Relationships

Monthly Challenge: Become an Early Bird

Corgi by Emily Wang

In the Disney movies of my youth, there was always a glorious “early morning sequence.” As the cartoon sun began to rise, some unbearably cheerful bluebird or woodland creature — or heck, the entire animal kingdom — would emerge from their slumber to greet the day. They were charming. They were productive. They were more convincing than any ad I’ve seen, before or since…

I have long believed that mornings harbor some kind of magic.

But you know what else is magical? Sleeping. See also: blankets. Blankets are great. In fact, they are so nice that on most mornings, I elect to remain in their company for as long as possible. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at mornings — I show up! On time! With clean hair! — but I would hardly call myself an early bird.

Last summer, while completing a yoga teacher training that commenced in the early hours, I learned to semi-embrace waking up in darkness. Meanwhile, our teacher (who spent most of his life living in the Himalayas with hardcore yogis) would regale us with stories of his personal routines, including waking at 4 a.m. (or earlier!) to meditate, practice sun salutations, read enriching books and prepare for the day ahead. For him, morning is a deeply spiritual time. He was the picture of vibrance, and I’ve never felt more inspired.

My friend B., a novelist, wakes up at 5 a.m. to write before heading to her day job. “My mind feels more clear and creative early in the morning,” she explains. “And it really helps that no one else is awake to distract me.”

When I get home in the evening, I have every intention to be a productive human. I want to work out, organize the closet, do some writing, answer personal emails… the list goes on. But typically, I’m too zonked from the day to do much more than read, watch TV or just pass out.

Lately, I’ve started to wonder: What would I do with additional hours on the early side? Meditate? Run? Eat a proper breakfast? CONQUER THE WORLD? There is only one way to find out.

So, this month, I’m challenging myself to be an early bird, and to love every minute of it. (Or at least, to try.) My plan is to rise with the sun each day, like an alarmingly chipper cartoon bluebird. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Who wants to try this along with me? (Please?) Are you already an early riser? (If you have any tips, by all means, please share!)

P.S. More fun challenges and what happens when an introvert talks to strangers.

(Photo by Emily Wang.)

  1. Louise says...

    I’m definitely a morning person. I wake up at 5:45 so I can have at least 30 minutes to myself before my husband and children wake up. Alone time is more essential to my well being than extra sleep.

  2. I am a totally gross morning person (on my most insane days, I’ll wake up, bake a cake from scratch, go on a run when the cake is in the oven, get back, eat a slice of cake for breakfast with my coffee while I read my book, and then go to my job at 8:30 am.) My biggest tip is to sleep with your curtains open! I haven’t had blinds/curtains in years and generally wake up to the light outside (which means I tend to sleep later in the winter and wake up very very early in the summer)

    • Yulia says...

      Love this! What kinds of cake? Why a cake?

  3. Jenna says...

    I did this about a year ago to be able to work on my writing before my day job as well, and it was HARD as someone who, as a freelancer, used to write from midnight to 4am. But it’s very freeing to be able to go to work-work knowing you’ve already accomplished something for the day, and it gives you permission to be lazy when you get home. Sunlight definitely helps as some readers have mentioned. Also:

    – Have your caffeine source ready to go the night before. In the summertime, maybe make some coffee & refrigerate to have iced the next AM?

    – It might take a week or so to train your body to the change. Make every effort to go to bed early – at the same time – each night, even when you don’t feel like it, not looking at any screens, in time to fall asleep by the 8-hours-before mark. Even on the weekends! Doing this religiously has made it so much easier for me that sometimes I wake up naturally, a minute or two before my alarm and IT FEELS LIKE A MIRACLE.

    – Have a plan for what you will do in the AM. Even if it’s just “drink coffee and journal.” It is highly more motivating than simply “drag yourself out of bed” if you have something you’re already planning to do, or, better yet – need to do. Sometimes in the winter months, when it is dark until like 10am and it’s torture to get out of bed, I have forced myself to splash cold water on my face and dance vigorously to a disco song to get myself going. It works!

  4. I’m a happy early bird, and have been since childhood.

    My best tip:

    GO TO BED EARLY. Go to bed at the same time every night — even on weekends. For example, I start my bedtime routine at 9pm each night (I shower at night), and my strict bedtime is 10pm – lights out.

    The morning is a great time to meditate, eat a healthy breakfast, and start your day feeling calm and relaxed. It feels SO good.

  5. Jessica says...

    I am neither a morning person, nor a night person…I am just a person who requires A LOT of sleep! I could go to bed at 8:30pm (as I did 2 nights of my long holiday weekend #mythirties) and still sleep in until 8 or 8:30. I am usually fast asleep by 11 at the latest. But I do love mornings. My work schedule is 10-6 so even if I do sleep until 8, I still have time to cook my breakfast and take time getting ready. I did yoga teacher training earlier this year, too, and one of my biggest fears about it was the 8am start time on Saturday and Sunday. It ended up being fine, of course, especially because training was SO FUN and I looked forward to going :) I’m still not wired to naturally wake up before 8, anything before 6 makes me feel physically ill, 7 is probably my sweet spot I should aim for every day!

  6. Lara says...

    This is not exactly news to anyone, but my key to getting up earlier is… going to bed earlier. I like to say to myself that if I want to add an additional thing in the morning, I have to remove something from the night before (i.e. one less TV show, one less post-work errand or social engagement, not attempting to do laundry after work, leaving the dishes in the sink, etc!). Good luck to us all.

  7. Liv says...

    Ok. I’ll do it. I’m a mom to three small boys and my need to wake up slowly and stare at the wall for an hour really doesn’t work well with mothering small children- I need to change something- it would help me to have an hour to myself before running non stop to meet everyone else’s needs. K- I’m in!

    • Becca says...

      Everything she just said (but two girls). 6:30 a.m. here I come!

  8. Lisa says...

    I’m fairly grumpy if I don’t get some form of exercise almost everyday, so I starting setting the alarm for 5:15 a.m. and I either go for a 30 minute jog or pick a YouTube yoga video to do for 20-30 minutes. I normally would get up at 6 anyway, so I’m only losing 45 minutes of sleepy time. If I decide to wait until after work to exercise, inevitably something will come up that derails my plans. Plus, I love jogging or going for a power walk in the morning darkness with the birds chirping away. Sometimes I get lucky and see other fun wildlife, like raccoons or opossums who are finishing up their nighttime frolicking.

  9. My husband and I are going in the opposite direction! As summer approaches and the kids are out of school we’re moving towards staying up later, hanging out on the porch at 10 pm with cocktails, taking the dogs for a walk at mindnight (we obviously live in a pretty safe neighborhood), lying in bed and chatting til 1am. It’s fabulous, and we get to enjoy just relaxing in the cool night air.

    I grew up in AZ, and this shift seems more natural in the summer when the days are hot and the nights are the most tolerable parts of the day.

    • Nicole says...

      Yes! My husband and I do this in the summer as well! Life is much more relaxed when the kids are out of school so we end up staying up late and enjoying the evenings. Feels like responsibility is thrown out the window for a couple months and I for one love to savor that!

  10. I love mornings!

    But haven’t always.

    20 years ago I was a cocktail waitress and set my alarm for 11am every day. WHAT?

    Now, I’m a fitness trainer and have started work at 7am every day for the last eight years. I wake up at 6 every day. (Even when I go to bed at 2am!) It’s like I’ve lost the ability to sleep in. I swear, there is something that happens in your late 30s (whether you have kids or not) that your internal clock just starts waking you up earlier.

    Mornings and sunrises are peaceful and clear. There is nothing that clouds my thoughts. It is a special time of clarity that I cherish.

    It also sets such a great tone for the day. It centres me and allows me to think about how I want my day to go. I am certainly not a meditator or a yogi of any type. I just love the space and time for myself.

  11. Rue says...

    I started making space in the morning about a year ago (maybe longer?) and I’m JUST starting to figure out how I want to use it. So one piece of advice is not to expect total transformation in a short amount of time. There’s no rush, since this is all for you. There’s no deadline on becoming a morning person.

    Things that help me get up: a light-based alarm clock (game changer!), a tea routine that I CRAVE and that I give myself first thing, no matter what.

    Things I do when I’m up early: I’ve tried fiction reading, blog/internet reading, running, yoga class, journaling, and other kinds of writing. I might try cleaning, because I never have energy for it in the evenings.

    As of JUST this week, I’ve started to understand what it means to spend some time going slowly and allowing yourself to rest. I am a “go go go” kind of person, and I usually think of my free time in terms of accomplishments, too. But the other week a friend told me a helpful analogy for her: the idea of an “emotional bank account.” The idea is that hard things that happen are “withdrawals” on your emotional bank account. So if you don’t want to feel like each hard thing is an overdraft on your account, you need to intentionally make “deposits” in your bank account too. It sounds cheesy but it is so helpful for me to visualize it this way. I made a list of about 8 things that are restorative for me, and now I’m trying to keep track of the “deposits” I make in my account. It helps me realize that Netflix is just checking out for a while, which is fine to do, but tidying up a corner of my apartment is actually putting some emotional dollars in my account.

    This is a long way of saying that I’ve been making time and space for myself in the mornings for about a year, and now I realize I want to focus my attention to the emotional bank account during the mornings.

    • Wendy says...

      Love the idea of withdrawing from and replenishing the emotional bank account. We each have different lists of what’s restorative for us, but attend to it we must. Thanks for this.

  12. Liz says...

    Get one of those alarm clocks that simulates the sun rise!!! I have to get up before the sun rise 5-6 days a week and I found these clocks to be a game changer.

    What also helps: make cold brew the night before so when you wake up, you already have delicious coffee in the fridge!

    Also, I agree with everyone who said night time prep is key! Especially the knowing what you’re going to wear the next day part.

  13. Mornings have historically been a struggle for me. I used to lay on the floor in the dark early morning hours trying to convince my mom I was too sick to go to school, but really I just had a stomach ache from being up so early. (I don’t know if that’s normally I thing, but I still feel sick if I wake up before 6 am.) At a middle school camping trip, I won the “Growly” award for inadvertently growling at my teacher when she tried to wake me up!

    Now, I usually wake up around 7 am on weekdays and spend some time meditating and stretching before breakfast. We just had a week of 90-100 degree weather in Minneapolis, however, which is terrible running weather. Now, I’ve been getting up before 7 am to run in the cooler morning temps and I don’t hate it. Maybe I’ll turn into one of those people who voluntarily wake up at 6 am!?

    I’m headed to grad school in the fall, so it would certainly be nice to add more productive hours to the day :)

  14. Katie says...

    I’ve been hearing some early morning hammering (7:30!) outside my window, and just looked today to see they’re building an actual HOUSE so it looks like I have no choice but to become a morning person!

    • Lauren says...

      Haha, excellent positive reframe :)

  15. Sheri says...

    I am not a natural born early riser, but have also been inspired to rise with the birds. It really is the most calming, peaceful time of day and watching the sun and world wake makes me feel alive. Sipping a latte and soaking up alone time is simply bliss.

