Waking Up At 5AM Is Changing My Life

I decided to start waking up at 5am to see if it would make a difference in my day.  Waking up at 5am is easier with the 5 tips discussed below.

Throughout my entire life I have heard people say they don’t have time to do certain things.  I was one of these people.  These “things” might be getting in shape or learning a new skill.  I watched a video that talked about time, one thing stood out and really stuck in my mind.  That one thing is, everyone has the same amount of time in each day.  If I have the same amount of time as Oprah, why am I not getting more done?  I think it is easy to use time as an excuse of why we can’t get certain things accomplished.  I know I have done this in the past, but the truth is if you want something bad enough you will make time.  By waking up at 5am I am gaining 2 hours everyday to do something productive.

I know the biggest argument to this waking up early thing will be, I stay up late at night, but think about what happens late at night.  Usually at night we end up watching TV or going on our phone and in general getting distracted.  What do most successful people have in common?  They wake up early and they have routines.  Read more here (if interested)

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The 5am Experiment

When I started this experiment I was really unsure if I could or would wake up at 5am.  What I quickly realized is there is something magical about waking up before everyone else.  Getting a lot done in the morning set the tone for the entire day.  I was up accomplishing 2 hours of tasks that normally wouldn’t get done until late at night.  By feeling accomplished in the morning I was able to go through the rest of my day knowing I had already been productive.

One saying I like to use is, clutter attracts more clutter, but the same could be said of being productive.  Productivity attracts more productivity.  Such a small change has lead to many larger changes.  Learning how to make websites, writing this blog, making youtube videos, editing photos, and working on art.  After waking up at 5am for a month I am a converted early riser.  With being a stay at home mom sometimes this is the only time in my day where I can be totally alone to work on things that I want to get done and I feel it’s time well spent.

Read: How I prepare for a 5am wake up call

Watch What Happened:

After a month of waking up at 5am this is what I learned:


I quickly realized I can’t stay up till 12am and wake up at 5am!  That is not enough sleep for me.  I decided 10pm was the best bed time because that gave me 7 hours of sleep.  I can function really well on 7 hours of sleep.  Some people may need more or less sleep.  I would suggest a little trial and error to figure this out.  On my iPhone under clock there is a button called bed time, this is where you can choose your bed time and wake time.  I found this to be so helpful because it reminds me every night that it is time to go to bed.

When the weekend comes along I still wake up early and go to be early.  I found it hard to switch my schedule during the week because over time I naturally wanted to go to bed early and wake up early.  There have been times where I might wake up at 6am, but most of the time I keep the 5am wake time.


The most important step to waking up early is having a reason for getting out of bed.  I think this is why I have never been able to wake up early before, I never had a reason.  My reason right now is I am learning a new skill, but that is not enough.  I like to break this goal down onto paper each night.  I write out a list of exactly what I plan to do when I wake up in the morning.  If I don’t write this list out I will get side tracked and next thing I know I am on Face Book.

Get very specific with your morning plan.  I like to write down 3 really simple doable things to get the ball rolling.  Starting with the most enjoyable task.  Once one item is checked off my list I feel like I have accomplished something and therefore waking up early was worth the effort. 


The best way for me to wake myself up is to drink some cold water.  So again I am getting ready the night before, by putting my cup next to my bed for the morning.  Once I am up and drinking water there is no way I am going back to bed.  This inexpensive cup I found on amazon is the best, it keeps my water cold through the entire night. (I like cold water)


I like to set 2 alarms.  My first alarm goes off at 5am and my next alarm goes off at 6am.  My biggest trick to get started is put the alarm far enough away where you are forced to get out of bed to turn it off.  When I was in college I always had to do this because I had no reason to get up, therefore I would turn off the alarm and forget!  If you can’t trust yourself put the alarm out of reach.

Obviously if you live with other people and they have a different sleep schedule then you might have to do something else, but this works great for me.


Be prepared with a plan of what to do in the morning.  If the plan is to work on the computer, have everything you need set up and ready.  If your plan is to work out, put your clothes out the night before.  No matter how you spend your time make sure you are not wasting that extra time wandering around your house looking for things in the dark.  One thing I realized I needed the first morning was some soft light to let my eyes adjust.  I also turned my computer to a more yellow color from 9:45pm till 7am that way my eyes are able to adjust easier to the brightness.  These simple preparations made me more productive and in turn made waking up easier. 




Read More:

Decluttered Kids – Before and After

How We Became Minimalist

Waking up at 5am – How my life has changed!

Decision Fatigue – Do you have this?

How to do a Seasonal Declutter

Pin It For Later:

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  • Kate Parker

    Be sure that if you are getting up early and your partner is not, to be considerate with the alarms. More than one alarm or hitting snooze when a partner is sleeping is not at all considerate. Putting it across the room and letting it go off for several minutes before getting up is also not terribly thoughtful. If you have trouble getting up, try a vibrating watch alarm.

    Also, people shouldn’t get discouraged if they cannot become a super early morning person. It’s mostly programmed into our brains. Very few night owls can actually get up and be super productive, the same was early birds are unlikely able to stay up really late and remain productive.

  • Sonia Wayand

    I am waking up at 4:00 am to hit the gym at 6:00 am and it has been the most changing experience in my life, my husband is doing it with me, that is an enormous help. I agree with you a ? % great advice!

      • Christina Hernandez

        I aim each day for: 4am- “Four God” and me Time. 5am- “My High Five” time! I agree about having a plan and prepping the night before. Thanks for sharing! Blessings

    • Vish

      Great post Shannon. I’m doing this starting tomorrow. Will emulate exactly what you did. Except, of course, for the nature of work.

    • Rebecca

      Great blog! As the saying goes, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” I grew up in Iowa and farmers would have to wake up at 4 am or so, so that they had as much sunlight to work by as possible and in order to be more productive. And besides…nothing g good really happens after 9 pm anyway…

        • Mary

          I’m a 5am person and if something special to accomplish like ppt presentations for conferences or preparing a speech my wake up time would be 4am till my preparations are over.Cognitive abilities are it’s optimum between 4am and 6 am.This has been my practice since 20 years!. Planning the details before going toned is a must to be successful.

  • Anima

    I am definitely going to try it out now. You have inspired me. Thanks Shannon!
    I have been thinking for a while that I want to wake up early. May not be at 5am at first. I think I will start with 6am now. That gives me an extra hour.
    Let’s see how that goes.


  • Pilar

    I love this article, I’m morning person I know what you mean! I would love to share with my daughter is a good motivator thank you!!


      Thank you! Getting into a great morning routine has really helped me get more done. I hope these tips might help your daughter.

  • Samantha Kellgren ⎮

    While I’m not to 5am just yet, I’m getting there and want to recommend easing into it. If you are regularly up at 6:30, don’t dive into 5am, rather do 6:15 for 5-7 days, then push to 6am, and so on until you get to 5am. It won’t be such a drastic change for your system, and you will start to savor that early morning me-time and be more motivated to get up earlier for more of it! Great tips here, thanks for the read!

  • Taurika

    I have been struggling with this for a few months now. You are so right, when I have something very important to do, I have no problem getting up. I just have to set more goals. Thanks. Great post.

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