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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.


Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Mornings.

This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your routines, invest your time in things that truly matter, and find more joy and peace in the process.

If you’ve ever wished that you could figure out how to get more done, have more organization in your life, and find time to spend on things you love, the Make Over Your Mornings Course is for you. Find out more about it here.

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  • I can’t agree with this more! I get so much done before the kids get up! I manage to get laundry done, enjoy coffee by myself and get all of my blog work done so the kids have my full attention when they wake up!

    I have read this book and HIGHLY recommend it!

  • Bethany says:

    It is impossible for me to get up before my kids – if they hear me they wake up and then everyone is tired and grumpy. Seems like the whole “early” thing is a fad lately – seeing this in more than 1 place!

    • Crystal says:

      Can you do something quietly in your room — like reading/making a priority list, etc. before they get up? I know that works for some moms who have light sleepers.

      And I’m not sure that it’s a “fad” — or if it is, I guess I was on the bandwagon quite a bit before the fad started seeing as I’ve reaping the fruits of getting up early ever since long before I was married. 😉

      • Bethany says:

        I don’t mean that getting up early is a fad – just posting about it! I’ve seen this on more than 1 blog/facebook group every single day lately!! Part of why I “sleep in” (between 7 and 8 isn’t really sleeping LATE!) is because I watch tv with my husband at night and that is our ONLY time together. It is more important to me to spend time with him 🙂

    • Carrie says:

      I don’t think it’s a fad, I’ve been doing it for years too – but it may be possible that the research coming to light about Willpower (A book by that name sheds a lot of light on the science behind it!) shows that people – no matter whether they’re night owls or morning people, have more self control in the morning. It’s because willpower gets depleted as the day progresses. Hence, good morning habits are more likely to stick. It may be that’s why you’re seeing it in a lot of places.

      Have to point out that the Bible has plenty to say about the benefits of early rising, and it’s not new 😉 Benjamin Franklin also extolled the benefits. So have a lot of wise people through the years:

    • SAB says:

      This describes our family, too. Especially in the summer when my children rise with the sun! I do get up at 5:00 three days a week to go run, but when I return at 6:45, all four of my kids are up, dressed and eating 🙂 I will say that it has gotten a little better as my kids get older (they are 9, 7, 5, 3)

    • Ann says:

      I completely understand Bethany. (And I’m a morning person!) I’ve accepted that this just doesn’t work for our family at this time, but I can make my mornings/day productive with the littles underfoot. There’s a good post today at simplemom about this very thing. 🙂

  • Jenni Dill says:

    As much as I hate to even admit it, when I get up early I DO get lots more done! When school was still in session (we are public school kids), the days that I would drag myself out of bed with exactly enough time to dress my child, help her brush her teeth, and get on the school bus -I would stumble back to bed, waking up around 9 or so, be lazy all day, and not get ANYTHING accomplished! But, the days that the breakfast menu at school was something my girl didn’t like and I’d wake up an hour ahead of the bus to make her breakfast, I was wide awake when she got on the bus and would stay up and have the whole house clean by the time my littler one got up at 9! It was a good feeling… But I’m a sucker for sleep – I’d stay in bed all day long if the kids let me! 🙂 This summer we’re taking lots of sleeping-in days, but I do need to get back on the waking up early boat…. Maybe this will be the motivation I need! (or maybe I’ll just think enthusiastically about it and sleep in again in the morning…)

  • Camille says:

    Being an early riser I was feeling down and all out of sorts because I got up at 8:30 today due to some troubling dreams last night, but after reading this post I’m feeling better. Being able to give myself a little leeway was one of the reasons I decided to work from home, and it’s not a habit. I feel so much better when I work out early in the a.m., shower, and then start my day. I have more energy, feel more organized, and don’t have to make excuses about being to tired to exercise later in the day.

