I told my husband to wake me up at 6:30 every morning, and this is what happened…
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” If you tend to sleep in or stay up late, this Benjamin Franklin admonition may sound downright ridiculous.
What do sleep patterns have to do with being wealthy and healthy?
For sure, the larks are motivated by this—you know, the whole catching the worm thing— but how about the night owls? Is there any science to back up good ol’ Benjamin’s claim?
I hoped not. I have always been a night person. I just loved staying up late, even when I had to work in the morning. Maybe it had something to do with my environment or maybe it’s about my biological clock?
Usually, I went to bed around 2 a.m. and got up at around 8 a.m. In those late night hours, I would usually play games on my phone, check my Facebook, splurge on junk food or just worry about the future and the endless list of to-do’s that I never seemed to check off.
Just Another Manic Monday… EVERYDAY!
My weekday mornings? Plain and simple—chaotic and stressful! I’d be running around throwing clothes on, forgetting to feed my dog, yelling at my kids to hurry up and leaving the responsibility of getting the family ready for the day all to my poor husband. And then there was always being late and feeling like I didn’t have enough time for anything—including things that brought me joy.
Because I was always running behind, I felt like my boss was always ready to fire me. I started each and every day in a bad mood due to the stress of waking up late.
I knew it was a habit I had to break but figured I could start tomorrow. That is, until I was fired due to my tardiness and frantic energy at work.
These were just a few reasons why—one night before I went to bed—I told my husband to wake me up at 6:30 AM every morning
Will I Feel Bored or Lonely With All These Extra AM Hours?
At first, I asked myself, “what the heck am I going to do with myself at those crack o’ dawn hours?” I was anxious I’d be bored and feel overwhelmed with anxiety. Besides, I didn’t have a job to go to anyhow!
For the first few weeks, it was horrible. My husband had a hard time waking me up. He did a good job of motivating me though. He woke me with a cup of coffee and a kiss!
I felt like I had cobwebs in my brain for hours. And boy was I grouchy! I even warned my husband and kids not to talk to me in those early morning hours.
Slowly, about day 10, things started to improve…
How Waking Up Early Changed My Life
In fact, the habit of waking up early eventually became a game changer in my life. My relationship with my husband and kids completely changed. Here are just a few ways that following Benjamin Franklin’s advice has changed my whole life completely:
- I now spend quality time with my family around the breakfast table
- I take my kids to school
- I now take my dog Brodie on a long, healthy walk
- I read a few pages of the newest Oprah recommended book
- I have time to clean the kitchen so I come home to a peaceful environment
- My garden looks incredible as I spend time tending it often
- I’ve incorporated 30 minutes of exercise or meditation in my routine
- I relish my quiet time sipping my coffee in the early morning light
- I am brainstorming new business ideas so I can stay at home
- I now keep a journal of thoughts, dreams, plans
- Because my mornings are so productive, I spend nights enjoying family or friends
- I feel empowered due to the new habits I’ve adapted
- I now cook a healthy breakfast for me and my family
- I feel more confident with happy with my life
- I have lost weight and my clothes fit better
- I go to bed when my husband does (at 10 p.m.)
- My love life has improved
- The bags under my eyes are diminishing
Really, I can go on and on with all the benefits of waking up at 6:30 AM every morning.
Franklin, one of the country’s founding fathers, was really onto something.
Here’s how I start my day and I thought perhaps this could also help you:
Waking Up Naturally
Have you experienced waking up at least 5 minutes before the alarm? It happens to me all the time now! This happens because when your body anticipates what time of the day it wakes up and signals your body to produce more adrenocorticotropin (ACTH). This is the hormone that send signals to the brain for you to wake up.1
Breakfast of Champs!
This was actually one of main reasons why I asked my husband to wake me up at 6:30 every morning. Before, I felt like I never spent enough time with my family. I feel like I’m making up for lost time. And I usually skipped breakfast before which left me drained by lunchtime. Now I have loads of energy in the morning from eating breakfast.
Fun in the Sun
Did you know that the healthiest time to get your dose of Vitamin D from the sun is in the early morning?2 So, go ahead. Grab some coffee and a book or journal and spend 10 to 15 minutes three times a week sunning yourself outside.
Even if you’re a night person, these early hours can be turned into incredibly creative and productive times of your day. Start a new form of exercise or brainstorm business ideas or think of ways you can show your family you love them. The possibilities are endless for using your time to improve your health, wealth and happiness.
You might probably think that if you wake up earlier than usual, you’d be exhausted and unproductive by the time the afternoon rolls around? Not true. Studies have shown that people who wake up early are more productive.3
At 3 p.m. every day, I am still going strong. In fact, I am more productive and feel more positive. Stress, bitterness and regret no longer plague me. I also realized waking up and eating healthy foods plays a major role on how I look, think, act and feel.
From Vampire to Vivacious
From someone who hated the sunlight for many MANY years—(my husband used to joke that he was married to a vampire!)—I now look forward to turning in early so I am ready to greet the day feeling rested and energized. Plus, it has given me so much more opportunities to do the stuff I’ve always wanted to do but made the time to do so.
2Vitamin D: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Medlineplusgov. 2016. Accessed September 6, 2016.
3Randler C. Proactive People Are Morning People1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 2009;39(12):2787-2797. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2009.00549.x.