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O/T: HEALTH Switching from night owl to early bird

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mentalic

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Quick background:
I am an introvert/extrovert. During the day I will have to be in constant contact with employees and clients. During the night, I would do all the introvert tasks. Code reviews (from our software team), invoices, finances etc. However, I will stay up till very late. For example till 2-3 am and then I wake up at 8-9 am.

My goal:
I want to change my rhythm, and instead of working late and getting up late, I want to do the introvert tasks very early and sleep earlier. The days that I have achieved that (different sleeping schedule when changing continents), I've seen that I am times more productive.

Has anyone managed to change their sleeping habits? Any suggestions?
 

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NewManRising

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Quick background:
I am an introvert/extrovert. During the day I will have to be in constant contact with employees and clients. During the night, I would do all the introvert tasks. Code reviews (from our software team), invoices, finances etc. However, I will stay up till very late. For example till 2-3 am and then I wake up at 8-9 am.

My goal:
I want to change my rhythm, and instead of working late and getting up late, I want to do the introvert tasks very early and sleep earlier. The days that I have achieved that (different sleeping schedule when changing continents), I've seen that I am times more productive.

Has anyone managed to change their sleeping habits? Any suggestions?
I've switched back and forth multiple times during my life. It just all depended on what was going on.

I would say I am more of a night owl. But recently I have learned how beneficial it is to get up earlier and being more productive in the earlier part of the day when you have the most energy and focus.

What has helped me a lot is watching and reading content on being more productive. How to manage my time better, chunk activities, focus on fewer but more important tasks, etc. I have made some good gains in this area in the last few weeks. I think it is a good idea to switch your habits. I'm convinced now that working in the morning and focusing on the important stuff is the better way to go.
 

softbench.co

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Jun 2, 2021
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Quick background:
I am an introvert/extrovert. During the day I will have to be in constant contact with employees and clients. During the night, I would do all the introvert tasks. Code reviews (from our software team), invoices, finances etc. However, I will stay up till very late. For example till 2-3 am and then I wake up at 8-9 am.

My goal:
I want to change my rhythm, and instead of working late and getting up late, I want to do the introvert tasks very early and sleep earlier. The days that I have achieved that (different sleeping schedule when changing continents), I've seen that I am times more productive.

Has anyone managed to change their sleeping habits? Any suggestions?
"It takes 21 days to form a new habit" - - And it has worked out for me. I used to be a night owl because I would go to the gym (to clear my mind) after a long day of work. I recently switched up my routine and have been going to the gym at 430am, which means I'm in bed by 9:30pm/10:00pm latest. Hence I would start my "work" day around 6am and I tell you what, it was the BEST decision I've made as I feel like I've gained 2-3 extra hours of work during the day! For this reason alone, my mornings and entire days are more productive and I get so much done than trying to fit the "introvert tasks" in at night before bedtime.

To each their own though. Listen to your own body and make adjustments along the way. We're all wired differently so go with what works best for you!
 

mentalic

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"It takes 21 days to form a new habit" - - And it has worked out for me. I used to be a night owl because I would go to the gym (to clear my mind) after a long day of work. I recently switched up my routine and have been going to the gym at 430am, which means I'm in bed by 9:30pm/10:00pm latest. Hence I would start my "work" day around 6am and I tell you what, it was the BEST decision I've made as I feel like I've gained 2-3 extra hours of work during the day! For this reason alone, my mornings and entire days are more productive and I get so much done than trying to fit the "introvert tasks" in at night before bedtime.

To each their own though. Listen to your own body and make adjustments along the way. We're all wired differently so go with what works best for you!
Thank you, it looks like you've "been there"
What time did you use to go to bed before the change?
Was your ritual of going to the gym the most important contribution to the change?
Did you gradually start sleeping earlier or you just did the change overnight?

Thanks!!
 

softbench.co

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Thank you, it looks like you've "been there"
What time did you use to go to bed before the change?
Was your ritual of going to the gym the most important contribution to the change?
Did you gradually start sleeping earlier or you just did the change overnight?

