Two years ago, I moved into a house that did not have window blinds. Not that it had inadequate ones, it had absolutely no way to block sunlight whatsoever. To make matters worse – or ironically brighter – the window in my room was more than 70 inches wide and 50 inches long.
For the entire year that I spent in that house, I woke up with sunrise and slept a few hours after sunset pretty much every day. Previously, that would have been a nightmare. I loved to stay up late and avoided early classes like the plague. Now, I still avoid early classes – and a plague – but I would happily say stirring up early is the best habit I ever developed.
Getting up about 6 a.m. gives me freedom and control. I start the day with morning prayers. I make my own breakfast – healthy and nutritional. I work on assignments for classes, study for tests, write Tropolitan articles, or complete any task that needs a clear mind with no distractions. I also get to call my family who live 7 time zones away at an appropriate time. My only regret is not working out, but I am working on that.
Starting the day with prayer, food, and a mostly checked off to-do list gives me peace of mind for the rest of the day. After classes and meetings, I can continue to be productive, or I can put a couple of hours on my Xbox, but I can make a choice.
When it comes time to sleep, I put my head on the pillow and off I go to Dreamland. I am not only tired, but I’ve primed myself to sleep at about the same time every day, and humans are creatures of habits.
Sleeping about 9 p.m. also gives me freedom and control. I do not attend nightly social functions unless I absolutely want to attend. I do not participate in night life activities. Instead, I get to spend time with my friends in meaningful ways.
Sleeping and waking up early is keystone habit, one that creates or changes many other daily habits. It is healthy, liberating, and natural. I encourage you to try it out.