I Tried Waking Up at 5 AM

First, let’s start with some housekeeping. I have reached an impasse, and I believe that it is the best of both worlds to share my thoughts with my readers on this blog and my readers on Medium. I would be limiting myself if I did not post on both platforms.

In my last blog post, I mentioned that I would love to earn some $$$ by setting up paywalls via the Medium Partner Program, but there aren’t enough readers who are willing to invest their time in me on either platform……yet. Obviously, I need to keep practicing my craft, and if the topics I am writing about are appropriate for this blog (and 99.9% of the time they are), then I am more than happy to share my musings here with you all.

(っ◔◡◔)っThis is the main reason why I am re-posting the article that I recently shared on Medium. If you commented on Medium, you do not need to comment again unless you really want to! Thank you for your support!

I Tried Waking Up at 5 AM

As many of you already know, I have been struggling for the past few months to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. I even shared two related blog posts which you can read here if you haven’t done so already:

♡ Redefining Sleep: 8 Ways to Sleep Better

 Best Quiet Activities for Insomniacs

Let’s be honest, I have a hard time getting adequate sleep and it takes me a long time to get back on my feet in the morning. When I first heard about the 5 AM Club (0500 if we’re using a 24-clock), I was very intrigued because I’m typically not an early riser. The only time I wake up early is when I have morning shifts at the hospital, which requires me to wake up at 0430 in the morning. 4:30 AM work mornings can be a real struggle — no joke!

Even on my days off, I find myself struggling to wake up before noon on my day off, even when it was my own will and not because I have to be somewhere. When I do have to work a day shift, though (which thankfully does happen less often) I always manage to start racing out of bed and out the door!

I would like to share the details of a recent podcast that I listened to by Robin Sharma. He led a Mastery Session Podcast series (free on iTunes) where he shared insight on how you can be more productive and create more success in your life. As I listened to him, he kept my attention by using the term “5 AM Club” which was unknown to me. After listening to a few episodes, it became apparent that he was likely the one who coined the term. Who doesn’t want to experience increased levels of productivity? 🙋‍♀️

The 5 AM Club in a Nutshell

Robin Sharma states that the 5 AM Club includes 3 critical tasks that he does every morning when he wakes up at 5 AM, which are the following:

1. Exercising for 20 minutes
2. Journaling for 20 minutes
3. Learning something new for 20 minutes.

He is able to get his morning routine done in just 60 minutes, which allows him to have 1 hour of extra time in the day to pursue other activities that are very important to him.

I remained skeptical of the genuine benefits of the 20/20/20 rule and preferred to test out the theory that waking up earlier for all non-workdays and remaining productive during the day would be beneficial to my long-term productivity levels.

(っ◔◡◔)っBefore I continue, I just want to clarify one thing I did differently: I did not use the 20/20/20 rule at all — I only wanted to wake up at 5 AM.

How It All Went Down

I had to wake up at 0500 for seven consecutive days and felt both physically and mentally drained, but I was able to push through. The first few days were fine, but as the week went on I started to get tired. It was very hard to find the motivation to do anything in the evening as all I wanted was to sleep. As the rest of my family usually stays until midnight, it became very challenging trying to coordinate our schedules. I hated forcing myself to go to bed early when they were still awake and forcing myself to wake up early when they were still asleep. I continued waking up at 0500 every morning for a week before I went back to my usual dysfunctional sleep schedule.

Did the experiment work?

So you might be wondering why I am such an insomniac at night and why I don’t go to bed when they go to bed. There is one thing I know for sure, and that is that I enjoy how peaceful the world looks when it’s late at night and the sky is dark. It’s because of this vantage point that I’m looking at it from that everything outside my window seems so tranquil and pretty. This allows me to have time to think about what I want to do with my free time, or if I should try and get some rest.

I like the idea of being still with my thoughts, which I can do in the late hours of the night. The quiet hours allow me to be with my thoughts while everyone else is asleep. There is something very magical about this that I have come to love. As such, being able to stay up late at night or occasionally wake up early in the morning has enabled me to reflect more upon my life and personal experiences.

