Sleep tip: turn your alarm clock away from you

My alarm clock has a bright red display for the numbers that I find myself peeking at while trying to fall asleep. The night the power stayed out overnight last week, I noticed that my room was much darker than usual, and it took me a minute to figure out that the alarm clock’s light was missing. I went to bed at my usual time but woke up ninety minutes earlier than usual. That was definitely a sign, so I turned the glowing numbers on the alarm clock facing away from me the next night. And the next. And the next.

Because of this tiny change I’ve been getting up at least half an hour earlier than usual without an alarm. The time varies depending on what time I get to bed, but being able to wake up reasonably well-rested the next morning with little effort on my part and less time in bed is huge. Before this I could spend up to ten hours a day in bed sleeping or trying to fall asleep. I haven’t done a formal experiment yet, but based on my informal observations I’m down to around between eight and nine and a half depending on the night. The amount of extra time I have in my day speaks for itself, formal experiment or not. As a bonus I found myself not worrying about still being up and knowing that I had been in bed for two hours, probably because I was in dreamland two hours later.

So if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and you have an alarm clock with a glowing display, try turning it away from you and blocking any other lights in your room. If you don’t want to turn it around, you can block the display with a hefty object. It could make a big difference.

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