There’s a reason you never took classes before noon. You’ve never been much of a morning person and now you’re getting ready to start your new career which requires you rise at a time that was previously your bedtime after many late night study sessions and pancake house adventures. Coffee isn’t cutting it and you disable the alarm in your sleep before it even rings. Now if you can’t manage to wake up for your morning commute you’re going to lose the foothold you’ve gotten on your future dream job.
You’re not alone. Adjusting your sleep schedule for school, work or any other change in life just requires a little planning and patience. Try some of these tricks to help you fall asleep faster and wake up earlier.
- Light exposure – get your sleep space as dark as possible. Use heavy curtains and turn off ambient light. If necessary get a sleep mask.
- Work out – giving your body and your brain the activity they need will help you fall asleep faster when the time comes. Grab a 15 minute work out an hour before bed then rinse it off with a calming lavender or chamomile body wash in a nice warm shower. Then exercise your eyes and mind by reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle. Odds are you’ll be snoozing before you get to 18 down.
- Eat right – don’t go for sugary snacks before bed. Not only is this a good way to pack on the pounds, it fools your brain into thinking your body has more energy than it does and you stay up longer and burn out quicker. Set a kitchen closed time and stick to it. Sometimes late night eating comes from being tired so just go to bed instead of snacking. When you get up jump start your day with fruit and fiber instead of sugar and caffeine.
- Don’t be distracted – watching TV, playing video games, and surfing the web are all designed to actively engage our minds. When it’s time for rest, turn off the distractions. It will free you to fall asleep quicker and allow your dreams to serve their purpose of sorting out the unresolved issues in your psyche instead of masking them with reruns of Jersey Shore with you and your friends as the cast.
- Go ahead and get up – move your alarm clock across the room so you can’t hit the snooze without thinking. Don’t allow yourself any opportunity to fall back to sleep. Take a no excuses attitude when it comes to the alarm. Get up, shut it off, and head down the hall to the bathroom. Splash some cold water on your face and start the day.
Once you get started on a schedule and stick to it your body will fall into place. Before you know it you’ll be waking up early without an alarm clock even on your day off.
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By Heather Fairchild - Heather is a multimedia developer, business owner, and work-from-home mom.