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Waking up early

in General 414 karma

Hello friends,

I am planning to write the March exam that starts at 8:30am.
I live about an hour away from the test center, which means I have to be up by 6am to warm up my brain, eat breakfast and etc. before the exam. I am a SERIOUS heavy sleeper, and I’ve been waking up around noon the past months.

Any tips on waking up early and fixing the sleeping schedule?


  • AGGH0110AGGH0110 Alum Member
    13 karma

    Fixing the sleeping schedule can be hard, especially with distractions like social media, etc. What I do is I try to ignore my phone and go on youtube to listen to guided meditations to help me fall asleep. If your Sleeping schedule is really bad, try to go to bed as early as possible so even though you will be tossing and turning, hopefully you will eventually fall asleep at a decent time and be able to wake up early the next morning.

  • noonawoonnoonawoon Alum Member
    edited January 2020 3481 karma

    Unless you have to wake up at noon for work or some other important reason, I would suggest changing your sleep schedule now to make it a habit. Maybe not necessarily waking up at 6am, but try 8am? So that waking up at 6 won’t be such a shock

    For specific suggestions - I do recommend cardio. I feel like it’s the thing that helps regulate my sleep the most. Avoid looking at your phone before bed, try to read a book or do some other screenless activity to unwind

    Also - there is an app called SleepCycle that is both a sleep tracker and an alarm that is supposed to wake you up during your lightest sleep phase during a 30 minute window.

  • LindseyDCLindseyDC Monthly Member
    190 karma

    Go to bed super early starting at least 3 weeks before the exam. We're talking 9.00 PM latest. Your brain and body are going to fight it for at least a week, but start getting up at 5.30 or 6.00 am. if you need something to do that early, study. That is what I did to adopt to my morning study schedule. You won't like it, but it's for your future. good luck!

  • michelle.zysk99michelle.zysk99 Alum Member
    33 karma

    I too have always been a late night person. it took a good 2 months to move my body clock back. Since you probably don't have major obligations (if you're sleeping until noon), try the "east coast/west coast" approach and set your watch ahead 3 hours. Keep your phone off in the morning and don't use your phone for an alarm. Do some form of exercise (even a 20 minute run) in the afternoon as a study break. I found that the sitting and drilling sapped my metabolism but also made it difficult to sleep. Do not read your phone, watch TV, or eat after a certain hour (for me it's 7:00 pm). Part of my late night routine was due to procrastination and probably a little ADD... So I have to write lists every day and have a morning set of tasks that I have to accomplish by an early hour deadline. I use a dry erase board in my office (a visual other than phone is key), and it's amazing to me how much I can accomplish when I get up before even 7:00 am. I even put things like "take a shower" and "make coffee" on the list. It keeps your tasks organized so you don't waste time and forces you to be accountable to something. This isn't just good practice for the LSAT, but for Law school as well. Take it from someone who spent most of their life pulling all-nighters for school and work, it's not as effective as a set routine every day. After 2-3 months you will automatically get up at an early hour even if you occasionally stay up late. Law school requires routine, diligence, and sacrifice, like the just do it.

  • workin_itworkin_it Alum Member
    74 karma

    I agree with the advice offered above! What's particularly worked for me is biting off a little at a time. So, you're waking up at noon for the past couple months. Tonight you might go to bed at your usual time, but tomorrow, wake up at ten in the morning. This will help your body adjust to an earlier bedtime and an earlier wake up. After a few weeks of 10AM, move to 8AM, and so on. Exercise in the morning is good and will help you wake up, but don't bite off more than you can chew. Ease into this or else, at least for me, it doesn't stick. It's amazing how much you can get done in the morning-- eventually you'll learn to love early mornings! lol

  • ---JEh------JEh--- Alum Member
    60 karma

    This alarm wake-up light changed my life... ...I was never a morning person but this has made getting up much more enjoyable. Instead of a loud and annoying alarm that causes a sudden spike in your cortisol and a grumpy breakfast, you (almost lol) feel like you're waking up on a beach as it simulates the sunrise.

    I'll never go back to a regular alarm.

  • 414 karma

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
    I will definitely try easing it in and go to bed early without getting distracted with my phone.
    I do yoga/Pilates three times per week, but might incorporate more cardio into my life. Just downloaded the Sleep Cycle app too!

