Sleeping through your first class or work is never a good thing. It can put you behind and make you look unprofessional. Here are some tips for all those night owls who still need to wake up early in the morning.
1. Stop pressing snooze!
It’s hard to do, but those extra few minutes don’t make a difference in your day. According to Dr. Watson, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, all these extra minutes do is make you feel extra groggy when you finally roll out of bed. If this is something you struggle with, it can help to move your phone or alarm out of arm’s reach, forcing you to get up and turn it off.
2. Cut out screen time before bed.
Now, this is a really hard one for those addicted to our phones, but cut out screen time at LEAST an hour before you go to bed. According to Harvard Medical School, any kind of light can shift circadian rhythms (your biological clock), making it harder to sleep at night. If you feel like an hour is too difficult, start at 15 minutes and slowly work your way to that hour. You’ll get there eventually and your body will thank you.
3. Keep a sleep schedule.
Try to keep a consistent schedule suggests, Dr. Watson. If one night you are going to bed at 10 p.m. and the next you’re up until 4 a.m. then you are not going to be able to fall asleep at a reasonable time the next day which means no waking up early and well rested.
4. Have a relaxing nighttime routine.
Creating a nighttime routine is a big part of feeling more well rested, according to Dr. Haward, a New York psychiatrist for the American Sleep Academy. If you’re running all over the place, forgetting things and getting in and out of bed, you’re not going to fall into that deep sleep easily. Common healthy bedtime habits include washing your face, drinking some water and reading rather than watching TV or a movie. It doesn’t matter what that routine is as long as it is relaxing for you and conducive for falling asleep easier.
5. Find ways to get more sleep.
This sounds like a no-brainer but GET MORE SLEEP. Dr. Haward states that many people think they’re getting more or less sleep than they actually are. If your sleep cycle gets pushed forward or back by a few hours, it’s delayed a night. This will cause excessive sleepiness throughout the day. You aren’t going to be able to get up at eight feeling refreshed if you didn’t go to bed until after three.
According to Dr. W. Christopher Winter, Medical Director for the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center, it takes around two weeks to change your sleeping patterns. You won’t feel inspired to keep with your new routine until you start to feel better in the mornings, but stick with it. Pretty soon you too will be a morning person.