Waking up early

Posted on May 28, 2016

Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!

I recently embarked on a life style change or life hack if you will: to wake up early in the morning. I abandoned that idea a long time back, but it got reignited after reading this article 12 lessons of waking up at 4.30a.m for 21 days.

Just a few modifications though, unlike the author of that article my goal isn’t to wake up at 4.30. I want a modest start to this life hack, which is to be able to wake up any time between the 5.30-6am window. I have successfully completed 9 days(started on May 19th Thursday) of waking up before or at 6am.

So far I am enjoying waking up early, it feels like I have more time than before.

Tips/Lessons learned so far:

  1. Reason: You need a compeling reason to wake up early. In my case, I wanted to get to work early and leave early so that I have time to other things like reading a book, exercising,etc. If you don’t have a reason its hard to convince your brain and body to listen to you.

  2. No breaks: The author in the article said he woke up at 4.30am only during the workdays but there are no breaks for me. I want to make this a habit and until it becomes a habit and my body gets tuned to this sleep cycle there are no breaks. The 9 days I mentioned at the begining included the weekends too. I am afraid of breaking the sleep cycle so early by slacking on weekends.

  3. Remove distractions: I found that consciously forcing myself to put aside the laptop and mobile phones away at around 10pm and going to bed around that time has helpful.

  4. Know thyself and plan accordingly: You have to gauge how much sleep your body needs, for me right now that number is 7 hours. So I force myself to sacrifice CoD(Call of Duty)/netflix time to hit bed at 10:30pm or max 11pm. Any later and I know I will screw up my sleep cycle.

  5. Nobody said it was easy: Starting soemthing new is always hard. The first few days of waking up early were really difficult. But if you can successfully endure that, slowly it gets better.

  6. You snooze you lose: Don’t snooze, try to wake up at the first alarm. I noticed that the moment I snooze my alarm I wake up atleast half an hour later. I have in the past snoozed on an alarm for 6am and ended up waking at 8.30am. Training your body and brain to wake up at the first alarm is very crucial.

  7. Donot set too many alarms: Probably one of the biggest reasons why my previous attempts to wake up early failed. I used to set 8 alarms on my phone starting at 5.30, with half an hour increments for each successive alarm and towards then end I had an extra alarm after 8.30am which was 15 minutes at 8.45am. The problem with too many alarms for me is I noticed that my brain keeps shutting off the alarm until I reach the last one because I know after that I really don’t have any mechanism in place to wake up.

The numbering of the points is random and has no particular priority or meaning to it. Some of these points can be incorporated if you want to set on any new habit doesn’t necessarily need to be waking up early. Hopefully I haven’t jinxed myself but making a post this early, we’ll see! I want to continue waking up early for atleast 21 days, in the hope that by then 10.30pm-5.30am would be routine sleep cycle. I will probably make another post on the 21st day to either post my success with more lessons/tips that I learned or …(lets hope it doesn’t get to that).