19 days ago, I challenged myself to do 30 days of early mornings. Primarily to see if someone like me, who has always struggled with early mornings, could possibly become ‘an early morning person’. So, how are those early mornings going?
Well, they are still going! It’s been really interesting to see what I can do and challenge myself to when I really want to.
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Here are some pros:
I achieve a lot more in the mornings before the day has really begun.
It was a given really, wasn’t it? If you make the decision to get up earlier because you want to achieve more and be more productive then you’d hope that you would use the time wisely. And on the whole, I have. Even if it’s just a better breakfast routine (like making sure I actually have it has been an excellent start).
I feel wide awake by 6am.
Instead of dragging myself out of bed later and having to rush through my morning, ending up still feeling in a zombie like-state, I actually feel awake and ready to take on the day just like everybody else.
All my blog posts have been written before 8am.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while then you’ll know that I post very sparodically, usually in bursts and the leave it for 6 months and then go again. I wanted to blog some of this experience, and although there hasn’t been a great deal to say on a daily basis, I have deliberately used those additional hours to make sure I’m getting the blogs done and not put off for another day.
Going to bed and sleeping is too easy.
Although I am an excellent sleeper, I do sometimes find it difficult to get to sleep – lying in bed and tossing and turning. The obvious benefit to being up for a full day is that I’m very read to climb into bed at the end of it. Infact my bedtime has varied quite a lot and it’s pretty much been ‘when I’m tired’ – which sometimes has meant snuggling down at 8pm.
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And the cons:
I’ve spent most of the last 19 days sleep deprived.
It’s rarely possible for me to set my own bedtime, or to go to bed at 8pm to get a good amount of sleep. I have a life and a job that dictates that things happen in the evenings. The hardest part of this challenge and the reason I’m calling it a day after 20 days is that I didn’t actually sign up for 30 days of sleep deprivation! I am an 8 hour sleeper. I function best on anything that is between 7 and 8 hours. The longer this challenge goes on the more tired I become. And I’m noticing myself that my concentration and memory later on in the day is absolutely shot to pieces. This one is a huge con and unfortunately is the leading reason I don’t want to continue the 30 day challenges.
Afternoons are only good for a nap
Continuously getting up at 5.30am means that by 3pm I’m ready to call it a day. However, because I have a job where sometimes my working day doesn’t actually begin until 2pm I feel I’d have benefitted more by sleeping in and being a more fully functional human being later on in the day. This was always going to be a problem, because I have differing shift patterns.
I’m always hungry
I may have managed to now nail breakfast. But being up extra hours in the day means that I am always hungry! I’m beginning to feel like Pippin in this scene from Lord of the Rings:
With that in mind, I’m calling it a day on day 20. 20 days isn’t so bad. I had 3 oversleeps in that time because I could feel my body screaming out for them. Here are some stats for you, minus the lie in days…
My earliest bedtime was: 20:22pm
My earliest get-up was: 4.25am
The most sleep I got in one nights was: 8hrs 1min
The least sleep I got in one night was: 5hrs 12min
Average sleep over the last 19 days (discounting the 3 lie ins): 6hrs 35mins per night.
So, with all that in mind – do I think it’s possible to ‘become’ an early morning person? Hmm, well. I think it might be. There’s obviously a lot of factors to consider – and for me they mainly involve how I fit in my 8 hours of sleep and get an early morning! If you have varying bedtimes I think it’s a struggle, especially if you are someone who needs some solid sleep to function. However, I have enjoyed the challenge and it’s good to see that if I did feel I needed to ‘just get stuff done’ I could make better use of my time. I am defintiely more productive in the morning and less likely to procrastinate!
Let me know if you try a similar challenge and how you get on!