Thanks!!
What time did you use to go to bed before the change? - 11pm/Midnight and wouldn't wake up until 7am or so.

Was your ritual of going to the gym the most important contribution to the change? - Well I've always been a gym-rat so I integrated fitness in my daily routine. Been doing this for about 20 years now so just got used to it. However, as mentioned I changed up my routine for the 1st time in 20 years to morning workouts instead of afternoon/evening workouts. Started at 8am initially and gradually worked my way backwards and ended up at 4am. (Luckily my line of work allows flexibility so I was able to test different workout times). And sure enough, 4am is rough but totally worth it because I just get it out of the way so that I can focus on my business/work/family for the rest of the day!

Did you gradually start sleeping earlier or you just did the change overnight? - I tested it out 1 hour at a time, listened to my body and figured out what was the most OPTIMAL times for me. It probably took a couple weeks to figure it all out...but glad I made the decision to change as it has impacted my life in other areas as well (Fitness, Mind/Body/Soul, Stress level/Anxiety, More time with the family/kids, etc)

Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you!
 

Flint

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I've done it the Jocko Willink way:


I started with being consistent throughout the week, Monday to Sunday, no difference. I've moved from 7.30 to 5.30 and got there in 30 min increments over a week or so. As Jocko says, you have your morning routine sorted (glass of water and bodyweight exercises for me, followed by cooking, listening to podcasts or audiobooks in the background) and you don't lay down thinking, you just do it. And if you're consistent, your body will know when to get ready for sleep, too. Hard physical work and workouts help, so don't spend the whole day in front of your screen.

Good luck!
 

Lyinx

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I like all the good feedback here, I've been getting earlier (naturally) just haven't pushed myself. after reading this thread I'm thinking of getting up at 4.30 every morning, which will drive my wife nuts, but might be worth it ...
 

Flint

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Oh and flicking through something on your screen before bed is a terrible idea. The thing is designed to make you want to quickly check one more thing... and one more... You don't even notice how your brain stays alert instead of slowly relaxing into the night.

My son has a hard stop for any screen time about 2 hours before bedtime. He then plays LEGO, draws and eventually reads in bed. Try falling asleep straight after getting to the next level in your favourite game with a flushed face and excitement lol
 

cristi.duma

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I've been struggling with this also for the past months. It's finally working and I'm waking up at 6am.
I definitely feel better, I'm more productive and generally feel like I have more time.

What did it for me was to understand that the trick is not when you go to bed, but when you wake up. I used to try and go to bed earlier and usually failed, because there is always shit to do. So after googling about this, I started to force myself to wake up at the same time every day, 6am. In the beginning I used some tricks: placed my alarm further away so I'll have to stand up to turn it off, drink a glass of water before going to sleep so I'll have to wake up to pee and others.
The first few days were hard, but after about 2 weeks my body started to adjust and now I go to bed at around 10pm and easily wake up at 6am.
And do this every day, don't sleep in because it's weekend, it will screw up your rhythm.
 

Lyinx

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which will drive my wife nuts, but might be worth it ...
any advice? wife likes to sleep in a bit, and I'm starting to feel like getting up right away.. and half an hour earlier than she does.
any way to wake up quickly so as not to bother the wife too much?

-- changing the wife's habits is not an acceptable answer
 

Flint

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any advice? wife likes to sleep in a bit, and I'm starting to feel like getting up right away.. and half an hour earlier than she does.
any way to wake up quickly so as not to bother the wife too much?

-- changing the wife's habits is not an acceptable answer
You mean the alarm clock will wake her up?

Use your phone with a slowly increasing volume of a relatively non-intrusive tune/ring tone (nature sounds are good, e.g., chirping birds, sound of the sea, etc.).

If she wakes up regardless and asks WTF?!, don't respond, don't engage in a conversation, let her fall asleep again.

Eventually, you'll associate the hardly audible sound (before it gets louder) with your wake up call and also calibrate your inner clock so that this won't be an issue in the long run.

