It’s now been seven full months since I decided to finally gain control of my sleep schedule and rise every day at 6 AM. Clearly a lot has changed with our business and with my life, but I’ve managed to stick to the schedule and at this point I can say without a doubt that I have formed a habit that I can continue for the rest of my life should I chose to do so.
Right now it’s 8:30 AM. I’ve already gone to they gym, eaten twice (before and after), showered, shaved my head (weekly Friday ritual), dressed, and landed on my couch in time to watch the USA Basketball game vs. Lithuania while answering my morning emails (31 – 15 after the first quarter, nice start).
The past two nights I stayed up until midnight, waking at 6 with a ton of energy, mixing in a 1.5 hr nap yesterday afternoon. One of those nights I was out, the other I stayed up and worked on a project that I really want to get done. Most nights I still go to bed around 10 PM, but at this point I’ve become so conditioned to getting up at 6 AM that I can basically stay out as late as I want a few nights a week and still wake up and make it through my day. I generally make up for the sleep I miss by napping or going to bed a bit early the next day.
It took some conditioning, but at this point my sleep schedule is an immense productivity aid. For the first 2-3 months I never deviated from my 10 PM – 6 AM schedule. By that point I was so conditioned that I could implement a super practical version of the schedule like I outlined above, one that allows me to not sacrifice anything socially in the name of sleep. All of the benefits of being an early riser that I listed off after 1 month are still very much true: less stress, more productivity, less tired, better workouts, better eating habits, more free time, and overall happiness. That’s one hell of a list just for waking up a few hours earlier.