Waking Up at 5 AM for a Month - Results

Alyssa Atkinson

Here’s everything that happened.

Beautiful beach sunrise.Rachel Cook/Unsplash

For years, I dreamed of being an early bird. The sheer idea of waking up before the sun and enjoying a few hours of blissful silence while the world was asleep excited me. However, there was one major problem.

Back when I only dreamed of becoming a morning person, I struggled to get out of bed before 8 AM without an alarm. A 5 AM wakeup call seemed completely out of reach, and I honestly never thought I’d be able to shift my schedule that drastically.

Somehow, a few years ago, I managed to inch my way closer to 5 AM. I have woken up in the 6–7 AM range consistently for years now, and a few months back, I even tried the 5–6 AM schedule for a month straight.

The following are all of the changes I noticed throughout that period of time, as well as my final thoughts as to whether or not it’s actually worth it.

My energy levels changed dramatically.

Back when I was in high school, before I developed an early sleep and wake schedule, I never felt well rested when I woke up. After I started waking up consistently at 5 or 6 AM, I had a lot of energy and felt ready to start my work day almost every single morning.

That rush of excitement I felt each day as I headed into the kitchen to brew a fresh pot of coffee was like nothing I had experienced before. I was so used to getting up and still feeling half asleep, with little energy and motivation. So, this was a huge improvement.

I am now able to do an hour or two of productive writing in peace each and every morning. This is reason enough to get up super early.

My mind is so much fresher now that I sleep a solid eight hours each and every night, and that wasn’t possible before I adopted an early morning routine. This is the first reason I absolutely love getting up between the hours of 5 and 6 AM.

The Takeaway: Focus on creating a consistent sleep schedule and getting a full eight hours in order to wake up feeling rested and full of energy.

My productivity improved.

The increase in my productivity after shifting to an earlier schedule was almost instantly noticeable.

I have been aware of the fact that my mind is freshest in the morning for years. When I was in college, I often did my toughest coding problems right after I got up and had some coffee. Those first few hours of the morning were my most efficient, and that fact holds true today.

If you tend to think more clearly in the early morning like me, you could benefit immensely by going to sleep and waking up earlier. This will ultimately allow you to reserve a chunk of time in the morning to be insanely efficient.

As a result of doing this, I feel a sense of accomplishment each and every day. No matter what obstacles I may face the rest of the day, I know that I already got a lot done in the morning.

The Takeaway: Tackle your most difficult tasks in the first few hours of the morning when your brain is freshest for higher productivity.

I became noticeably less stressed.

This point ties closely into the second one. The more I get done in the morning, the less pressure I feel the rest of the day.

When I get up at 5 AM and work efficiently until 7 AM, I often check off a number of items from my to do list. This tends to decrease my stress levels immensely because I don’t feel pressed for time. This allows me to complete the rest of my work without fearing that I won’t get done what I need to for the day.

This is the third major shift I noticed when I adopted a 5 AM morning routine. It is the final major reason why I enjoy going to bed and getting up early in the morning.

The Takeaway: By completing a lot of work within the first few hours of the day, you might find that you relieve a lot of stress surrouding your work.This could impact your overall work-life balance by decreasing your stress and increassing your happiness.

In my own personal experience, going to bed and waking up early is worth the extra effort. As a result of shifting to an earlier schedule, I have noticed improvements in my overall quality of sleep, productivity, health/fitness, and motivation.

I am continuing with the 5–6 AM wake schedule for the time being (which I am doing by choice) because I enjoy it that much.

While an early morning routine might not be ideal for you, I think everyone should at least give it a chance. You just might find that your quality of life and overall productivity both receive a boost as a result.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - nomeatfastfeet.com | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC

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