    Now my reality most days is a mad dash to get us all dressed, fed and out the door; a race against the clock!

    Your post inspires me to reset my inner clock.

  16. Melissa says...

    I realized about a year ago that the toughest part of my day was waking up, which felt super pathetic. So I decided once and for all to do something about it.

    I read the book Miracle Morning and I swear it changed my life for the better in SO many ways. I now wake up at 5:30am every day without fail. It gave me the motivation to truly get into a productive and joy filled morning routine. I can now finally get done the things I always felt too tired to do after a long day. It is a super easy read and I HIGHLY recommend it if you are looking to become a morning person.

  17. Ruth says...

    I have a 2.5 year old who generally wakes up at 6:30, but my husband and I usually get up around 6 before her. He showers and I let the dog out and get breakfast ready. On the weekend, our daughter sleeps until 7-7:30, which feels so late LOL. Parenthood changes your concept of early morning. We usually turn the lights off around 10:30 so we get a decent amount of sleep. But some days I would love to be able to get up around 5 and just sit on the porch with coffee and the paper or even *gasp* exercise. That would mean going to bed earlier, which I might be able to do but I do like my evening time with my husband. Oh, trade offs. Good luck!

    • I’m with you Ruth!!! Parenting definitely changes your personal sleep schedule without any hesitation! We have the same exact schedule in our house. I used to be an early riser but now I find myself snoozing til my daughter wakes us up. And I’m going to bed later, without yawning! I want to get back to waking up before the rest of the house.

  18. Emily says...

    Yep, I’m already an early riser. I learned quickly that I can exercise in the morning and get it done. If it waits, it typically never happens. So, I get up at 4:55 most mornings and am doing my thing shortly thereafter. My workout comes first, then I cool down by walking my two big digs at least 3 miles. Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed listening to podcasts and audiobooks while I walk, especially on business or technology-related topics. My retention is pretty good and my brain engages in a way it doesn’t when I’m sitting, with my highlighter in-hand.

  19. Giselle says...

    Also magical: linen duvets, especially when finally “broken in.”

    That said, I’m in! ;)

  20. Sarah says...

    I am going to post a comment that my husband finds helpful. He is not a morning person (and overly dramatic about it I say), but I am. Anyway, he has been trying to find ways to at least not hate the world every morning and one thing that works for him (and it sounds a little ridiculous) is that he has to think about the morning before he goes to bed. Like, pep talks that the morning will come and he will have to get up again! Also, making sure he knows what he is going to wear. He also has the glass of water by the bedside and the sunshine alarm clock. All this to say, this is just for being a human tasks…not even conquering the world tasks!

  21. Kelsi says...

    I have been forced by nature to get up early for the last 3 years now (child) and the things that have helped make this easy have been limiting screen time at night (I don’t always practice this at all, a movie with my husband is pretty typical) so I fall asleep easier, and a pretty radical shift in my diet has resulted in a surprising amount of energy and vibrancy that I had no clue I had (I’m a pretty sloth-like Taurus). I started trying the keto diet because I was turning to sugar and caffeine to get me through my teaching day and I felt awful. Cutting out grains and sugar and upping my fat intake has been pretty life-changing.

  22. KB says...

    I work “market hours” on the west coast… so I am AT work by 5am. I’ve done this for 12 years now and have a 2 and 4 year old. I never snooze, always lay my clothes out and shower the night before (though some people I know who work these hours have to shower in the am to feel awake, I’d rather have the extra sleep). I am home by 3:30 and I love having all afternoon and evening with my kids. I am in bed around 9pm. There was definitely a sacrifice in my 20s, I couldn’t go to late dinners etc but before I had kids, I would exercise every afternoon, do doctor appointments, grocery shopping with no lines etc and pack a ton into every day. I am pretty disciplined about going to bed early (I can make it through like 12 minutes of a show on Netflix before I fall asleep).

  23. Beth says...

    To my friends, I am a bit of a weirdo: I go to bed between 9-9:30 every night, and I’m up at 4:15 a.m., on the dot, even on most weekends. I leave for work at 7:15, so I have three glorious hours each morning, while the rest of my family sleeps, to read, write, sew, think and putter around. I would like to say that it started when my sons were young as some time to myself before everything got hectic, but I’ve always been this way. I always remember my mother saying she never had to tell my sister and me to go to bed, because we were already yawning at 9. I also think it’s great for my 30-year marriage as we each have a number of hours each day to do our own thing, as he stays up later than I do. I love the quiet and the solitude and the morning darkness.

  24. Yes! I’m all about the mornings. I wake up at 5am, write my morning pages for 30 minutes (while wearing eye patches from the fridge and mainlining coffee), then go for a 5-mile run, and am back in the house by 7am, enough time to shower, get made up, listen to a lot of NPR, and leave for my job by 745. Waking up at 5am means I try to be asleep by 930pm, which is… grandmotherly — but worth it. I’m just not an evening person. Most of my productivity and motivation comes to me in the morning, and my brain is pretty shut off by 5pm. So I just try to embrace my natural tendencies. You know the saying, “Nothing good happens after midnight?” My take on it is, “Nothing interesting happens after 9pm.” But for me, everything good happens *before* 9am.

    • Talia says...

      My routine mirrors yours. I love morning, but expire around 7:30pm – I head to the shower and read myself to sleep by 9:30pm. Grandmotherly – yes, but it works for me.

  25. Kay says...

    I love mornings, and agree that window before the rest of the world wakes up feels magical. I have a toddler, and relish that half hour or twenty minutes I get with a book and warm cup of tea before he wakens. I recently started working from home one day a week, and have been going for 530/6am walks along the river. The air is dewy, and warm and perfect. I love it! My husband on the other hand would sleep in until 10 every day if he could…I always feel like half the day has already passed by that point!

  26. Jeanine Mitchell says...

    I have been trying to wake up and run for a week now, but each morning I reach over and hit snooze. I probably need to go to bed earlier, but I love my alone/child free time at night. I guess I am going to have to up my caffeine intake!!

  27. Lisa says...

    I would like to join but I don’t know how well it would go as my wake up time is dictated by a baby. Thanks to those awesome summer daylight hours <- note sarcasm … she has sometimes been getting up at 4:30 or 5:30. I found the 5:30 wake ups worked well – I would get up with her, do some sun salutations, make coffee and generally feel productive and smug. For the 4:30 I mostly just either lie next to her and beg her to go back to sleep or if she’s very loud (she likes squeaking), take her through to the living room to play while I pass out on the sofa. I’m less productive at 4:30 because I’ve already been up at 1 and 3. And – like Jerry Seinfeld, night time me always screws over daytime me. Night time me is always “you’re not that tired! Let’s watch one more episode!” forgetting my little friend who likes to be up every two hours

    • Stephanie says...

      Made me laugh out loud! Your sense of humor will get you through this sleepless time (mine did! Also crying sometimes helped) and you will enjoy blankets (see article above) once again (I do!) until then keep up the good fight, momma! ❤️?

    • Lisa says...

      Thank you! I have a two year old as well, but he’s never been an early riser (takes after his father and I) so having a baby who’s a morning person has really thrown me

  28. Jenny C says...

    I changed my schedule at my new job, and I am now working from 6 am-2:30 pm. To be honest, I’ve been getting here around 6:20 am instead of 6. :/ Not only do I have to set an alarm to wake up in the morning, I have to set an alarm to go to bed! Another big tip–make the early wake up time gradual. I’ve been slowly waking up 15 minutes earlier and going to bed 15 minutes earlier. I miss my late evenings with my partner, but getting the solid 7.5 hours of sleep is imperative for me. The extra time I get to spend with my 6 year-old twins in the afternoon makes the early wake-ups worth it.

  29. Katy says...

    Yes! I started this a year ago – waking up at 5am, and I like it a lot. My kids are early risers, 5:30am, and I found that when they were the ones waking me up, it was rough. As they wanted me up and with them NOW. No easing into it. So to not be woken up by with the kids, I had to get up earlier. That meant getting up at 5am, sometimes 4:15am if I want to work out. And the only way I was able to start doing that was going to bed before 8pm. I know it sounds nuts, but that’s what I do. And I love it. I watch a tv show, and am asleep by 9am. My husbands puts our two kids to bed, and I get up with them in the AM. It works so well for our family.

    Some tips to make your morning self love being an early riser:
    — Do a quick clean of the house before heading to bed. (waking up to a clean kitchen in the AM is amazeballs).
    —Have your outfit for tomorrow picked out and ironed if needed.
    Set a cozy robe next to your bed to put on right away.
    —If you plan to workout in the morning, set your workout clothes right next to your bed.
    —If you are starting to work out in the morning for the first time, for the first two weeks, just get up at the early time, and just do stuff around the house. No need to work out the first week. Second week, do short walk around the block. Third week, start easing in your workout.
    — Do not hit snooze. I wake up using the iphone alarm, and chose the birds chirping sound. It eases me into it. It’s awesome.

    LASTLY….
    —Go to bed early, and don’t even think about feeling guilty about it as you’re going to be getting up early.

    • Lauren says...

      Wow, that is GREAT advice on easing into exercising. There’s just no way I’m ever going to wake up one day and decide I feel like heading to the gym (or wherever) for a workout. I love the idea of giving myself permission and time to get used to the idea first.

  30. Elizabeth says...

    I was previously a night owl but now I’m a morning person. I didn’t force it or anything, but somewhere in my early thirties my internal clock just shifted. I’m up around 5:15 or 5:30 on my own and I can’t keep my eyes open past 10:00pm. Did I get old? Is this normal?

    I miss the productivity of my night-owl self but it’s almost, almost, almost a fair trade for mornings spent in my gorgeous sunroom watching the sun rise over my backyard flower garden with a cup of coffee and a book and two still-sleepy dogs.

    • Nancey says...

      This is me too. I don’t know what happened, I used to love to sleep in, now I’m up at 5:20 most days, and then I can TRY to fall back asleep but the quiet mornings are too luscious to not enjoy. I make my coffee, sneak back into bed with my book and my kitty is sleeping next to me. My Daughter is now a teen so she’s sleeping in on weekends until 11 or so. My mornings are so wonderful now.

  31. Carly says...

    I recently did a kickstarter to buy an alarm clock that also brews tea/coffee. Its probably the closest I’ll get to the Downton Abbey Lifestyle I aspire to :)

    • Lauren says...

      Next step is waking up Michael Scott-style to the smell of crackling bacon on your Foreman grill :)

  32. I LOVE mornings…peaceful ones. Unfortunately, I have little kids and they seem to always beat me no matter when I wake up. I’m counting the days (years?) until they sleep a little later and I can get some peaceful morning time.
    I do always work out in the mornings anyway – once the kids are dropped at school.

  33. Janine says...

    My husband is a morning person, as is his entire family. In fact, he wakes up at 4:30 AM several days a week to go into work super early. He rarely complains about it.