    I might have to pass on the $200 alarm as much as I want to splurge though haha.

    Time to get my shit together and start my day early. Thanks again!!

  • Sim SimmaSim Simma Alum Member
    168 karma

    yeah, if you wanna wake up early, start waking up early.

  • EveryCookCanGovernEveryCookCanGovern Alum Member
    401 karma

    Pull an all-nighter one day if that's feasible for you and then go to bed early. This works for me when I need a reset.

  • 414 karma

    @EveryCookCanGovern said:
    Pull an all-nighter one day if that's feasible for you and then go to bed early. This works for me when I need a reset.

    I actually was thinking of doing that. Were you able to perform like a normal person on the day post all-nighter?

  • Forever Addicted to CoffeeForever Addicted to Coffee Alum Member
    540 karma

    I recommend a few things. I'm someone who needs to sleep 8 to 9 hours, and I wake up at 5 a.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. on weekends.

    A) Don't try to fix your problems by throwing money at your problems (alarm gimmicks and etc). B) Build discipline by developing an effective sleep preparation routine. C) Invest in useful resources (two books, one is Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker and other is Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport).

    Reading books in C) will do more for you than reading my synopsis of those books!

  • AkinoK19AkinoK19 Member
    7 karma

    @"caffeine powered human" said:

    @EveryCookCanGovern said:
    Pull an all-nighter one day if that's feasible for you and then go to bed early. This works for me when I need a reset.

    I actually was thinking of doing that. Were you able to perform like a normal person on the day post all-nighter?

    I was going to suggest the same, but do it a few weeks or even a month before the test. That way you can go to bed early, get up early and repeat the cycle after. I don't think you need to make it a "true" all nighter. Three or four hours of sleep will leave tired enough to still fall asleep early the next night. I have done this for years when traveling and trying to reset my internal clock in a new country. I can say it works great for me, but you have to stay diligent with your new wake up schedule.

    Good luck :)

  • lexxx745lexxx745 Alum Member Sage
    3190 karma

    I think the all nighter idea is good. you wont be as sharp post all nighter but itll be well worth it to reset your sleeping schedule and also have a great sleep the night of

  • EveryCookCanGovernEveryCookCanGovern Alum Member
    401 karma

    @"caffeine powered human" > @"caffeine powered human" said:

    @EveryCookCanGovern said:
    Pull an all-nighter one day if that's feasible for you and then go to bed early. This works for me when I need a reset.

    I actually was thinking of doing that. Were you able to perform like a normal person on the day post all-nighter?

    I mean you won't be crisp right off the bat but you'll be functional. Within a day or two you'll be settled in.

  • czechoutnicczechoutnic Alum Member
    edited February 2020 31 karma

    I just started a new job that has me up at 4:30am when I am used to being up at 8am-9am. I have adjusted by making a serious bedtime routine and taking melatonin. I eat dinner early, I set the coffee maker for 4:30am so I have coffee immediately ready in the morning, I shower, turn down all the lights, diffuse lavender, TAKE 10mg of MELATONIN and watch one episode of the First 48, haha. Then I use the calm app and listen to rain sounds until I am asleep by 9:30pm. I call it my toddler bedtime routine. Jam music in the morning and it’s not so bad. And I am someone who naturally stays up until 2am or so. I feel the pain and will be with you on the March LSAT. Good luck!

  • ilovethelsatilovethelsat Alum Member
    348 karma

    @"caffeine powered human" This alarm clock is a much cheaper alternative than the $200 one suggested above and it basically does the same thing:
    I've had it for a couple of weeks now, and it's really great because it simulates the sunrise, plays really soothing music when it wakes you, and you can also use it to help you fall asleep because it has tons of cool light effects. Put it somewhere FAR from your bed so that you are forced to actually get up out of your bed to turn it off. And then once you turn it off, do everything you can to resist the urge to get back into bed lol

  • Andrew_NeimanAndrew_Neiman Alum Member
    258 karma

    Another alternative to the alarm clock is just getting Phillip Hue color lights and using the Sleep Cycle app. They sync together and 30 minutes before the alarm goes off the lights slowly start to turn on. It emulates the rise of the sun in the same way and is a great way to spice up your sleeping / waking up routine. In general though, just sleep a little earlier everyday until you can adjust it as you need. Incremental change will make it more manageable.

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