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

In conclusion, I realize that there are plenty of benefits to waking up early in the day, including a more productive day, increased focus, and increased cognitive function. I do believe that some of my efforts were in vain because I chose not to follow the 20/20/20 rule, but this was more of a side-effect than the reason for my lack of success.

I listen to my body, and my body tells me that late-night hours provide me with more benefits as opposed to early morning hours. Therefore, I think that I shall always choose to stay up late and that this is the way my body is wired. I am interested in knowing what your thoughts are on the benefits of waking up early and if you are a morning lark or night owl. Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

16 thoughts on “I Tried Waking Up at 5 AM

  1. Pooja G says:

    I’m a totally night owl- always have been and always will be. Now that I’m working full-time I need to be a bit more disciplined and wake up a bit earlier/sleep a bit earlier but I still very much thrive on sleeping later than most and waking up later than most and I think that’s okay. Different people are different and this works for me.
    On a side note, I can’t believe you woke up at 5am!! I would never have the willpower to do that for even one day let alone a whole week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rachelramdhan says:

    I’ve set my alarm for 4:30 with the intention of getting my day started then and it has never happened. I turn off my alarm and sleep till 6. But after reading this, I’m curious to try the 20/20/20 rule.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      I can relate to your struggle so much! Honestly, it would be amazing if I could wake up at 0600! I sleep in until 1030 every day, and on workdays I sleep in until 1130. I ended up doing evening shifts in the end but will still pick up the occasional day shift from time to time. It works out better that way….

      I feel like the 20/20/20 rule would help with becoming more focussed and organized. It’s definitely worth trying! Let me know how it goes if you do end trying the 20/20/20 method.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you so much for your feedback! I will definitely try to write more blog posts like this in the future 🙂 Tbh I’ve done some pretty weird stuff in the past, like attempting to make my own supplements and weight-loss pills… I wish I was joking but I’m not! 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ZeroSpace says:

    I did this accidentally back when the clock changed. For about a week I woke up at 5 and felt good as new every morning. However, I had zero energy after 5 p.m. that part sucked. I would rather fall asleep around 10 or 11, rise at 7 and have energy during the evening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      That’s one benefit to changing the clocks. I used to do this too, and it gave me an extra hour. I just wish that we only gained the extra hour rather than lose an hour. “Spring forward, fall backward” is the only way I can remember which direction the clocks are going.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. buddy71 says:

    i am NOT a morning person. when i was able, i worked the afternoon or night shift. even when i plan to do something i like and have to get up early, i have a hard time. now, since i no longer have to work to live, i still dislike waking up early. i still try to keep to a sleep schedule and quiet time starts about 9 and sleep visits me by 10. i let the sun wake me up, but most often it is the dogs who need to go out but at least i can, usually, slip back to sleep for a bit. what ever works for you. i like afternoon naps. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pepper Valentine says:

    Oh gosh! I don’t know if I could make this transition, as I am definitely a night owl too. I don’t know why, that’s just when my energy and alertness kicks in. And I also struggle in the mornings. It’s really interesting that you tried this experiment for awhile. Would your family want to transition their sleep schedules along with you? That might help you be more successful at it if you ever wanted to try it again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hellosamanthadear says:

    That is so cool that you tested this out by getting up at 5AM!! It’s interesting to shake up our sleep schedules and see if it benefits us or not. In your case, at least you know now that you function better by going to sleep much later! “I like the idea of being still with my thoughts, which I can do in the late hours of the night. The quiet hours allow me to be with my thoughts while everyone else is asleep. There is something very magical about this that I have come to love.” – I absolutely loved what you wrote there. It’s very magical indeed to be with your thoughts and absorb the stillness!



    I get up at 5:15 am
    And that gives me plenty of time. My inner cycle wakes me up at 4:30, so getting sleep after that is hard.
    I feel refreshed that way. I am not saying, I don’t feel good by sleeping little longer, but my body/mind doesn’t allow me much.
    It’s good that you have tried this thing. Do what suits you the best

    Liked by 1 person

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