  • Natasha says:

    I get up at 630 on the days that I take my daughter to daycare. Gives my enough time to eat breakfast, drink my coffee and read the news, check my email, and play on FB(lol) before I get her up at 7. I take her to daycare at 830 and come home and do whatever needs to be done. Getting up early is hard for me, as well as staying up late.. Early to bed, late to rise!
    However, once we move in 2 weeks, I am going to challenge myself to getting up at 6 am every morning to start running- we will be living out in the country so there’s actually somewhere to run! Hopefully it will energize me for the rest of the day to actually get things accomplished unlike today….I’ve done nothing but come home and sleep a few hours…

  • Michelle says:

    I’m in the season with a 5-week-old that requires catching as much sleep as possible. But as soon as my little man is sleeping through the night, I’m looking forward to getting up and getting some exercise and structured Bible study in. Thanks for the encouragement, Crystal. I feel like you’re my life coach at times =).

  • Abigail says:

    The confession was the best part of the article…haha, just kidding! I just have a nine week old baby, so my schedule is kind of fluid right now. Discouraging at times, but really want to just embrace this season of life.

    • Meghan says:

      I think it does depend on the “season” you’re in…..yesterday I posted about how I get up before my kids to work out, get ready, read the paper, etc…….but my kids are 6 and 3 and sleep completely through the night. When they were smaller and I was waking up all through the night, I was NEVER awake early. So don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t work for you now…….you are in a very challenging stage! Maybe it will work for you later on. 🙂

  • Natalie says:

    Agree. I always try to be up at least 15 minutes before my son. Having a minute to myself to drink coffee, pray, read – and then my day is right. I also agree, sometimes we just need to stay in bed for a few more. 🙂

    • I think I may need to try this again. I feel like life hasn’t been as organized as I would like lately. Maybe getting up a little early, again, could help to cut through all the junk and start the day off right.

  • laurie bishop says:

    I quit smoking 2.5 years ago after smoking for 32 years and I knew I would need to restructure my entire mornings. So I started getting up at 4 30 am, going to gym (never before in my entire life) and working out for an hour, then back home for quick shower and off to work for 7 am.This has been a blessing because not only am i still a non smoker, but it has helped keep my weight loss moving forward (20 lbs this year so far). I have more energy by getting up and moving earlier, but dont ask me to do much after 9 pm.!

  • Angie says:

    I’m good at getting up early, but not always great at making the most of those early morning hours. Before I had kids, that was my “goof off time” before work. I would fool around on FB and read some blogs.

    After I had kids, I had some success when that was house cleaning time, and I had a very clean house. Now that I have a blog that is my writing time. It is the best time to write, but I also wonder if I should be working out or cleaning my house. My problem is I am terrible at prioritizing because everything is important to me! LOL!

    My friend’s Mom told her 1 hour of sleep before mid-night was equal to 2 hours of sleep after mid-night. I thought this was a bunch of BS, until I heard some where that the gravitational pull between the earth and moon between like 8 or 9 p.m. and mid-night (the same gravity that causes low and high tide) makes the atmosphere more conducive for sleep.

    I’m not very scientific and I may have oversimplified the concept, but that made sense to me.

    • Heather says:

      I’ve also heard the part about sleep before midnight being more beneficial, but I’m not sure about the moon/tide part. The times of the tides are always changing.

    • Brandy says:

      I have heard the same thing about one hour before midnight was equal to two after…and I have to say that it seems to be true in my case. If I sleep from 10-6 it seems more restful than 12-8…even though they are the same amount of time…at least for me. I have never heard about the atmosphere thing, but I imagine it could be the reason!

    • Andrea says:

      Tides vary from day to day, as does the distance from the earth to the moon. The moon orbits the earth in an ellipse, so as nice as that theory sounds, I don’t buy it. I do, however, feel that I get better sleep at the beginning of the night, so maybe there’s a physiological reason?

    • Stephanie says:

      That’s my writing time too Angie, and the reason I get up early. I do sometimes feel like I should be doing more with that time, but writing is important to me and early mornings is the only time I can accomplish that without the guilt of not being with my family. When they are up, I am ON DUTY for the day 🙂 So do what works for you!!!