  34. Ashley says...

    Good luck! I hope you will report how it went in a few weeks.

  35. care says...

    Mornings are the best!! While you’re doing this I suggest reading ‘Why we Sleep’ Matthew Walker… it’s a great narritave on sleep in general and there’s good science based info in there to consider if you’re trying to make a change to your routine. PLUS we spend 1/3 of our lives asleep! This is just stuff we should all know!

  36. Gabz says...

    I’m a journalist and used to work for a big newspaper (pretty much like the NYT but in French). The thing is we publish in the morning (so people can have their newspaper around 3pm), so we have to show up early, actually earlier than at any news company I have ever worked for. I lived really closed by at the time but one of my colleague (who lived further away) would ALWAYS show up first. So I asked “How are you SO early ?”. Turns out, our cafeteria had really good breakfast options (aaaah France !) and she just motivated herself thinking about the breakfast she would have at work while waking up. She basically just got out of bed, took a shower, dressed up and drove right to the office, where she enjoyed croissant and coffee (aaaah France bis) sitting at her desk, listening to the radio, reviewing her latest piece (plus, mornings are the only time the office was empty and silent!). Best morning-related advice of my life !

    • Elizabeth says...

      I want to work where you work! If only my job served breakfast!

  37. Apoorva Kutumbe says...

    I have always been an early bird since I was a baby. At least that is what my Mum says.. but now with adult life and everything I’ve pushed my wake up early schedule by a bit to 7 am. I am trying my best to be up by 6, but on some days the comfort of a duvet when the window is slightly open cannot be matched with morning adrenaline rush.

  38. Ceridwen says...

    I’ve been really enjoying my morning routine. It gives me a chance for some time to myself. I I signed up for a half marathon so I would have something to train toward and get me running consistently. A morning run is the least disruptive for work and family but I also find it wakes me up and gets me in a great space. After my run I make coffee, read Cup of Jo then shower before everyone else gets up. It’s the best. When i don’t, I’m more tired and feel rushed to get off to work! But be careful….not everyone likes the early riser. A bit like how no one likes hearing from vegans all day long about diet. I was at a conference and was asked to say what makes us relax. I said going for a run at 5:30 am each day and the woman I was partnered with looked at me like I was satan. I quickly added that I like wine and Netflix. Smug factor reduced.
    Enjoy those morning! I like vegans, by the way. I’m also an annoying sugar quitter :)

  39. Lauren says...

    If you want to wake up before or with the sun, (especially in winter when it’s so dark it still feels like midnight at 6am) get a sunrise alarm clock. This thing changed my life! It has a light that gradually shifts from dim to bright over a half hour, waking you up naturally as if the sun were shining through the windows.

    It makes me feel so much more refreshed, and it’s not as easy to just roll over and snooze for another 15 minutes because its bright enough to light up the room!

  40. Yes I want to do this! It is 1000 times more complicated to do things like meditate or work out or start writing that novel after having a baby. Especially when that baby turns into a toddler. Le sigh. I’m resigned to the idea that the only thing I can do is wake up at 5am, no matter how enticing watching Parks & Rec re-runs seem at 11pm. Bluebirds, here I come.

  41. emma says...

    Growing up my whole family could always sleep forever (including the dog) thanks to low blood pressure and thyroid issues (I don’t know how the dog does it).

    I don’t get up as early as 4 or 5, but in the past 2 years I have slowly become an early riser. Mostly by going to bed before midnight. No alarm clock needed and I wake up around 7 or earlier even on weekends. (Which I get is not as early for many people, but it is for me.)

    I think it really helps not to use blinds (we are lucky enough to have one room in the flat without street light distraction) and what completely did it for me was doing a couple of hours of gardening in the evening (including a 2×20 minute bike ride to the allotment), so I am really really tired and go to sleep right away.

  42. Peta trendall says...

    I am so not a natural early riser BUT I do get up at 5am three mornings a week to run with friends. Whilst it is a struggle to get up so early I am always so grateful I made the effort. It is such a lovely start to the day and I honestly feel like I have so much more energy and motivation for the rest of my day.

  43. Jenn says...

    My unsolicited advice, if you are thinking at all about one day possibly having a child or children, is to SLEEP IN WHILE YOU STILL CAN. My husband and I look back on the times, pre-children, that we used to voluntary get up at 4am to get an early gym session in, or to clean the house, and oh, how we laugh at our former selves. Haha. Seriously though, I don’t think everyone is designed to be an early riser and there’s something to say about not needing to go to bed at 9.30pm.

  44. Yes! I’m currently working on getting up earlier in the morning and more consistently. My focus is my evening routine. I often feel exhausted from the day between 7-10pm but at 10pm I get another wave of feeling very awake and productive, albeit not as great as how I feel when I wake up early and get hours of productive time. It’s a bit challenging not letting this 10pm wave derail my sleep and morning efforts the next day.

  45. MB says...

    I’ve never been a morning person – my ideal night’s sleep is 9-10 hours, and I’m extremely lucky that my toddler will happily sleep til 8am. In the last few weeks as it’s started getting lighter earlier I’ve been naturally waking up between 6:30 – 7 (in my opinion there’s nothing worse than waking up to an abrupt alarm) and I’m absolutely loving the quiet time to myself before the day starts. I’ve been meditating in bed with Headspace and have found it to be such a lovely way to start the day. That being said, I’m still loathe to set an alarm to get up early on the days I’m not waking naturally, as much as I value the time (I’m even thinking about getting back to exercising). The mornings when I wake up to my daughter definitely have a different rhythm to them then those when I’ve had some time to myself before tackling the day, so perhaps I’ll look into one of these Philips natural light alarms that a few readers have suggested.

    Getting to bed earlier is definitely important, and I think this challenge is infinitely easier in the summertime. It won’t be so pleasant in the dead of winter when it’s dark til 8am!

  46. Meghan says...

    I want to try but I’m not so sure that being a night owl is such a bad thing. I love being up late and doing my thing while hubby sleeps. However the world is built for early birds. I’m 50…am I too old to change?

    • Carrie says...

      Sounds like you are perfect just the way you are :)

  47. Michelle says...

    I always THOUGHT I was a morning person…until I married a farmer. He gets up at 4am every single day of the year, no matter the weather. There are never weekends or holidays, yet somehow he finds the motivation to jump out of bed, get dressed and start the day without coffee, snooze buttons or complaining.

    If you think about it, so much of our society is built on the work of early-risers – farmers, doctors and nurses, mothers, teachers, T.V reporters – who give up sleep to make the world a better place.

    The biggest thing I’ve learnt – it’s more of a d’uh moment than an aha moment – is that going to bed early is like sleeping in on the other side. You get maximum warm bed cosiness coupled with the awesome feeling of starting the day consciously rather than in a panic.

  48. Jodi says...

    This is incredibly ambitious but I think I should give it a go, I’ve never been a morning person but I have always wanted to be. How long are we supposed to trial it for? A month?

  49. Colette says...

    Earlier this year, I started going for yoga class in the morning before going to the office. I was so nervous and would think of a million excuses not to set my alarm so early the night before but am slowly getting used to it. The best advice I can give is to get out of bed as soon as possible. As soon as I’m out of my bed, I’m fine, but if I lay there checking Instagram, messaging friends, etc. I end up staying there for like an hour haha Good luck!! :)

  50. Lucy says...

    As a mother of 22 and 2 months olds, this challenge would be more challenging if it sounded more like “Dare you to sleep past 6:30am on any given day. Even weekend.”

    • Mariana says...

      Ahah so true!

  51. I long worked with tradespeople so started work at 7am. When I moved to an office based job and an 8.30am start, I continued my waking routine around 5.30am and worked out in the morning and not after work. I even have time to cook b’fast (which I think is so ‘American’ as I only see it on movies, and Aussies usually have only toast or cereal or yoghurt). It feels awesome to get home and know I only need to vege out..

    But once a working week I allow myself to ‘sleep in’ til 7am! It’s the best, and I still cook b’fast!

    Best tips: no screens from an hour before sleep, shower, tidy, get into bed and read, lights out by 9:30pm. All my friends and family know and laugh, but it WORKS to not be tired when you are up so early. I can do it without coffee!

  52. Rachel says...

    No way. Say no to the morning industrial complex! I spent years feeling guilty about not being a morning person. There are so many articles out there about how morning people are thinner, healthier, smarter, blah blah blah. I would resolve every day to wake up early and meditate, or go for a run, or get to work before anyone else and be super productive. After spending so much time feeling guilty, one day I just realized that I love lying in bed and hitting the snooze button and cuddling up with my dogs. Why should I deny myself that pleasure? I doubt that my life will be that much shorter or less productive because I sleep an extra hour in the morning. Embrace your brain chemistry!

    • Emily R says...

      Thank you! What’s wrong with enjoying the evening hours?

    • Kim G says...

      Yes!

    • Megan says...

      I am also an evening person, and I used to love sleeping in! And I loved watching my whole neighborhood go to sleep as I read a book, cleaned, went for a walk, or worked in the evenings. But then…. motherhood. Between the fact my son is up at 6:30AM, no matter what, and I have to leave work by 5PM to pick him up at daycare, no matter what, I’ve got to work against my natural sleep schedule to work with the imposed hours of my life– at least for the next 5-10 years :). It’s really hard, though, and I consistently feel a bit more tired than when I went to bed late and slept late, even though I probably get more sleep overall now. I wouldn’t recommend changing unless you really have to. Some of us are simply night owls!

  53. Tammy says...

    Count me in on this challenge! I feel like I’m in the same boat. I get my energy ‘high’ mid-afternoon while I’m swamped with desk work and by the time I finish up and I’m entirely drained. I’d like to normalize my sleeping pattern so I’m hoping this challenge may actually kick-start a new habit and better routine :3

  54. Jess says...

    I just started what I call slow mornings this year and have seriously fallen in love. I am DEFINITELY not a natural morning person; it has always been hard for me to get out of bed but I love the mornings once I do. Prior to my slow mornings, I was waking up frantic — I had snoozed three times too many — getting ready in a rush, and literally running out the door to make it to work at a reasonable hour. This would make the rest of my day anxious and frantic. So, this year I decided to try to wake up an hour before I really needed to and do my self-care and me time FIRST. That way, I am not frantically trying to finish everything else during the day to get my “me time”. It has been a life-changing thing. I find I am so much more focused and able to concentrate if I give myself my own time in the morning.
    It definitely took me a while to get going but here are some of the tricks that got me out of bed for the first month.
    1. Pre-program your coffee maker so you have coffee immediately as you wake up.
    2. I was finding I never wanted to get out of my warm covers (it is COLD in Chicago in winter!) so I made sure there was a sweater/sweatshirt right next to me to grab immediately.
    3. I bought an old school alarm clock, so the first that I don’t look at is my phone and then check email, instagram, etc.
    4. I evaluated every day why I wasn’t getting out of bed, even if I was waking up.
    5. Finally, just be nice to yourself. If mornings aren’t your thing then they aren’t your thing! Find your thing that works!

