Why I Think You Should Give Getting Up Early a Try

I try to get up between 5 and 6 a.m. most mornings. If I go to bed early enough, I’ll get up even earlier than that.

Yes, it might sound crazy to some of you night owls and yes, there are seasons of life when I’ve skipped early rising in favor of much-needed sleep (when I was pregnant and/or waking up multiple times in the night with a baby/child), but I’ve found that I get so much more done by getting up early than I ever do by staying up late.

Even if I can’t get up really early, I have found that getting up just 15 minutes before my children do makes a world of difference in my day. I start the day out with more clarity and purpose, I’m more organized, and I’m a much more cheerful and relaxed mom.

In addition, when I get up early, I usually go to bed earlier, which results in better sleep for me. (I’m not sure what it is, but I seem to get a much more restful night’s sleep when I go to bed before 10 p.m.!)

I know that getting up early doesn’t work for everyone, but I’d encourage everyone to at least give it a try for a six-week period to see if it makes a difference. As I always say, you can’t knock something until you’ve at least tried it. :)

Since getting up early has made such a difference in my life, I was especially excited to read Laura Vaderkam’s new ebook, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. It’s a short read, but packed with lots of inspiration as to how to use your mornings well.

It’s not enough to get up early, though, you also need to make sure that you wisely prioritize your time and energy in the early morning hours so that it effectively benefits your day — and your life.

In this ebook, Laura shares a peek into the lives of some very successful people — and how they are structuring their lives to make the most of the morning hours. What works for them might not work for you, but I promise you’ll be inspired to make the most of your mornings — whether or not you are an early riser.

Be sure to check out Laura’s guest post from Monday on What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. In addition, you might enjoy Carrie’s post on What the Happiest Moms Do Before Breakfast.

Confession: I got up at 7:30 a.m. this morning and am still in my PJs. I’m by no means a perfect example of always getting up early! There, do you feel better now?! ;)

I have found that it’s more important for me to get enough sleep and give myself grace to sleep in when I’m more exhausted than usual, than it is for me to always get up really early. However, I’ve found that even if I don’t always get up at the same early time every morning, if I get up early even just 4-5 mornings a week, it still has a profound effect on my days and my productivity.

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Comments

  1. Amy says

    I’d like to suggest something for those who have light sleepers in the house. How about putting a fan in everyone’s rooms? We have a floor fan in every bedroom and it helps to mask those noises that would otherwise wake kids up. Be sure to avoid ones that advertise “Whisper Quiet” on the front – you want ones that are loud. Our house sounds like a tornado is blowing through at night! :)

    • Cha says

      Yes, Amy. We use the fans as well but it’s almost as if my children smell me. Haha! It’s a rare occurrence that I can get up before them and be alone for more than 5-10 minutes.

      Also, this pregnant woman NEEDS to know what it on the toast in the top pic : ) Please?!

      • grace says

        my kids also sense when im up….its super frustrating :) and once one is up they wake up the others like clockwork!

      • Lisa says

        OK, so I traced the photo (not as easy as I thought it would be!) & found that it is tahini (I’ve never heard of it!) & honey. According to Wikipedia, tahini is “a paste of ground sesame seeds used in North African, Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is made of hulled seeds. East Asian tahini is made of unhulled seeds. It is served as a dip on its own or as a major component of hummus and halva.” We have a couple of Middle Eastern markets where I live & I have some friends from Pakistan – I think I’ll investigate this more!

    • says

      Amen! I’ve been sleeping with a fan since I was 15 and I’ve made sure there was a fan in my son’s room since day one. It has helped a lot in keeping him asleep when I get up before him. :)

      The only caveat is that when we are away I’m in trouble if I don’t remember to bring our portable fan!

      • says

        I have a fan in the boys’ room too and when we are away from home in a hotel I turn on the room “fan” to run continuously. It helps block out noise from other guests in the hotel hall and it provides background noise for sleep.

  2. Marie says

    I thought the toast looks yummy too ! I’m guessing cream cheese and honey. I love honey on my toast.

  3. Sue says

    Funny! I’m up at 4:30 but usually awake earlier and get more done before 7AM than the rest of the day! Love this time of year when its light out early!

  4. Loverunningmommy says

    My problem is I am a night person but force myself to get up at 5:30 am to get my running in the morning before my daughter wakes up.
    So I end up going to be at midnight and waking up at 5:30.
    So lots of lack of sleep but it is my only time to myself to workout.

