Waking up early in the morning has long been associated with success and productivity. In particular, waking up at 5am has been touted as one of the most beneficial times to start your day. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why waking up at 5am is so beneficial.
Firstly, waking up at 5am provides an opportunity for uninterrupted time to focus on personal growth and development. With the rest of the world still asleep, you can use this time to read, meditate, exercise or work on your personal projects without interruptions. This allows you to start your day feeling accomplished, which can set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
Establishing the right bedtime
Setting the perfect bedtime is a crucial component of a healthy sleep routine. It starts with calculating the right number of hours of sleep your body needs, which typically ranges from 7 to 9 hours for adults. Once you’ve determined your ideal sleep duration, you can work backward to establish an appropriate bedtime. To help in this endeavour, consider factors such as your daily schedule, morning commitments, and personal preferences. For instance, if you need to wake up at 5 am, a bedtime schedule might involve going to bed around 8:30 pm to ensure you get a full 8 hours of rest. However, it’s essential to adapt your bedtime to your unique needs and preferences, as the right bedtime can significantly impact your overall health and well-being.
Here are some suggestions for choosing a proper bedtime for waking up at 5 am:
- Start by counting backward from the time you want to wake up. Plan to get to bed by 10pm, for example, if your goal is to get 7 hours of sleep.
- Prioritise your sleep cycles by setting a bedtime that enables you to finish several of them. Plan your bedtime in increments of 90 minutes since a sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes (for example, 7.5 hours or 9 hours).
- Take your own Sleep efficiency into account: Consider how well you sleep on a personal level. Consider spending more time in bed if you usually struggle to fall asleep or wake up during the night.
- Take note of your body and listen to the natural cues your body sends you. Don’t fight it if you begin to feel drowsy before your scheduled bedtime; simply get into bed.
- Experiment and adjust – it may take some trial and error to find the ideal bedtime. Be willing to experiment with different bedtimes until you find the one that allows you to wake up at five in the morning feeling rested.
Samantha Morris, Somatic Psychotherapist, gives insight into evening prep and connecting to nature:
“If we want to work towards a 5am wakeup time then one of the first things we can do is to try not to stress about a 5am wake up! Aiming to consistently get up at this time to begin with will help. So that may start with setting an alarm for 5am. I would recommend a calming wake up noise or light alarm. Waking up to a screeching alarm can start your nervous system off in a stressed state! Then you will want to expose yourself to light. Natural light is best but if it’s still dark outside (most likely at 5am!) then switch your lights on and flood your house with light. This will help the circadian system in your brain as this uses light to cue various hormones associated with waking up.
Fast forward to the evening when you want to be using light to let your body know it’s sleepy time. A couple of hours before bed you should start to use low level amber lighting and switch the bright lights off. Candle light or Himalayan salt lamps work great for this. The reduced light will cue the sleepy hormones to come on board. Turning your phone off at least an hour before bed is best. This is not only due to the blue light emitted which interrupts the circadian system but also due to the stimulating effect of using your phone to scroll social media/watchTV/emails etc.”
Creating a bedtime routine
Setting up a regular, restful sleep schedule requires creating a nightly routine. The value of having a nighttime routine is that it can tell your body when to go from being awake to being asleep. Your circadian cycle is regulated by this constantly, which makes it simpler for you to go to sleep and wake up at the appropriate times. A nightly routine can also help you unwind, manage your stress, and sleep better over time.
You can incorporate the following activities into your night routine:
- Exercises for relaxation: To relax your body and mind, try progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, or moderate yoga stretches.
- Reading: Reading a book (in print, not on a screen) can help you relax and take your mind off the stresses of the day.
- Warm bath or shower: A warm bath or shower helps ease tight muscles and promote a calming environment before bed.
- Meditation and mindfulness techniques can help you relax and lower anxiety, which will make it simpler for you to fall asleep.
- Limit screen time: Include screen avoidance in your daily routine to reduce exposure to blue light, which can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.
- Hydrate mindfully: While it’s important to be hydrated, limiting fluid intake before bed will help you avoid having to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.
- Prepare for the next day: To ease any pre-sleep tension about the morning routine, lay out your clothing, pack your lunch, or write a to-do list for the next day.
Your nighttime routine must be followed consistently if you want it to be effective. Here are some pointers to keep you on course:
- Establish a regular schedule: To keep your body’s internal clock in check, go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, even on the weekends.
- Start early: To give yourself plenty of time to unwind, start your routine at least 30 minutes before your planned bedtime.
