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! ♥

8 Ways to Sleep Better

Some of you know that I struggle with depression and it seems to come in waves. I am going to be totally honest when I tell you that I am struggling with situational depression this month. If we were having coffee and you asked me how I was doing, I would tell you that I am not fucking fine. I don’t swear a lot so I want to emphasize and drive home the fact that things are not sunshine and rainbows over here. Mentally, I am struggling to come to terms with things. I am in no mood to explain what these things are but I might write about it in an upcoming blog post. I am just tired of receiving bad news all the damn time and I do not want to drag all of you down with my negativity.

Whenever I am really struggling with situational depression, my sleep schedule is usually the first thing to go. This week, I have been extremely sleep-deprived as I was staying up until 0500 – 0600 and waking up at 1030 to send my daughter to school. It is hard to find balance when I am dealing with these strong, negative emotions and lack of motivation. I am barely functioning from lack of sleep. Last Wednesday, I missed sending my daughter to school because I slept through my alarm. I feel like I am failing as a mother and this is not one of my prouder moments.

Redefining the Way You Sleep ✨🌙

In case you missed my post about Improving Sleep Hygiene, I highly recommend reading it first. From years of struggling with insomnia as well as excessive worrying, I know that sleep is vital for a person’s health and well-being. I also know that sleep is even more important for those who struggle with #mental-health and mood regulation. If you are currently experiencing sleep problems, then I suggest checking out my list below ↓ Here are some ways to help you get some sleep for a more productive day! 💁‍♀️

Redefining Sleep: 8 Ways to Sleep Better

1. Figure out how much sleep you need. If you are not getting enough sleep, then your body and mind are not going to function the way they should. You will feel tired and groggy, even when you wake up early. If you don’t address it now, then sleep deprivation can ultimately wreak havoc on your health. If you want to get some rest, you can start by making a plan to determine how much sleep is right for you. While some people can get away with 4 hours of sleep each night, others require more sleep.

2. Have a nighttime routine. Do you find yourself waking up during your sleep cycle? Chances are, you’re probably not getting enough REM sleep. During REM sleep, your body is working hard to replenish and repair itself. Having a nighttime routine can help get you into bed faster and fall asleep quicker, and it may even help regulate your circadian rhythm by teaching your body to start winding down at the same time each day. This might sound counterintuitive, but having a set bedtime and morning routine can actually make it easier to fall asleep at night.

3. Be consistent. We are all guilty of not always following what we say we are going to do. However, one good way to keep a consistent sleep schedule is to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends and holidays. Also, don’t doze off for an hour in front of your computer or TV late at night; if you can’t fall asleep by 2200, get up and go to bed anyways.

4. Hello, sunshine! 🌞 If you’re having trouble sleeping, then a lack of natural light might be to blame. Spend some time each day getting at least 15 minutes of sunlight and your body will get used to feeling more awake (and alive) in the morning. Sunlight also helps reset your circadian rhythm, which is your internal clock and plays a role in sleep regulation. Since we associate darkness with going to bed, getting sunlight will trick your brain into thinking it’s time to wake up! ☕💕

5. Reward Yourself. When you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep, make it easier on yourself. You could try starting your day with a refreshing shower or a short walk outside. Exercise can also help improve your quality of sleep as well. Making time for #self-care is an important part of sleeping well at night. If you still can’t fall asleep, try adding some relaxing activities before bedtime such as taking a bath or listening to relaxing music.

6. Plan the Next Day. It is natural to have an off day or a bad week from time to time, but it can also be difficult to get back on track if you fail to plan for these mishaps. Instead of waiting for the morning, plan your next day prior to bed. In 30 minutes, you can figure out what needs to be done tomorrow and how much time each task will take. 

7. Turn off social media. The blue light from social media keeps you up at night. If you have trouble sleeping, I suggest that you deactivate your account and read a book. And please don’t bring your phone with you into bed. If you must use your phone as an alarm clock like many people do, then you need to check out this blog post for a sans phone solution.

8. Eat light before bedtime. While a few crackers won’t hurt, too many late-night calories could lead to weight gain. It is important not only to avoid eating close to bedtime but also skipping meals altogether, as that leads your body and mind into starvation mode, which can leave you feeling tired and cranky in addition to losing precious hours of valuable shuteye.


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

Sleep is a critical part of staying healthy and it is not just limited to your physical or mental well-being. Like eating well and exercising regularly, it is important to make sleep a priority in your life. If you want to be at your best, then you need your beauty sleep. And while everyone has their own way of sleeping better, there are some general tips that can help you start getting more—and better—sleep every night. Do you agree with this list of suggestions? Is there anything that I missed? Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ #Sweet-dreams

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 3

Today is Day 3 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. challenge! I took an iron supplement last night but it takes weeks for supplements to work their magic. The iron supplement that I take is a prescription that has a higher potency than regular iron supplements. Usually, I am exhausted, but today, I forced myself to take the bus to the clinical placement. I got lost getting there but managed to find the location nonetheless. The bus stops aren’t conveniently located so I ended up getting a good workout.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears for a week. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?


Day 3 ~ May 20, 2018 

S – Last night, I ran out of crackers and had to get creative so I made toast. Usually, toast tastes bland and dry but the bread is delicious. I also ate a few tomatoes and am feeling more energized. I’m trying to eat everything in my apartment before buying more food to include food in the fridge, freezer, pantry etc. Yesterday, I enjoyed a bottle of Grapefruit Perrier that has been in my pantry for months and it was delicious! 💖

Here is a big reason for me to smile. This morning, I received a notification that I reached a new milestone of 50 followers! Woooot! I would like to thank my lovely followers for joining me on this journey towards self-awareness and personal growth. Thank you for all of your support including your comments, likes, suggestions, and emails. This blog is alive and thriving because of you! 🧡 🧡 🧡

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Thank you for following Sereneluna and giving this blog some L.O.V.E. ♡♡♡

L – I learned that I still have cravings for steeped tea. I was planning to treat myself today if I found the clinical placement, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I could smell the aroma of coffee at a nearby Tim Hortons and I even sat in the chair by the fireplace. Just as I was about to buy a steeped tea, I left the store and took the bus home. I am only human and seek comfort food from time to time, especially since my family isn’t here. But then I remembered that I still have Perrier in the fridge it is just as good.

E – Like I mentioned above, I took the bus to the clinical placement and did a lot of walking. I walked in circles trying to find the place LOL. I don’t know what I would do without the GPS on my phone! Also, I hid the keyboard and remote for the TV because I have been spending way too much time being a couch potato. As tempting as it is to watch reruns all day, this activity is the king of procrastination. I won’t be watching any more TV since I haven’t been doing my homework all week. Oops.

E – Here are my plans for the rest of the weekend:
(1) Clean the apartment. Clean the dishes.
(2) Take a 3 km walk to MCDs for iced coffee
(3) The stove is still broken but I’ll live without it
(4) Write a to-do list for week 2 summer semester

P – So far, I only talked to my husband on the phone today and he sent me a very cute photo of our baby girl, my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law. I also received a couple text messages from acquaintances/friends but I’m in no hurry to keep the conversations going right now. Texting is dying and I find very little joy via texting these days. Phone calls would be more ideal but I feel like most Millennials are not inclined to call people.

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S – I am happy that I haven’t run out of food yet and don’t need to make a trip to the grocery store. I will put off grocery shopping for as long as possible and I have been eating mostly nutritious healthy food. Also, I am happy that I banned myself from watching TV because I know that deep down, limiting distractions will help me become more productive. Last semester, I didn’t have the TV and as a result, I was actually productive. Drop the excuses! 

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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