First, let me make two things clear.
- Rising early is only good IF you were able to get enough sleep. Late to bed and early to rise does not work. I know that for many people, it’s a sign of industry. But no, lack of sleep has many disadvantages.
- 7-1/2 to 9 hours is the recommended sleep length. Unless one is really very tired, sleeping longer than that can make one sluggish and slow. As in most everything else in life, MODERATION is the key.
As I related in a previous post, starting the early to bed and early to rise habit with going to bed earlier did not work for me. Going to bed when I was not tired or sleepy resulted in many hours of lying in bed, feeling bad about not falling asleep.
The solution is to work at it backwards. Start at waking up early. Then that will make you go to bed early.
How to become an early riser
- Set your alarm clock to your desired wake up time. When it goes off in the morning, get out of bed. Absolutely NO hitting the snooze button. I found that those extra 5, 10, 15 minutes were poor-quality sleep and do not help at all.
- As soon as you shut off the alarm, leave the bedroom. Turn on the lights. Open the windows.
- Take advantage of the extra time. Don’t wake up early just to open your Facebook or watch TV. Start your day right. Do your prayers, exercise, prepare your breakfast, etc. Do something pleasant and beneficial.
- Do this seven days a week. After a few days, you will settle into a natural rhythm that’s best for you. When you get to the point that you wake up before the alarm goes off, you know you have arrived.
In a nutshell: Get up at a fixed time every morning and then at night, go to bed only when you are too sleepy to stay up.
It worked for me. Want to give it a try?
Read more about this series:
- Sleep Challenge Introduction
- Day 4: Dear bedtime, I have a confession
- Day 6: I have to sleep on this
- Day 26: 5 Benefits of sleeping late
- Day 30: Why I became a Benjamin Franklin fan
- Conclusions: 5 Benefits of rising early
- How to become an early riser