"If you really want to optimize your ability to wake up, then only go to bed tired."
Yes, it's true. One of the best tips I've ever received about how to wake up early was strangely enough about when to go to bed. You see, our chances of waking up early are tightly connected with how well we're able to sleep.
So if we end up spending an hour or two in bed before drifting off, then that's just a complete time-waster according to me. The golden rule for these types of situations has been so clearly stated here:
"If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep."
- Dale Carnegie
I couldn't agree more to what Mr. Carnegie has to say. However, there's an even better alternative - to not go to bed at all until you're actually tired. That will save you the effort of having to get up again.
When I first tried this method I was thinking "but then I might stay up much longer than I should, and it will be impossible to get up the next morning...".
Not completely true.
The real secret to why this works is that your body is a self-adjusting system. If you're able to consistently wake up at the same time every morning, then you'll get tired around the same time every evening as well. So far, so good. But if you one day happen to sleep late, then what should you do when the evening comes and you're not that tired?
Wait. Just wait.
I mean, there's no point going to bed anyway if you're not going to fall asleep instantly. So it's better to wait, wake up the next morning (perhaps a bit more tired than normal) and go through your day as always. Then we the evening comes again, I can guarantee you that you'll feel real tired at your normal time (or perhaps even a bit earlier). Then go to bed when that feeling of drowsiness hits you and wake up as normal the next morning.
There you have it - the miracle of self-adjustment. You've just gone through a complete cycle of waking up late - going to bed late - waking up normal - going to bed early - waking up normal - going to bed normal.
You might want to read that cycle again to make sure you really understand the implications.
It's highly recommended to try this and to have the guts to wait to go to bed until you're actually tired enough to fall asleep instantly. You will see how it works once you try.
This method is also an excellent way to get to know your body a bit better. Your sensory acuity will improve dramatically and you'll become more in tune with the state of your body.
So in short, only go to bed tired.
Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan
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