For years, I would try to wake up earlier. I would set my alarm for the new wake up time and think that my body just needed a couple of days to catch up and then I would wake earlier and be a morning person. It worked just like magic, right? Wrong.
The problem was that I was always playing catch up. I would be tired the entire day and give up within the week.
For me, there were two things that finally impacted my success at waking up earlier. The first was to have a baby. A baby will make you wake up earlier no matter what. The second was to go to bed earlier. Since I would not suggest the first option just for the sake of waking up earlier, let’s focus on the option that is real for everyone.
Going to bed earlier.
Any time you have seen anything online or in a book about waking up earlier, they tell you to focus on the obvious… waking up earlier. But I am going to suggest you do the exact opposite. Focus all of your discipline and action on going to bed earlier. Here is how I did it.
I made myself go to bed by 10:00. That is it. No phone, no etc. after 10:00.
I made myself go to bed by 9:30. Lights out by 10:00.
I made myself go to bed by 9:00. Lights out by 10:00.
With this gradual process, I have been waking up earlier and earlier. Now that I go to bed earlier, I wake up facing the day having had a surplus of sleep instead of a sleep deficiency. I don’t use an alarm clock and most days wake up on my own, unless our baby beats me to it. This way, I am able to work with my natural rhythms of sleep and wake during a natural sleep cycle. This allows me to wake up feeling refreshed and on the “right” side of the bed.
I found this method to be a gradual, gentle process. It has taken me a couple of months actually, but it is the first one that has actually worked and I have energy to start my day. The only side effect is that I am now watching less and less TV since my bedtime gets earlier. Actually, I consider that a benefit.
There are some other tools I used that I think make a big difference for waking up earlier such as Sleep Cycling, waking without an alarm clock, sleep supporting herbs, and daily exercise.
Let me know how this works for you or how you were able to successfully begin waking up earlier on a regular basis.