Suffice it to say, that's not a great schedule for your body. I found I was always tired, slow in getting to the day's work, and getting up early to workout took some serious motivation. But when I did get up early (as I plan to do almost every morning), I was more productive: not just because I had more time, but because there's a certain energy in being awake before most of the rest of the world, and it propelled me to fit more in the day than I ordinarily would have.
Now I'm working the morning shift, which means I get up at 5AM 3 days a week, and 6AM 2 days a week. This means that sleeping in isn't really a possibility anymore (except now 6 AM feels like sleeping in...) and I've learned a few tips and tricks during this process that I thought I would share for those of you who are struggling as I was!
1. GO TO BED
One of my worst habits is going up to my room around 9 PM telling myself I'll do my nighttime routine quickly, have a little time for social media, and go to bed at 10 PM. The reality is the process usually happens in reverse: after I've soaked in a good 40 minutes of Pinterest, and 20 minutes texting various friends, I'll run around doing my skincare routine, throw on my pajamas, crash in bed at around 10:20 and after doing my Bible reading, go to bed at 10:50. Not cool, Carmel. It's hard to put down your phone, but exercise self-control. Those pins will still be there tomorrow. Go to bed.
2. SET 2 ALARMS
I do this a lot when my day only necessitates semi-early wakeup times: on 5 AM days, nothing is going to get me out of bed before 5 (even though it's a scramble to get everything together before leaving the house at 5:30), but if I don't have to get up until six or, hallelujah, seven!, I set 2 alarms: one to wake me up when I have to get up, one to wake me up when the ideal Me would like to get up. Usually, that's 6 and 5:30 respectively. The benefit of this is that if you're like me and you set what I call Ideal Alarms (that you never respect the next day), you still won't oversleep with the fatal "I'll just sleep for 15 more minutes..."
3. BE PREPARED
(I'm singing Lion King now. Well then.)
If you have your clothes out (workout/work/regular/what-have-you), your bag or purse packed, your water bottle filled and your makeup laid out at your dressing table, it makes getting up so easy, and usually gives you a few extra minutes in bed to properly wake up. I have to admit that I rarely have all of these things ready, but even just a few things prepared in advanced saves a lot of time, stress, and running back and forth on squeaky floor boards waking up the other (not too cheerful) members of the household. XD
4. DRINK WATER
This may be a bit TMI, but by drinking a full bottle water before you sleep, not only is it great for your metabolism to continue working through the night as you rest (yay!) and keeping you from waking up with the dreaded tight-and-dry-skin feeling, this also works as a wakeup call. I know that once I pull myself all the way out of bed to go to the bathroom, I'm already waking up and sleep is less easy of an excuse. It's still going to be tempting to get back in bed afterwards, but less tempting now you've walked about for a few minutes and are thinking about that to-do list.
5. START SMALL
If you've been rising at 8 or 9 AM regularly, trying to do 5 AM is going to be a rude, painful awakening (trust me, if you don't have something like work making sleeping in impossible, you're going to break your streak). Work backwards in 1 hour segments - once you get used to getting up at 7 (usually takes about a week), try going a little early. The most important thing is consistency: don't get up at 5 one morning but sleep in until 9 the next. It's better to get up at 7 AM for 3 mornings in a row: this way you're actually reconditioning your body to consider that new time "wake up time."
Moral of the story? I can't actually physically sleep in past 7 anymore. O_o
Let me know if any of these tips are useful for you! Are you an early riser, a late riser, or somewhere in between? How do you motivate yourself to get out of bed in the morning?