  55. Tana says...

    The Philips light up alarm clock changed the game for me. To wake up to a “fake-but-awesome” rising sun and birds chirping (but still not loud enough to wake up my husband and make him grumpy) has officially turned me into a 4 days a week productive morning person:)

  56. Laura says...

    I wake up at 5:33am every weekday to meet my neighbors for our “running club.” From 5:45-6am we run (exactly 1.22 miles), catch up on life, then go conquer our own days. We know it’s a little silly, but it starts the day off on a productive note and I can get a lot of other things done before my family wakes up. Knowing there are others waiting on the corner is a good motivation for an early morning!

  57. Lili Dom says...

    I’ve been trying to be an early bird since I started my thesis on February, but it’s so hard! I’m convinced I could advance so much more on the writing if I were to get up earlier…guess I need more will…and coffee!

  58. Elizabeth says...

    My husband and I get up about 5.15. On the days I don’t head to yoga, we take turns making coffee, bring the steaming cups back to bed and we’ll read or chat. It’s like a little mini weekend moment that is worth getting up early for. At least we think so.

    • Laura says...

      This is the sweetest!

  59. Sophia Mellein says...

    I’m studying for the bar exam. So I’m in desperate need of good morning habits. I’m in!

    • Heena says...

      I’m studying for the bar exam too and I’m already up way too late reading this… good luck to you!!!

  60. Kathryn Espinal says...

    I am a early morning rise and smile convert and am never going back!!! As a working mom with three boys (5,3and 1.) My 5am wake up is the only chance to screw my head on straight before chaos strikes. The best way I have found to describe it is going through the day on solid ground vs treading water. Three mornings a week I run with my best friend (our “bitch and run” as our husbands have coined it) and in those first four weeks when your body hates you and your mind isn’t convinced enough to disagree…texts like, “let’s do this”, “lacing up” and “delayed 5 min because I had to poop” make all the difference. Find a friend to make you smile, keep you laughing, listen to you crying and help until your mind and body love the wake ups as much as you do!

    • LOLs to pooping. True story – can’t jog when you gotta go

  61. Sandra says...

    I am hovering between joining you and knowing myself well enough to know that after many false starts I am just NOT a morning person! We moved from Chicago to a sleepy northern suburb and I swear everyone here goes to bed early and gets up at the crack of dawn to go for a walk or something. When I come home late from the train and I see everyone’s lights out I just keep thinking, where are my people??? In the city you can look out your window and 2 AM and someone else always has their lights on too. Here not so much. I can’t tell you the number of times I signed up for an early class in college (and skipped it) made workout plans with friends (and we both bailed) joined a 6 am running group (and switched to the 6PM one after a few days)…the list goes on. Now that we have a son I do wake up at 7 to get him to school, but anything before that feels like torture. However, I still don’t have a regular workout routine down since I became a parent and my son is 7. Early morning would be my best bet….

  62. PG says...

    Caroline, I so love this idea! How will you hold me accountable though?? I hope you instagram your way through this :)
    Anyway, I feel inspired and this is precisely what I needed to read before turning off my laptop and heading to the quiet of my bedroom.

  63. I am a morning person and I used to walk for 30 minutes at 6.30am Monday-Friday but then just over a couple of months ago (its been 10 weeks) I broke my ankle (plus a 2nd degree sprain, ligament damage and bruised bones) and I am not allowed to do my morning walks. I’m actually still in a moon boot for another 4 weeks thanks to the injury and even then I will have to keep it strapped for the near future. So my routine doesn’t exist and with it almost being Winter here in the southern hemisphere I don’t like waking up in the dark, so I wake up 6.45/7.00am when it’s just starting to get light.
    I will say set 2 alarms 15 minutes apart with the latter being the time you need to get up, it gives you a period to lie in bed and slowly wake up before you need to start the day. Also I sleep with my blinds open so I wake up with the natural light streaming in which helps a lot :)

  64. Jenny says...

    I’ve always aspired to be a morning person. How much better it is to start this in the summer than as a new year’s resolution in the dead of winter like I’ve done in the past! I’m committing to join you in this challenge. Will we get a recap at the end of the month?

    Also, I love the community surrounding Cup of Jo such that even though I know none of you personally, I still feel accountable for my commitment. That’s something special.

  65. Ugh fine. I’ll try it.

    • Mimi says...

      Lol!

    • Allison says...

      Ha! This was my same reaction! I get it – I believe it – I just don’t know if I can DO it.

  66. A Martin says...

    I am hardcore night owl. Also, I stay up wayyyy past my bedtime because it is my only alone time in the day. I swear my son can smell when I’m awake and he is a velcro toddler. I feel like I might set myself up for disappointment if I try to wake up early. My husband leaves at around 5ish am so it’s just me with the kids. Recently, I stopped drinking coffee (health reasons) and tea just doesn’t have the same incentive to wake up as coffee does. Any tips on having something hot and soothing that isn’t coffee that could help motivate me in the morning?

  67. L says...

    I’m a morning person and my tip is going to sound ridiculous but here it is: go to bed earlier. Getting up early is great, but not at the expense of getting enough sleep. Instead of focusing on getting up in the morning, focus on going to bed at night. An evening routine to wind down and get ready for sleep should help most people to fall asleep earlier than they are used to and once you get in that habit, waking up early will be no problem because you’ll have gotten your sleep.

    • Lisa says...

      I second this. I imagine myself with a cup of tea and classical music and all the time in world….that image “sometimes” get me out of bed by 6am. ☺️

    • Liz says...

      “Instead of focusing on getting up in the morning, focus on going to bed at night.” Best advice. Getting up early should not be synonymous with not getting enough sleep.

    • Katy says...

      Yes! This is how I did it. I focused on my bedtime. Now I go to bed around 8pm, and am asleep by 9pm. My husband puts our two kids to bed, and I get up with them in the morning. The key for this working for me, is that the kids aren’t the ones waking me up. I’m waking up between 4:30am and 5am. And I can do that, b/c I’ve had a full nights sleep.

  68. Caroline! I’m also an aspiring, albeit unsuccessful, early bird. AND, I also completed Pure’s 200-hour 5 years back. I immediately knew you were talking about Charu. His warmth and kindness will always stay with me. He is the real deal and I’m so grateful to have studied with him. Thank you for reminding me of his presence. Good luck with your yoga path, however you choose to follow it. I remember feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to begin, and now I have been teaching professionally for over 5 years. Life is wild, unexpected ride, but from what I (sort of) know of you from your writing, you are going to be just fine. Thank you for sharing your insight. I have enjoyed reading you over the years.

  69. Sarah says...

    Nothing like having a dog and training for marathons to get you out of bed before the sun comes up. My extra efforts at this moment: not sleeping past 7 on the weekends and giving up caffeine, in hopes I’ll sleep better and those 5:15 wake-up calls will become easier. Well, that, or masochism.

    • Betsy says...

      I meet a friend at the corner at 5:45 twice a week for a 4 mile run. I’d never go on my own, but knowing she’ll be there forces me to get up.

      It’s also nice to get it done before it gets super hot in the summer. Plus, I feel so virtuous when I get to work and know I’ve already more than 90% of my co-workers!

  70. Kim says...

    I am a 2am-type of night owl but somehow landed in a career that requires me to be at the hospital by 6am at the latest. Every other weekend I drift back toward the night schedule and the following Monday & Tuesday resembles jet lag. Perhaps Joanna’s sister, Lucy, can relate?

    Turns out that I cannot both stay up late and wake up early. Those are the most arduous mornings. It took an embarrassingly long time to realize this. By relinquishing hopes of making it to every high energy, weeknight event, I am more productive and spry after a 9:30pm bedtime (for a 5am alarm – total of 7.5 hours).

    Plus, putting my alarm clock on the other side of the room and keeping electronics out of the bedroom (on the dining table) has worked wonders.

  71. Erin says...

    I’ve tried many times, to no avail, to become a morning person. I’m really good at not JUST pressing snooze on the alarm clock, but disabling it completely without even opening my eyes. BUT I’m down to try this challenge, particularly because I’m feeling like I’m less productive than I want to be in the evenings, I love a good breakfast (best meal of the day!), and I’ve been trying to work out more often. I think maybe if I start making cold press coffee in the evenings so it’s waiting for me in the fridge in the mornings, it could lure me out of bed :)

  72. Mary says...

    Self-professed morning lover here. I can basically only run in the am, running in the evening for me is so, so hard! I do run through the winter too, and I confess that 5am or 6am wake-ups when its pitch black and freezing out is not easy. My tip is to get a friend (or a roommate!) who operates on the same schedule! Before I moved, a lot of my friends were in med school and 5:30am workouts was the only friend time we got during the week haha

  73. michaela says...

    I’m working on it…my team just got moved to a new office location that adds an extra 30–40 minutes to my commute, so now I really have to get up earlier. But I also optimistically scoped our a nearby yoga studio that I’ve convinced myself I can get to before work, and the vision of a healthy morning glow from some hot vinyasa might just be enough to really motivate me to be a morning person. And also my new Brumi overnight cold-brewer/thermos ought to help with motivation. (PS: I have zero problem with a 4 a.m. wakeup call when it’s because my husband and I want to head to a popular hiking trail and beat the crowds, but uh, I guess the enthusiasm for my favorite hobby just doesn’t translate to the rest of my week.)

  74. Court says...

    I wake up at 5 a.m everyday to run everyday. It began when my first son was born, I needed alone time! Once he started sleeping more, I got up early to walk, listen to a book and have some alone time. Then I started jogging. Then running. I recently ran my first half marathon all due to my 5 a.m mornings! I just decided to set my alarm and never touch it. No excuses. I cherish those mornings so much.

    • Kristian says...

      …I feel like I could have written this. Well, except the running part, though I have been considering starting…..

  75. Kirsten says...

    What about those of us who are super productive in the early morning AND late at night? If we didn’t have to live by the capitalist clock, I would 100% get up at 6, work until 10, then sleep/break/whatever until after dinner and work again from like 7-midnight. I have a complete productivity bonk in the middle of the day.

    • Kel says...

      Same same! Staying up in the quiet late is heavenly, and I get up early to meet my running partner at 5 a.m. a few days a week. (So that every other day I get a more normal amount of sleep.) Every single morning the alarm clock goes off I hope she’ll bail, but also every single time as I’m showering off the run and starting the day accomplished I’m super happy we did it. The 3 p.m. Crash is the pits. I try to stay ahead of it with a 20 minute to 1 hour nap–wether it’s in my bed or the car–which gets me through gracefully without yelling at everyone by dinner time. Plus mid-day naps are like heaven on earth. So Hip! Hip! To getting the run done before the sun, mid-day manna, and late night quiet. (Haha, introvert speaking.)

