For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an insomniac.
I remember being awake for a whole night before a 9am exam. I’ve punched the walls in frustration at not being able to sleep the night before an important interview. I’ve lain awake so often that for years on a Sunday night, I would pop downstairs at 3am for a glass of port and a sleeping tablet to help my mind relax and finally get some sleep.
Not ideal I know.
I’ve long dreamed of being able to sleep when I want to. I’ve dreamed of bouncing out of bed at 6am and going to the gym, reading a book and doing some writing.
But I’ve never been able to do it. The snooze button was always too inviting. The pillow was too soft and too warm.
I was in Hong Kong and Australia recently to celebrate getting married. Jet lag going eastwards is always horrible. But it’s a total joy coming back westwards, particularly for an insomniac.
At 8pm London time, I would be so tired. (8pm London time is 7am Sydney time). I’d go to bed at 10pm and wake up naturally at 6am!
I’ve been doing this for 2 weeks now and it’s changed my life. I get up now at 6.30am, feeling energised. I go to the gym every other morning and use the rest of the extra time to read.
How to get up at 6.30am
You need to commit to doing this for 3 weeks minimum. That’s how long it takes on average to build a habit. It’s easier to do in summertime because the sun rises earlier and you will feel like getting up as it’s in daylight (as opposed to getting up in darkness in the depths of winter).
First morning: Set your alarm for 6.30am and get out of bed at that time, no matter if you feel like staying in bed. No caffeine at all that morning.
First evening: You’ll feel tired that evening. Eat around 7.30pm and go to bed at 10.30pm latest. Set your alarm for 6.30am.
Repeat, repeat and repeat.
Repeat even at weekends. Don’t fall back into late habits at the weekends. This is critical.
I’m going to get up earlier and earlier. There’s a whole legion of people online with 5am accountability clubs.
Noah Kagan has a podcast episode dedicated to getting up at 5am.
Jocko Willink has one for 4.45am. The community will take a photo of the time and post it to Twitter #0445club
What time will you get up? Let me know in the comments.