For two days now I have gone to bed at 7pm and I have risen somewhere between 3:00am and 3:30am. A lot of people will think that is crazy, but there is actually a very logical reason behind it.
I work in the Information Technology field. There are times when I need to run tests on our products and I need to do those tests while none of our clients are using them. Therefore I have been running tests from 3:30am to 4:30am (thank goodness all our clients are in the same time zone at the moment).
Even though the testing is now finished, I have discovered that going to bed early (7pm) and waking up early (3:30am) is fitting into my body schedule amazingly well.
How I manage to go to bed so early:
- Turn off technology (anything with a screen). 5pm is the last time I see a computer screen. Occasionally I check my cell phone, but I’m not on it constantly.
- Eat foods that make you sleepy. I eat a supper that has a large portion of a food that makes me sleepy (potatoes). There are numerous foods that have this effect, a Google search will turn up some interesting results.
- Read a book. I hop into bed with a book around 6:45pm. I read until 7:00pm and by that time I am getting drowsy.
- Use a candle. A candle is more natural light. I use a candle instead of a bedside lamp. The candle light is not only darker than a bedside lamp, but the colours emitted help make a person sleepy (remember we have only been using electric lights a very short time in human history)
- Block out outside light. I use a silk scarf around my eyes to block out any ambient light coming in through the curtains, and by 7:30pm I am fast asleep!
- Block out outside sound. I don’t need to do this, but if you have a lot of noise going on outside, it might be useful to use ear plugs.
- Turn your phone onto silent. There is only one problem with my method, and that is other people who are on a late night schedule. The number one thing that takes me out of this sleeping routine are phone calls and text messages. I now put my phone onto silent the moment my light goes out or else I don’t have good quality sleep and cannot wake up the next day.
In just 2 days I have noticed the benefits of the early to bed and early to rise method.
- There is no rush. I have a longer time to properly wake up in the morning. I am not rushing to get to work on time. I am able to enjoy my coffee, my shower, breakfast etc.
- More ready for work. When I get to work I am ready to focus on work. Everything else going on in my head has been dealt with. I am ready for the day ahead and the entire day has already been planned. In the past I would plan my day in the first 15minutes I was at the office.
- Nothing to do when I get home. By the end of the work day I am tired and don’t feel like doing anything on a computer when I get home. I am mentally and physically exhausted. This would happen regardless of what time I woke up. Now, because I was up early and got everything done before I went to work, I can relax in the knowledge that when I get home there is nothing to do (except maybe grocery shopping). I can take all the time at home in the evenings to spend time with Mark, my puppy (Zoey) and myself.
- Time to read. I would always be busy with stuff until I was exhausted, and then flop into bed. Now I purposefully go to my bedroom earlier to spend time with God and read before bed. It is calming for me, and I truly believe that I get better quality sleep afterwards.
I do foresee some problems in the future. Already I am a person who HAS to be in bed by 10pm (even on weekends) and I have lots of friends who are night owls. The early to bed and early to rise is definitely going to affect my social life! But all this means is that I now organize midday / afternoon events on Saturday’s and Sunday’s instead of evening events and I am sorted.