The Case for Waking Up Early:: Benefits, Lessons, & Tips

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Waking up earlyFor the last week, my body has been naturally waking up between 5:45 and 6:00 am.

My body…waking up on its own! This is something new for me.

You see, I’m not usually a morning person. I’m not even a night person. I like to consider myself a mid-day kind of person: 10:00 in the morning is my jam; by 4:00, though, I’m beat. I am at my peak mid-morning, but I wanted to see what early morning life was all about. I decided to challenge myself to get up by 6:15 every morning, to give me an hour on my own before my kids woke up. It took me about a month to get to the point where I could easily (and happily) get up each morning but, in the end, I think it’s going to be good for me!  

Here are my top five reasons why I’ve been converted to the early morning life:

Productivity

I get more done before 8 am than I ever thought possible. Last week, my husband took my kids to the zoo without me. Before they left at 8:30, I had gotten myself ready, changed the laundry and folded what was in the dryer, fed everyone breakfast, gotten 3 kids dressed and ready for the day, made lunches for everyone, AND I had an extra twenty minutes, so I cleaned out the random crap from my van, vacuumed it out and wiped down the sticky fingerprints on the inside. Normally, I would have to wait until my kids were napping or in quiet time before I could get all of the laundry and the van taken care of. Getting up and getting it done early meant that I could get to the projects I was actually planning on doing while they were at the Zoo.

Give my children more attention

Because I am ready before my kids are awake, I can spend my time focusing on them as they wake up. Morning snuggles are SO much better when I can give them my full attention, rather than going through my mental to-do list.

Quality time with my spouse

I get to spend more quality time with my husband as well. We actually talk in the morning now, instead of grunting at each other as we try to pass the kids off for diaper changes and breakfast. He is usually too tired to talk after the kids go to bed and I love talking. He usually humors me and gives me one worded answers as I prattle to him all night long but it’s been really nice to talk when he is awake and involved in the conversation.  

Peace

I’m a happier and more peaceful person now. I get up in the morning, and get to go through MY routine. Not the kids’ routine, and not the rush routine. My routine. I get time to think and ponder before the day starts, and it brings me so much peace. I’ve noticed a difference in my mood during the weekend when I don’t get up before my kids, and it makes me want to get up before them (even though extra sleep during the weekend is sacred to me).

Alone time

I’m an introvert. I love being alone, and the quiet calm of the morning hours has become my sanctuary. The early morning gives me the fortitude to make it through the day until I get another mental break during nap time.

While each of those reasons sounds great, gearing myself up to start this challenge was daunting. I’ve tried before to become a morning person, and it didn’t work. If you’re having the same struggle as me, here are a few tips to help you wake up early:

Tips:

Set multiple alarms, 5-10 minutes apart

It’s annoying and I felt silly doing it, but for a while I needed multiple alarms to get up. I started them at 6:00 and had them going every 5-10 minutes. I noticed that if I had 15 minutes between alarms, I could fall back into a deep sleep, but if it were under 10 minutes, it annoyed me and kept me awake, so I got up earlier.

Have a routine

My routine goes: (1) get ready for the day, (2) start a load of laundry and fold the laundry I washed overnight, (3) eat breakfast with husband, and (4) do my morning devotional/ meditation after he leaves for work

Go to bed on time; set an alarm to remind you to get ready for bed

I have an alarm that goes off at 9:00 to remind me to get ready for bed. When it goes off, I finish what I am doing and go get ready for bed. This ensures that I am ready for bed “on time” and can get enough sleep to be a functional human in the morning.

Get your spouse on board and do it together

I can’t think of anything more than annoying than watching someone else sleep while you’re tiredly awake dragging yourself out of bed. It made me really grumpy, so I got my husband on board with my early morning plan. He keeps me accountable on the days I try to sleep in, and I do the same for him. We’re in it together and that makes the rough mornings more bearable.

Getting up early isn’t easy, especially if you’re like me and love to sleep.

If you’re on the fence about it, give it a try for a month and see how it goes. I bet it will revolutionize your day like it did mine!