By Excelle via DivineCaroline
Some of us are night owls. Others, early birds. Apparently, based on your chronotype, you will be more naturally alert earlier or later in the day. And your type may dictate when and for how long you sleep. But while a natural variance in sleep patterns is natural, it appears that the early bird is indeed the more coveted of the species.
We’ve heard it time and time again: most CEOs wake up before 6 a.m. It’s often said that the most successful people are early risers and it makes sense. Chances are if you get up early you spend less time sleeping, which frees up more time for other, more productive activities.
In addition, the early morning is often the time of day you have most control over. Unlike later in the day, very little happens between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. that can throw a wrench in your plans. But how does one go from night owl to early bird? And can you?
The truth is, no matter what your natural rhythm, many people have been able to train themselves to become early risers and/or need less sleep. We’ll show you how.
1. Go to bed when you’re tired, and wake up at the same time every day.
You might be thinking, “duh.” And you’d be right. But as obvious as it sounds, it can be harder than you think. Just last night, I was ready for bed (which, for me means dozing off on the couch) around 10 p.m. But being the sucker for bad television that I am, I got sucked into watching a new show. By the time it was over, I was no longer sleepy. I ended up staying up until well after midnight. And for what? Mindless television I’ll have forgotten about by the end of the week? Great. I would have much rather had two or three more hours of sleep.
And what if you’re not tired until 1 a.m.? That’s okay too. Just make sure you still set your alarm for the new, earlier time. The next day you’ll likely be tired earlier than usual, and a new, steadier sleep pattern will begin to take shape. What you don’t want to do is try to force yourself to sleep when you’re not tired. You’ll just end up feeling frustrated. You’ll waste valuable time in bed not sleeping. And you might develop an anxiety around not being able to sleep, which can lead to insomnia. So wait till you’re tired, wake up at the same time every day, and eventually, your new cycle will fall into place.