A few years back, an article came out about First Lady Michelle Obama’s morning routine, including the fact that she wakes up each morning at 5:30 a.m. Some people thought this was ridiculous because for many of us, including me, waking up that early would mean running on only 5-6 hours of sleep. Why? Because most working adults do not go to bed at 10 p.m. each night. Work, kids, insomnia and our favorite TV shows keep us up way past the hour of 10 p.m. and force us to hit the snooze button the next morning.
After beginning my new job, I decided to change all that by starting a new sleep routine. I began going to bed each night at 10 p.m. and waking up at 6 a.m. no matter how badly I wanted to stay in bed. It was tough going in the beginning, and I found myself lying in bed at night willing myself to fall asleep. Eventually my body adjusted to the routine and I got to a point where I didn’t hate my alarm clock.
With all the extra time that I have in the morning, I’m able to shower, dress, put on some laundry, load my dishwasher , grab breakfast, check my email and still beat most of my colleagues to the office (except Wendy, she is always in before me). Because I have time to get myself together each morning, I am ready to hit the ground running when I get to work instead of rushing around for an hour before settling down. I’ve also been sleeping better and feeling more energized because my body knows when to go to sleep and when to wake up.
Training your body to get up that early when you aren’t use to it isn’t easy, but these are the tips that helped me adjust to the change:
- Go to bed at the same time each night, even if you’re not tired yet. Eventually your body will adjust.
- Don’t eat after 8 p.m. and avoid caffeine after 4 p.m. A full stomach never feels good lying down and that espresso shot to power through the last hour of work can keep some people up all night.
- Power down your brain an hour before bed time. I make a point not to watch TV or be on my computer before bed because it pumps me up instead of relaxing me. I find reading to be a great way to calm the brain.
- When the alarm goes off, get right up. Delaying getting out of bed, even for a few minutes, only makes it that much harder.
I know some of you still think I’m crazy, and I’ll admit that the early to bed, early to rise routine isn’t for everyone, but, if you find yourself in a mad rush each morning, and you’re exhausted by the time you get to your desk, give this a try. And don’t worry about missing your favorite TV shows, you can DVR them and watch them over the weekend.