By Sawyer West
Scheduling, as most students learn, is a finicky process.
With a little bit of planning and luck, one might able to skate through college without ever having to be up before 10 AM; but most of us are not as fortunate and will inevitably run into a stray 8 AM class or two. This can be especially problematic if you’re not exactly a “morning person”. Skipping class may seem like a perfectly fine choice when your alarm is going off and you’re wiping the drool off your face, but you’ll probably regret it after a few weeks when you realize you have no idea what’s going on in class.
Luckily for you, we’ve put together some tips for how you can turn yourself into a morning person. Or, at least act like one long enough to pass the class and then never, ever sign up for another 8 AM class again.
If you’re the type of person who wakes up every day at 5 AM to go for a run or bike ride before class, this article won’t be of any use. However, if you roll out of bed at 11:15 and stumble into class halfway through lecture like me, this is the guide for you.
Setting an alarm is pretty straight forward. Determine how much time you want to have available before class and set an alarm for the morning; this should theoretically get you out of bed every day. However, same principal can be used for getting into bed too! If you are busy studying, playing video games, or binge watching the newest series on Netflix, it is pretty easy to lose track of time and find yourself up until two in the morning. If this happens to you frequently, then you might want to try setting an alarm to remind you that it is almost bedtime.
A useful tool to choose a time to set an alarm like this is sleepyti.me, a website that calculates the optimal time for you to go to sleep depending on when you have to get up. Using this tool, you can then set an alarm reminding you to wrap up and wind down.
Zoning out on social media may feel meditative, but, in reality, it is keeping you awake.
As little as it may feel like it, there is still a constant stream of information being relayed to your brain. The processing power needed to comprehend that Jane is dating Joe but Joe doesn’t like her dog Bubbles may seem negligible during the day, but it is just enough to keep you awake at night. This information alone may not be enough to keep you from sleeping, but paired with the constant light coming from the phones screen actually trains your brain to think that lying in bed means you’re staying awake, and it’s enough to keep you up until the wee hours of the morning. Place your phone on a table across the room, or just out of reach and keep the social media restricted to lunch breaks (and boring classes).
Place your phone on a table across the room, or just out of reach and keep the social media restricted to lunch breaks (and boring classes).
The 15 minutes of sleep that hitting the snooze allows is enticing right after waking up. It’s enticing enough to hit the snooze three or four times until you are forced to roll out of bed by the threat of being late for class. Hitting the snooze lets your body fall asleep, starting its sleep cycle again, only to be rudely awakened at an awkward point just a few minutes later. This leads to your body actually being more tired than it was when you woke up the first time! In other words, snoozing probably makes you more tired, not less.
Use the time that you allot yourself by setting an alarm to wake up, make breakfast, and brace yourself for the impending day.
Not only does breakfast provide the nourishment that your body craves, but it is a great way to get out of the bed and on to your feet! Preparing your food gets your mind moving and your blood pumping. Take the time to make breakfast, and it will also stop you from snoozing and procrastinating going to class and give you more time to get ready in the morning.
The easiest way to get out of bed is to make getting out of bed a habit. If you go to sleep at the same time every night, wake up at the same time every day (including weekends!), and keep the same morning routine, you will find it easier to wake up and face the day, every day.
Stick to your routine for about 3 weeks and it will start to become a habit. Once it’s a habit, it will just seem like second nature–waking up on time will be a breeze!
If you follow these few steps you will find yourself waking up better rested, more alert throughout the day, and more productive overall!