A friend asked me on IRC for tips on waking up early, and it reminded me that there’s a thing I do that works really well and isn’t common knowledge. I can’t actually currently do it because of my current draconian restrictions on caffeine (Hi, I’m David and I am a caffeine addict. It has been 25 days since my last fix), but that’s no reason to stop you.
The trick is this: Before you go to bed, put a large glass of water and a 200mg caffeine pill (depending on your caffeine tolerance you may wish to reduce this – it’s the equivalent of a very large coffee but isn’t an unreasonable daily intake of caffeine) next to your bed. Set your alarm for about half an hour before you want to actually get up. When your alarm goes off, take the caffeine pill and drink the glass of water.
You are now permitted to roll over and go back to sleep if you want. You are under no obligation to get out of bed.
But you almost certainly will quite soon. Within about half an hour you will be buzzing and probably need to go to the bathroom, so you won’t want to stay in bed, and you will get up at the intended time.
People look at me funny when I tell them I do this, but I think that’s just because it makes the caffeine habit a bit too transparent. People will judge you for a caffeine intake that is strictly smaller than theirs if you take it in pill form and they take it as beverages.
I am not naturally a morning person, and this won’t turn me or you into one, but as a way of getting out of bed when your first inclination on waking is that you really don’t want to, it’s incredibly effective and as long as you don’t mind the caffeine dependence I can strongly recommend it.