  • Jennifer says:

    My son has just begun to stay in bed after I get up… Before even using the bathroom would wake him up! I agree that even if you can’t get out of bed ans tackle a lot, this is the perfect time to spend time with God. I keep my Bible on my nightstand so I can do my devotions or spend some time reading. I don’t get a shower til after breakfast, but it works for me! 🙂

  • Katie says:

    I have to smile at this post because this is so NOT me! Haha! I get up at either 4:45 or 5:45 (depending on when my husband has to be at work) and make breakfast for him and pack his lunch. I then go back to bed and, well, I haven’t been out of bed before 11 the past two weeks! I am just going to soak it up and enjoy it while it lasts though. I am 33 weeks pregnant with our first, and I just got off work at the end of May. My mom told me that I won’t have the opportunity to do this again for at least 18 years so to enjoy it while it lasts! You gave me some great things to think about though once the baby is here and we have a routine. I know our lives are about to change like crazy! 🙂

    • Chris says:

      Katie…your mom is right. Enjoy your rest!!!

    • Andrea says:

      Congratulations! Sleep as much as you need now and in the first few months of being a mama, sleep as much as you can!

    • Laura says:

      Yes, my advice for anyone who is pregnant with their first is to lay on the couch and do nothing, sleep, read, watch tv, etc. as much as possible and DO NOT feel guilty!!!!

    • Alicia says:

      I would do exactly what you do! I am all for enjoying the quiet that comes during the season you’re in. Your body needs it as well.

    • Amy says:

      Oh yes! I just had my third and I can chime in wholeheartedly, “Do it and don’t feel guilty!”

    • Katie says:

      Thanks ladies! I am enjoying my rest, and so far, no guilty feelings! While my husband and our home are my responsibilities right now, we have agreed that my number one job is caring for the baby. My wonderful husband says that when I’m tired, I should sleep, and when I’m hungry I should eat. He is so supportive! Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  • Erica says:

    Reading 168 Hours right now and have this book on the Kindle for PC when I am done. Love the idea of being able to say “I have the time, I don’t do it because it is not a priority or me.” No more feeling guilty or trying to find a PC way to defend myself…so freeing. That being said, I’m a night owl learning to adjust to get my priorities lined up. Four of my prioritites are early birds, so getting up earlier is on body training agenda right now 🙂

  • Tricia says:

    I totally agree with your post about getting up early. There are days when it’s been so hard, but truthfully when I’m up before my son and can get a head start on my day it makes the world of difference. Great post 🙂

  • Bettie says:

    At this season of my life getting up early is not practical. I’m taking care of my elderly bed bound mother and she needs help day and night, so when I can sleep I do. But I agree with getting up earlier. I do seem to get so much more accomplished when I get up at least by 0700.

    • Stephanie says:

      I am a caregiver for my husband and know what you mean. I am getting up a lot during the night to help him. I still get up early, but am finding myself squeezing in an afternoon nap just to get by!

  • Carole says:

    Elisabeth Elliot, the well known Christian writer and speaker has said that she didn’t think there was such a thing as a “morning person” or “night person”; she thought it was a matter of habit. I think she thought the morning person was the best way to be/

    • Heather says:

      Of course, morning people usually do think that!
      I was raised by a “morning person” father . . . . sigh.

    • Kate says:

      I think morning people usually DO think this way, but if you are not a morning person, it is so hard to explain to others. I have always been a VERY deep sleeper (so deep that I can sometimes not be woken up in the middle of the night). I am usually pretty slow moving in the mornings; it takes about an hour for my mind to start functioning. I am capable of getting up early (so please don’t think I’m lazy)!, but it is not a productive time for me. I am typically sitting in a chair staring at the wall while my mind wakes up. My best time of day for being productive is early afternoon to 9 pm. No matter how well rested I am or how early I get up, I will never be a early morning accomplisher! ; ) Some people can adapt easier to early schedules, but all my life (even as a child) it was soooo hard for me in the mornings.

