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How to Wake Up Early – And Not be Miserable

How to Wake Up Early – And Not be Miserable


For most of us, going into the medical field
forces us to wake up much earlier than we would like. I’ll share with you how I manage to regularly
wake up at an ungodly hour and actually grew to like it. What’s going on guys! This is Jay from MedSchoolInsiders.com. So, regardless of whether you’re a morning
person or a night owl, you’ll likely have to wake up earlier than you’re used to if
you decide to go into the medical field. So, how do you make this as painless as possible? What it ultimately all comes down to is “sleep
hygiene”. What is sleep hygiene? It’s essentially your behaviors and patterns
leading up to sleep. With good sleep hygiene you can fall asleep
faster and maintain high quality sleep. I’m not going to give you a detailed breakdown
of every aspect of sleep hygiene. You can find detailed guides elsewhere. Instead, I’m going to share with you what
I found were the key factors are to being able to wake up early day after day… and
not be miserable. First is Consistency with Bedtime and Wake
Time. I found that this was the most important factor
in making this an easy process. First, determine what time you have to wake
up in order to get to work on time. Then subtract the number of hours of sleep
you’ll need. Ideally, we should be getting anywhere from
seven to eight hours each night but let’s be honest, that can be a challenge during
certain rotations. I personally was able to survive happily on
six hours per night but figure out what works best for you. Once you’ve determined your bedtime and wake-up
time, stick to that for every day that you’re going in, which usually means six days per
week. Even if somebody’s you can go in an hour later,
stick to your original schedule and use that extra time in the morning to get work done. This will make the entire chore of waking
up early that much more bearable. I used to get to the hospital early and just
pump out some ANKI cards or get started on my reading for the day. More on this later. Now, technically you should be doing this
on weekends as well for optimal results, but you probably have some sort of semblance of
a life you’re trying to live and sleeping at 9:30 p.m. And working about 3:30 a.m. is probably not
how you want to spend your Fridays and Saturdays. That’s totally okay, just stick to it during
the week. Along with having a consistent bedtime and
wake-up time, having a pre bedtime routine will help train your body to wind down and
get ready for sleep. For me, a warm shower followed by ten minutes
of meditation worked wonders. My mind used to race at night and I know that’s
a common problem for a lot of you. Meditation and writing down any lingering
thoughts or ideas essentially cured me of this problem. Limiting screen use before bedtime is a huge
one. My own personal rule was no screen time thirty
minutes before bed unless it was to set an alarm for the morning. You would be surprised how big of a difference
this little change makes. The backlight on TVs, phones, computers and
other screens tells your brain that it’s bright outside and messes with your circadian rhythm. Limiting the use of these items in the 30
to 60 minutes leading up to your bedtime wIll both help you fall asleep faster and increase
the quality of your sleep. In short, it makes you feel a lot better when
you wake up. I also like to use apps that transition the
screens to warmer temperatures at night. This decreases the negative influence that
backlit devices have on your sleep cycle. So, flux is what I use on my computer. It’s free, runs in the background and takes
essentially no resources. I’ll place a link in the description below. Every evening around sunset, it transitions
to a warmer color temperature, meaning that the screen looks slightly yellow. As it gets lighter, it adjusts the temperature
accordingly. For your mobile device, night shift on your
iPhone or iPad allows you to do the same thing and is built into iOS 10. Next, find an alarm system that works for
you. I use my smart phone as my alarm, as I’m sure
most of you do as well. A few of my favorite alarm clock apps that
I’ve used include Spin Cycle, which forces you to get up and spin in circles to turn
off the alarm. Sleep Cycle alarm clock, it estimates your
sleep stage and tries to wake you up during lighter stages of sleep and there’s many other
apps for your phone that either force you to do a math problem or perform some other
tasks to help you wake up and not go on a snooze a phone. Wakeup Lights I also found extremely helpful. They essentially mimic sunrise to help tell
your body it’s time to get up. You can either use a Wakeup Light, I’ll put
a link in the description below or another smart lighting system. I personally used the Philips Hue Lights,
link in the description below, which I thought were amazing. This is actually a smart lightbulb system
that you can plug into regular light bulb sockets. So with the regular wakeup light, it’s basically
a dedicated alarm clock that uses light to wake you up but the reason I love the hue
lights is that I could program them to do exactly that in the morning but then also
have all the additional fun and useful features of having smart lights in my home. So, another quick word on lighting; when you’re
sleeping, the room should be pitch-black. Invest in blackout curtains if streetlight
or daylight depending on your sleep schedule is creeping into your bedroom, you’ll sleep
durn much better. Some other tips; avoid naps if possible or
keep them short like 15 or 20 minutes tops. Taking naps during the day decreases the sleep
debt that is so necessary for natural sleep onset. Obviously, avoid stimulants by late afternoon
and evening. Caffeine late in the day will likely be more
trouble than it is worth. Cooler temperatures are more conducive to
sleep. So, a little bit cooler is better than a little
bit warmer when it comes to bedtime. Don’t sleep with the TV on, this is terrible
for your sleep quality. But other background white noise like a fan
is fine and can actually help you drown out other distracting sounds. Your bed is for sleep only. That means no working, no reading and definitely
no TV while you are in bed. Otherwise, you will subconsciously associate
your bed with wakefulness. Now, some unexpected benefits that I noticed,
I never considered myself a morning person, but by following the above, I’ve slowly become
one. I know it sounds crazy but hear me out; so,
no matter what, waking up at 3:30 a.m. For your surgery rotation is painful no matter
how you cut it. But you’ll learn you can get so much done
in a day by waking up early. My productivity skyrocketed as I was fresh
and had the energy to tackle my to-do list early in the morning. I could go through more Anki cards or get
more reading done in the same amount of time. This also translated to me having less stress
and pressure to get things done after I came back from the hospital since so much was already
done earlier in the day. There’s a reason that countless prominent
and successful figures highlight the importance of waking up early. Try it out for a couple of weeks yourself
and see how it makes you feel. So, one last thing: I also found it helpful
to set my alarm clock on the other end of the room to make sure I had to get up and
couldn’t just lie in bed constantly snoozing but and I know this sounds really cheesy,
hopefully you decide on the specialty that actually makes you excited to go in every
morning. I was fortunate enough to land on a specialty
that cured me of my snooze-a-thons because I was genuinely excited for the cases that
day. If you haven’t found that specialty yet, keep
on looking. It is one of the most important decisions
you’ll be making since you’re gonna be doing it day in and day out for the rest of your
career. I’ll be making another video on how to choose
a specialty in the near future. Alright guys, that is it for this video. If you found any of these tips helpful, please
press that like button below. New videos every week, so hit the subscribe
button if you have not already and I will see you guys in that next one!