  76. Emily says...

    As a former collegiate rower, I’m no stranger to waking up at 5am every day. My tips: never hit snooze, brush your teeth right away (it helps!!), and put on your some music you can’t help but dance to. Also, go to bed early. There’s no need to punish yourself. You can do this!!

  77. Jackie N says...

    As hard as it is sometimes, I feel like getting up early has been the closest thing to a magic bullet for me! It’s alarming how much more productive I am even with an extra 30 minutes. I’m also much kinder to my family when I’ve had a minute to breathe before requests for oatmeal come my way.

  78. Deb says...

    Beautiful words…..but…is that a Corgi butt I see?? Love it!

    • m says...

      It totally is! Emily Wang has multiple corgi photos on her instagram

  79. Flora says...

    I think I might be doing the polar opposite of Caroline’s challenge ever since I had a kid (now 17 months), who is my alarm clock and is allowed out at 6 am. Occasionally he will sleep in until 7:30, and I swear I hear angels sing when it happens.

  80. Val says...

    Me! Me! I want to do this. I would use the extra hour to workout. It’s so hard given the other option is to sleep in. Aaah…
    But I will try it tomorrow and try to do it one day at a time.

  81. Monica says...

    When I turned 40, I realized I had a 4YO and a 2YO, an extra 16 lbs of baby weight, and a full time job. There was literally no time during the day or in the evening to join a gym or exercise, so I made a schedule for myself – waking up 45 minutes earlier to hit the treadmill in my basement. Imfor the past FOUR years, my alarm goes off at 4:35am, I’m on the treadmill by 5:00, then I’m making lunches, getting dressed for work, and getting kids to school by 6:55! Yes I go to bed earlier, but I’ve lost 15 lbs and feel amazing starting my day. I was NEVER a morning workout person, but now down in my exercise room, it’s my quiet time by myself before the rest of the family wakes up (and I’ve caught up on SO much Netflix, haha!!) Waking up early is not such a hard adjustment after the first few weeks, so go for it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s awesome and inspiring, monica!

    • Jen says...

      How do people wake up early without waking up the small humans??? That’s been my challenge.

    • Lisa says...

      This describes my current situation pretty accurately and certainly serves as food for thought. With littles and a full time job outside the home (and a husband who desires some degree of attention – poor guy), there really is just no time at the end of the day. I have thus far resisted truly early mornings, but it may need to change. But then that would mean going to bed pretty much right after the kids (as they’re often up until 9 PM). That would be a tough pill to swallow.

    • Laura C. says...

      So. In order to wake up earlier, you should go to bed earlier. In my country we have a wrong time zone, and the schedule of shops and work is completely wrong, in my opinion. Everything starts very late. We have lunch late, wr have dinner late. My neighbours have dinner late and, even if I went to bed earlier, I’ll have to cope with noisy neighbours. We have sunlight up to 9.30 PM! That’s why it’s difficult to me to do a morning routine. At 7 AM it’s dark outside.

    • Ali says...

      Jen: Invest in a dohm sound machine for each bedroom. They are about $40 on Amazon. They allow my husband to be up late and me to get up early without waking the kids (or each other for that matter.) We even take ours along when we travel.

  82. Claire says...

    I read once, (maybe in college) that creative people tend to be night owls. I’ve always clung to that in justifying my late nights, but really, I just want to be alone for a few hours. It’s not like I’m doing anything productive while everybody else is sleeping; I’m on my phone or mindlessly watching some reality show. Maybe if I get up early, I can take our dog for a walk before it’s 100 degrees outside or if I’m feeling really crazy, shower. (I want you to know that I did jazz hands after I typed shower).

    It takes three weeks to form a habit, right? I’m in. I’ll try getting up early the whole month of June. Let’s see what I can get done before my kids wake up.

    • Jenny says...

      OMG. I need a **jazz hands** shower! I totally identify with that sentiment and will now use it forever.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “(I want you to know that I did jazz hands after I typed shower).” = hahahaha :)

  83. Christine says...

    I only try to be an early riser (5:15-5:30) during late spring/summer/early fall (when it’s most light out). This does mean going to bed at 9-10. I go for a bike ride, read, do yoga, or try an exercise video first thing. And that glorious cup of coffee before the kiddo wakes up is priceless. I do notice more energy and improved mood, but I’m sure that also has to do with winter being over. In the winter, I firmly believe in hibernating like a bear.

  84. I used to get up at 4 everyday (before we sold our farm). I’d make coffee and help get my husband ready for work. Between 5 and 6, I’d do laundry, clean the kitchen, have coffee, do any chores that needed to be done. Between 6 and 7 I’d work out either running laps in my driveway (I had kids sleeping upstairs and can’t go anywhere) or work out in my living room, shower and make breakfast and ready for the day at 7. One kid was in kindergarten and the other was in 2 mornings a week preschool. I could focus on being mom and wife after having done something for myself.

  85. Nicole says...

    My tip- get a job which requires you to be an early riser. I still hate it, but after 8 year of this schedule I’m now one of those adults who can’t sleep in on the weekend (when I was a kid this NEVER made sense to me when my mom said she just couldn’t sleep past 5 am on a Sat)

    • Sandra says...

      Yes Nicole, that ! I have to be at work at 7:30, so basically I have to be an early bird anyway ! It helps in the weekend (you have so much alone and quiet time in the morning), but I wouldn’t wake up earlier to workout, sleep is precious too. I try to workout at noon (“try” is the right word, usually I don’t!!)

  86. I am one of those people who tried to convert myself from a night owl to a morning person, because there really IS something magical about those early morning hours and the quiet in the house, but I couldn’t do it! I woke up at 6am for three days straight and was so tired by the third day that I ended up taking a nap. My body just doesn’t want to be awake that early, and like a few others commented, I get creative/motivational energy around 8/9pm so why fight it? I can accomplish an amazing amount of things between 9pm and midnight, and it’s just as nice to have the window open with a cool breeze coming in and listening to the crickets.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “it’s just as nice to have the window open with a cool breeze coming in and listening to the crickets.” = love that.

    • I’m with you, Kristen. I do better (and am more creative) if I stay up until 11 getting things done in the quiet of the evening than if I force myself to wake up early. I also need a nap when I get up too early. Plus, I don’t understand how people wake up early without waking up their families.

    • Meg says...

      Here here for the nighttime productivity people!! I can attest to the value of the same “everybody is asleep, and the world is quiet” energy that happens late at night too. I get tons of creative energy at night, once I’ve checked off all the more administrative tasks of life and am at peace with the day, my mind and body are more settled and can do deeper work. I’ve found if I try to do this in the morning, I’m consumed thinking of my impending to-do list. (This NYC girl is jealous of your breeze and crickets though Kristen.)

      Also, I know people rave about how deserted grocery stores are on weekday mornings, but try that 24-hr grocery store at midnight: heaven.

  87. Marianne says...

    I’m a dyed-in-the-wool morning bird with a documented love for the wee hours of the day. However, even with my passion for productivity in the AM, I still don’t love the moment when my alarm goes off. It helps me to have something to look forward to. Obviously…coffee. But also a great barre workout cued on my laptop, some time to meditate and journal, and podcasts that downloaded overnight to listen to as I get ready. Make sure you have some time to scroll through Instagram too as you eat breakfast! ;) Good luck!

  88. Heather says...

    I used to be a morning person but then I had kids. Now, I am neither a early bird nor a night owl (maybe I’m some sort of lunchtime pigeon). But I will join you! Bring on the mornings and the enlightenment and the quiet!

    • Lauren K says...

      Haha! After a lifetime as an early bird, I’m now a pigeon too (now that I have a three year old and a six month old).

    • Diana says...

      i never knew i was a lunchtime pigeon! I never really caught on to either staying up late or getting up early. And now that i have a baby all bets are off.

    • Lou says...

      “Lunchtime pigeon” made me laugh out loud! I so relate- I used to be a night owl but after having my kid (with another on the way) I’m just too tired to stay up late anymore (and consider waking up with my child earlier than I want to be up for sure) however the idea of alone time before the chaos of the day starts does sound appealing…

  89. Emilie says...

    I’ve always been an early riser. It didn’t make me popular at parties in college (I fell asleep more than once on bar nights) but it’s great now that I’m in my thirties. It’s time that is truly your own – no one is going to need anything from you at 5 AM. I’ve used the time to finish a book proposal (an hour a day) or squeeze in workouts. My best morning person tip: use a real alarm clock, not your phone, and set it up across the room from your bed. You’ll be forced to get up but won’t have the distraction of your phone before you get to whatever it is you want to do.

  90. Kelly Smith says...

    I learned a good tip from Robin Sharma who writes about waking at 5am and intentionally using those early hours for maximizing productivity and creativity…he reminds us that how we feel right when we wake up (groggy, somewhat annoyed) is not how we’ll feel 10 or even 5 mins after we wake up. He calls it “mastering the mattress” and it’s an act of will power, which, like a muscle can be strengthened with practice. I found that I can do this three or four days a week and “treat” myself to sleeping in on the others. You know, everything in moderation, right?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “he reminds us that how we feel right when we wake up (groggy, somewhat annoyed) is not how we’ll feel 10 or even 5 mins after we wake up” = that’s a really great point, kelly.

  91. Lorraine says...

    I’ve always been a morning person. I think it’s my introvertedness- haha! A world all to myself!!!! Alas, now with kids I am tired – and grateful if they let me sleep til 7. But, this challenge is a no-brainer! I love getting up early and I am a vegetable at night. I have music to write and yoga to do. I’m in!

  92. Yep. Mornings are the best. Things I’ve accomplished since waking up at 5:30am every weekday for the past year:
    – Started and finished two plays (one of which is debuting in New York in
    June!)
    – I organized a charity event for 115 people where we raised $10k for
    disadvantaged youth
    – I’ve trademarked my company, hired a designer, and begun
    creating prototypes for my jewelry line
    I’m tellin’ ya. Three extra hours in the morning and a very strong cup of coffee can go a very long way.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, that is incredible, susie!!! really amazing and inspiring.

      PS i’m always curious about early birds: when do you go to bed?

    • Amanda says...

      Congrats on your success and productivity! Inspiring!

    • Alexis says...

      I am early bird (get up at 5am to walk our dogs), and I am in bed by 9pm, and lights out by 9:30 each night. I need my sleep! :)

    • If I’m in bed around 10:15pm and lights out around 10:30pm I’m feeling good the next day. I aim to get about 7 hours a night. Also, doing 5-10 minutes of yoga every morning is also a game changer. Makes me feel grounded, strong, awake etc . Highly recommend it.

  93. Kate says...

    I am a morning person, although I’m not quite as early as I’d like to be with kids now in the picture. (I used to be able to wake up at 6 and have plenty of time to myself. Now it’s got to be 4:30 or 5 if it’s going to make a difference in my day, which is harder.) My trick is to have the coffee set to brew before I’m up, and then to have a bit of that before I do whatever it is I’ve planned. I’m like Pavlov’s dogs with the stuff, and even a quarter cup before a walk, say, cues my body to wake up. And some days, I choose simply to drink a whole glorious cup with a book before my people join me.

