Everyone has their daily routines. Most people wake up by 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning. But if you want to have an extra hour or two more than the rest of the sleeping population, consider joining the 5 AM club.
To those who are accustomed to waking up later in the day, 5 AM may seem like an ungodly hour. After all, it’s difficult to rise before the sun does while our body still feels heavy with sleep. If you’re interested in adopting the 5 AM habit, join us as we review its benefits, including how you can make the adjustment easier.
5 Benefits of Waking Up at 5 AM
You might have heard that some of the most successful people in the world have made it a habit to get up extraordinarily early. The chairman of the Vanguard Group Bill McNabb, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, venture capitalist Brad Feld, and Olympic medalist Caroline Burckle all wake up before 6 AM. Let’s take a look at the benefits they enjoy.
#1. Waking up at 5 AM gives you one hour of uninterrupted me time.
Many people don’t have the luxury of me-time. Mothers with several young children, fathers who need to hurry to their workplaces, and students cramming for exams — each person has a daily agenda and deliverables. Despite being productive, being on time, and completing tasks, having time for oneself is often compromised.
Waking up at 5 AM gives you one hour to be yourself and do whatever you want. It is your time to reflect, journal, exercise, drink your coffee at leisure, catch up on a chapter or two in the book you’re reading — whatever strikes your fancy.
This is the main takeaway from the international bestseller 5 AM Club, released in 2018 and authored by Robin Sharma. The Canadian leadership expert advocates waking up at 5 AM daily and using the one hour to focus on yourself.
This period without distractions can be used to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the day to come, develop strategies to be more productive, and overall ready yourself for success. In the same book, Robin told his readers that when they wake up, it is the time when their brains are in their calmest state, making it the perfect opportunity to reflect, assess, and strategize.
#2. Waking up at 5 AM helps improve your sleep quality.
To wake up bright and rested at 5 AM, you need to call it a day earlier too. This means no more late-night activities as you consciously prepare to sleep by 10 o’clock or earlier. It also means giving your body and mind a longer time to recuperate and relax. Being more purposeful about your sleep hygiene will allow you to get the hours of sleep you need.
When you achieve this, you’ll wake up feeling more rested and energetic. You’ll also be in a better mood to tackle what lies ahead. You can say goodbye to waking up tired and hitting your snooze button several times. Once the clock strikes 5, you’ll be ready to start a new day.
#3. Waking up at 5 AM is good for your mental health.
With that extra hour in the morning, you can be more regular with your daily exercise. Whether you do yoga, run, or cycle at home, these physical activities can lower your stress levels. And since stress is the main culprit behind most mental health struggles, this can really make a difference in your mood and overall perspective.
Many studies such as this have documented the mental health benefits of exercise. Its myriad advantages range from reduced depression, anxiety, and negative moods to better cognitive function and self-esteem.
Once you finish your exercise, you can take time and prepare at leisure. You can indulge in a long, warm shower, get dressed, and even have a decent breakfast with a smile.
If you prefer being physically active after work, you can use that extra hour to accomplish your regular tasks earlier like going through and responding to your emails, preparing lunch for yourself and your kids, etc.
Ultimately, that additional hour puts you at an advantage when it comes to completing tasks. You can thus feel accomplished and confident at the beginning of your day because you had such a productive start without feeling rushed or pressured.
#4. Waking up at 5 AM gives you a head start in productivity.
This is one of the most apparent advantages of waking earlier — getting things done ahead of schedule. This translates to better performance and focus as you ride a wave of higher productivity.
With an extra hour to complete things, you can achieve more before you feel fatigued, make decisions logically without emotions clouding your judgment, and get more done before people’s schedules peak and become busy.
#5. Waking up at 5 AM improves your morning rhythm.
Even if you wake up at 9 or 10 in the morning, it doesn’t mean that you’re fully awake. Your brain may still be trying to keep up with you due to sleep inertia. Technically, it takes half an hour to two hours after you wake up before your grogginess fully dissipates.
But if you wake up at 5 AM, you’re already fully alert by 7 AM. While others are still battling brain fog, you’re at your best and ready to conquer the day. Overall, this provides you with a better rhythm, time management, and outlook, setting you up for a successful day ahead.
How to Start Waking Up at 5 AM: 3 Tips for You
How much extra time can you gain by waking up at 5 AM? A motivational social media account did the math for us. “Let’s say the average person wakes up at 7 AM every day. By waking up at 5 AM, you get 2 hours extra each day, 14 hours extra a week, and 728 extra hours a year, which translates to 30 days. That gives you a whole month’s head start on all your competitors!
Are you ready to be up and about by 5 AM? If you need guidance on how to make it happen, continue reading!
#1. Make the necessary adjustments.
So, you’ve decided to join the 5 AM club. To pull it off successfully, you’ll need to make a few key changes to your routine. For example, you’ll want to be asleep by 9 or 10 PM so you can be up and about by 5 AM with around 8 to 9 hours of sleep.
You’ll also need to plan your bedtime routine to make sure that it’s lights out by 9 or 10 in the evening. If it takes around 30 minutes for you to fall asleep, you’ll want to be in bed 30 minutes earlier. In the same way, if you have certain bedtime routines like taking your dog for a walk, reading a few pages from a book, or enjoying a glass of wine, you should also include them in your planning.
Meanwhile, consider lifestyle changes that might hinder you from falling asleep at the designated hour. Do you consume caffeine and sugar, nap, or spend hours looking at your phone too close to bedtime? You’ll want to avoid these if you want to make a 5 AM wake-up time work.
#2. Know your motivation for getting up at 5 AM.
Good morning! You’re up at 5 AM, now what? What do you want to do, and what is the extra one hour for? You want to make the most of this me-time, so ensure you have something to look forward to.
For starters, doing the 20-20-20 formula can work as you gradually discover what you want to do.
This formula looks something like this: 20 minutes for reflection, journals, visualization techniques, and mindful practices, then the next 20 minutes is allotted for physical activity like calisthenics, yoga, or jogging while the last 20 minutes is for indulging in something that makes you happy like a good cup of coffee with bacon and toast or eating your favorite cereal while watching the news.
#3. Reward yourself for your commitment and dedication.
Celebrate being consistent for the first week! While everyone else was sleeping, you were already awake at 5 AM. This isn’t easy, especially when you’re still adjusting. Motivate yourself with positive reinforcement and give yourself tiny treats like your favorite coffee and bagel on the way to work instead of your usual breakfast at home.
A Few Parting Words
The biggest hurdle to waking up at 5 AM is your mind. You might have gotten so used to the idea that sleeping late means indulging yourself. Hence, you might believe that the opposite is true. But waking up at 5 AM is far from self-deprivation.
If you plan your schedule, make a few lifestyle changes, and give it a fair try, you might wonder why you didn’t start sooner! We hope these insights and tips will give you the resolve to start the 5 AM habit.