Last night, I went to bed at 9:30 PM, and got eight hours of sleep. I woke up at 5:30 AM, got ready, and started writing this article at 6 AM. This is my normal sleep schedule now, but not long ago, I was an insomniac with catastrophically bad sleep hygiene. I had insomnia for years, but at the age of 20, I beat it.
The National Institute of Health defines insomnia as “trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both.” There are different levels of insomnia, and the effects vary from person to person. Today, I am sharing how I corrected my sleep cycle. DISCLAIMER: Do not try anything without speaking with your doctor first.
Does waking up on time make you sleepier at night, or is it the other way around? It sounds like a catch-22. But when I started waking up earlier, I became sleepier at night, and the whole cycle was fixed.
It’s probably best to give up caffeine altogether, but that will never happen for the majority of us. What’s more realistic is leaving at least 4-6 hours between your last cup of coffee and your bedtime, like the Harvard Medical School Sleep Division suggests.
Everyone should get exercise during the day, for a million different reasons, one being that it makes you sleepier at night.
Smartphone apps like Alarmy can be helpful. The Alarmy app works like any normal alarm would, except it keeps ringing until you complete a physical task, thereby successfully dragging you out of bed. I’ve set it to make me walk to the kitchen to scan a barcode, and it won’t stop ringing until I’ve done that.
Time Management and Your Workload
Depending on your age, you probably need somewhere between 7 and 10 hours of sleep each night, and having that much time requires proper time management. If you routinely have to stay up late into the night to get your work done, you are either procrastinating, or you have too much on your plate.
Unfortunately, proper time management will require you to give up some fun activities. I don’t have time to watch baseball as much as I once did, but it’s worth the sacrifice.
It is really important that you have an incentive for waking up in the morning. There’s really no point in waking up early just to spend the extra time in your bed doing nothing. My incentive is the extra time I have to check the stock market, go for walks, and write these articles.
Again, everyone is different. Some people can pull an all-nighter, and carry on normally the next day. But for me, staying up late even once throws off my entire cycle, so I can’t take any days off.
When I beat insomnia, everything fell into place. I’m no longer awake at outrageous hours, I can manage my time very efficiently, my days are a million times more productive, and I’m never going to have insomnia again.