  5. says

    I love this idea, but need some help.

    I’ve always dreamed of being able to do this for my family, but currently work the second shift as a a nurse and don’t know how to make this happen. I work every day from 4pm to midnight and am usually asleep by 1-2 am. This is the only job that allows me to be home with my kids during the day and stilly contribute significantly to our finances.

    How can I work in a time like this when my bedtime is so late? Any other might shift nurses out there?

    • says

      Any chance the kids still nap in the early afternoon? That sounds like it might be good time for you to have to yourself. But yes, it’s not going to work to get up at 5:00 a.m. when you’re in bed at 1. On the other hand, it might work for you to use the time of 12:30-1:15 if your husband could handle the wake-up duties. You won’t be as refreshed and alert after work, but it could still be quiet personal time.

      • Amy says

        Thanks Laura! They are too old for naps, but we do have “room time” during the day. I usually try to decompress after work- usually put my feet up, drink a glass of wine, check email, etc. Not sure if I could transition that to productive time, but it’s with a try! Thanks for the suggestions; I really appreciate it!

  6. says

    We have been getting our whole family up at 5:45/6am to go for a neighborhood walk. We have six kiddos, ages 17 to 4 and so far, they all love the new schedule. We have “quiet hour” right after lunch, and that is such a nice break when each of us gets an hour by ourselves to do whatever we want to do without interruption. :)

  7. Amy says

    This is okay for those who work “traditional” hours, but it doesn’t take into account all the folks who work overnights or second shift jobs, like factory workers, nurses, stockers in retail, etc.

    As someone who had to report to work anywhere from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. when I worked early mornings for Macy’s in Merchandising I wouldn’t go back to those hours again ever and I only ever took the job because it was a last resort at that time in my life.

    I am a night person just like my father and those hours were torturous for me. I have always felt my most productive in the late afternoon and early evening hours.

    I think it’s all a matter of what works for one doesn’t necessarily hold true for all.

    • says

      This is in reply to Amy: I agree and would also like to chime in for night owls. I actually feel my biorhythms change in late afternoon, and am highly productive from that point on. I’ve been this way since 10 years old.
      Also would like to say this: if you work outside of the home ladies CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK!!!! If you can get yourself and your kids out the door each day, that’s challenge enough and well worth a pat on the back. Getting up early isn’t for everyone, and I can almost sense the pressure some of you will put on yourselves trying to do it when you just plain old don’t want to!!!
      Listen to your gut and body…if it works for you that’s wonderful…if something else works (but isn’t as traditional), well that’s wonderful, too!!!

      • Rebekah says

        I agree!!!! Maybe it’s because I still have very young kids but I cannot be productive early in the morning, and I never have been. I become a cleaning Tasmanian devil around 4 PM, and like you, I’ve been that way since I was a teenager at least. I really love the concept of getting up early and getting things done before everyone wakes up.. but I can’t. I’ve tried running, I’ve tried studying my Bible, my brain and body are just not on yet.

  8. says

    I agree 100% with you, Crystal. Just being able to get in some Bible/prayer time before my son gets up is worth getting up early. As a matter of fact, if I oversleep I tend to feel like I’ve wasted the day. :)

  9. Christine says

    In 2008 when I 1st started foster I began getting up an hour before kids for prayer, get myself ready, have a cuppa. I admit I’m not as diligent do during New England winters when it’s pitch dark and cold and the bed is oh so cozy and warm.

    Benefits for me are restoration of body, mind and soul during that quiet time. Plus I typically have 10-15minutes to spare for 1-3 quick chores (laundry, get crock pot going, clean out dishwasher). Getting those little chores done means I have more quality time to spend with my son and foster kids in the evening, less stress worrying about getting chores done.

  10. Christine says

    I completely agree! In 2008 when I 1st started fostering I began getting up an hour before kids for prayer, get myself ready, have a cuppa. I admit I’m not as diligent during New England winters when it’s pitch dark and cold and the bed is oh so cozy and warm.

    Benefits for me are restoration of body, mind and soul during that quiet time. Plus I typically have 10-15minutes to spare for 1-3 quick chores (laundry, organizing, review to do list, clean out dishwasher). Getting those little chores done means I have more quality time to spend with my son and foster kids in the evening, less stress worrying about getting chores done.