    • Julie says...

      Yes! The automatic timer on the coffee machine is clutch! I can motivate for early morning bike ride if the smell of coffee is there when I wander into the kitchen!

  94. Lt says...

    I am a morning person. This morning before 6am I had done a peloton workout, fed the dog, cleaned the litter box and fed my kid.
    My tip is to NOT snooze your alarm. Commit to getting up, just do it. Say ‘1,2,3, GO’ and get up!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s great advice — rip off the bandaid!

  95. Hilary says...

    I’m a teacher and after 8 years I STILL can’t stand getting up at 5:30 AM. I will say I do my best work in the morning hence why get to work early, but every year I tell myself this is the year I’ll get used to waking up at this ungodly hour and no, I still dread setting my alarm every. single. day.

    • Nicole says...

      Me too! I also work in the schools and wake up from necessity and after 8 years still despise it

    • Carrie says...

      That sucks, I can totally feel your pain! The first 2 years I was at my job I would be so tired at my desk that I was literally dizzy. What a nightmare. Somehow over time it’s gotten easier. Find a nice little something that you can be excited about in the mornings. For me, I buy this yummy cold brew I get to look forward to. I also love essential oils, and I look forward to picking out what I want to wear that day. Small incentives!

      I’m still not a morning person though, maybe a month ago I was trying something new, taking a 15 minute walk/jog before work and never had I felt so alert and awesome but I just couldn’t stick with it. I love sleep too much :(

  96. Karen says...

    The idea of “trying” to be a morning person seems arduous to me. Do we really need another thing in life we “should (try to) be”? I’m a morning person, and I love being up early – I feel energized, and I appreciate my quiet/alone/pre-kid/husband/dog time. I can get a lot done in the early morning hours because that’s a natural time for me to be active. But come the evening, I’m done – ready for bed at 8pm, definitely in jammies by then.

    I think the point here should be to take advantage of time to do SOMETHING you’ve been meaning to do – read a book, write, take a walk.

    AM or PM, it’s about less time sleeping and more time doing.

    • Sara says...

      Karen, thank you. I’m going to give myself permission to be who I am. A person who loves sleep. And the snooze button. And doesn’t particularly feel like trying to force myself to be anything else right now.

    • m says...

      yes thank you! I wake up at 8 am and get way more done than if I were to wake up at 5:30 or 6am. I need my sleep!

    • Kim G says...

      Absolutely!

  97. Steph says...

    This was my summer resolution as well! Yesterday, 5am came and went with a snore. Today, I woke at 5am (win!), walked for an hour (win!), then sat on the couch and fell back asleep for an hour (fail!). But progress is progress. Good luck!

  98. Ro says...

    I’m really annoying in that I pop awake at 7am (or earlier) and am immediately chipper. I’d give anything to sleep in, but I just can’t.

    I think the key is to have anxiety for the day ahead (kidding) and to get into the habit. I know some people are natural born night owls. But I swear, the more you often you wake up early (yes, even on the weekends) the easier it’ll be to reset your internal clock and magically pop at the crack of dawn — whether you want to or not.

  99. riye says...

    I’m an early riser. Even if I go to bed really late my eyes still open around 4:30-5:00 a.m. It was a big help when my mom and (later) one of my cats both got diagnosed with cancer. Now I feed the cats, medicate one of them, eat breakfast, and then go to the gym. Once I get to the office I make espresso, start looking at e-mails, and get my day going. I don’t love cramming a bunch of stuff (especially the gym!) in first thing but I find that if I have a bad day, at least a lot of things have already been dealt with so I can take it easy in the evening. That makes it worthwhile to me.

  100. Valentine says...

    I’ve read a few comments about just feeling physically UNABLE to wake up before 6:30 or 7…I totally feel that. And, feel it out for yourself, but I think four years of college stress/poor sleep habits/caffeine/job troubles were the primary cause. Thankful for the freedom and flexibility I’ve had the last six months to work on getting 8 solid hours of sleep (minimum) every night. I finally have energy again. Sleep is so important!!! And mornings are great, so get your rest so you can get your booty up to enjoy them, if you can’t right now! Thanks for the challenge, love it!

  101. Betsy says...

    In late spring waking early seems a lot more doable than in mid winter. Maybe repeat this challenge in January and compare results.

  102. Calla says...

    What a great idea! I’ve been trying to get up and out of the house a little earlier since I’ve noticed what a difference it makes to my commute. Going to try getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual this month. You may also want to check out this book that just came out on how to create a positive morning ritual for yourself, I’m about halfway through and am finding it to be an excellent source of motivation.
    https://www.amazon.com/My-Morning-Routine-Successful-Inspired/dp/0735220271

  103. Celeste says...

    I’ve got this mastered! But, I have kids, so getting up at 5 a.m. and meeting running group is my social life. Try setting out clothes the night before and going to bed by 930 p.m. And eating protein like eggs (instead of oatmeal) keeps me alert.

  104. Lisa says...

    I’m a writer and, in preparation for my twins being home from school all summer, I’ve been getting up at 6:00 instead of 7:00 every day to write. The problem is, 50% of the time, my son wakes up, too. It’s like he can smell that I’m awake. I swear I roll out of bed as quietly and delicately as a ninja. I tried putting a white noise machine in their room. The next morning, my son woke up (at 6:00) and said, “Why is that thing in our room?” I said, “I put it in there in the hope that you would not wake up when I do.” He just looked at me and said, “Well, that didn’t work.” He said he can FEEL that I am awake. He said, “I just love you too much. I want to be where you are.” It’s very sweet…but also, how am I supposed to get any work done?!

    • Em says...

      So sweet!!!

    • Ankita says...

      Haha. That’s exactly my problem in the morning. I am so tired to workout, read or do anything for myself in the evening after office, dinner and putting my son to bed. I so want to be a morning person. But whenever I have tried to wake up early, my son does too ?. Gone my me time. Better to sleep in longer at least.

    • Liz says...

      When I was a toddler, my mom wrote and worked from home. During her “work times” I was allowed to hang out with her, but only if I chilled on a huge pillow that she kept under her desk. I would quietly play or snuggle with her feet (!!!) and she would work. If I got rowdy, I had to leave and I knew it. It was a sweet system.

    • Kristina L says...

      YES! My children can totally “feel” that I’m awake, even if I’m totally silent.

      This is the reason I tend to stay up WAY too late. When my kids are tucked in and sleeping, the house feels settled and I can completely relax into my much-needed introvert recharge time. But if I try to take that time in the morning, I can’t truly relax because part of me is just waiting for the inevitable pitter-patter of little feet coming out to join me.

  105. Katie says...

    OK Caroline, I am in. Especially because I am a teacher, and school is about to end, and every summer I go back to my body clock (which is much like Andrea & Alex’s clocks above: wake at 8-10, up until 1-2), but then have to basically sleep train myself again every August to shift back to my 5-9 schedule (dogs need walking + gotta leave for work by 6:30). ANYWAY. I wanna do the 5-9 (or 10;)) thing year-round. I think it would be better for my health and — and I can barely believe I’m about to say this — well, maybe it could actually be nice to wake up at 5 every day, instead of a sort of chore? Is there a way to make morning a pleasant part of my life and not dreadful? I’m all for finding out. Game on, June!

  106. Brooke says...

    I work late and I need those few hours when I come home to pull dinner together and to wind down, so I usually go to bed around midnight. Then I hope I can get to sleep right away! Therefore, waking up early has never been easy! But….I’m going to try with you! I do sleep with one of my window blinds open, but I’m intrigued by the gradual light alarm clock!

  107. Anna says...

    4:37 am. That’s what time the sun rose this morning in Anchorage, Alaska – thus, getting up with the sunrise won’t work for me. (For reference, the sun rises at 10:26 am on December 26.) But the good part is that these wild shifts mean I get to experience our version of “seasons” by getting up early. It’s a complete joy in the summer to go for a run or walk and hear birds, see baby moose, and be in sunlight, and it’s pretty magical to ski under the stars in the winter, too. I discovered the magic of the early morning while learning to row on the Connecticut River in college, when everything is still and perfect.

    • Lisa says...

      Now these things I would get up early for. Skiing under the stars! Baby moose!

    • Wow, I have never heard of mornings like these! So wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  108. jac says...

    Is that a corgi’s butt? My dog stands on my face every morning to wake me up. Hahahahahaha

  109. Di McCullough says...

    My preschooler is and always has been an early riser, and after 4+ years, my body still knows it’s not early bird material. *But* I do waaaaayyyyyy better at not being furious about the ungodly hour if I set a sunrise-mimicking alarm clock to gradually wake me at about the same time he does.

  110. When I was a working mom with two boys, it was a must to be up at 5. I set an alarm and a programmable coffeemaker but didn’t need either once the habit was set. My eyes would shoot open at 4:56 and I’d leap out of bed and into the shower. Then I could enjoy my coffee while mentally preparing for my day of clients, cook a hot breakfast for the boys, make lunches, and be prepared to drive the carpool without any of us feeling rushed. After reading to the boys at night, I often laid down beside one of them and took a cat nap. It gave me just the boost I needed to enjoy the 9-11 pm quiet of the household. I once heard an author say she wrote all of her books between 5 and 7 am before her day job and responsibilities as a mother. I think that inspired me. Covers and coziness are great but once you’re up and awake, the TIME and FREEDOM are better!

  111. Jennifer says...

    TV journalist here, working on a morning show. I’m up between 2-2:30am five days a week. Coffee is my motivator. We have an amazing machine that freshly grinds beans with each use and brews a perfect cup of coffee. It is a little bit of comfort and warmth at an ungodly hour.

    Best thing about being an early bird: watching the sun come up each morning. What a gift to see a new day born.

    • Lucia says...

      I aspire to wake up at three! What time do you go to sleep & do you nap?

    • Jennifer says...

      Eight hours would be ideal, so I strive to be in bed by 6:30. Reality is usually 7:30. With enough time it gets easier to fall asleep that early. By the last two days of the work week I definitely need to nap…but even after years on this shift your body never totally adapts.

    • Lucia says...

      Thank you for your reply! One more question: do you deviate from that sleep schedule on your days off & is it harder to get back into swing of the workday sleep schedule?

    • Jennifer says...

      I deviate a little bit but nothing too drastic. On my days of I usually am asleep by 9-10 and up at 6-7, without an alarm. It’s really only tough for me after a week off or a relaxing vacation. Consistency is key though…it probably took me 2-3 months to adapt to the schedule. I hope this helps!

    • Lucia says...

      It does! Thank you so very much!

      PS. Caroline! I woke up at three today! Huzzah!!!

  112. Ellen says...

    There is something magical about being awake when the world is so quiet. Sick of spending my awake early mornings laying in bed on my phone, a $12 alarm clock and keeping my phone charger plugged in outside the bedroom instantly cured me-now I roll out of bed 5 minutes after the alarm goes off, and my day has begun! Also, play around with your alarm time-6:40am was hitting me right in the middle of a sleep cycle and I always felt tired waking up, but 6:10am is much much better.