And if you really want to do it, this shouldn't stop you. Many positive changes in our lives make waves in our little ecosystems one way or another.
 

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Bigguns50

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I think my natural time of sleep and waking is about 11 pm and up at 7 am.

I've slowly changed this to 9 pm and up at 4:30 - 5:00 am for many reasons.
First, how I did it. S L O W L Y. In 15-minute increments about once or twice a week I'd wake up earlier. It was all alarm clock for a long time. Now...I never set my alarm clock.

I've designed my lifestyle for many reasons.
  • There are SO MANY successful entrepreneurs that swear getting up early is key, I figured I'd try it. It works for me.
  • I wanted to take control of my day.
  • I wanted to make sure I have time for the things that are important to me and are non-negotiable like meditation, working out, creativity, and thinking.
Nobody (unless they're in another country where it's 9 am) is calling at 7 am so no interruptions( I leave my phone off until 7:30 anyway). This gives me time for my morning routine of mediation, working out, reading, and creative thinking and problem-solving.

Also, I do this 7 days a week whether it's a 'work' day or not.

Everyone is different but for me, the 1st half of the day I'm all energy. I tackle the big, complicated, creative problems. After that, I meditate to get centered again, then I do the more mundane, boring, monotonous work.

Of course there are days when I can't follow this exactly because of business, but I stay damn close.

My wife wakes up 30 min to an hour after me which is no problem. It's actually really nice having that time to myself. She doesn't mind at all.

The last half hour of my day I read books like "Think Like a Monk", "The Four Agreements", and the like. Topics that make me look inward and at the bigger picture.

After that, I'm out in 5 minutes. Exhausted. In a good way.
 

RicardoGrande

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Hey man, thanks for positing this question!

I used to be an incorrigible night owl.
At one point, I would stay up until about 5am for a good year or two (terrible for your health).
At it's worst, I had no schedule and would just sleep 4 hours later than I did the day before.

I eventually fixed it after reading the miracle morning and some sleep research.
During C0VlD last may, I started shutting off all my electronic devices about an hour or two before bed, would pop a melatonin, and then draw or read in RED light (doesn't signal your brain to stay awake, bulbs are 5$ on amazon), then go to bed.
It's worked like a charm and I'm out like a light on command.

Even better? Research shows that 10pm-2am provide the deepest, most restorative sleep. I'm now getting that EVERY night, and about 8 hours of sleep a night on average, as opposed to 5-7 beforehand.

It's totally worth it, and I wish you the best of luck!
 

ZiiEngineer

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As @RicardoGrande has also mentioned, you can try 'The Miracle Morning (TMM)' by Hal Elrod, which MJ also recommends in his book Unscripted .

Do you believe it is easier to stay up late than to wake up early? I did, so my many attempts of waking up early in the past has failed.

The biggest mindset change I needed when I started TMM was to not associate my past with my future.

The main gist of TMM is to set up a routine of activities that fuels your personal development (meditating, reading, exercising etc.) and commit the night before to wake up earlier and do it for 30 days. I have failed for a day or two but that shouldn't stop your progress.

You don't need to start waking up at 5am right away though which is not healthy imo. I'm only waking up 45 minutes earlier as a start but that was enough to change how I start my day!!
 

GoGetter101

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Quick background:
I am an introvert/extrovert. During the day I will have to be in constant contact with employees and clients. During the night, I would do all the introvert tasks. Code reviews (from our software team), invoices, finances etc. However, I will stay up till very late. For example till 2-3 am and then I wake up at 8-9 am.

My goal:
I want to change my rhythm, and instead of working late and getting up late, I want to do the introvert tasks very early and sleep earlier. The days that I have achieved that (different sleeping schedule when changing continents), I've seen that I am times more productive.

