Yesterday I woke up at 5AM and did a whole lot of things in that morning. I went to the gym, jogged, picked up my bike, ate, studied and socialized at work. This morning I did the same thing. There are things to do. Might as well do them.
There are a lot of proverbs like “The early bird catches the worm” and “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”.
These all ring true to me. I associate early risers with men with a lot of drive. My dad used to wake up at 4AM to go to the carboot, an informal market where anyone can sell their wares.
Because he was always the first there, he got some great deals.
Yet when I was 16, I was a troubled sleeper. I stayed up until late and I slept until late.
It’s only since recent times that I’ve been able to make a change. I don’t always succeed, but when I do there are some common factors.
1. Don’t play videogames (especially in the evening)
Spending your evening behind a screen is detrimental for your sleep. The blue light messes with your head and makes you think it’s still daytime, so your biological clock will get out of sync with the natural rythms of the day and the night.
Plus, adults still playing videogames until 2AM need to take a look in the mirror and wonder if their time could not be spent reading books, having sex or writing a motivational blog.
2. Put a few apples by your bedside
This I just found out recently. It started out as me knowing myself and thinking that I didn’t want to walk all the way downstairs to eat breakfast.
So I put an apple by my bedside, with the intention of eating it in the morning, while in bed.
I woke up from a dream at 5AM and thought, “Why not take a bite?”. So I did.
And boy, did the sugars of the apple wake me up. Before I knew it I was out of bed doing pushups.
Because I also ate an apple just before bed, I’m not sure which apple it was. Did one apple induce me to have a vivid dream and did it let me wake up early naturally? I am still experimenting with this.
3. Check your curtains
I sleep in a room where there are almost no lights shining through the window at night. In a small way, I’m blessed.
Because of this I can keep my curtains open and wake up with the sun. This works especially well in summertime.
In wintertime I have got a synthetic sun by my bedside. It’s called a Wake Up lamp and emulates the sunrise. It will gradually start to glow over half an hour as you approach your wake up time.
One of the best investments I ever made.
If you sleep in a room where there are a lot of lights coming in, it’s best to get thick curtains and keep them closed at night. Depend on your alarm lamp or your natural sleep cycles.
4. When awake, get up
Whether it’s the ending of a dream or the ending of a sleep cycle, when I’m awake I check the time. If the time is acceptable (4-8AM) I’ll just get up and start my day.
Because my bed’s nice and warm like a good bed should be I need to use some brain power to get out of bed.
My sleep-drunken reasoning usually goes like this.
- I wake up
- I check the time
- If I get up now, I’ll win the day and be productive
- If I don’t get up, I’ll be late and waste the day
- I’m already awake, so might as well seize the moment and get up.
Like I wrote, eating an apple seems to help against sleepdrunkenness.
5. Don’t drink caffeine after 3PM
The half-life of caffeine is 4-6 hours. That means that 50 percent of the caffeine you take in will still be present in your body after that time.
Begin to see coffee as a morning drink. It spoils your sleep when you drink it too late in the day.
Remember: if you want to win, you get up early. There are a lot of benefits to watching the sun come up.
People respect people who are able to get up early too, I’ve noticed.
Until next time.