I can imagine the teenagers who read this groaning and rolling their eyes. Sleep. We can't go without sleep! And that's true. We need sleep. And even if you're not sleeping in until noon, sleep can have unhealthy control over your life.
This is the wider, more popular category, made up of people who stay up late to do school (check out my last post), work, or just watch movies or spend time on Facebook. But what does this lead to? A rushed 10 minutes of Bible reading and 2 minutes of prayer while you scramble around at 9 to finish your school. But I've found it necessary to get up early to serve my King, and that has to be an option to you as well. You may not have to get up at 5, seven may work just fine. But whatever you choose, you have to choose a time to get to it.
1. Make a Determined Effort to Get to Bed Earlier
Whether it means finishing school at 4 rather than 9, deliberately turning off the computer at 8, or any other change to keep yourself from staying up late, the best thing to do is make a focused effort and decide to keep it. The first night (or several nights) it will probably be hard to fall asleep early, but keep at it and eventually your body will adjust to the earlier schedule. Not only will your spiritual life be furthered, but you will probably feel more awake during the day.
2. Make a Determined Effort to Wake Up Earlier
The first step is to set your alarm for the time you have decided to get up in the morning, and measure when you get to sleep depending on what time that is. If you're not used to getting up earlier, the first week will be torture. But as you adjust, it will become easier and easier. I've found it helps me to put my alarm on the other side of the room so I'm forced to get up and walk across the room to turn it off-which wakes me up. I've also put it under things before, so I don't half sleepwalk if I'm really tired. Remember, you won't be able to get up early if you don't get to sleep early too.
Believe it or not, early birds (I am one of them) can have problems with sleep too-even we have trouble getting up early some times! We too often fall into a schedule as well where our school and our sleep are almost back to back. My family has suggested to me multiple times that I begin school at 5:30 after my 5:00 alarm goes off, rather than 9:00, but the first two hours of my day are sacred to me, reserved only for the precious time with just myself and my King. If you've already mastered getting your sleep habits under control, then you may have other things to worry about ;)
1. Reserve Your Early Morning Hours for Him
Rather than doing school at 6:30, why not start at 8:00, and save that hour and a half for Him? If that isn't possible, then maybe it's time to consider pushing your wake up time back, removing an outside activity or school subject, or cutting down on Facebook or other similar distractions. Nothing is more important than God.
2. Reserve Your Evening for Him
My evening devotions aren't nearly as long as my morning devotions, but some people prefer to do then at night. With early morning risers, the need to get to sleep early presses-and sometimes God is forgotten in the rush to get to bed on time. Set something down to do before you get to sleep-a journal, one Bible reading plan or part of it, etc, that you do in the evening rather than the morning. Even if it only takes you two minutes, it's always better to end the day with God than without Him.
I'm not someone who can tell you how to get better sleep or how to fall asleep easier. My job is just to give what advice I've found helpful in my own life. I pray God blesses you in your efforts. :)