I started waking up at 5 a.m. after years of sleeping in, and I can tell you the hardest part has nothing to do with the pre-dawn alarm
- Susie Moore is an entrepreneur and life coach who runs her own business. After years of sleeping until 8 a.m. or later, she started waking up at 5 a.m. every day.
- She's found the hardest part of her new routine isn't the blaring of her morning alarm, or an afternoon energy slump - it's actually managing to get to bed early enough to get enough sleep.
- Below, she shares the strategies that help her get seven to eight hours of sleep a night and still wake up before dawn.
Funnily enough, it's not the 5 a.m. alarm that gets you.
You'd think the hardest part would be refusing to snooze, right? (and yep, some days - that is the hardest part).But overall, once the routine kicks in, there are days you actually wake up before 5 a.m. (uh-huh … late in the 4'o clock hour!) and you find you don't need the alarm at all.
So, what is the hardest part, then?
It's getting to bed by 9-10 p.m. to ensure seven to eight hours of sleep!
It's no secret that living in New York and being a 30-something without kids brings a lot of opportunity for evening fun. And that a lot of parties, dinners, heck - even TV shows don't get into full swing until my new "bedtime."
Here's how I manage it:
Do more daytime stuff
Dinners can often become lunches or even breakfasts. Drinks can become coffees (or earlier afternoon drinks)! Most happy hours start at 5 p.m., so why not meet for the specials if you can? Bonus: You can almost always get a table even at the most hot, pretentious place this early. And you save money! Win, win, There's a rebellious joy to be found in bucking the system.
Be less flexible - it's fineAs a pretty agreeable person, I like to be easy and work around other people's schedules (work, travel, exercise) - especially because working for myself gives me a lot of freedom. But since joining The 5 a.m. Club, I've found myself simply saying no more. That 8 p.m. group dinner? Sorry! Can I buy you a drink another time instead (preferably before 6:30 p.m.)? Oh … You don't get out of work till 7 p.m.? Let's meet on Saturday instead.
People get it. They have routines, too. And your routine matters just as much.
When you have food to cook at home, you're less likely to waste 45 minutes scrolling Seamless web or saying, "Shall we just go for tacos?" and, feeling buzzed two margaritas in, realize it's nearing 10 p.m. With the extra hours in the day I have, I've been enjoying shopping at Whole Foods (some weeks, almost daily) and preparing dinners at home. Added bonuses include: additional saving, cranking up your cooking skills, and probably a healthier diet.
Have a screen sundown
You're not going to miss anything via email after 8:30 p.m. (unless you have an overbearing boss, which is another issue all together). If you wait a day to watch a show finale - great! You skip the commercials, dive in, and batch at your convenience (just tell your friends not to give you spoilers). You don't have to be a servant to other people's requests or Bravo's programming schedule. Andy Cohen's just as funny on "Watch What Happens Live!" the next day.
Turn off the TV and leave your phone in another room 30 minutes before bed. You'll sleep better this way, too.
Make your bed
Having a nicely made bed makes you enthusiastic to jump back in once the evening rolls around. Puffed up pillows and taut sheets are hard to resist.
Use your excuseTell people you're doing a 5 a.m. challenge. They can't argue with your early bow-out hour then. Because sadly, we don't get to choose how much sleep we need. And research tells us seven hours is the minimum (not to mention the fact our bodies show us all day long when we're fatigued).
With a fixed wake-up time, our bedtime has to be pretty fixed, too. But what would you do with two to three more good hours in the day? Rigidity on this one thing gives you countless options with pretty much everything else.