I Woke Up at 5 a.m. for 5 Days – This is What I Learned

You know what they say: the early bird gets the worm.

A 2008 study at the University of North Texas even found that those who rise earlier earned a whole extra point on their SATs. However, I’m usually okay with missing out on the worm and settling for some extra Zs.

This week I tried something that some people might think is completely insane: waking up at 5 a.m. every day of the workweek.

I usually get out of bed around 7 a.m. and head to work, so I figured two extra hours couldn’t be that much harder. Still, I prepped myself with an extra pump-up alarm song, which Business Insider ranked as the second best song to get up to in the morning.


Unfortunately, I was a bit over-confident the night before my first early start and didn’t get to sleep until a little after midnight. That 5 a.m. alarm was probably the worst sound in the world and even though I’m not a coffee drinker, I snagged one just to get through the day.

I was groggy all morning and didn’t know what to do with my extra two hours, so I spent it trying to read (which is pretty hard when your eyes won’t open). Needless to say, Day 1 was not a success.

The second night I went to bed at 10 p.m. to make sure I got a full seven hours’ sleep. I also developed an actual plan of how to use my extra time in the morning – I set out my workout clothes and planned to go to a yoga class. The results drastically improved.

Throughout the whole day, I felt so productive, alive, and, surprisingly, not at all sleepy.

It was also nice to have a few extra hours to myself in the morning to be unbothered by everything around me that was still asleep.


For the remainder of the three days, I decided to follow that old saying and really try and go for the worm. After my 5 a.m. wake-up and quick workout, I started my workday early, hoping to get things done so that I’d have less to do in the evening. Bonus: working that early meant fewer distractions because no one’s awake to text you/tag you in things/email you/etc. I was definitely a fan.

Overall, I enjoyed waking up at 5 a.m. Would I do it every day? Absolutely not. I like sleeping in every now and then. I was a big fan of having such a regimented routine to my morning, so I might try waking up at 6 a.m. every day so I still get one hour to myself in the morning.

Tony Robbins must be onto something, after all.

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