The Wake-Up-Early Experiment Conclusion

This post is a follow up of The Wake-Up-Early Experiment. My reader(s) and I woke up early several times this week as a test to see if it helped us be more productive, active, and happy. I’d like to post my thoughts on the experiment here and see if any other participants would like to share their results in the comments below.

First observation: Sleep trumps any other activity. If you don’t go to bed on time, or if you have a baby who wakes you up at night, you can forget all your fantasies about being efficient or even having a good morning workout. Almost every night this week, something happened to disrupt my sleep, and every morning, I felt sluggish. My workouts were slow and without zeal, and the work on the computer I did was disorganized.

Second: I’ve had an interesting change in perspective after doing this experiment. While I normally go through life feeling like I’m being pushed and pulled by external sources, waking up early feels like I’m the one in charge of my life. I feel better in control of my morning and my day, especially when I have some time to myself before the kids wake up and begin their demanding day. This sense of freedom and autonomy is so appealing to me that I think I will continue to wake up early, just not as early.

Third: I’d forgotten how important one-on-one time is with my husband. It was heart breaking to go to bed early and I feel like I’ve missed out on some good adult interaction. We also use evening time to work on our house maintenance projects, and this week we got very little done due to my early bed time. I think going to bed early and waking up early would make more sense if my mate were also going to be early. 

My conclusion: I think I can get away with waking up 45 minutes (instead of two hours) before the kids get up to do my daily exercise. That way, I won’t have to change my bedtime much and I’ll still get to spend the evening with my spouse. I’ll also benefit from having a nearly normal amount of sleep.

What have you learned as you’ve experimented with waking up early? Please share the good and the bad in the comments below. Happy trails.