- Create a calm environment: To assist your sleep schedule, make sure your bedroom is cosy, quiet, and dark.
- Avoid stimulants: Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, particularly in the hours before night.
- Limiting naps will help you avoid disturbing your nocturnal sleep. If you must take a nap during the day, keep it brief (20–30 minutes).
- Be patient: Your body may need some time to become used to a new habit; be patient and give it some time.
Read more: 15 Ways to get a better night’s sleep
Optimising your sleep environment
The quality of your sleep can be significantly increased by optimising your sleeping environment. The conditions in which you sleep have a big impact on how quickly you fall asleep, how deeply you sleep, and how often you wake up at night. Here’s an explanation of how it affects sleep quality along with some examples of how to do so:
Impact on Sleep Quality: The conditions in which you sleep can either help or impede your ability to get a restful night’s sleep. Your circadian cycle is easier to control, disturbances are minimised, and sleep disturbances are minimised in an environment that promotes sleep. On the other hand, a bad sleep environment, such as too much noise, uncomfortable bedding, or too much light, can result in a bad night’s sleep, leaving you drowsy and exhausted the next day.
Making the Best Sleep Environment:
- Darkness: To help your body prepare for sleep, make sure your bedroom is completely dark or use blackout curtains to block out light from outside.
- Comfortable bedding: Spend money on a supportive mattress and pillows that aid in maintaining healthy spinal alignment.
- Maintain a cool, pleasant temperature in the room, usually between 15-19°C (60-67°F). A colder environment might promote restful sleep.
- White noise: To block out distracting noises and produce a steady background noise that can aid in deeper sleep, use fans or white noise makers.
- Remove electronics from the bedroom: The blue light created by screens can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. Keep electronics like phones, laptops, and TVs out of the room.
- Minimal clutter: An organised, clutter-free bedroom can foster a restful atmosphere that is favourable to sleep.
- Comfortable sleepwear: To avoid discomfort during the night, dress in comfortable, breathable sleepwear.
- High-quality drapes: To prevent streetlights or early morning sunlight, use thick drapes or blinds.
- Aromatherapy: To create a peaceful environment, think about utilising calming scents like lavender or chamomile through essential oils or sachets.
- Pets and disturbances: If your pet or a disturbance consistently wakes you up throughout the night, you might want to keep them out of your bedroom and deal with the noise or disruption’s source.
You may greatly improve the quality of your sleep by setting up the ideal sleeping environment. You can do this to make falling asleep, having a deeper, more restorative sleep, and waking up feeling rested and awake easier. These adjustments can boost general wellbeing and make it simpler to keep to a regular wake-up time, like 5 a.m., for an active and productive start to your day.
Olivia Aloronzzo, Leading Sleep Expert, gives 5 top tips to reduce snoring:
- Reduce alcohol intake – Alcohol is a prime risk factor for snoring: it relaxes the muscles in the upper airways, causing them to collapse through the night and amplify snoring.
- Sleep on your side – By sleeping on your back, you exacerbate snoring – however, sleeping on your side can also help.
- Ensure you are at a healthy weight – weight reduction for those carrying excess weight can improve snoring – so much so that in some cases, symptoms can be eliminated.
- Consider a nasal dilator – for a simple, straightforward solution, nasal dilators such as Mute should be considered – their clinical trials indicate snoring can be reduced by 75%; and that 78% of users reported breathing easier at night.
- Improve air quality. Well ventilated, purified air reduces the risk that snoring is due to pollution and airborne critters that may offset allergies – which can otherwise lead to irritated airways, congestion and amplify snoring.
Waking up at 5 am offers a multitude of benefits, including enhanced productivity, increased mindfulness, and the opportunity to kickstart your day with intention. These advantages extend beyond the early morning hours, positively impacting your overall well-being and daily accomplishments.
However, the path to successfully rising at 5 am starts with a well-structured bedtime schedule. We’ve highlighted the importance of selecting an appropriate bedtime, creating a bedtime routine, and optimising your sleep environment. These factors are instrumental in ensuring a restful night’s sleep, making the early morning wake-up call more attainable and rewarding.
As you embark on this journey to harness the benefits of waking up at 5 am, we encourage you to implement the tips and suggestions provided. Remember that consistency, patience, and adaptability are key. By prioritising your sleep and establishing a bedtime routine, you can unlock the full potential of those early hours and set the stage for a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life. So, here’s to your success in embracing the 5 am wake-up call and seizing the day!