If you’re like most modern professionals, your typical morning consists being jarred awake by a blaring alarm, taking a quick shower, wolfing down some eggs and toast, and a mad dash out the door to get to work on time- and that’s if you even have time to eat breakfast.
My days used to begin the exact same way. Now, I start my day by being gently woken up up a soft blue light. Then, I drink salt water and butter before heading outside and relaxing. Only after all that do I sit down at my computer.
The results of this new morning routine have been nothing short of astounding- I wake up most mornings bursting with energy- which I then used to write fitness articles peppered with Game of Thrones references. I sleep better at night. I’ve lost an inch off my waist. My libido is higher. I’m happier, healthier, and more productive than I used to be.
But you probably don’t care about me, so here’s what’s important- thousands of other people have adopted the same routine and gotten the same results, and you can too. Here’s exactly what to do do, in the exact order I recommend:
1. Use a smart alarm clock, or none at all
Most mornings, I don’t use an alarm clock app at all. Instead, I just let my brain wake up on it’s own time- as soon as it finishes dreaming about getting a back massage from Eva Longoria while playing a guitar with my telekinetic powers. Why don’t I just massage my own back if I have telekinesis? I don’t know; stop questioning my dream logic.
But when I want to wake up early- or just make sure I don’t stay in bed for an hour after waking up- I don’t use a traditional alarm clock. Instead I’ll use one of the following:
- The Sleep Cycle alarm clock app. I use this when traveling.
- A Phillips light-based alarm clock like the one in this article. I use this at home, and find it more reliable than the app. It’s small enough to travel with, though I usually opt not to.
Here’s why they work: you sleep in 90-minute cycles. You’ll feel more alert and refreshed if you wake up from the lightest phase of sleep. Your brain does this for you if you wake up on your own, but with regular alarm clocks it’s a game of chance- and being woken up directly from deep sleep can ruin your morning.
Both options wake you up at the optimal time, via different means- SleepCycle uses your phone’s accelerometer to sense what phase of sleep you’re at. The Phillips alarm clock emits a light that gradually brightens over a half hour, nudging you into light sleep before using a gradually loudening sound to gently wake you up. Either way, the result is the same: you feel more rested on the same amount of sleep, and it’s easier to get out of bed.