  113. Alec says...

    I’m obsessed with the sunrise alarm clocks – you can get them on Amazon. You set them for whatever time you need to be up, and thirty minutes beforehand it starts to gradually lighten the room, mimicking a natural sunrise. At the set alarm time, it gives you a gentle noise in case you haven’t already awoken:

    https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Wake-Up-Colored-Simulation-HF3520/dp/B0093162RM

    Not only does this make the wake-up progress more gradual instead of jerking awake at the sound of an alarm, but it means my room is fully lit by the time I need to get out of bed (which is particularly useful for my window-challenged apartment). Love love love.

    • Calla says...

      I love that alarm clock! I’ve been using it for years and even brought it with me when I moved to another country. So much nicer waking up to an already lit room

  114. This has been a bit of a tender button for me lately. I tried the past few weeks to start waking up an hour earlier and just COULD NOT DO IT. I was trying to wake up at 5:30am…which, honestly, is not THAT early!). My goal was to be able to do Pilates or an exercise walk before my daughter gets up at 6:30 (I have to be at work at 8). I’d usually snooze and then only get in 20 minutes of walking or Pilates…which is better than nothing, but not that great!

    I’m with a lot of these other commenters, too, in saying how much I lose when I go to bed too early. While I do feel my most Zen in the morning (I love those quiet walks in the neighborhood with my dog), I feel most creative at night…like, a faucet of creativity gets turned on sometimes at about 9:30pm. What’s a girl to do?

    Like Gretchen Rubin has pointed out, a person can be totally happy and productive as an early bird OR a night owl, but our culture and society is definitely designed to benefit early birds. Maybe I should move to a country that embraces the siesta…then I could have the peace of the early mornings, the vibrant creativity of the late hours, and a nice long snooze in between. ;)

  115. Hayley says...

    I am up early as a teacher and this year I bought an actual alarm clock that acts as a sunrise to wake me each morning. It slowly brightens, starting half an hour before my alarm. It’s been a game changer and also helps in my quest to keep my phone out of the bedroom- bonus!

  116. Rachel says...

    My last job had me at my desk at 6:30am, which meant I got ready in the dark and missed seeing my kids in the morning. Now I have a new job, and no one cares whether I am ever at my desk, as long as I get my work done. So I’ve been staying in bed until 7am, getting the kids ready and then getting myself ready. Every day, when I hear the kids stir but it’s not yet 7, I do an internal whoop of joy and pull the covers higher. Early bird: overrated!

    • Tyler says...

      ha! i have to agree. only i am in the opposite situation – i have spent the last two years as a student, often sleeping till 7 or 8 and then heading to campus. now i am graduating and have to be at my new job by 8 and its been a tough adjustment.. i’m much happier if i can rise at my own pace!

  117. Kristen says...

    I’ve always loved the idea of “morning dates.” On the very rare occasion I’ve met a friend for breakfast or to workout and grab coffee and walk until we have to part ways it’s always felt like such a great way to start my day, but alas, there are reasons it’s been few and far between. Why are mornings so hard (read above: blankets)?!

    I’m decent with mornings – mostly out of necessity bc if the workout doesn’t happen then it isn’t happening – but I’d love to hop our of bed with the sunrise and live a full day before even getting to the office.

    • Samantha says...

      I LOVE to meet my best friend for an 8 am yoga class on Saturday morning. We go to breakfast after, and are generally home by 11 so we still have the whole day to do whatever around the house or with our significant others.

  118. My best advice (or, what has worked for me) is to work on things you can do, well, still in bed. If I set an alarm at 6am to get up for a HIIT class, there’s a slim chance I’m throwing the covers off. A 6am wakeup to read or journal, however, increases the odds—and creates such a more pleasant transition than throwing off the covers to immediately jump in the shower and run out the door.

    • oooh, I like this idea!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great advice!!

  119. shannon says...

    At work, my shift times change: start time can be 7am, 11am, or 3pm. One of my coworkers jokes there is a “7 o’clock Shannon” and an “11 o’clock Shannon” because I’m so much more chipper and talkative with an 11am start! My true personality does not awaken until mid morning.

  120. Meghan says...

    What are you so zonked from??

  121. Franzi says...

    Good luck Caroline! What helps me get out of the bed is to have something I am really looking forward to – a great cup of tea, my favorite yoga video, favorite outfit to wear… maybe this helps :)

  122. I’ve been trying to wake up earlier FOREVER, but no matter what I try I’m just. so. tired and find it so difficult to get out of bed. Will be scrolling through the comments looking for the magic cure ;)

    • Kim says...

      It’s all about going to bed early :)

  123. Pip says...

    I am rooting for you! As my husband is the early bird in our relationship I feel bad I am not even the night owl – I peak between 2-6 pm daily so more of an afternoon person (not sure what animal represents this?!). Look forward to hearing how you get on, take care! X

  124. Yes. I’m in. Before my third child was born, I would wake up before my kids and work (I’m an artist so work is at home). Once a week I would meet friends around 6am at this beautiful natural swimming hole in Austin where the water is freezing. We would all jump in, then tread water and chat for an hour or so. It was so refreshing, and it drastically changed my mood.

    Now that baby is sleeping better it’s time for me to hop back on the bandwagon!

  125. sasha says...

    Man, GOOD LUCK and no thank you.

    I used to get up at 5:45, just to make it to my very early previous job, but now I’m working from home and don’t start until 7:30. I get up at 7. And I feel like a much better human being. If you’re an early bird, good for you, I admire you, and no, I’m not going to try and change my covers over my head until the last second ways.

  126. Meg Lec says...

    This is timely, with a ten month old I have convinced myself that I need every.single.second.of.sleep but as he gets older (and sleeps through the night!) I want to start using my mornings for me. My husband gets up early and I’m jealous of his slow morning tea and breakfast not chasing a toddler. 6am wake up with a morning run (prep for my half marathon this October!) I think is just the self care I need!

  127. Katherine says...

    When I was teaching, I’d have to wake up before the sun rose, which is f’ing hard. The very best thing I did was invest in this alarm clock, which simulates the slow rising glow of the sun (light starts off really soft then gets increasingly brighter as the alarm time grows near), in addition to bird chirping noises to wake me up. It is expensive (just saw some cheaper options on Amazon but can’t vouch for those), but it made waking up so much easier and soothing. I can’t stand harsh sounding beeping alarm clocks, and if I used my phone as my alarm, I’d inevitably start scrolling around on mindless junk and then have to rush to get ready because I’d spent too much time on my phone. I love this alarm clock in a weirdly deep way and recommend it to everyone!

    Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Colored Sunrise Simulation and Sunset Fading Night Light, White (HF3520) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0093162RM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_Y5XdBb7DGMP9N

    • Emily says...

      I have been using the same clock for a few years and I couldn’t agree more about how wonderful it is. For the past year I turned off the sound completely (although the available sound options are so gentle and pleasant) so that I wake up only to the light. Both ways have been so much nicer than a loud beeping, and waking to a lit room really makes me feel like getting up.

  128. You make it sound so nice! But for me, not getting enough sleep negatively impacts my health (and my mood). To get up at 5 I’d have to be lights out in bed at 9. Most nights I don’t get home til 7:30 then there’s still dinner to cook and vegging out to do … it’s just not possible to be fully asleep at 9 PM for me. I have gotten better at waking up earlier thanks to a magical system called “cats crying for food”, but that happens around 7 — a much more manageable hour for me. Sometimes I’ll do a quick 15 minutes of yoga before getting ready for work but depends on how much time I have. If only all my time were my own…

  129. Amy says...

    I started working for a very cool company about 8 years ago (cool = we typically have at least 1 dog in the office everyday). When I started, the start time was 8:30ish. Little did they know, they never should have uttered the suffix “-ish” to me. I now get in around 9:30, but, at my worst, there have been a couple of 9:55 arrivals (and I live less than 15 min from work!)

    This flexibility is a double edge sword: it’s obviously a luxury to take my time in the morning, but on the flip side, I’m here until 6:30-7:30 every night. Then it cycles: leave late, run errands, home late, eat late, bed late, up late, get to work late.

    I read a self-help book to try to break this cycle a year or 2 ago. The author explained that you should get up early to do something you WANT to do. I like to be creative, so I started getting up in order to get some creative time in (since that’s the thing that always falls to the wayside). It was magical and mindblowing (to myself and others). But, it was also fleeting. It only lasted 2 or 3 months. Then, this past November I decided to start getting up early to workout. And, again, I was successful – but it petered out by February.

    So THAT’S my dilemma. I know I CAN do it…I just have a hard time sticking to it. And now, I feel like I’m stuck between 2 options: be creative OR be skinny. I don’t have time in my life for both. Meh, I think I own enough flow-y clothes that I can choose creativity. I’m going to join you in this challenge!

    • hahahahah “I’m stuck between 2 options: be creative OR be skinny. I don’t have time in my life for both.” I’m right there with you friend! I’ve been writing so much more lately, and it’s so life-giving for me, but then any semblance of formal exercise goes out the window. as a working mom with a 2-year-old, I’m telling myself it’s just a season… :p

  130. Jan says...

    I wale up at 5 and have a homemade cup of coffee. Sit and study French for 15 minutes,then I make my lunch. By 6 am I am getting ready for work and leave by 6:30. The reason I get up early is to be SLOW. I have one hour to myself. I don’t waste it with anything too physical. I just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.

  131. Marie-Eve says...

    I am up for the challenge!! It would be great to get up earlier to have some time for myself… At night I am soooooo tired that I just pass out when I put the kids to bed! Then when I woke up an hour later I am super groggy and cannot do anything!
    I am also curious Caroline, where did you take your yoga teacher training and who was your inspiring teacher. I really want to complete a teacher training this year! Thanks!!

  132. Emily M. says...

    I wake up at 4:30am most weekdays. And even most weekends, because my body is just trained to wake up then, try as I might to sleep later when I have a chance. I write for about 45 minutes and then go for a run. I wish I had some tips for you, but the truth is, this is just how I’m wired. I’ve always naturally woken up between 5am-6am, and like to go to bed early. Good luck! Early mornings are the best.

  133. Ashley says...

    On the days when I feel okay hating myself in the morning, I’ll tuck my phone away in a hard-to-reach place that will require several steps to retrieve. Another thing that helps me is downing a tall glass of water right before I sleep, so my bladder becomes my alarm clock.

    I used to be a hardcore morning person, soaking in those slow AM hours…but since working at my current office job, it’s been a trying effort to get back to it. One small encouragement is this: I met up with a friend at 7:30am for coffee yesterday, and IT WAS AMAZING. It was amazing having had a slow morning and some great laughs and, in a sense, exploring the world in a small way, before jumping from bed to train to office like I usually do. I hope the excitement and memory of yesterday will motivate me to commit to a rhythm of earlier mornings!

