“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
- Benjamin Franklin
As Benjamin Franklin wisely and wittily noted, our sleep habits have a large effect on our health, wealth, and wisdom.
Although most people today would probably agree with Franklin, many also struggle, or used to struggle, to maintain a good sleep schedule.
To wake up on time and ready for the new day, consider applying these ten tips to your own life.
#1 Exercise Regularly
Not only is exercise an important activity because of the strength and discipline it imparts, but it is also very useful in helping you sleep well.
Exercising the day before you sleep will help you…
- fall asleep more quickly.
- sleep more soundly.
- wake up more refreshed.
Exercising when you wake up will help you…
- be more alert.
- feel less inclined to crawl back into bed.
- start your day with an early accomplishment.
By simply exercising once a day, you will not only be more alert during that day, but you will also improve your sleep that night!
#2 Avoid Caffeine
In the American culture, nearly everyone drinks coffee. However, caffeine artificially disrupts your sleeping schedule by making you feel alert when your body really needs rest.
If you have ever made the mistake of drinking or eating a caffeinated food just before bed, you probably know the frustrating insomnia it causes.
In addition, cutting caffeine completely out of your diet will help you to increase your overall health… and probably improve your sleeping routine.
#3 Eat Healthfully
Eating healthfully is important for many reasons, including the benefits to your sleep.
Reforming your diet can help you…
- sleep more soundly.
- be sick less often (thus sleeping better).
- fall asleep more quickly.
Although it can be a difficult step to take, eliminating refined sugars and processed foods from your diet is an important first step toward better health and sleep schedules.
#4 Form A Habit
If you are not used to waking up early, the first three to four weeks will be the most difficult. During that time, you will be learning a new discipline and forming it into a habit.
If you can conquer the first few weeks, however, continuing will become gradually easier because waking up regularly will become more an automatic habit then a conscious action.
If you feel like giving up, remember that the power of habit will be on your side… if you persevere.
#5 Get To Bed On Time
One very important factor in waking up on time is getting to bed on time.
If you get to bed late, waking up on time will be very difficult and possibly damaging to your health and productivity. As Benjamin
Franklin wisely stated, “Early to bed…” Not only is it important to wake up early , but it is also crucial to go to bed early.
Determine the amount of sleep you need, set a bedtime, and stick to it!
If you are serious about waking up early and refreshed, you must also be serious about getting to bed at the right time, every time.
#6 Be Regular
Many people who try to wake up early during the week make the mistake of sleeping in on the weekends.
Although this unbalanced sleep pattern will not absolutely ruin your sleep schedule, it is not a good idea.
Personally, I normally sleep in once a week, but I am considering changing this habit for a couple of reasons:
- It confuses your brain. If you wake up at different times on different days, you brain will start to wonder when you really want to get up.
- It is an unbalanced routine. If you need to sleep in one day, it means that you are not getting enough sleep the rest of the week.
- It disrupts the day when you sleep in. Your morning routine on that day will be completely confused and your productivity may plummet.
If you, like me, sleep in once or twice a week, strongly consider amending your schedule.
#7 Move Your Alarm Clock Across The Room
If you (like many people) struggle with a habit of hitting the sleep button and rolling over, you may be able to improve your wake up discipline by moving your alarm clock away from your bed.
I used to have a problem with turning the alarm clock off in my sleep and waking up late. However, after I moved my alarm clock across my room that difficulty was completely conquered. Now, instead of sleepily hitting the off button, I leap energetically out of bed (I sleep in the top bunk) and race across my room to turn off the annoying alarm.
Once I finish my morning gymnastics, I am normally wide awake and have no inclination to crawl back into bed.
#8 Use Music To Wake Up
Another useful strategy is setting music (either on your computer or on a specialty alarm) to automatically turn on at a certain time.
Although this method might not work well by itself (depending on the music), it is certainly a great addition to your normal alarm clock.
As a slight variation, you might consider using a Bible recording in place of music. What could be better than waking up to the Word of God?
#9 Avoid Using Sleeping Pills
Although sleeping pills can have the advantage of helping you to get to sleep more quickly, they do have a few problems:
- Wake up retardant – They can make it more difficult for you to wake up at the right time.
- Health hazard – As with any medication, sleeping pills can have dangerous side effects.
If you do struggle to sleep, try to find the root cause instead of simply addressing the symptoms. Unless they are absolutely necessary, avoiding sleeping pills are probably best avoided.
#10 Consult Your Doctor
As with any medical condition, it is wise to talk with an expert before making a major change. Particularly if you struggle with chronic insomnia or drowsiness, getting professional advice is an important step.
As with any topic, remember to exercise the manly trait of common sense before blindly following anyone’s advice. Even experts (and I am not one) do make mistakes.
What are your favorite tips for getting more sleep?