Waking Up Earlier - Strategies?

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Waking Up Earlier - Strategies?

Postby KJS » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:18 pm

Here's a question for the personal development wonks over here. First off, I need to explain my work situation.

I have a bit of an odd work schedule - it's not necessarily longer than other people's, but it is different. I start work at 10 AM, work until 5 PM. I then am off until 9 PM, when I have conference calls/IM chat with my colleagues in India - these usually last about an hour or so.

Now to the problem. Due to my later start of my shift, I have been sleeping until about 8:30 AM - mainly because I can. Due to my work schedule, in order to have any kind of uninterrupted time for reading/prayer/blogging/studying, I should be getting up around 5:30-6:00 AM. Only issue is, I can't seem to wake up at that time consistently.

Now to my query - what methods do you all recommend to help me either A. Wake up earlier on a consistent basis or B. Establish a non-standard sleep schedule to optimize my time (polyphasic sleep)?

Thanks in advance!
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Postby TripleE » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:45 am

I'm not much of a napper, so here's what I do when I start drifting off my usual schedule of work (I have a flexible schedule, so this happens occasionally).

Get up slowly. . errr,something like that. Basically, pick a goal time to get up by, and work towards it slowly each day. Set your alarm 5-10 minutes earlier each morning, until you get to your goal. The gradual adjustment makes things easier, and even after a week of this, the most you're losing on Monday morning is a half hour.

As a note, if you're not already a daily coffee drinker, don't get in the habit of starting just to keep up earlier. Use your extra couple minutes to make tea if you need to, but a glass of water is sometimes all that's needed to do the trick. If you are (I know I am), then just keep to the usual coffee routine. A pot with a timer works wonders for that, as it's incentive to get up.

Sure, it's slow, but like fitness and finance, getting up earlier is best done gradually.


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Postby financialnut » Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:57 pm

For me it's all about how much I value the things I am trying to wake up for. If I really have a reason to get up, I'll get up. It doesn't make it easy however, so I can definitely see where your concern is coming from. My advice: Just MAKE yourself do it a few times and make a habit of it. Once the habit is formed it become much easier to do difficult things, especially waking up early!
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set an alarm clock

Postby cbast82 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:30 pm

just do it! :)

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Postby michgc » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:30 pm

I am a bit of a night owl. If your body clock does not work with getting up early and you don't have to, then why not try to get those things done at another time of the day?
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Postby Jana » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:30 pm

I'm not an early riser either, so I find it easier and more to my liking to stay up late to read/write/relax than to wake up early. You are done with work at about 10pm. You could stay up until 1am, giving you 3 hours of time for yourself, and that still gives you 7 1/2 hours of sleep.

I go overboard, of course, and sometimes find myself staying up too late during the work week because I just really want to read my book or watch my DVD or whatever. So that's something to be careful of, but other than that, I think it's fine to set aside time for yourself at the end of the day instead of the beginning.

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Waking when you want to

Postby Wizardofwisdom » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:09 pm


Imagine a guy lazing on his sofa watching his favourite sport. His wife wants him to wash the dishes, his kids want him to help with homework ... but nothing's moving him. Then the news comes on and the lottery numbers are drawn. His numbers just came up!

NOW he'll get off the sofa!

He wasn't lazy to begin with - just unmotivated!

You need to discover what about reading/blogging/prayer etc. would zing you into life. If you can't get the answer by asking the question head on, turn it over and ask yourself how will your life have changed in say five years time if you never do those things. Who will have been promoted over your head? Who will have left your life? Who will lose respect for you? (I dunno - you just need to figure out where the pain of not changing is! We'll move away from pain faster than we'll move towards pleasure, so this can work if you're disciplined enough to take yourself through the mental questioning).

Basically, it's a case of we act on emotion, not on logic. So no matter how much you tell yourself you "should" get up earlier, until you actually inject some feeling into it, using your willpower alone won't last long!

Good luck, or sleep well! I'm not sure which is the best sign off for you!

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Postby Martacus » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:15 pm

I work a 4-midnight shift, and have to get up at 8:00 to take my wife to work, so I know it can be tough. My advice is to simply try to get up early and get busy doing stuff right away. Get dressed, eat breakfast, read the morning paper, do the crossword, work out, any small chores you may need to do, etc. Do whatever you can to tell your brain it's time to get going for the day, and hopefully your body will follow suit. Eventually you'll get used to the new routine. Good luck.

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Postby ragtopdown » Sat May 02, 2009 1:39 am

And add consistency to the tips from the above posters. When you pick a target time, get up at that time every day, also on weekends.

My schedule is now shifted from late to bed and late to rise, to early, early. I sometimes indulge in staying up late, but since I'm used to getting up early by now, my body simply knows when to get up. I'd never thought that would be possible, but two years of consistent early rising seemingly does the trick :-)

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Postby cynthia09 » Mon May 04, 2009 8:28 pm

I used to be a night owl too, some things that have helped me - going to bed at a decent hour, avoiding big meals, caffeine and exercise late at night, leaving the computer off.

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Postby thai mlm » Thu May 07, 2009 8:28 am

hello,I think it's not a quick solution. Our body have a natural rythm, so we have a natural sleep cycles. You have to know your sleep cycles.Because getting up at different points of sleep cycle has different effect on your productivity.So you have to make one step at a time. Setting the alarms will do you good.

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Postby Cemiess » Wed May 27, 2009 9:02 am

I used to be a night owl (I still am) but my technique for getting up early is to FORCE MYSELF. Just get up, even if you don't open your eyes. Drag yourself around the house as a zombie for a while, but you'll wake up in the end.

The trick is, that you'll now sleep better the next night, so it will be easier the next morning.

Also, Treat your "you time" like a real job in your head, don't disrespect it.
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Postby dixi » Fri May 29, 2009 5:59 am

My saying to you is this, I prefer the letter A, you have to force yourself to get up early as possible. I know for the fact that we have sleep cyle, and adjusting to this, affect either good or bad to a job productivity. It's a matter of discipline of oneself, so goodluck. :D

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Postby nossorc » Fri May 29, 2009 12:11 pm

like most have said i think its all about just doing it, the first week or couple weeks will suck, but u will force yourself into a routine of sleeping earlier and waking up earlier you just have to change your psychological clock. I'll have to do the same thing when i finally start working fulltime in september after transitioning from the college late night, late morning lifestyle.

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Postby Cleverbeans » Fri May 29, 2009 7:13 pm

You can also try drinking a lot of water the night before, and in the morning you'll experience a stronger then usual desire to get out of bed. Also, when I was 8 I had trouble getting up, so my dad got me an old school alarm clock that you'd wind up with a wicked bell on top. It would jackhammer back and forth until you turned it off, and he put it half way across the room so I'd have to get up to turn it off. Light also helps. Turning on the brights elicits an invigorating response, so either turn it on while you're shuffling to the restroom or use a timer.

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