100 thoughts on “How to Wake Up Early – And Not be Miserable

  1. I'm sleeping at 9 or 10 and wake at 3 or 4 (usually I wake up before my alarm rang). In islam we are required (not obligatory) to do ablution before sleep. And before we are sleeping in bed, we required to sweep our bed 3 times. And after that we do a series of prayer (du'a). Alhamdulillah. Before I don't know there's any healthy purpose for these action. But after watching this video I'm more grateful to my God.
    Sorry for my English.

  2. F.lux is great. For those of you who don't like it, try out PangoBright, another great Blue filter (for PC's).
    Windows 10 has a blueLight-filter of it's own too, no need for third-party applications.
    Modern Android phones have them by default, and I assume Iphones do too.

    Please use it, loosing eye sight is a TERRIBLE thing

  3. Ive always been a C student how can i improve my grades!! Plus i have a wierd anxiety thing when i sleep and last night i read on a site like reddit people had the same thing too but dont know what it actually is. So i get normally 6 hrs of sleep max so im tired in school and dont learn!!

  4. I heard that the natural sleep time shifts to later hours at the age of 16-25. Should I try to wake up early for more productivity anyways? (Sorry for mistakes, I'm definitely not native)

  5. About one year ago I was looking up videos like this one and I found this video in particular I watched it and was curious about your channel and being very interested in medicine I was hooked.

  6. I’m not in the medical school but I’m in high school. I go to bed at the same time every night but i wake up for hours at a time in the night. Thoughts?

  7. I literally don't have to watch a second of this video, and I Ajay give you a better, more effective, and down to earth answer that's not convoluted, on how to get up at any time required without being feeling miserable and groggy.

    The Answer :

    GET MORE SLEEP!

    In case you didn't hear me the first time…..

    GET MORE BLOODY SLEEP!
    GET MORE BLOODY SLEEP!
    GET MORE BLOODY SLEEP!

    IT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

    NOW BEFORE PPL START BOMBARDING ME WITH HATE COMMENTS AND CALLING ME AN EVIL DEMONIC JERK, PLEASE HEAR ME OUT AND READ ALL THE WAY TO THE END, I HAVE A VERY GOOD EXPLANATION FOR EVERYTHING. Thank you.