      • Emma Garside says:

        It’s all about biorhythms. Most people’s biorhythms awaken them early in the morning as young children, getting steadily later through teens and twenties (that’s the reason that college students are usually “night owls” – their biorhythms encourage them to be). Most adults move back to being early morning people as they age through their twenties and thirties, but some don’t. If you took a sleep study or similar studies and compared your natural rhythms – heart beat, core temperature, brain waves etc – with a natural morning person, you would probably find yours are a few hours behind theirs. It’s not something you can easily change as far as I know, although if you were determined to, you should probably do things like taking Melatonin (as well as forcing yourself to adopt an early morning wake-up schedule). I like my lie-ins though, so I’m certainly not advocating it!

  • I’m up and going by 5:30 a.m. every day. I’m able to work on my blog, pay bills, and even get some laundry or other housework done before I get ready for work. On weekends, I try to get out of bed early and complete most of my blogging before my husband and kids wake up so it doesn’t cut into our family time.

  • August says:

    I love that you posted this. I’m under a lot of pressure with school right now, plus I have a two year old and a husband. I’ve decided that I’m going to start getting up earlier that way I can get more work done in the mornings and during nap time, that way I wont be too busy for my son. I hate to say it like that, but it’s true. I say, “sorry baby, but Mommy is busy doing homework” more than anything else. I’ve made a promise to myself to change that so I can be a better mom without hurting my school work. Hopefully it works out, I never want him to feel like he’s not the most important thing in the world to me!

  • Kristin says:

    “She riseth also while it is yet night…”

  • amber says:

    When school was in I started getting up 30 mins before everyone else. I would take a shower, get dressed and do my hair, then wake the kids up. I had more energy and was happier. Now that summer is here I wake up the same time as my husband and kids at 8:30. Once school starts back I will start getting up earlier again.

  • Katie Haney says:

    My husband gets up at 4:30 or earlier every morning to go to work and I get up with him to make coffee and his breakfast– because I have to leave for work at 6:45 I end up just staying up after he leaves around 5 and some mornings are way harder than others, but I’ve found I get so much done in the mornings! Thankfully I’m able to take a half hour nap after work/before he gets home almost every day, but we joke that once our baby gets here in a few weeks I’ll be getting even less sleep than I am now! 🙂 Every season has its own circumstances and thankfully God’s grace is sufficient for every day!

  • J says:

    I grew up in a home where the entire family was awake and eating before 5:30am. We went to bed early too. It is a habit that I have had all my life. I am fortunate I do not need much sleep to function well and can do with between 6 1/2-7 hours. My husband sleeps 10 hours per night and if not well….let’s just say it is better that he does.

    • Lora says:

      A random thought for you, J. I have always required 9-10 hours of sleep a night and, like your husband, it was just better that I got it. Even so, I was tired and groggy when I woke, but nothing like I was if I slept less. My husband was a 7 hour man and COULD NOT understand my issues. 🙂 Six months ago, I began eating Paleo (fruit, nuts, vegetables, meat, no grains, no dairy) and within 2 weeks, I was sleeping 6.5-7 hours a night, waking without an alarm (BEFORE hubby), and feeling more rested than I have EVER felt. Changing the way I eat means I have gained about 360 hours in those 6 months. 🙂 Talk about some unexpected results.

      • J says:

        You may have a point. We do eat considerably different. Although I wonder if it has been a habit. After 20+ years I gave up discussing the issue.

  • Camille says:

    I forgot to ask if that is butter and honey swirled on the bread in your picture with the post, because it looks absolutely divine. Is that your English muffin bread? I guess I’ve noticed I’ve been hungrier throughout the day since I started my early morning workout routine, but I’ve been trying to make good choices. You can tell where my mind is though. 😉

  • Roxanne says:

    In college the university had a 1 credit class all freshmen had to take acclimating them to using libraries, etc.

