Wake Up Early & Kick Ass

Those who know me well also know that I deal with insomnia. Often times I get asked the question, “How are you able to function?” And most of the time I answer that I’m used to it. However, I decided to look at it a little closer and what I’ve found is actually a little astonishing. Even though I sleep less than most people I know, the quality of my sleep seems to be better.

  1. Sleep Hygiene. You can Google this and get lots of tips on what you need to do to tell your body that it’s time for bed. It’s basically your nighttime routine. Here are some quick tips:
    • Limit screen use and lighting. There are plenty of studies that support this, so don’t think it doesn’t effect your quality of sleep because it does.
    • Relax, sip on some sleepy time tea, read a book, take a warm shower, etc.
    • Clear your mind. This is important for those of you who are constant over thinkers. If you have any thoughts racing through your head write it down. If you’re already thinking about tomorrow, make a list of things to do.
    • Be consistent with going to bed and waking up at the same time. On work days where there’s a later start, still get up and do something. Stick to it. Also, know you can break this on the weekends and just stick to it during the workweek.
  2. Find an alarm that works. If you’re constantly hitting that snooze button then you’re already doing yourself a disservice. Set an alarm and get out of bed right when it goes off. Most of us use our smartphones as alarm clocks. The one I loved when I had an Android was “Spin Cycle” alarm clock. It made you get up and spin around in circles to turn the alarm off. There are others that instantly ask you questions, etc. Whatever one you choose, remember the thought is GET UP NOW and not hitting the snooze!
  3. Blackout Your Room. Your room should be pitch black, if there are little lights that are keeping you up then put a piece of black tape over it!
  4. Your Bed is For Sleep and Sex. No work, no TV watching, no reading etc. You don’t want to subconsciously associate your bed with wakefulness.
  5. Keep Your Room Cool. Generally, cooler is better.
  6. No Naps During the Day. The purpose of a nap is complete down time with no conscious thinking, it’s not to replace sleep or actually fall asleep. Keep these to 15-20 minutes and no more than 2 sessions a day only if you need it. Prolonged napping decreases your sleep debt, which is essential to a quality night of sleep.
  7. Limit Your Intake of Stimulants – Caffeine Is One of the Biggest Culprits. Yep, I’m still a big offender of this one in terms of intake. However, I tend to cut out the caffeine 6-8 hours before I go to sleep.
  8. Get Up Early for Stress Management. There’s a reason why so many successful people get up early in the morning. You simply get more done. Getting more done means less stress. Even if you work a job you hate, find something you can do in the morning that gives you motivation to get out of bed. For me, that’s working out, I love getting it done early because the end of my day just signals the end of my day!