    Now, assuming that you don't have some health-detrimental sleep disorder such as insomnia which prevents you from falling into a deep healthy sleep (which is a while different story for a while different solution), there is absolutely NO REASON to excuse yourself from getting more sleep.

    The reason you feel groggy and miserable is because you're not getting enough sleep for your body to fully recover from all the taxing physical, or even mental work you've been doing the past day. It's your body's natural defense mechanism to protect you from getting sick.

    Always put sleep as number one priority above everything else, and you and your body will thank each other in the long run. If whatever errand for that day isn't an ABSOLUTE DIRE EMERGENCY THAT YOU NEED TO DO RIGHT THAT INSTANT, you can probably do it at a later date, and get more sleep. Also never put personal entertainment/enjoyment over getting enough sleep, it's almost never worth it.

    Now, I am fully aware that there are tons of ppl out there who have super busy schedules, whether it be full time work coupled with raising young rowdy children, or simply a job that demands tough overtime hours, that they barely end have time at the end of the day to even go to sleep in the first place.

    To that, i very politely rebuttle…

    Is that job really worth the suffering or money? Do you REALLY need to stay awake longer with your kids?

    There's a very infamous proverb: "If there's a will, there's a way".

    That stands true.

    If you feel like your children are taking up too much of your precious time (even subjective free personal leisure time), then it might be in your best interest to your health to consider either a babysitter, disciplining your kids do that they don't constantly bother you all day, or find a way to make a higher wage so you don't have to work as much. This is why going to school is SO IMPORTANT. It not only affects your life in the immediate present, but will greatly affect how comfortably, happily, and not to mention HEALTHILY AND EASILY you live your life later on. And even for those who were unfortunate enough to be born in poverty, I feel your pain, but again, if there's a will, there's a way. Find a way to grind school for a short time, so you can be happier for the rest of your life.

    Good luck to all, best of wishes.

  8. i'VE ALWAYS WONDERED.

    Are doctors, surgeons, etc ACTUALLY LEGALLY FORCED TO WORK THESE OBSCENE AMOUNTS OF HOURS PER DAY? OR ARE THEY JUST DOING IT OUT OF PERSONAL MORAL OBLIGATION FOR THE COMPANY?

    I am like 99% sure that no sane person would apply for a medical job, and put in the application, "willing to work 80+ hours a week.". Every single normal human being applies for a regular 40-hr shift.

    I do understand that, if you were already in a surgery room, perform a literal life-saving operation, you can't just drop everything and walk out of the door even if the time went past the end of your shift.

    But for everything else, when you're not doing any life-crucial work at the moment, there is virtually no reason why you have to stay past your shift time. Literally, and I repeat, literally no person's life is worth making yourself suffer for.

    I do respect and commend any medical worker's dedication and passion for their work, and I know a lot feel morally obligated to stay late for the sake of the health of the clients, but what ever happened to that time-old phrase "your own health comes first"?

    That is the underlying problem with the entire medical industry. Instead of pressuring and guilting their existing staff to work inhumanely and obscenely long hours, just HIRE MORE DOCTORS!

    Anyway, back to my point. No one is legally obligated to stay past their allotted shift, and no employer can write up an employee just because they didn't want to stay after their clock out time. Isn't it technically illegal, making an employee stay longer than the hours of availability originally specified in their application?

  9. I've recently found out I have hearing issues and alarm clocks have basically never worked my whole life.
    But I discovered having my phone vibrate on my bed as opposed to make sound works amazingly!

  10. Hi Albert einstine sleeps 10hours a day but it's OK for you wake up today if you really want many things to do

  11. Hi great video! Even for people who are not in med school and are just looking for tips to get up early! Question: what are some tools once you get up to turn off to the alarm, what are tools for not just walking back to bed? 🙂 thanks!!

  12. This helps me u might be miserable a little in the morning but if u put ur phone on the over side of the room it wakes u up cuz if it was next to u,u would just press snooze or stop so if u put it on the over side of the room u would think “what’s the point in going back to bed when I am already up..” so then u go get ready hope this helps 😘😁😁😁😁

  13. No matter how early I go to bed I always feel like shit when I wake up! I love sleeping! Let me sleep!

  14. But how are going to be consistently with Bed / wake up time if here in Canada you guys have the day light saving!? I am from Costa Rica where there is no light saving so something does not match with what the video maker is saying.

