The second stage of this brain training is to always wake up with an alarm in the morning. Set your alarm for a fixed time every day, seven days a week. Once more, when your alarm goes off each morning, get up immediately. It can be of great use if you read some articles with effective tips on how to succeed in waking up early.
We recommend you some that have helped thousands of people improve their sleep habits: read How to Become an Early Riser,How to Become an Early Riser – Part II, and How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Goes Off.
Normally, now you need to adapt the time when you go to bed, in order to get enough sleep and to wakeup when the alarm clock rings. So if you feel you need a good 7 hours of sleep each night to feel rested, and you plan to get up at 6am every morning, then get yourself into bed and ready to sleep at about 11pm.
The message you’re sending to your brain is that the time you have to sleep is limited. If you take 30 minutes to fall asleep, then you’re getting less sleep than you need, and this is a disincentive to continuing that wasteful habit.
If you haven’t set the time on the alarm clock, and allow your brain to think that it can make you fall asleep when it decides, for it will sleep until it needs in the morning, it will remain lazy and nothing will be changed.
Moreover, if you awaken with an alarm but go to bed earlier than necessary to compensate for the time it takes you to fall asleep, your still tell your brain that it’s fine to waste time transitioning to sleep because there’s still enough extra time to get the rest it needs.
But, if you follow these rules, you are sending a different message. You are telling it that regardless of the hours slept, your alarm clock will wake you up. You are going to get out of bed after a certain number of hours no matter what. You’re going to get up from your nap after a specific amount of time no matter what. So if your brain wants to sleep, it had better learn to go to sleep quickly and use the maximum time for sleep. If it wastes time falling asleep, then it misses out on that extra sleep.
If coffee and chocolate are not an option to serve as stimulants to keep the brain going when necessary, it will soon learn that taking too long to fall asleep equals not getting enough sleep, which means going through the day tired and sleepy.
Instead of continuing to give your brain the message that oversleeping is okay or that stimulants are available, begin to condition it to understand that sleep time is a limited resource.
Sooner or later your brain will determine that going to sleep faster is indeed the only solution, and it will adapt by transitioning into sleep much more quickly, in order to provide the rest it needs.
Your brain is powerful tool and can quickly learn to optimize its use of this limited resource just as it has learned to optimize the use of oxygen and sugar. This simply means that you need to teach your brain that X number of hours in bed at night is all it gets, and so if it wants to get enough sleep, it had better spend virtually all of that time sleeping.
During the adaptation stage, you may often feel sleepy or tired, as a result of limiting your sleep time at night, but it is normal. You can take your daily naps, but the rules remain: keep them limited to 20 minutes max, and don’t have two naps within an hour of each other.
Whenever you get up, stay up for at least an hour. Teach your brain that a 20-minute nap means 20 minutes of total time lying down. If your brain wants to ruminate during part of that time, it always means less sleep.
Once you get used to 20-minute naps, you can also try napping for shorter intervals, for example 15, 10, or even 5 minutes for each nap, and you will find them surprisingly refreshing, in fact.
After you have trained your brain to save the time and use it for sleep only, you can gradually incorporate some old habits, and the training habits will remain. As soon as your brain has adapted to it, you can ditch the alarm, and wake up whenever you want. If you desire, you can also bring caffeine back in your diet.
However, for best results, it is recommended that you are strict about this training for a period of at least a couple months. During that time, take naps regularly and use an alarm to get up at a consistent time every single day.
However, it is of vital importance for you to understand that being strict is the only option to succeed in this. If you have your own doubts, you brain will take advantage of it, and you won’t be able to train it.
There are many factors that can influence the results, but the major role has the diet.
You can significantly ease the adaptation to any sort of sleep changes by incorporating a a lighter, healthier, and more natural diet. If you eat a heavily processed diet, your chances to succeed in changing your sleep habits will be greatly reduced.
Furthermore, regular exercise will be of great benefit as well. Cardio exercises in particular help to re-balance hormones and neurotransmitters, many of which are involved in regulating sleep cycles.
The duration of the training until one reaches the aim is relative, for we are all different and we need different time periods to adapton the routine, it depends on the particular brain. Some will adapt fairly quickly, within a few weeks, while others may take significantly longer.