There are an awful lot of tricks, and not all of them will work for everyone, but some things that might help:
Most people don’t function at their best with less than 6 hours or sleep or so. Five or less is totally normal for some people, but 6-8 is probably your best bet. So start backwards from when you need to wake up. Start your bedtime routine about 8 or 9 hours before you need to wake up and go from there. And try not to focus on the clock, which is a little like trying not to think about the elephant in the corner, but the more you focus on the time, the more your brain will start to work against itself.
Also, try a program like flux to help you progress into nighttime mode.
ETA: Also sleepyti.me. Good luck!
Some, but it all depends on why your sleep schedule is fucked up to begin with. So here’s a bunch of stuff, any number of which may or may not work for you.
So… I need help and advice for going to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s currently 10:45 and I’ve been sitting around reading celebrity gossip for the past hour. I still have to do dishes, put away a load of laundry, walk the dog, and brush my teeth before I can go to bed… and I won’t let myself go to bed until those things happen, because they’ll bother me. And then I need to get up by 7.
I did order a sunrise/sunset lamp that should help me fall asleep once I get it and once I figure out how to get my butt in bed at a reasonable hour. (And, yes, I realize that in three weeks, the sun will be up before me, but I know I’m going to need it before winter, so may as well get it now.)
The good thing is that I did make my bed this morning, so that is set.
Shut your computer off. Seriously. Probably half of people’s motivation problems can be solved with that small act.
Going to check this out RIGHT NOW.
People often underestimate how much light helps you wake up.
I GOT UP AT 8:45 LIKE A MOTHERFUCKING GANGSTER.
My ultimate goal is 7:45. I put out my clothes, got to bed at ten to 1, read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for 15 minutes, took my meds and went to sleep. Woke up ON MY OWN LIKE A FREAKING SORCERESS at 8:00, snuggled into the warm covers and drifted in and out for another 45 minutes.
MY MORNING, LET ME SHOW YOU IT.
I made my bed. CHAMPION.
Unfuck Your Habitat says this is essential for human happiness. It says something that I couldn’t even find one of the fancy brocade pillows we have to finish it off, but that bed is MADE. And I took my meds right away.
I put on a tiny bit of make up! Unfucking my makeup is a post all its own—my friend Cyl taught me how to do this little brush of make up that takes about 60 seconds when she does it and about 3 minutes when I do it, and I’m not made up like one of those girls who has to have her “face on” all the time, but just less deep dark circles and a look that says “I hate humanity.” Wearing a teeny wash of makeup makes me feel like I GOT MY WAR PAINT ON, YO.
I WENT TO THE POST OFFICE.
I have pretty severe anxiety about the post office. I don’t really know what I think is going to happen to me there, but it’s scary and not ok. Possibly because when I lived in Japan, all news from home came through the military post office? Anyway I will put it off literally forever. This has caused Actual BusinessGrrl Problems. But today I went! I returned a mail order thing! Ph33r me!
Then I went to the bank
like a motherfucking grown-upand deposited checks that have been sitting on my desk for a month! Again, I have huge bank anxiety. When living la vida military, I used to go check the balance and the rent money would be gone because some person I was inadvisably married to would have bought like, Persian rugs or some shit in Saudi Arabia and not told me. Thus I am terrified of suddenly discovering everything I’ve ever saved and earned is gone. But it wasn’t! I ADDED MORE MONEY TO THE MONEY ALREADY THERE. I AM MAGICAL.
THEN. I popped into the store, grabbed haddock, raisins, almonds, and arugula which is MY FAVORITE GREEN OF ALL TIME and I use caps for excitement because I live on an island and they do not always carry my favorite things in the store. Then I came home and I made MY OWN COFFEE (even though I forgot I’d kept the leftover coffee from yesterday in the fridge and didn’t really have to make a fresh cup) a big goddamn batch of kedgeree so that we could have ready-made breakfast for the week as my husband (hereafterknown affectionately as Beast) has apparently NOT BEEN EATING BREAKFAST.
Actual food prepared by me. (This is the world’s easiest food: hard boil four eggs, broil haddock, fry onions, mix together with rice, curry powder, parsley/cilantro, arugula or other bitter green, raisins, sliced almonds, and chopped egg, lightly fry while mixing.)
Why kedgeree? Motherfucking Downton Abbey, bitches. It looked really good when they made it for the rich people in episode 1 which I showed to my Beast last night. SO I MADE IT EXIST IN MY KITCHEN.
I have done all this by noon! Now it remains to be seen if I can do some work unfucking in the second part of the day. My motivation wanes as the afternoon goes on—I have to grab it and lasso it and cowboy it first thing. It’s a race between me and my lazy bullshit soul to see who will get to sit on the day and call it dirty names.
As of noon, it’s going my way. But this is the first day of a New Thing—it’s fairly easy to do it on Day 1. It’s Day 10 you have to worry about.
(Oh god, the fun of gifs! I have been set free. I have to be all SRS WRITER IS SRS on most of the web, but here I can dork up as many stupid memes as I want! It’s like in the Uplift Saga, you know? Those aliens who can make images appear above their heads to supplement their emotions? THAT IS ME BUT WITH DANCING DOCTOR WHO.)
Also yeah, gonna take awhile to get used to the whole tumblr = small posts thing. I BLOG LARGE, KIDS.
It depends. How easily do you wake up and get going? Because it’s really easy to say, “Oh, I’ll just wake up early and do it,” and it’s even easier not to. I know I rest better when I know everything I need to do is done, so I’d probably stay up and finish it.
Hmm, do you have noises or other environmental things that might be waking you up? A white noise machine might help. Also, making sure it’s dark and quiet and no, say, flickering light from a TV or anything, because those things can awaken light sleepers.
OK, you know that the first obvious thing I’m going to say is to stay off of Tumblr when you have shit to do. It’s a time suck.
So when your alarm goes off, the first thing you should do is throw shoes on and walk the dog. Getting outside and getting exercise pretty much forces your body to wake up. Plus, it’s a good warm-up for your yoga.
Are you doing an a.m.-specific yoga program? Yoga in the morning is tough for me, because it sometimes makes me sleepy. If you’re doing a more relaxing or meditative workout, you may want to consider switching yoga to nighttime.
Then food. I don’t see breakfast in here at all. So you’re doing all this activity and not giving yourself any fuel. I personally can’t function without a huge breakfast and lots of coffee, but at the very least, some toast or fruit and a lot of water will give you a little more go juice.
Then showering and getting ready. Streamline this process as much as possible. Have your outfit ready to go. Be mindful of how much time you spend in the shower.
Set timers. Set them in half hour increments, so you have a reminder to go to the next thing. And do it every morning. Habits take a while to change.