  15. Good Sleep Hygiene: 
    – behavior leading up to sleep

    Bed Time Consistency:  
    – Determine what time you need to wake up to get to class (10 MIN EARLY!!)
    – Subtract number of hours you need to sleep
    – Stick to that routine daily (except weekends)

    Pre-Bedtime Routine:
    – Trains body to wind down and prepare for sleep
    – Warm shower & 10 Min Meditation & Write down lingering thoughts
    – Limit screen use close to bedtime (30 min before bed)
    – Light from screens tell brain it is bright outside, messing up circadian rhythm

    Find Alarm System that Works for You:
    – Spin Cycle: forces you to spin in circles to turn off alarm
    – Wake Up Lights: mimics sunlight to help you get up

    Sleeping Tips:
    – Room should be pitch black
    – Avoid naps (15-20 min top)
    – Avoid stimulates in late afternoon
    – Cooler temperature conducive to sleep
    – Don't sleep with TV on (fan is ok)
    – Bed is for sleep ONLY (no reading, no working, no YouTube)

    Unexpected Benefits:
    – Productivity skyrocketed
    – Less pressure/stress

    Final Thoughts
    – Place alarm clock on other side of the room to force yourself to get out of bed
    – Find a specialty that excites you

  16. In high school I never had a problem getting up early, then in college my alarm clock (almost 9 years old, shitty snooze feature I never bother with, only 2 alarm options) broke so I had to switch to my phone alarm clock and the new ability to make multiple alarms and hit snooze RUINED ME. I was constantly hitting snooze, setting later alarms, and being late. Moral of the story: get an alarm clock without a snooze feature, force yourself to get up the first time or not at all and fail all your classes.

  17. I have no problem falling asleep…..but still….waking up is such a struggle without being in a grumpy mood. I have kids who begin trying to wake me up at 6 every morning and I hit the snooze button until 8am.

  18. I’ve been waking up at 12 noon for the past month and missing my morning lectures.
    I go to bed at 10-10:30 ish but still…. I need help.

  19. 1. Bed/wake time consistency
    2. Pre-bed time routine (shower, limit screen use 30 minutes before bedtime.
    3. Find an alarm system that works for you (sleep cycle alarm clocks, spin cycle, wake up lights)
    4. Room should be pitch black
    5. Avoid naps as possible or keep them short (15 min)
    6. Avoid stimulants before bed
    7. Bed is for sleep only
    8. Place the alarm on the other side of the room

  20. Me :comes home
    Nap : I'm gonna ruin your whole career
    ______________________________________
    Also me: wakes up at 10:30pm
    Mom:you took a two hour nap
    Also mom:feeds child
    Me : B A G L E B I T E S : D

  21. I wake up at 5:20 everyday and feel miserable waking up, but as soon as I take a nice hot shower, I feel ready to tackle the day.

  22. im watching this video at 3am guys, who else? i cant sleep in the night. i see day light or bulb lights makes my mind feel sleepy, when i switch off the lights boom im wide awake, can run marathons. So….. guess im a freak

  23. I finally managed to wake up early since I started working on my youtube channel more intensively, especially on weekdays. On the weekends I tend to revert to a weekend schedule because I really feel it helps with the accumulated sleep deficit during the week.

  24. I start work on different times pretty much every day. 5AM, 7AM, 8AM, 10AM, 5PM, 8PM, randomly.

    I’m finding it surprisingly hard to stick to a sleep schedule where you go to bed at 10PM if you get off work at midnight or 5 in the morning.

  25. Lemme tell you guys something. I wake up at 03:30 AM and hit the gym at 6 everyday..
    I bicycle to and from the gym 8 km everyday.
    I'm still miserable.

  26. Hey, you probably won’t see this comment, but I wanna say that I wake up to go to school very early everyday, and I dont have a problem to wake up, actually, sometimes I even wake up 1 minute before the alarm, and I wake up instantly and get up, like if my body was awake waiting for it the whole time, the problem is that I don’t feel with a lot of energy during the day, do you know what could it be, because my problem is not waking up, maybe is only my energy during the day
    Thanks anyway 🙂

  27. Okay everyone we all know that you are watching this because you’re trying to get to sleep. just turn the video off and fall asleep, you’re procrastinating

  28. My opinion is school is unfair for how they want us to wake up at 7, why not 8? I mean. Yeah homeroom and advisory but most classes start 10 or 9

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