I Woke Up at 5AM Everyday For A Week and Here’s What Happened

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I am not your typical non-morning person. I don’t mind getting up early and I’m easily able to have a conversation with someone after I’ve gotten up. However, the whole “getting up” thing is where I struggle. It is so easy to just hit snooze on my alarm and lay in bed until the last possible minute. Even then, I’m still exhausted. By the time I get back home at the end of the day, I have no desire to do anything. Something needed to change. I had read once about how highly productive people start their days before the sun is even close to being up. I decided to take a page from their playbook and wake up an hour and a half earlier than I normally do.

Monday:

I thought it was going to be incredibly difficult to get up this day. I didn’t go to bed early, so I half expected to hit snooze on my alarm for as long as I could. However, I surprised myself. I did get up at 5. It wasn’t too difficult either. I took a few minutes to wake up, and then I read a chapter of a book I’m reading (The Handmaid’s Tale, a classic). From there, I listened to a podcast while I put my laundry away. Then, I got ready, ate breakfast, and watched part of an episode of This is Us. This was all before 6:30 even hit, which is the usual time I get up. I figured I would get tired throughout the day, but in reality, the fatigue never hit. My normal 1-4PM slump was replaced with energy. I couldn’t believe this.

Tuesday:

Tuesday was a little rough. It’s started to cool down here in Alabama, making it easy to want to stay curled up in the comfort of your own bed rather than getting up and facing the world. I stayed in bed a little longer today, on my phone until about 5:40. From there, I got up and ate breakfast and again, watched some more of This is Us (I’m still trying to play catch-up with the show). It wasn’t as productive as a morning, but I didn’t feel rushed, which is a huge bonus for me.

Wednesday:

I’ll admit, I slipped up this day. I had stayed up late studying the night before, and I knew I was going to be on campus from 7AM-9PM the following day. I slept in until 6AM, but still a half an hour earlier than my usual wake up time. So, tiny victory?

Thursday: It was easy to get back into waking up at 5AM on this day. I had two huge tests that morning and I had studied very little for them (I’m horrible). By waking up early, I was able to review the important concepts more than if I had gotten up at 6:30AM. However, I started feeling more of the fatigue hit during the day. I had (again) stayed up too late. By noon, I was ready to go back to bed.

Friday:

This was hands down the worst day. When my alarm went off at 5, I was NOT having it. I ended up staying in bed until 6:30 because I was just done. It was a long week and sleep was all I wanted.

I had plans to continue this through the weekend, but I knew there was no way that was going to happen. Overall, I would call the experiment a partial success. Waking up early did allow me to get certain things done, but only if I was motivated to. If I was just getting up to get up, I was more likely to stay in bed. I think I’ve learned that it’s nice to have some extra time to get ready, but not too much extra time. Maybe I’ll consider getting up at 6AM now instead.

About The Author

Shaina is a senior Psychology major with minors in Communication Studies and Social Welfare at the University of Alabama.