarm clock on both ends — you try to sleep the same hours each night. This seems practical for living in modern society. We need predictability in our schedules. And we need to ensure adequate rest.

———–

The second school says you should listen to your body’s needs and go to bed when you’re tired and get up when you naturally wake up. This approach is rooted in biology. Our bodies should know how much rest we need, so we should listen to them.

Through trial and error, I found out for myself that both of these schools are suboptimal sleep patterns. Both of them are wrong if you care about productivity. Here’s why:

  • If you sleep set hours, you’ll sometimes go to bed when you aren’t sleepy enough. If it’s taking you more than five minutes to fall asleep each night, you aren’t sleepy enough. You’re wasting time lying in bed awake and not being asleep.
  • We are assuming you need the same number of hours of sleep every night, which is a false assumption. Your sleep needs vary from day to day.
————
  • If you sleep based on what your body tells you, you’ll probably be sleeping more than you need. A lot of people who sleep this way get 8+ hours of sleep per night, which is usually too much.
  •  Your mornings may be less predictable if you’re getting up at different times.
  •  Our natural rhythms are sometimes out of tune with the 24-hour clock, you may find that your sleep times begin to drift.

The optimal solution for me is to combine both approaches.

It’s very simple, and many early risers do this without even thinking about it, but it was a mental breakthrough for me nonetheless.

The Solution:

  1.  I go to bed when I’m sleepy (and only when I’m sleepy) and get up with an alarm clock at a fixed time (7 days per week). So I always get up at the same time (in my case 5am), but I go to bed at different times every night.
Test: Sleepiness test is that if I couldn’t read a book for more than a page or two without drifting off, I’m ready for bed.
Sometimes I go to bed at 9:30pm; other times I stay up until midnight.  If I’m not sleepy, I stay up until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Reading is an excellent activity to do during this time, since it becomes obvious when I’m too sleepy to read.

CRITICAL

  1. 2 When my alarm goes off every morning, I turn it off, stretch for a couple seconds, and sit up. I don’t think about it. I’ve learned that the longer it takes me to get up, the more likely I am to try to sleep in. So I don’t allow myself to have conversations in my head about the benefits of sleeping in once the alarm goes off. Even if I want to sleep in, I always get up right away. Within the context of religious observances, spiritual writers have called this practice “the heroic minute,” referring to the sacrifice which this entails.(WORK perfectly for me today)
  2. Using what I call  the Pavlov Principle: Don’t start of tomorrow setting your alarm clock at 5am and expect results. The KEY TO SUCCESS is to secretly condition your mind in waking up earlier hours each week. Start off tomorrow setting your alarm clock at 7:30, then 07:00 then 06:30 (WHERE I AM CURRENTLY), then 06:00…Your Goal should be 05:00 am! This way you subconsciously train yourself without noticing it to wake up earlier. In a year you save hundreds of hours…

The reason this works: Your body will learn when to knock you out because it knew you would always get up at the same time and that your wake-up time wasn’t negotiable. After a few days of using this approach, you will  find  that your sleep patterns settled into a natural rhythm. If you  got too little sleep one night, you’d automatically be sleepier earlier and get more sleep the next night. 

DON’T

—Force yourself to go to sleep. You know it does not work. I know it does not. Laying awake in Bed with open eyes or having thoughts in your mind sucks.

+++If you aren’t sleepy and find yourself unable to fall asleep quickly, get up and stay awake for a while. Resist sleep until your body begins to release the hormones that rob you of consciousness. If you simply go to bed when you’re sleepy and then get up at a fixed time, you’ll cure your insomnia (inability to fall asleep).

The first night you’ll stay up late, but you’ll fall asleep right away. You may be tired that first day from getting up too early and getting only a few hours of sleep the whole night, but you’ll slog through the day and will want to go to bed earlier that second night. After a few days, you’ll settle into a pattern of going to bed at roughly the same time and falling asleep right away.

So if you want to become an early riser (or just exert more control over your sleep patterns), then try this: Go to bed only when you’re too sleepy to stay up, and get up at a fixed time every morning. It is working good for me so far and I wish you good luck with this.

Once I applied those ideas, I was able to become an early riser consistently.

Free Resources:

Benjamin Franklin

1.Benjamin Franklin wrote a book called:  Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise, or, Early rising, a natural, social, and religious duty. FREE copy

2. Create your own bed time ritual:  List of Things

3. Be passionate about your life often helps you wanting to get up to live to your amazing life. How to start creating it? HERE

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