    I remember one of the things taught was that what we call “morning people” and “night owls” are just matters of preference. Some people do not like waking early or starting work in the morning.

    However, studies have shown all people learn and perform better during traditional “work hours”. I can’t remember exactly the hours but it was something like 8am-6pm.

    I understand people arguing that they really love their sleep. But I wholeheartedly believe your day is more productive if you rise early. There are several references in the Bible about waking early too, so that really convinces me there is value in this.

    • Carrie says:

      “There are several references in the Bible about waking early too, so that really convinces me there is value in this.”

      Exactly. 🙂 I don’t believe that people are born morning people or night owls. It’s a matter of habit. I’ve seen people change those habits that they thought were lifelong when they had compelling reason to.

      • Chelsea says:

        Okay Roxanne and Carrie, I’m not excited very excited about this because I like to sleep in ;), but if there really are passages in the bible about this I would like to to delve in and read about it and find out what it says.

        Do you by chance have references to the verses you are referring to?

  • Jen says:

    So is this the challenge for June?

  • sarah says:

    So, any tips on forcing yourself to actually get out of bed when the alarm clock goes off? I have good intentions, but struggle with actually doing it in the moment. Help!

  • Margaret Puffer says:

    I have been getting up early for a long time. 5am most mornings ( must be the farm girl in me : ) . I get up for two reasons A) to have some precious “me time” and B) to do things that are difficult to concentrate on with kids around. meal plans, scheduling and some light housecleaning/organizing. It really makes me feel like I accomplished something before the day has started.

  • Amy says:

    I’ve been praying/thinking about getting up with my husband so I may indeed take on this challenge. It will be a challenge for me as I’ve always been a night owl and mornings are not my cup of tea. My brain doesn’t start working until well after 9am. It will be extra difficult because he wakes up at 3:45am to get to work by 4:45am and I haven’t seen 3:45am since my littlest was a babe and he’s going to be 4 this September.
    Thing is we’ve been trying to get healthier and getting enough sleep is vital to health. My husband is not getting enough because he wants to stay up with us until 9 or later in the summer. He comes home and crashes! It would be nice to see him when he’s awake and alert even if that means waking up really, really early and being in bed before 8!
    I just hope my youngest cooperates but it’s worth a try!

    • I’ve gone to bed at 8 with my children so that I could get up at 4 am before, when my husband was leaving at 5:20 am. I got SO much done that year, and I had 4 children under 5, plus I was expecting another. It made a huge difference in my day.

      I found that if I got up and showered first, it worked best. I could have a few minutes to talk with my husband while we were both getting ready, and then a few minutes in the kitchen. Since the children were sleeping, it gave us a great chance to talk when it was quiet.

  • Amber says:

    For me, it makes a bigger difference that I avoid waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle—I have less control over it with a baby in the house, but otherwise, I know how much sleep to aim for in order to jump out of bed energized and ready to start the day. Otherwise, it takes me an HOUR to get my brain going, even with coffee.

  • Rachael says:

    I teach evening classes, but I am a morning person by nature. Does anyone have any suggestions in making this work when you work later in the day? We always feel so off at our house because of these classes (although I do love my job.) Thanks!

  • Nancy Thyfault says:

    I’m up and going by 5:30 6 days a week (my yougest has swim practice at 7 am ) so this gets me going!! Can’t say that I enjoy it, but it gives me the opportuity to run/workout while he works out for 2 hours. If you can find something active for the kids to do, and it lets you workout too, please do it!! It will change your life!! However, I do let myself sleep in till 7 on Sundays (quite blissful I might add). However, both my kids are older (one 20, one 12) and it never would of worked when they are little.

  • Lori says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with being more productive if you wake up early. Every person has a built in cycle and that makes some people morning people and some night people. They’ve done studies that prove that trying to change a persons cycle actually makes them less productive.

