Picture this: You’re naturally a night owl, and always have been. Though living in a non-nocturnal society makes it tough, you make it work.
Staying up late is part of your routine! You don’t want to give that up. But all of a sudden, your routine changed, and now you have to wake up way too early!
Staying up late isn’t an option anymore. Whether because of school, a new job, or even a baby, there are a million reasons you might have to suddenly switch your sleep schedule from night to day.
You’ve come to the right place for that—Here we’ll talk about the most effective ways to take you from one sleep schedule to another as easily as possible.
When do you need to wake up? Figure out the latest possible time you need to be asleep by, and figure out how long it takes for you to fall asleep!
The first thing you have to do is figure out when you need to wake up in the morning. Then, figure out the best time for you to go to sleep.
Whether that’s to get as much sleep as possible, or to get the bare minimum amount of sleep to be able to function, is up to you. Finding your perfect number of hours of sleep to get isn’t hard; just observe when you naturally wake up without an alarm for a few days. Then count backwards from the time you need to be awake to figure out when you should be asleep.
Keep in mind that “going to bed” and “being asleep” are two different benchmarks! Factor that into your math as well. If it takes you an hour, make sure you start getting ready for bed at least an hour before you want to be asleep.
If you don’t want to do the math manually, using an app like Sleepy time can help do that math for you.
Change your bedroom environment.
The next thing to do to switch to a more comfortable early bedtime is to switch up your bedroom environment. There are many ways you can do this! Here are some quick tips.
- Studies show that sleeping in a cool place helps most people fall asleep more quickly. If you can afford it, investing in a small air conditioner, a fan, or turning up your home’s air conditioning can work. Sleeping with less or lighter blankets, as well as less or lighter pajamas, can also help.
- Total darkness is really helpful for good sleep. Turning off all of your lights will help, as well as any electronic devices like laptops, phones, and TV sets. If your room lets in a lot of natural light from the outside, try buying blackout curtains or putting dark blankets or sheets over the window. A sleep mask can also help a lot, or even just putting a blanket over the top of your head.
- Change up the noises that would interrupt your good sleep! Calming music, white noise, or a non-exciting audio book can be great additions to add to your sleeping environment. If you can’t sleep without some background noises, this is for you. Using your phone, a sound machine, a fan, or another device can help with that. If you prefer total silence, consider noise-cancelling headphones (if you think they’ll stay on overnight) or earplugs. Just make sure your alarm is loud enough or includes vibration and light along with it.
Develop a bedtime routine, whether it’s five minutes or two hours long.
A bedtime routine is great for getting quality sleep, especially if you can find ways to look forward to it! Here are some tips on how to build a good, enjoyable bedtime routine into your nightly schedule.
- Try putting away your electronic devices about an hour before you try to go to bed. If that seems like a long time, try twenty minutes or half an hour. Winding down before bed with a non-screen activity is another way to make your brain slow down so you don’t overthink and find yourself unable to sleep.
- Include activities you’ll really enjoy in the routine. Find out what that means for you specifically. Whether it’s a bubble bath, a cup of decaf tea and a book, or some slow music, make sure it’s relaxing and will help you unwind from a stressful day.
- If feeling productive makes a routine good for you, find small productive things to accomplish as part of your routine. These include brushing your teeth and hair (using special products if you want), washing the dishes, doing laundry (or putting your pajamas in the dryer!), and other household chores.
Set an alarm you like and don’t snooze!
Whether this looks like putting your favorite song as your alarm on your phone, buying a special alarm clock that wakes you up with radio or bright light, or a plethora of other options, it’s always smart to have an alarm you love. Leaving on a peppy song to motivate you can help many people!
Make sure you don’t snooze that alarm, though. It’s so important to get up with your alarm to finish off a good night’s sleep. If that means leaving your phone or alarm clock across your room, so be it! Make it work for you and your routine.
Make getting out the door as easy as possible so you don’t dread the waking-up rush.
If you’re naturally a late riser, waking up early will definitely be a shock to the system. Make it as easy as you can to get up and get going right away.
Ways to do this include sleeping in your clothes, leaving your clothes on your bed or dresser, packing your lunch/bag/backpack the night before, putting your shoes right on your doormat, meal prepping your breakfast a day or week in advance, and many more.
Whatever roadblocks lie between your bed and getting out the door, try and find a way around them so you can be ready to go quickly. This is especially important if there’s not much time between your alarm and when you need to be at your commitment!
Hopefully this helped give you some ideas on how to switch your bedtime and waking-up times to earlier. Have no fear, night owl! You can do this! Good luck!