I've been a night owl my entire life. I like going to bed at 2 a.m. and waking up at 10 a.m., and everything else has always sucked. I only took one 8 a.m. in college so far, and I ended up dropping it.
When I developed a chronic illness, this sleep schedule became impossible for me to maintain. So, I had to learn the horrifying skills of going to bed at a decent time and waking up early. It took two years to perfect, but I'm finally killing it. I want to help out my fellow night owls who can't continue their normal schedule of going bed at 3 a.m. — whatever the reason.
Get up at the same time (almost) every day.
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I fought this one the hardest because — yes — you do have to wake up semi-early on the weekends. Sleeping in for 2 hours or more on the weekends messes with your whole sleep schedule. So, if you wake up on weekdays at 7 a.m., you can't wake up any later than 9 a.m. on the weekends.
Look forward to something every morning.
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The morning ends the best part of the day — the part where you get to sleep. In order to make that less miserable, let yourself be excited for something every morning. For me, that something is doing my makeup. For you, it could be going on a run, making yourself a delicious breakfast or playing with your dog.
Have something to drink.
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Now that I've unnaturally become a morning person, I no longer need caffeine to get me out the door by 8:30 a.m. Instead, I drink two cups of water. Hydrating yourself wakes you up way more than you realize!
However, before I reached this "morning person capability," I forced myself to get through the morning by drinking a very large coffee or an energy drink smoothie.
Go to bed by a set a time.
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Some days you really feel too busy to go to bed, but you still have to do it 95% of the time. Just make sure you're in bed about 8 hours before you have to get up. So, you'd want to be in bed by midnight if you need to get up at 8 a.m. Then, on the weekends, that becomes going to bed by 2 a.m. to get up by 10 a.m.
Start getting ready for bed by a set time.
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I try to get ready for bed when I start feeling tired, usually around 9 p.m. By getting ready for bed so early before I go to sleep, I get to keep up with my nightly work and activities without stressing that I'm taking too long. I'm already ready for bed with only one step left — falling asleep.
Be productive during the day.
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After getting up at the same time every day, I found this step to be the hardest. I am a very gifted procrastinator. I tend to know exactly how long something will take me and try to put it off until that's not an option anymore.
However, that had to end for me to become a morning person. By effectively making use of my time during the day, I have so much more free time at night that I get to enjoy instead of rushing to finish everything, which made me stay up late originally.