“Once I got up, I noticed a HUGE change.”
I’ve never woken up at the same time every day. Never.
Growing up I would sleep in on the weekends. In college my first class started at different times each day. My first job involved working 12 hour night shifts 3 days/week. And I had to flex my hours at my last job, meaning on Tuesdays and Thursdays I had to come in a bit later – and getting up around 5-6 AM, you know I slept in on the weekends.
Do at least some of these circumstances sound pretty similar to you? I’m willing to bet they do.
So when I switched to self-employment about a month ago, I made myself a promise. I would try waking up at 7 AM every single day. Yes, that includes weekends.
Why 7 AM? Because it’s still early enough for me to get plenty done during the day. Personally, I can’t stand getting up early in the morning; I’m definitely more of a night-owl. But I also don’t like sleeping in and wasting half my day. And 7 AM didn’t sound so early that I’d hate myself on the weekends.
Why is waking up at the same time every day beneficial?
I’d always heard there are tons of benefits. Things like: you sleep more soundly, you wake up with more energy, and you’re more productive during the day.
There’s no shortage of articles out there on it. And it’s all very positive stuff.
Now I can’t tell you from personal experience if waking up at the same time every day makes your immune system stronger or makes your emotions more level. But I can tell you what I’ve seen happen by doing this. There have been some pretty interesting things, and I’m not about to stop soon.
And here’s why:
What happened when I started waking up at the same time every day
1. I woke up with more energy
Okay, a warm bed is still a warm bed. I won’t deny that actually prying myself out of bed into the frigid apartment air was still a bit of a challenge.
But once I got up, I noticed a HUGE change.
Whereas before I would groggily stare at myself in the mirror and wish to trade lives with my cat for the day, I was now ready to get a move on. I was up and felt excited to tackle the day.
2. I wanted to exercise in the morning
Because I had more energy, I was actually on board with morning exercise. This is something I haven’t done since my summers back in high school. Funnily enough, back then I would get up at 8 AM every day and go on a run before it got too hot. Huh. Kinda odd I didn’t see this “consistent morning wake-up” benefit until now.
So what I’ve started doing is going on a run with my dog in the morning. She’s a good little runner, and we can get about 20 minutes in before she gets tired. Then, if I want to do more exercise that day, I’ll head to the gym for more cardio or weights.
It’s an excellent way to start the day.
3. Going to bed at the same time became easier
Since I wake up at the same time, I get tired around the same time. While I’m still a night owl, my sleepiness and my drive to continue this wake-up habit convince me to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
So without much effort, I consistently get 8 hours of sleep. And that amount of sleep keeps me energized all day long until my body tells me it’s time for bed.
4. My eating patterns became predictable
A perk I didn’t expect was that my eating patterns became much more predictable.
What I mean by this is that I now know when I’ll be hungry.
No more of me waking up either starving or totally averse to food. No more eating when I’m not hungry just because it’s the “right time of day” to eat. I now know when I’ll get hungry for lunch and dinner too.
And you can bet this eating pattern is a lot better on my stomach.
5. I started waking up right before my alarm
Definitely the most unexpected benefit was when I started waking up right before my alarm went off.
It doesn’t happen every single day, but it does a good amount of the time.
And it’s not the, “Ugh, I woke up a half hour before my alarm and now I can’t fall back asleep” predicament. I literally wake up 1-5 minutes before my alarm goes off. Sorta freaky, actually.
And when I wake up, I feel surprisingly awake. My body’s circadian rhythm has somehow adapted to complete a sleep cycle right before it expects to be woken up.
The human body is a fascinating thing.
This by far is the best benefit. It definitely helps me get up in the morning. No more snoozing for a half hour. When I wake up (or even when my alarm does go off first), I’m ready to begin my day.
How you can start waking up at the same time every day
Are you interested in implementing this too? It’s not always the easiest thing to start, but I’ve found it extremely rewarding and I’m sure you would too.
Here are some tips for implementing a consistent wake-up time:
~ Pick a time that will work during the week and on the weekends
~ Move your wake-up time up in increments if needed, such as: 7:00 AM, then 6:45 AM, then 6:30 AM…etc. if you’re making a big change
~ Keep yourself awake when your alarm goes off. Instantly turn on the light, look at your phone, read a book…whatever works!
~ Plan to do something you like as soon as you get up: drink coffee, go for a walk, listen to a podcast, watch YouTube videos…etc.
~ Go to bed early enough to get 8 hours of sleep
~ As this article from Verywell Health puts it, give yourself 1-2 weeks to adjust to this consistent wake-up time
That’s my experience and my tips! I hope you found this helpful and decide to try it out! I have nothing but good things to say about waking up at the same time every day.
If you try waking up at the same time every day, be sure to share how it went in the comments below!