Waking up at 5 am—is it really as beneficial as everyone says it is?

Is getting out of bed before the sun rises really the best time to wake up?

I’ve been waking up at 5 am on and off for many years. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I sleep in and wait for Peter to bring me coffee. We all go through phases in our lives and it really depends on where you are and if it makes sense for you.

As of writing this, early 2022, I have a newborn, and waking up at 5 am to get in a morning workout won’t be my reality for a couple of months. When I originally wrote this article, I had no baby and I was training for some races.

I am still training for races but add in a newborn and it is hard to wake up in the morning when you’ve already been up 2 or 3 times before the alarm rings.

Do You Have to Be a Morning Person?

Believe me, I wasn’t always a morning person.

A morning person or a night owl just comes at different points in your life.

When you’re younger or in university, most likely, you were a night owl. I took on a full load of units every semester, and either had a job or internship. The available time to get my school work done was at night until 2 am. Then, I rolled out of bed with just enough time to throw on some clothes and head to the first class.

I was not too fond of the morning.

I used to believe that 9 am was too early, and of course, going to be a 2 am doesn’t help with early morning wake-ups. Now, in my thirties, I think 7 am is too late! On the rare occasion when I wake up at 7 am I think “what the heck… get out of bed lazy.”

Life has phases, and within this progression, your morning and evening routines will change.

At this point in my life, my husband and have a newborn, we own businesses, and we operate at high gear. Personal and professional growth 1,000%! We run, read, work, travel, and my husband, and I typically schedule every part of our day, week, month, and year.

I wake up at 5 am because I want to. It’s helped us be efficient, effective, and rule the day instead of the day ruling us!

It’s not easy, believe me. But if there is something you want to complete in your day, and you have a full-time job, you’re either going to get it done in the early morning or at night. From the years of doing this, getting anything done at night in this part of my life is hard. I’d rather get it done early.

Even now with baby, I tried both, completing a workout in the morning and in the evening. In the early morning, I feel energized, happy and excited to get in a workout. At 5 pm, I am tired, exhausted from work and decision marking, let alone exclusively breastfeeding.

getting used to waking up at 5 am

You might be reading this because you want to wake up at 5 am. You might be wondering how to wake up early and maybe if it’s even worth it.

First, things are easier when you have a routine. Therefore, I’ll share my 5 am morning routine. The tips I share in all of my resources are from personal experience. I practice what I preach. I never share tips or advice on things I can not talk about from personal experience.

Then, I’ll share some of the benefits of waking up at 5 am and lastly go through some tips to help you wake up early and how to stick with it.

Let’s dive in!

Note! This routine was pre-baby! Now with a baby, the time changes depending on how the night goes. This is just a template, adjust it to fit your life!  

My 5 am Morning Routine

My healthy morning routine consists of:

  • Coffee
  • Journaling
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Exercise
  • Breakfast

I wake up at 5 am and immediately head to the kitchen to make coffee. I have a Bialetti stovetop coffee maker, and I drink the Lavazza Crema E Gusto espresso. Italy, more specifically our dear friend Fabz, heavily influences the coffee we drink at home. We do not have the typical American drip coffee maker in our home. The stovetop coffee prep process takes about 10 mins.

While my coffee is on the stove, I journal. I write down my daily affirmations and my goals, and sometimes I’ll write something about our current situation.

Once the coffee is ready, I read for 30 mins.

In the morning, I read business, finance, or strategy books. Reading these types of books gets my mind prepared for the day. In the evening, I read a biography or some specific personal development books. I prefer not to read business books in the evening as I start overthinking about the application, and it takes longer for me to fall asleep.

By 6 am, I switch to 30 mins of writing. This is when I write content for my website. This is not the only time I write during the week, but I make it a point to have writing as part of my morning routine because it’s something I enjoy doing.

From 6:30 am to 6:45 am, I get ready for a workout. I get in my workout gear, braid my hair, etc.

At 6:45 am, we are off running or doing a strength workout for our morning workout routine. For example, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday we run, Wednesdays and Fridays are strength training, Saturdays are for long runs (anything over an hour of running), and Sunday is Yoga. We start at the same time every day except for Saturday when we join our running group at 5:45 am. In the summer, we want to be running before the sun is out because the summers in Austin, Texas are crazy hot and humid.

By 8:00 am, we have breakfast and get ready for the day. By 8:30 am, we are working. In our companies, we call it the “Get Started Work Routine.”

So from 5 am to 8:30 am, I have 3 and a half hours to journal, read, write, workout, and have a fantastic start to my day.

Our morning routine does change when we travel. Depending on the reason for our trip, we could try to keep the same routine by adjusting the times depending on the timezone, or if it’s a vacation, we don’t set the alarm or have any of this structure as we want to relax fully.

I schedule this time on my calendar to ensure I get it done. If you are looking for time management help make sure to read: Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity & Output.

Benefits of Waking Up EARLY

There are various benefits of waking up at 5 am. Waking up early doesn’t just mean that you roll out of bed and have to “work” more or fall into bad habits earlier.

From when you wake up at 5 am to the next commitment, be it work or children, it is your time. This is when you get the opportunity to work on what you want. Making that morning time your own should get you excited and want to get out of bed before the sun is up!