  134. Denise says...

    omg, i didn’t read the post yet but those corgi buns just kill me – so cute!

    • Denise says...

      Okay, now that I’ve read the post, I’m IN. I have been using the bedtime app on my iphone to try to get to bed at a more reasonable hour for a bout 2 weeks and wow – sleep really helps. So now I’m ready to even push that back a bit more and rise & shine in time to get my exercise walk in the cool quiet of the morning before work. Plus, there are bunnies in the margins of the apartment complex, and deer, and a coyote I saw at 5:30 am just this Sunday, and baby chickadees just fledging. Those Disney cuties really exist in the world. Thanks for the inspiration to do this right now.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes the corgi buns!!!!!

  135. MaryMargaret says...

    It’s totally possible! I am a vampire too and would stay up late, late, late, but signed up for an earlybird gym class (6am or sometimes 5!) so I could crank out a hardcore workout and still make it home to get ready in my own space, see kids, and then jet off to the office at an earlyish time. I used to hate the mornings, but it is so good and so uplifting to do just this one thing for me that I HAPPILY did it for a whole month straight and now maybe it is a habit… I do need to go to bed earlier now — I just make it happen (alarm set, gym clothes out or on, heart monitor/keys/shoes/water by the back door).

  136. Rachel says...

    Our culture seems to idolize the early bird lifestyle, as if it’s somehow more moral to wake up early. Like other commenters have mentioned, you have to go to bed early to get up early, or you just lose hours of sleep (no good!). So, if you’re productive at night or in the morning or smack in the middle of the day, you do you! I applaud trying out the early morning thing (and I really love it when I get up early with time for yoga), but also encourage folks not to beat themselves up if they just prefer to wake up at 8 (or 9? 10?) and roll right out of bed and off to work. You do awesome stuff too! Look at you! We all need to remember to strike the balance between striving for self-improvement, and practicing self-love. xoxo

    • Maureen says...

      Yes! This! I work my butt off and do it well because I choose when to sleep and when to wake up for me. It bothers me that just because someone gets up earlier than me they are perceived as more productive.

    • Robin says...

      I felt like she was suggesting that since she’s zonked in the evening- a condition many experience after a work day- she’d rather go to bed early and wake early than sleep later. It’s a way to maximize productivity.

      And I am in!

    • Maureen says...

      Yes! This! I have tried for years to be a morning person but realized that it does matter the hours I am awake, I still work my butt off. I’m tired of the perception that people who wake up earlier than we are automatically more productive. I think it’s a personal choice and for me, I get my energy later in the day

    • TJ says...

      Yeah, why is that? Does waking up early equate to some sort of farmer heritage worm-catching? I don’t need the pressure, man.

    • KS says...

      YAS RACHEL!
      When I moved from marketing to teaching, I was not prepared for the farmer hours, nor the culture of shame (at my school, anyway) for arriving on time (7:30) and not earlier, like 6:30. My brain isn’t wired that way – I work better later in the day (I’m still here now, doing work, while most of the early birds are gone) AND YET! It does sometimes feel like ONLY early birdism (;)) is prized. Thanks for rallying for those of us with more of a ‘4th quarter streak’.

    • Soph says...

      I so love this comment.

    • Ugh it’s so true. Our culture doesn’t just idolize/moralize it, our society is set up for the success of early birds. Should all of us night owls move to Spain?

    • Julie says...

      Thank you, Rachel!!! I have absolutely always been wired a night owl and am often at my most productive at 11pm. My three-year-old wakes around 7:30/8 every morning and that’s early as far as I’m concerned, hah. I’m not saying this in response to all the lovely commenters on CoJ, but I do get weary of our culture’s strange way of commending early risers. We’re all just wired differently! The morning is wicked overrated.

    • Meg says...

      Yep! I also think a part of the stigma is the idea that later risers (ugh, I hate to even say that 7/7:30 am is still EARLY!!) wake up stressed out, mad at the world and the sunshine, and super sloppy. Quite the contrary, I wake up energized, not hitting snooze (but no judgement for the snoozers, I still stay in bed for a few minutes), have plenty of time for a shower, quick stretch, coffee & breakfast, and lunch prep before leaving my house for work – 45 minutes is and always has been pleeeeenty of time. I have friends who do the same tasks, but take hours in the morning to do it – hoooow though?? No thank you! Let me sleep and be efficient!

      ** I am single and don’t have children – and do recognize that this scenario of efficient mornings might change with those additions. :)

  137. Jenn says...

    Programmable coffee maker. I’m up at 5:00 am to work out at 6:00 and knowing the coffee is waiting for me makes this possible.

  138. Julie says...

    The past 6 months I’ve been getting up at 5:36 (it seems the perfect time for me) and going to a 6am HIIT class near my home. It was SO hard at first, mostly because between the kids and work I’d crash around 4-5pm every day. Now it’s more than energizing and I find I miss it when I don’t go (though I take rest days!). There’s something lovely about putting on my workout clothes quietly, making a french press and having 5 minutes of quiet to sit before a fun, motivating start to my day. I am a nicer wife, mom and coworker because of it.

  139. Becky says...

    I’m so in. This is good timing. I was literally thinking today that I should go to Starbucks and work on my resume before work. 5 am wake up, I will make that happen!

  140. Anna says...

    I wake up at five and do a workout before going to work. While it wasn’t easy initially getting into the routine, the thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that if I get home from work and do practically nothing but sit on the couch in cozy pjs, snack, and read, it’s okay! I’ve already done a workout, I’ve already been active. I can enjoy that down time guilt-free without thinking “oh, I should have gone for a run tonight”.
    Now that I’m in the routine, waking up early in the morning is a habit, even on the weekends. While that sounds terrible (and can be if there was wine involved the night before) there’s also something really lovely about walking or running around the city early on a Sunday morning, when the light is just perfect, feeling like there’s no one else in the world but you.

    • Jess says...

      This is exactly how I see early mornings. And early morning weekend runs in a quiet inner city is one of my favourite things to do.

  141. laura says...

    My issue isn’t so much with early rising; it’s with not being able to to be up late. To be up at 4 am, I’d hope to be in bed by 8 or 9 pm AND THAT IS NOT OKAY. I love my hours of 9 pm – midnight. More so, I can’t imagine going to bed that early on a weekend. I get some of my best ideas later in the night.

    Even when I try to wake up at 5 am, I’m still not able to go to sleep until around midnight, so I settle for 6 am on the weekdays.

    • Jen says...

      Same! My family calls that late evening time “the witching hour”. I get a weird motivation (and inspiration) post 8/9pm. The fun and good ideas start flowing. I can’t go to bed early and sleep through!

  142. Emma says...

    I set my alarm tone to ‘Run the World’ by Beyoncé. When I get up at 4:30 I’m ‘smart enough
    To make these millions
    Strong enough to bare the children
    Then get back to business.’

    • Amy says...

      Love this…both your song choice and lyrical explanation :)

    • Kari says...

      This is everything.

    • Ellie says...

      OMG I LOVE THIS!!!

    • Katy says...

      HA. I love it. I’m totally doing this from now on.

    • omg that is a fantastic idea!!! much better and more motivating than my current alarm that sounds like a submarine is sinking. :|

    • Calla says...

      Oh my gosh, why didn’t I think of that?! What a wonderful way to start the day

  143. Christine says...

    For the first 29 years of my life, I was the grumpiest if I had to wake up early. But when I turned 30, I took a government job that was 6AM-5PM four days a week, and found waking during such a still and quiet time quite magical. It’s still dark out, the big city is incredibly quiet, and it’s one of the only times I feel like I can hear myself think.

    I’ve since moved on from that job, but still wake up at 5AM daily, and don’t see myself changing that anytime soon. Good luck on your early bird challenge, Caroline! I think you may end up enjoying it more than you expect to. :)

  144. Stephanie says...

    Ok, how early is early though? I have always wanted to be one of those people that works out in the morning but I fail every single time! Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you. I feel like it’s easier to get in the habit of in the summer because the sun is up earlier too!

  145. rachel says...

    My best tip is to sleep with your shades up/curtains up! I find it helps me rise (ish) with the sun most mornings. It’s such a pleasant way to wake up without an annoying alarm noise.

    • alanah says...

      Wholeheartedly agreed!

  146. Hannah B says...

    I’m up at 4:15 and at the gym by 5 while everyone else in the house sleeps, and I love it! I wish there were a magic trick to getting up that early, but the truth is, I can only do it if I go to bed early–lights out by 9 for me. You can do it!

  147. Stacey says...

    As a working mom, I have found that I have to be a morning person. It is really the only time that I have to exercise and have time to myself. I use the “graveyard shift” to go to a 5:30 exercise class or run, pump breast milk, and make lunches and smoothies. I use the time it takes me to pump to have a cup of tea and clear my head. I also save a few minutes to snuggle back in bed with my kids before I have to leave for work.

    • Audrey says...

      Agreed! I am a night owl by nature, but as a working mom the morning is the only time to work out and get other small errands done. I found it surprisingly easy to switch – the first time I actually woke early to work out, I was so tired that I went to bed early and boom, clock switched.

  148. Katy says...

    Almost a year ago, I signed up on a whim for a boot camp exercise class that started at 5:30am three days a week. What was I thinking!? I streamlined my routine to get out the door in about 15 minutes. I lay out my workout clothes the night before, check the weather while I brush my teeth, tie my shoes while my frozen waffle toasts. Use all the shortcuts! Then I’d use tricks to get motivated. I wouldn’t bring my phone or wear a watch so I would stay present in the class and not count down the minutes until I could stop doing squats. The class was a short drive from my house and I wouldn’t turn on the heat, so that I wasn’t tempted to stay in the cozy car. It was brutal at first, but I have grown to love getting up early. I feel so productive having tackled personal priorities for several hours before arriving at the office. It gives me great perspective to realize that work isn’t my whole day, but one part of it.

    • Eva says...

      “Work isn’t my whole day, but one part of it.” I love this. I work 12 hour shifts and this really resonated with me. Even if I’m working 12-13 hours a day and I’m having a rough shift, it’s still just one part of my day.

  149. Andrea says...

    All right, I’m in. I’m a vampire by nature — left to themselves, my biorhythms would wake me at 11 am and put me to bed around 3am. I resolved to change that in January, and have mostly been waking before 7 am since then. Fell off the wagon HARD over the past two weeks, though. Clearly this post is a sign from the gods telling me to get my rear out of bed earlier!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha alex is EXACTLY the same. he would happily go to bed at 3am and wake up at 11am, and live a very productive life between those times. his inner body clock has always been like that, even as a kid!

    • Marie-Eve says...

      Andrea, I am the same as you but cannot follow my natural rythm now that I have little ones. Its still hard to get out of bed early in the morning, even after years of getting up with the kids!

    • Becky says...

      My youngest daughter is the same–that routine doesn’t fly when you are 10 though!