I go to bed when I feel tired, which is generally around 9pm. Wake up refreshed every morning between 4:20-4:40 without an alarm clock.
The biggest problem I have with my sleep is that I work as a firefighter and depending on how busy we are, I will have some low volume and/or low quality nights of sleep. Most nights at work aren’t that bad and will still feel refreshed even with an hour or two less sleep. However, once or twice a month will have a seriously compromised night of sleep. When that happens I’ll go to bed an hour or so earlier than normal the following night and seemingly sleep deeper than normal and will wake up refreshed and back on track with my normal sleep cycle. Two things that I have learned in my years as a firefighter is that I can’t take naps and trying to lay in bed past 5am doesn’t seem to allow me to get any extra sleep. It just seems that this is my circadian rhythm and I just feel better when I stick to similar bed time/wake time schedule every day.
A side benefit to being a “morning person” is that when race day comes, I do not have the stressor of having to wake up earlier than usual. I’m awake feeling good with plenty of time to get all pre-race stuff done without feeling rushed. I always set an alarm for race day to prevent a catastrophic morning, but don’t really need it. Generally on race day I’ll wake up earlier than an alarm excited and ready for the day!