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Have you considered joining the 5am club and waking up at the crack of dawn?
Maybe you’re not sure on the benefits of doing so and how to avoid pressing the snooze button?
Waking up at 5am isn’t for everyone, but for those of you who are intrigued to try and see if it works for you, keep reading to discover some of the benefits and actionable steps to make it easy.
Why you should wake up at 5am
Consistently waking up at 5am every morning on the alarm and avoiding the snooze inevitably builds up your discipline.
That consistent act of ‘just doing it’ programs you to ‘just do it’ with everything else.
The best excuse to wake up early is to use that time to work on yourself.
After a long day at work or uni, it’s a lot easier to turn on Netflix than it is to exercise or read.
Waking up at 5am and doing those activities means not only are you working on your self-development, but you’re also working towards your fitness, reading, writing goals (whatever it is you do to work on yourself) and those things that you need to do, are now done! You can freely go about your day.
Are you inconsistent with the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up?
Some nights you don’t go to sleep until 1am, others you’re in bed by 9pm.
When you intentionally start to wake up at 5am, it forces you to create a better routine for yourself.
Removing your phone from you room, getting in bed by 8pm and winding down until 9pm. Your body will adjust to this new routine, and it will become habitual.
Much needed ‘you’ time
Waking up before everyone else is so peaceful. You can enjoy the first couple of hours before your stay starts with yourself and no distractions.
We lead such busy lives, receiving on average 46 notifications per day, family, friends, and work colleagues constantly demanding our full attention. Why not take those first few hours just for you?
How to wake up at 5am
Wake up in the right sleep stage
During the night, your body goes through four to six sleep cycles.
Each cycle goes through 5 stages from light sleep, deep sleep to REM.
It’s important to wake up during the light stage of your sleep as waking up during REM can leave you feeling groggy and disoriented as this is when you’re in “Do Not Disturb” mode.
Devices like Fitbits monitor your sleep, enabling you to learn when your light sleep cycles are.
When I looked at my average, one of my light sleep phases is around 4:45am, this is when I wake up as it makes that early alarm that bit easier.
Sunlight alarm clock
Doesn’t it seem easier to wake up when it’s already light outside as opposed to those cold, winter months when it always seems to be dark out?
I found this alarm clock on Amazon which replicates a sunrise. 30 minutes before the alarm is due to go off, the sunrise begins and eases you in to waking up at your alarm.
I set it to go off at 4:50am and I use my Fitbit to wake me up at 4:45am as the watch vibrates on my wrist so is much more of a gentler wakeup than a loud alarm.
Build up to 5am
Are you a cold-turkey kind of person, or do you prefer to gradually ease yourself into something?
If you’re the latter, then rather than going from 7am alarm to 5am, work up to 5am in 15–30-minute increments.
Try waking up at 6:30am, then 6am, 5:30am and eventually 5am.
Read The 5am Club
Reading this book is what kickstarted me into giving it a go to wake up at 5am.
It’s beautifully wrote with a captivating story to follow along with actionable steps and the benefits of waking up early.
You don’t have to follow the book to a T, you can adapt it to suit you, which is what I did.
My 5am routine
Incase you’re after some inspiration as to how to plan your morning and what to do with the extra hours you have, here is the routine I used:
5:00am: In the gym
6:30am: Travel back home
6:45am: Walk dog
7:15am: Get ready (usually listening to a podcast)
8:30am: Read & Breakfast
Sometimes it doesn’t happen in that order, and I only meditated for 5 minutes and did it just after I’d had breakfast, but I was aiming to achieve that every day.
The other reality is that sometimes, I didn’t want to listen to a podcast, whilst yes that was preferred, sometimes I just really wanted to watch the Netflix show I’m binging whilst I do my makeup and if that was the case, then I just watched the Netflix show with no guilt.
Everyday doesn’t have to be regimented, the most important thing with trying the 5am routine is that you don’t give up and you keep persisting.
When the alarm goes off at 5am, I promise you, you won’t want to get up. How do I know that? Because I never did.
When my alarm went off, I had to quickly remind myself how I felt when I’d finished the gym session, or that feeling of gratefulness when I’m sat having my breakfast after achieving all of that in the morning.
The most important thing with waking up at 5am, is to WANT to do it. Don’t do it because you think you should or because someone else is doing it, to stick at this routine, you have to enjoy it and as a result, have to want to do it.