Set the Right Tone For Your Day

When I wake up late, a lot more times than not, I feel rushed, frazzled, grumpy, and feel like the day is owning me instead of me owning the day. I hate this feeling. I don’t like the feeling of having a day get away from me.

By waking up early, YOU get to set the tone for the day. A positive tone and mindset in your morning will carry through the rest of the day with positivity. And since I also journal every morning and align with my overall goals, I set a positive mindset, reinforcing the purpose behind why I work so hard.

Start Moving

Getting in exercise in the morning gets you energized for the day and makes you feel fantastic. When you get in a good sweat in the AM, you can’t help but feel accomplished. I live in Austin, and in the summer, it gets super hot, which is another reason I prefer to work out in the morning.

Get your body moving and get in a workout before 8 am so you check it off your list, and you don’t have to worry about getting in a workout later in the day. More than not, if I can’t work out in the morning, I usually won’t work out at the end of the day. I feel exhausted at the end of the day, and I don’t look forward to it, so I reserve exercise for the AM.

Work on Something You Love

It’s best if you can look forward to waking up at 5 am. You can accomplish this motivation by doing something that you love in the morning. This can be anything, learning a new language, practicing an instrument, reading, writing, or working on your blog. By doing that thing during that morning, you’ll look forward to working on it, and if you don’t wake up and stick to your schedule, you’ll miss out.

Get Your Mind Right

Your morning routine is also a time to focus on your mental fortitude and only focus on the positive. This is time to reflect and note what you are grateful for in your life. I have a blank journal I write in every morning. I write what I am thankful for, some affirmations, and my goals every morning.

You could use any journal, or if you need some structure, look at the 5-minute journal.

How to Wake Up Early

Getting into the habit of waking up at 5 am can be difficult, and it will take some time to get used to it.

There are two avenues you can take to get into the habit of waking up at 5 am.

1. Do so, incrementally. Wake up 15 minutes earlier every week until you get to 5 am. This method takes time, but it eases you into it.

2. Or, wake up at 5 am right when you commit to it. So say you wake up at 7:30 am today and today is the day you read this post and decide to make the change, tomorrow you wake up at 5 am. This is the method I prefer, of course, you do you, but if you know you want to do this, then go for it and commit 100% from day one.

I also find this method easier because you’ll be tired earlier, so you’ll want to go to sleep earlier.

Here are some things that helped me wake up early.

Go to Sleep Earlier

If you’re a night owl changing to a morning bird, going to bed early is hard. Your body is conditioned to fall asleep at a certain time, so changing it will take some work. The goal is to be so consistent with waking up at 5 am. eventually, you’ll wake up before your alarm goes off.

I like shocking your system and waking up at 5 am right away because you’ll be more tired at night and want to go to sleep earlier. Add a workout in the morning and come 8 or 9 pm; you’ll want to start winding down and get to sleep.

If you go to sleep late you won’t wake up at 5 am as quickly, it’s just a fact. Account for how many hours you need to sleep and work to get to sleep at the same time every night.

I need about 7 to 7 and a half hours of sleep. I go to sleep around 9:30ish every night.

Jump Out of Bed at 5 am

When your alarm goes off at 5 am, don’t think about how tired you are, how comfortable you are, or how much sleep you got or that it’s still pitch black out, jump out of bed.

As soon as my alarm goes off, I throw the covers off me, spring out of bed, get my alarm, go straight to the bathroom, and turn on the light.

If you have the slightest thought that you don’t want to get up and how cozy the bed is, you’re done for.

Don’t Put Your Alarm Next to Your Bed (Or On Your Bed)

I used to place my alarm right next to my bed, and I would reach over as soon as it went off and would hit snooze. It’s so easy to do that when it’s within arms’ reach.

Most use their phones as alarms now, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be on your nightstand. I put my phone on the window sill, so I have to get out of bed to turn it off. And my window is far enough from my end that I have to get entirely out of it, not have one leg on the bed while I’m reaching for my phone.

Place your alarm far enough that you have to get out of bed. Hence, jumping out of bed tip!

Have Your Workout Clothes Ready

If you’re going to work out in the morning, have your workout clothes ready to change immediately. Changing gets you out of your cozy pajamas and changes your state quickly.

Also, by having your workout outfit ready for you in the morning, you don’t have to think about it, go to your closet when you’re groggy and start looking for an outfit. And if you have a partner who is not waking up at 5 am, you don’t have to turn on the light in your closet and wake them up.

Review Your Reason Why Before Going to Sleep

The last trick I have for getting mentally ready to wake up at 5 am is reading something motivating before going to bed. In the book, The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod shares a night script that you could read every night before going to sleep, so you have intent and wake up with intention.

If you don’t have a compelling reason to wake up at 5 am, then why are you even doing it? Your reason is your motivation.

The more deliberate you are the more consistent you’ll be.

What is Your Morning Routine? Will You Be waking up at 5 am?

There you have it. Waking up at 5 am is not easy, but you can make it fun and something you love to do. It can even turn into your favorite part of your day!

What does your morning routine currently consist of? What do you wish you had more time for?

If you have any questions about my 5 am morning routine, let me know in the comments! I am happy to have a conversation about morning routines!

I wish you well and as always; Stay Stylish,

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