I have spent the past twelve months sleeping less than any other year of my life. I have tried to get more done by getting up earlier. It has certainly worked for me but I wouldn’t think it is for everyone. Not every human being is made for rising at four AM. Some are best suited for late nights and sleeping in until they have recovered from the long day prior. For me, early rising has allowed me to transition from one small business to a freelancing biz. Without getting up super early, I would not have had the time to develop the new side hustle.
How did I mange to make myself get up early on a daily basis? And more importantly, why would I want to “punish” myself like that? The initial why is easy. I wanted to start working out in the mornings to get more fit. Why so early? I wanted to get my treadmill work and weight lifting out of the way first thing. I knew if I waited to fit in exercise, it would never happen. I had to do it before my other daily tasks. Between work, side work, and my family obligations, I knew exercise would always take a backseat to daily life. So I made it point to put exercise first. Doing it before anything else kept it from being pushed aside until I hit the imaginary “time lottery”.
Now onto the “how” I managed to keep getting up early day after day. After a few weeks of early rising it was honestly easy. But that was after building the habit. Habits are powerful, both good ones and bad. I recommend “The Power Of Habit” for those interested in this powerful weapon. The hard part was building up the habit of rising early. I managed to build up that habit with a combination of tech savvy, determination, and simple tips found online.
The determination was built upon a simple premise. I wanted to feel better than I did as an overweight 40 year old. I had lost a fair amount of weight through a better diet and denying myself lots of sugar. But I wanted to get back to the athletic self that inhabited my body as a teenager. So I signed up for a gym membership and off I went.
Some simple tips I found online for getting up early were helpful. I knew putting my old school alarm clock far away from my bed was a key to waking up enough to walk to the clock. I had done that for years on my own. Going to bed at the same time every night was a good tip that I stuck to as closely as possible. Also I had seen a fact online relating to mothers of newborns. These moms could get by on just a few hours sleep a night and catch up with naps as their babies slept in the day time. I used naps to make up for the sleep I was losing at night time. Even a twenty minute nap would help to re-energize me.
The tech savvy I used to wake up at ungodly hours came in the form of mobile apps. I checked around for the best alarm clocks to “MAKE” me get up when I wanted to get up. I found a few options that benefited me. I’ll list the links below. One was an alarm that made me do a math problem to shut it off. Just a few seconds of simple math was enough to make my sleepy self remember that my determined self wanted to run three miles that day.
Another great alarm had me take a photo of an object in my house in order to take the same photo to make the alarm stop when the alarm went off. I took a picture of a light switch far away from my bedroom to make sure I would be up and about, to make the alarm stop. That worked great….until I was on a cruise ship with the alarm going off hundreds of miles away from my dining room light switch that I needed to photograph. I had to delete the app for the duration of my vacation.
The most important thing is “why” you want to rise before 99% of the world. That will motivate you to do so. Figure out the why and the how will come much easier. There are more than enough alarm apps to get you going in the early AM. Once you get up early for about a month, it will become easier for you. You will be truly amazed at how easy something becomes after doing it for over three weeks. Here are a few apps to help you on your journey.
5. “Sleep If You Can“. This app makes you set a picture to take away from your bedroom to stop the alarm.
4. “Wakie” is an app that wakes you up with a phone call from the opposite sex. Right now this is in Russian only, but I can see this taking off as it spreads to new countries.
3. “Wake Up, Work Out Alarm Clock“. This alarm makes you do several bicep curls before the alarm will stop. Once you do this mini workout, you will no longer be sleepy.
2. “Wake N Shake Alarm Clock“. This alarm requires some physical effort to cut it off. Shaking will stop the alarm but simultaneously get you to arise from your slumber.
1. “Rocket Alarm“. This little app gives you a few options that require some concentration to shut it down. You can choose from a math problem or a few other space related challenges to make you focus in order to shut off the alarm and thus wake you up.