    I’ve had times in my life where I’ve gotten up early for work, school and children and I’ve also had times in my life where I didn’t have to. The times that were more to my cycle I was a lot more productive and didn’t drag through my day. I’m def night person and I’m a lot more productive if I can just stay on that schedule.

    • Crystal says:

      I absolutely agree that some people are wired different ways. As I mentioned in the post, it doesn’t work for everyone, but I’ve found that *I’m* much more productive when I get up early.

      If getting up early doesn’t work for you, then definitely stick to what works for you. But like I said in the post, if you haven’t tried it before, I encourage people to give it a try to see if it might be an effective strategy for the way your body is wired.

      My apologies if it wasn’t clear from the post that I was speaking from personal experience — not stating that what works for me should be a rule for everyone. And thanks for letting me clear that up so you can rest easy and know that there’s no disagreement between you and me. 🙂

  • Teresa says:

    I envy those who get to “make the most of their morning” by making breakfast, reading their Bible, reading blogs or browsing facebook. I work Monday through Friday 5:30AM- 2PM. I wake to my alarm at 3:45AM, shower and get ready to be out the door by 5AM to take my 2 year-old daughter to daycare and make the 25 minute commute to work. On the weekends, my daughter wakes me up around 7, but even THAT is sleeping in! Unfortunately, my priorities have taken a seat on the back burner as my husband is in prison so I work, and make every visit, and try to spend as much quality time with my family as I can.

    • Stephanie says:

      Wow Teresa you have a lot on your plate. Have you ever met up with Lizzie who runs the blog A Dusty Frame? I think because she has been there, she can help give you some encouragement. Said a prayer for you too. Life sure can throw some curve balls, can’t it?

      • Teresa says:

        I looked up the blog that you mentioned, and I forsee my “me time” – after my daughter goes to sleep to be reading it! Thank you.

    • Teresa,

      During a 25 minute commute, you could get a lot of Bible reading done, if you can listen in your car to cds or mp3s (whatever you have). Until our cd player broke in our car (we haven’t had the funds to repair it) my husband listened every morning and evening. He got quite a bit of an opportunity to listen that way. He really misses it. Perhaps you could do that. If you have an MP3 player in your car, you can download the Bible (King James version) for free here:

      Perhaps while you are in the shower you could brew a nice herbal tea to take with you in the morning on your drive as well, so that that time can be more peaceful to you.

      • Teresa says:

        Why didn’t I think of the talking Bible??? Great suggestion! Thank you. I’ll pass on the tea though, I’m not much of a tea drinker 🙂

  • Debbie says:

    I totally agree with this post but…. what is on that toast?? Looks like cream and honey but that would be weird. Haha.

  • Jessica says:

    What is that stuff on your toast?

  • Melissa says:

    I agree getting up early is better for me. I get up by 5am and have a lot to do before I get out of the house. Today I didn’t get out of the house until 5:20 and guess what. I forgot to pull out dinner. Now I have to figure out what I cooked for dinner. Ugh I am soo sad!

  • Angie says:

    Since I’ve been contemplating getting up early for awhile now, it seems as good as time as any to get started! I just downloaded the book, and am looking forward to what it has to offer!

  • Peggy says:

    I’ve been trying to get up early this week so that I can water my garden before work. It has been very good. I am such a night owl that it is really difficult to do continuously but I keep trying. Last night I completely lost track of time and didn’t get to bed until 11:30 but I still got up about 5:30 anyway.

    When weekends come I revert back to night owl status and have to readjust all over during the week. I just cannot get to bed early though when I am not working. It is hardest in summer time.

    BTW – I’m so hungry after looking at that picture of your toast.

  • Deb says:

    I love getting up early, if I wait until 7:30 or 8:00 I feel like my day is half gone. Love the early hours of the day!

  • Stephanie says:

    You really made me crave toast with that photo!!!

  • Carrie says:

    I wanted to mention that for those who want to get up early but have trouble doing so, you may want to investigate health issues or even depression. Thyroid issues and other hormonal imbalances can cause difficulty getting up in the morning.

