Ahh, August - what a time. The smell of suntan lotion & some distant campfire still wafts in on a light breeze as two-week notices & emails subjected "lt's my last day!" are sent out, and most college-age students are trading their coolers and cubicles for backpacks filled with overpriced textbooks & cramped dorm spaces.
Yes, for most of us, August means heading back to school and getting back in the "swing of things" for another 8 months. With this also typically comes the dread of having to figure out how the hell you're going to be a fully-functioning human for a 9 am biology lecture every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday when you've been going to bed at 3 am almost every night for the past 3 months.
Or, maybe you're stressed because you've grown accustomed to waking up at the crack of dawn everyday to make it to the office on time (nobody likes a late intern), and now you can't sleep in past 7 am, regardless of what day it is or what time you go to bed.
So much for scheduling an 11 am lecture as your first class to be able to "sleep in."
Regardless, getting your sleep schedule back on track within a couple of weeks may seem impossible, but I'm here to tell you that it's not. Tricky, yes, but it definitely can be done.
There is still hope, after all!
All it takes is a change in your mindset about getting up or going to bed a bit earlier.
I've seen a lot of articles out on the web explaining that the best way to re-adjust your sleeping patterns is to go through something like this - 2 weeks out, start setting your alarm for 10-15 minutes earlier every day. Eventually, you'll be waking up even earlier than the time you actually need to be up. Sounds easy, right?
Wrong. If you're like me, anyways, and press "snooze" until you've taken about seven 3-minute naps ("I can sleep until 7:38. It's only 7:36 now!" you know, that kinda thing).
Instead, what I've found to be the most effective is giving myself reasons to either drag myself out of bed in the morning, or to turn off the Netflix & go to bed early.
Reasons that go beyond "oh, I have class" or "oh, I need to go to bed so I can be well-rested for (blank)". I tell myself that I need to go to sleep because I prioritize being well-rested for whatever lies ahead the next day, that I value not feeling sick when I jump out of bed in the morning & being able to enjoy breakfast with my friends.
This kind of attitude reminds me that I need sleep in order to function at my best, and to help me keep my life in order with my own personal values. It's something I adopted last semester, when I was going to bed at 3 am & waking up at 8 am almost every day. I was absolutely miserable, and listing out why I needed sleep each night before I turned out the light really helped me get back on track, not just for my health/well-being, but for the things I was losing sleep over (schoolwork, internship applications, etc.).
So, the next time you want to press "snooze", think of why you set your alarm so early in the first place, & why getting out of bed to start the day really matters to you.