Day 4: Move in 15 Minute Increments
The trick with becoming an early sleeper is small incremental changes.
If you try to make too great a change too quickly, you’ll fail and oversleep and demotivate yourself to try again in the future. By making small incremental changes, we provide ourselves with “small wins” which are highly motivating and show us that we can succeed, and not only can we succeed, it’s easy.
If you’re already sleeping at 11 or earlier, I wouldn’t try to move your sleep time by more than fifteen minutes a week. By slowly moving your schedule forward like this you’ll be more likely to succeed, and it will make the change easy. It will also give you more time to adjust to the new time that you need to go to sleep at. You might be able to sleep an hour or two earlier for a few days, but without the gradual shift it will be harder to maintain.
Possible barriers and how to overcome it
If you have a tendency to get home late from work, if you have a lot of evening commitments, or if you don’t make what’s important to you a priority, the pull to stay up late often comes from feeling that you haven’t had time to do what you wanted to do. This can lead to late-night reading, browsing the Internet, or simply working on a personal project with the reasoning that you spent the day doing things for everyone else and now it’s time to do something for yourself.
Wanting more time for yourself is a legitimate desire that you shouldn’t override. To honor that need, determine how much time you need to relax and get things done before going to bed. Then set your departure time from work or events to give you that personal space. Also, give yourself permission to do what’s important to you during the day by blocking out time for it. There will always be more requests from other people, so sometimes you simply need to put your own work first.
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