    So can depression.

    Here’s a test. If you have no trouble jumping out of bed to catch an early plane or leave for a road trip for vacation or something else exciting, then the problem may be emotional. You might not feel passionate enough about something in your life to get you out of bed in the mornings. That can be rectified.

    Laura’s book recommends treating yourself to something enjoyable to establish the habit of early rising. A piece of Nutella toast does it for me. LOL.

    Then rising early becomes self sustaining as you realize the benefits. If I didn’t get up early, I doubt I would have an active blog and income earning websites with 6 (going on 7) kids to take care of and homeschool. I get excited about starting the day because I’m passionate about my writing.

    So perhaps a deeper issue is the lack of something to look forward to. Maybe this is why our kids are so eager to hop out of bed! They’re high on life 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Thanks for sharing this!

      One of the reasons I usually love getting up in the morning is because of what you said above: I’m waking up to do things I really enjoy and am passionate about (reading, spending time in God’s Word, planning my day, running, writing, etc.). If I were getting up to do things I dreaded, I’d probably stay in bed as long as I possibly could! 🙂

    • Peggy says:

      I had to come back and reply to this comment as the comment about someone being a ‘night owl’ because of health or mental issues or because they have nothing to look forward to. For someone to assume such is the case for everyone seems quite judgmental.

      I am a ‘night owl’ because my body and brain are wired to stay wide awake until the wee hours of the morning. It’s not the getting up that I have big problems with. It’s the getting to sleep at a decent hour in the first place. I have to make myself go to bed earlier and it has been a struggle all my life. And I do mean ALL my life. My mother says I would do that as a baby. I was raised in a home of early risers and never got away with sleeping in but I tried every single morning. My grandmother was that way. I have an uncle that was that way. Now my little granddaughter is the same way.

      I’ve tried every trick in the book. I am better today but I’d still like to improve. I usually go to sleep when I actually get to bed. It’s just that the thought of going to be doesn’t cross my mind! I set alarms to remind me but then usually I don’t feel tired so am just going to stay up a few minutes until I finish something and the next thing I know it is late. It is the late night hours when I get all my housework done, plan for the next day, prayer and meditation, journaling, etc. No one is there to disturb me and I can get it all done quickly. I find late at night to be the most peaceful time and love sitting outside after dark. For me the night is as the morning hours are for you. The only problem is that I have to be at work before 7 every morning!

      • Crystal says:

        I’ve found that if I get up really, really early for a few mornings, I have a much easier time going to bed early at night — because I’m so tired by 8 or 9 p.m.! 🙂 I’m not sure if that will work for you and you’ve probably tried it, but it’s the thing that’s been the most helpful for me when it comes to actually getting to bed early (something I often struggle with, too!).

  • Chanda says:

    Hmm…I am thinking a lot about this. I actually LOVE to get up early and get things going in the morning, but am in that season right now where I have a 5 month old who wakes often and a 2.5 year old who also wakes often (he is fully potty trained and wakes up atleast once at night to use the potty), so when my early alarm goes off it is really hard to get out of bed. I definitely understand that whole “it is only a season” thing and the advice not to worry about getting up early during this stage, but Lord willing there will be more babies and more sleepless nights in the future… I guess I am trying to figure out if I should embrace the exhaustion and build a coffee drinking habit, or get more sleep and don’t get nearly as much done….neither option seems awful, but I’m undecided on which would be better.

