Many of us get seem almost programmed to sleep late. But there's a lot to be said for getting up early. You never again have to worry about being late for work. You have some time to get things accomplished before everyone else gets up. Maybe this can even be that ever elusive "me" time.
But can you really turn yourself into an early riser if you've always been a night owl? Of course! This will require a little time and effort; any routine is hard to break. Habits that you've been following for many years tend to be even more challenging to alter, but humans are adaptable creatures. You can always teach yourself new ways to do things.
Here's a sure-fire process to change your sleep pattern quickly:
1. Figure out how much sleep you really need. Everyone has a unique number of hours they require to feel their best. For this example, let's pretend you need seven hours.
2. What time do you want to get up every day? In your perfect world, what time would you get up every morning? Maybe you want to get up at 5:00 am so you can go for a run or practice your guitar.
3. Pick your bedtime. Do the math. For our example, you would need to be asleep by 10:00 pm.
4. Stick to the schedule. Until you've made a habit out of your new hours, you're going to have to be strong. Using our example, you'd want to be in bed by 10:00 pm, no matter what. Now if you're used to going to bed at 2:00 am, you'll probably be lying there for a while, at least at first. You can also be sure that the alarm will not be a welcomed event.
5. No naps. Naps are okay if you normally take them. But don't start adding naps to your new schedule! Otherwise, you may not be tired at your new bedtime.
6. Optional: Forget all the above. Many have reported better luck with the following simplified plan: simply go to bed when you're tired, but always get up at the new wake-up time. At the very least, you'll avoid lying in bed for hours trying to fall asleep.
Regardless of which method you choose, hang in there! Although this will be challenging for about a week, you'll be a changed person.
And remember, developing any new habit will take some time. Even though you'll feel pretty good after a week, for the first month or so, you may find backsliding all too easy.
The early morning has much to offer that the late riser misses. You'll see things outside you don't normally see. Most wildlife tends to be more active at dawn. People are out walking their pets or jogging. Maybe you'll even find someone with whom you can take a nice walk every morning.
You can change any habit with a little commitment. Developing a new sleep schedule is no different. Follow either of the methods presented and you'll be an early riser in no time!