It was way too hard for me to manage to get a decent 6 hours of sleep everyday to make this experiment possible. I had to push myself at work in order to be back at home in my bed at 10.30 pm sharp for my 6 hours sleep cycle. Waking up at 4.30 am bought me 4 hours additional time over what I usually had. I did the above for one week continuously and have shared my results below.
Here are some things that I managed to note down from my daily activity as I woke up really early in the morning:
More time added to the routine –
The obvious fact is that you get to add more hours to you active awake time. This give you a advantage over others, since you have more time naturally you tend perform better and produce more results than others.
It gives you a psychological edge –
You are already awake and engaged in some kind of activity early in the morning while others are sleeping. This, psychologically had an impact in me i.e, I felt like I am already ahead of others.
You can plan your days better –
I am a sort of person who would want to plan my days the previous day before I go to sleep. But waking up early helped me finish those personal (blog/exercise/books) tasks at hand very soon and plan for the other tasks efficiently and quickly.
You have more active hours than usual throughout the day-
The days I woke up early were not only long but very much alive. The energy level was very high. I was fresh enough to give an aptitude test before I slept and still managed to score well in it. Really, I am not kidding, I tested this out one day out of curiosity.
You can set a healthy morning routine –
Of all the perks that I could get, this will definitely be the favorite. As a busy person stuck with so much to do back at work, I usually find it hard to spend an hour in the gym. Waking up early got me this precious time to set my own morning ritual. This was essential for Project 1200. I exercise by going to gym + books (3 hours) and cycling 60km (3 hours) on alternate days.
Arrive office before colleagues do –
This one is a valuable hack. I get an hour of absolute calmness in my office and can patiently look at the tasks at hand to plan my day better. In fact the preparation part of my work takes some time. The execution is often a streamlined process. I work as a data scientist, and deal with a lot of coding, this quite hour helps me plan my tasks and helps me tackle the challenges well.
I feel more energetic, smart and alive on days in which I wake up really early.
I have decided to plan my days accordingly that I get 6 hours of sleep from previous night. The time I wake up in the morning depends on the time go to sleep for the previous night.
Following these simple steps weren’t really hard and worked for me well.
What to Do When You Get Up
First, things not to do with your newfound early-morning time: don’t check email, news, social media, blogs. Don’t waste this new time doing the same thing you always do.
Here are some other things that are better, in my experience:
- Drink a glass of water. You’re dehydrated from not drinking any water all night. Drink a full glass of water if you can. It’ll make you feel more awake.
- Meditate. Even just for 3 minutes. It’s such a great way to start your day — doing nothing, just sitting, and practicing mindful focus.
- Write. Or do some other kind of creating.
- Exercise. Go for a walk or a run, or do a home workout.
- Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Either one of these makes the morning better.
Sleeping Earlier – Learning
You can’t just wake up earlier and not sleep earlier. You’ll eventually crash. So here are some tips for getting to sleep earlier:
- Set a bedtime of 7-8.5 hours before you want to wake up. So if you’re waking up at 5.30 a.m., go to bed between 10:30-11 p.m. Where you are in that time frame depends on how much sleep you need. Most people need about 7.5-8 hours of sleep, though there are lots of variations. I tend to get about 6.
- Create a bedtime ritual. I like to clean up a little (it’s nice to wake up to a clean house). Then I read myself to sleep.
- No computers in bed. That means no laptop, no tablets, no mobile phones. Kindles are OK. No TV either. Just reading.
- Exercise helps a lot earlier in the day. It gets your body nice and tired, so you’ll sleep better. Don’t exercise an hour or less before bed, or you’ll be pumped up.
- Try this method if you have trouble sleeping: close your eyes and get comfortable, then think of the first thing you did that morning — the very first thing, like turning off your alarm. Then think of the next thing, and so on, replaying your morning in as much detail as possible. I never get to mid-morning.