  • I realized recently how foolish I have been – my husband doesn’t have to leave for work until 9:45 am, and I work much better in the morning, so even if the kids are up, we could still work out a deal where one of us is responsible for the kids while the other gets some things done. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jennifer says:

    I have definetly become a morning person since having my kids. And I have grown to really enjoy that quiet time when everyone is still sleeping (even the hubby most mornings!) I usually get up around 6:30 am and enjoy my coffee, check my email, do a little laundry folding, water my flowers, make grocery lists, to-do lists, etc., put a meal in the crock pot….and it is soo nice to be able to do that ALONE! My kiddos no longer take naps, so having that alone time in the AM, is really nice for me. And I like to slowly wake up (with my coffee, of course) cause I know when their little feet hit the floor and running, it is “Mommy, can I have breakfast?” “Mommy, what are we doing today???” “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy…..” And then my day is off and running!!!!! 🙂

  • KK says:

    Waking up before my kids get up is how I function best. I need God time and me time. Also,helps to have some quiet time with a cup of coffee or two,to read to make my list for the day. Much more productive if I have this time.

    The toast is unusual looking, It looks like marshmallow fluff with honey swirled throughout. When I first glanced at the picture I thought the swirls looked like angels!

  • Sarah says:

    okay- my kids wake up between 5am-5:30am every single day. and they do not go to bed until like 8pm every night. (They are just those people who don’t need lots of sleep…ugh)

    There is no way on Earth I am getting up at 3:30 or 4am to get stuff done. Maybe when they sleep in- I will get up before they do!!!

    • Alicia says:

      I don’t know how old your kids are and maybe you’ve tried this, but have you ever worked on training them to stay in bed or in their rooms quietly until a set time? We haven’t used this yet but an idea for our son who can’t tell time or understand time is to have a dim light come on with an outlet timer at 7:45 or 8:00 (which would be about 30 min after he sometimes wakes up, thus extending our quiet time a little bit, but not for hours on end) and he can’t get up or call out to us until that light is on. Again, I don’t know your family situation but thought I’d throw it out there.

  • Jen says:

    I totally agree with this, but am having a hard time with the follow through since usually all 4 of my kids are UP by 6am (and I’ve usually nursed the baby once or twice during the night – so I’m a little sleep deprived). I just can’t seem to get up before them and have a hard time getting going before 7 anyway. And since my husband is a night owl I often succumb to staying up later than I want to just to spend time with him. I should try harder though.

    • Alicia says:

      It’s definitely hard when our husbands like to stay up later, especially if that’s our main quiet time to relax together. We started getting up together to workout on some mornings, and amazingly, my husband gradually shifted over to being ready to head toward bed around 10:15 vs an hour later than that. But then we start staying up late again, sleeping in, and he shifts right back. 🙂

  • Since reading this awhile back on your site I decided to give it a try. I have very light sleepers so I do quiet things so I make sure they stay asleep. I read, blog, fold wash and shower. I was never a morning person so this took a few months to get used to and now if Im not up before 8am I feel the whole day is lost and I cant get my day in order.
    Its not for everyone but I agree at least give it a try. It really could change your way of getting things done. Again I was the biggest night owl you would NEVER catch me up before 8 (which is when my kids get up) since Ive started having kids 5 yrs ago.

    • Alicia says:

      Thanks for your experience! I am confident the same would be true for me…I’m getting there on starting to get up earlier. Right now I get up 3x a week to workout with P90x at 6:30 with my husband but would like to start getting up more mornings to do other things on the days I don’t work out.

  • Courtney says:

    I am very much a night owl, but have often thought I should get over it and become an early riser, especially since my husband and my 4 year old are both “morning people”. I have a question though. If you’re getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning, what time do you usually go to bed? I think I would have to go to bed before my kid in order to get enough sleep! 😉

  • Shelly says:

    Totally true. Last Saturday I was up by 6 a.m., intent on going and taking pictures at a lake (never did find the lake). I took a 1.5 – 2 mile walk and vacuumed before 8 a.m. It was amazing and worth repeating.

  • 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?!

      • patty says:

        i’m guessing almond butter…

      • 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!

    • 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!

      • 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.

  • Marie says:

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • 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!

  • Gina 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. 🙂

  • 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.

    • karen 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!!!

      • Crystal says:

        Thanks so much for chiming in! I love your perspective! 🙂

      • 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.

  • 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. 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Article about this on Yahoo this morning!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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