Madison Malone Kircher, thanks for this lovely piece of writing.
In my experience, I have found that you have to optimize for when you go to bed — not when you wake up. If you go to bed early, you wake up early. And then it’s an internal habit, just like everything else. You can train your body to go to sleep earlier, just as you can train it to eat breakfast (there were times when I skipped breakfast).
It’s also important to note that quality of hours matters. 8 hours of sleep after 12AM are not the same 8 hours of sleep if you go to bed at 9PM. 70% of sleep quality is before 1AM – hence, if you maximize those pre-midnight hours, you’ll get well-rested and wake up early.
Disclaimer: I was an night-person all my life, but this year trained myself to go to bed at 9–10PM and started waking up at 6–7AM without alarm clocks.
That being said, it also really depend on your biology. Kidney is the organ that needs sleep most. Hence, if you smoke, drink coffee or eat fat-saturated food before bed, you’ll likely to sleep more than if you eat veggies for dinner with water.
Worked on me :)