Here's what I did to "hack" my sleep.
Before, I would sleep anything from 9 – 10 hours. Nowadays, I'm down to 6 – 7 hours at most. I get up from the bed feeling refreshed every day.
I don't have a single best way, but rather a combination of things. If you do all of these, and won't improve your sleep drastically (sleeping less and better), then I would be very surprised.
Drink 1-2 glasses of water before sleep
This has been mentioned above, and it works well. Just don't drink too much, or you will have to go up in the middle of the night.
Increase light and temperature at wake-up
Light, and more importantly temperature, informs our circadian rhythms that it's time to wake up. I purchased a Philips Wake-Up Light that will slowly light up as the morning progresses. The light will increase the temperature just slightly so that your body may notice.
Keep a water bottle and 100 mg caffeine pills by your bed
As soon as you wake up, pop a caffeine pill. You don't need to go out to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee.
Get an app like Sleep Cycle that will wake you at the right time
With Sleep Cycle, you set the alarm time when you would like to be woken at the latest. You also set an interval for when you can be waken up at the earliest (default 30 min). Using sound or vibration input which is interpreted by a algorithm, Sleep Cycle when recognise when you are in the REM cycle of your sleeping pattern. This is the ideal time to wake up. This way, even if your clock was set to 7:30 AM, it can wake you up at 7:05 AM if you are in right state then, making you more likely to wake up feeling refreshed.
Set a Sound/Music alarm
I have programmed my iMac using AppleScript to do these things every day:
07:30 The sound of ocean waves starts playing from a Youtube video
07:45 My "Wake-up" iTunes playlist starts playing automatically on my speakers, with good morning music
08:00 Bloomberg News comes on, giving me the latest financial updates and get the business juices flowing.
Live a healthy lifestyle
Become a vegeterian, and/or begin to exercise, and/or begin to meditate. I have started to do all three of these, and they have all helped me become more energetic. I feel that this is directly correlated to my improved sleep.
Implement a sleep routine
Open your bedroom windows or lower your AC a few hours before sleep. The ideal temperature for best sleep is around 18-19° C. Yes, it's that cool.
Always take care of yourself before going to bed. Be sure that your bed is properly made and you have clean and fresh bedclothes. Pamper your skin with a good revitalising skin moisturiser. Turn off all lights at least 40 minutes before sleep. Get Flux or Night Shift on your devices, because blue light interrupts our circadian rhytms. If you want to read in the dark, get an app that can display dim red light, or get a reading lamp which glows red. If you can't sleep, listen to a relaxation program on Youtube or with an app like Calm.