Has anyone managed to change their sleeping habits? Any suggestions?
I'm a night owl and most of my life I've been sleeping late and waking up late. This routine works fine in the short term but in the long term I noticed I started staying up even later and waking up even later. So by the time I woke up the gyms are almost closed, there's peek hour traffic, people are leaving the office, etc. I just wasn't able to socially integrate as a night owl but recently I became an early bird. Here's how:

1. Go to bed early
This is difficult in the beginning and you might find yourself awake just lying in bed but it's easy to fall asleep within a week if you keep going to bed at a consistent time. My time is 11pm.

2. Keep the alarm away from the side of your bed
I keep the alarm clock on the other side of them room so when it rings I have to get out of bed to turn it off.

3. Listen to a motivational audio or watch motivational videos for 10-15 minutes
I usually watch something different every morning depending on what I need to do that day. For example if I feel like I need a more sense of purpose I'll watch something like this:

4. Wash my face with cold water and/or do 10 push ups.
THIS WILL WAKE YOU UP!

5. Reward yourself with a 'morning reward'
Always reward yourself for waking up early, it could be a nice cup of morning coffee, morning walk, morning news updates, morning meal, etc. Anything you like as a reward for waking up early. For it was my morning tea. I can't live without tea and I stopped giving myself tea for not waking up early it became motivator.

When I first started this I did it as a 30 day challenge. So I had to do this everyday for 30 days and if miss a day I start over. If complete it I'll give myself a big reward. I rewarded myself with a new iPhone :)

Hope this helps
 
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Saad Khan

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Even better? Research shows that 10pm-2am provide the deepest, most restorative sleep.
Really? My mother always brings this point up whenever we talk about me sleeping late at night. I used to play games till 5 am but now I've realized and changed. I go to bed at 12-1 am. Still, room for improvement.
 

AnnAng

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What a timely thread, @mentalic! I have also been trying to switch to a morning routine. I actually finished reading the 5 AM club by Robin Sharma, and I'm in the process of using some of the ideas from the book.

What works for me is starting the day with a glass of water and an exercise. Most days it's a run/walk/jog outside since it's sunny and warm (yeah, for summer :)). If it rains, I do a quick 20-30 minute guided kettlebell workout at home. Then it's breakfast (the same every day - scrambled eggs), some journaling and meditation, followed by reading a motivational or topic-specific book (e.g., I'm reading marketing books now because I want to get better at marketing; the next topic is sales). After these initial activities, I'm ready to move to the most important task of the day.

I really like the tips from the other successful early risers. I'm still in the process of sticking to this routine, and some days are tough. I had to double my alarms this week - using my smartwatch for a smart wake-up plus a separate light alarm. They are working like a charm for now.

I'll be following this thread and updating on any new things that help me personally switch to a morning person.
 

mentalic

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any advice? wife likes to sleep in a bit, and I'm starting to feel like getting up right away.. and half an hour earlier than she does.
any way to wake up quickly so as not to bother the wife too much?

-- changing the wife's habits is not an acceptable answer
What I do on the weekends when my wife tends to sleep more, is preparing all my clothes the night before. That way, the moment I wake up, I'm out of the room :p
 

MattR82

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I'm reading "why we sleep" at the moment. Would like to find a good balance between the science of sleep and the morning rising and motivation from The Miracle Morning.

I don't finish work till 930pm, falling asleep around 1130 to midnight (at best.. I'm more inclined to slightly be a night owl rather than morning lark) and when I was getting up at 530/6am, I was super tired and miserable from a lack of sleep. I was training at 7am till 8am with a really great group that was the perfect level of exercise, but it still fell apart.

I'll be interested to see how I'll go when I no longer work the evening shift that finishes at 930pm (I work from 4 till 930 rather than 8 till 4 as it's the same money and gives me more time to work on my side biz). I'll try to make myself a morning lark over a long period then.

I totally agree with the author of why we sleep that, as I'm more inclined to night owl, my brain works much better later in the day. But I think it's a bit overstated. Even if that's true, I don't think it affects the kind of things I'd be doing early morning anyway (like the miracle morning routine, or going to the gym etc).

At the end of the day, the bottom line for me: get 8 hours quality sleep.
 

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