I'm going to be honest! I absolutely flipping love my bed and I could easily stay as snug as a bug in a rug until midday (if I didn't have the housework and actual paid employment to do).

So then, why did I think that I should investigate (for 5 working days) this getting up at 5am phenomenon which I’m seeing all over Linkedin, when every fibre of my sanity and soul is screaming “please don’t”?

I am inquisitive and I’m also really stubborn. I wanted to dispel what I think is a toxic message about us feeling inadequate if we don't squeeze every minute of our time into doing something which develops us and leaves us feeling a little bit…dare I say it…smug and superior?

I needed to ensure that my results weren’t going to be tainted by my bias for my bed and my disdain for all the negative thoughts I already envisaged were going to be a thing for me. I needed to commit to getting up at 5am Monday – Friday and really throw myself into seeing why people love it so much.


Getting started checklist:

  • I made a big loud shouty post about it on Linkedin so I couldn’t back out. This was for accountability – I didn’t want to be seen to be a failure.
  • I tried to get other people to experiment and get involved with me. Yeah, no surprise this was met with some serious firm nos. Only one colleague committed and stuck with me for the duration (shout out Amanda Potts).
  • I made sure my alarm was set for 4.45am (I can’t not snooze).
  • Committed to not scrolling on the socials for the whole morning.
  • Not overdo my hours to ensure the work life balance

Extras I should have done in hindsight:

  • Made a plan of what on earth I would do once I actually did get up…
  • Made sure that I didn’t have too many evening plans
  • Utilised the record button for the night-time tv shows I normally watch.


How did it go?


Monday

I slept terribly! I had made such a fuss about doing it that I kept worrying that I was going to sleep in.

I did get up at 5 and the world outside was dark. My husband was starting a new job that day so he was quite excited but didn’t want to physically get up. “I’ll just stay here but will have a cuppa if you are making one”. oh great!

I spent an hour faffing and making a list of some things I could do downstairs that would make me feel productive until the gym opened. I did go to the gym, had a swim and felt pretty revitalised.

Weirdly, I wasn’t tired throughout the day. I felt energised come closing laptop time, and at the end of the working day I thought “oh heck, am I going to be a convert?”


Tuesday

Up at 5 and this time I was off to walk around Penshaw Park area with my work friend Jill McKinney and her pooch, Buster, who loves going for dark morning strolls. And it was blinking dark. I didn’t have a torch and that wind was biting, but I did feel good at boxing off 4k all before 7am. However, this is where the poor planning comes in. I went straight from there into work and therefore ended up sat at my screen for wayyyy too long! I was nonetheless still full of energy and feeling pretty darn good.


Wednesday

Up but the husband was tired and I was very conscious that my weird experiment shouldn’t be at the detriment of his sleeping pleasure so I felt very restricted in what I could actually do to pass the time. Noise meant I couldn’t hoover! I put some washing on and put the stuff in the dishwasher but I soon found myself gravitating towards the laptop thinking “I will get some emails done”.

Thursday

Up slightly earlier than five thanks to my cat (who through this process was extremely confused). This morning I had to take the husband to the train station for 7 so I didn’t attempt to tick anything of my list, other than cleaning the kitchen a little.

Even though I packed my swimming stuff into the car, I got to the gym and just thought, “hmmm, no I need a walk” so off I tootled into Chester Park to see the ducks and swans. I was feeling alert and again the tiredness didn’t seem to be getting to me until the evening.

I was so desperate to stay up to watch Question Time that all concept of sensible sleeping hours went out the window. I fell asleep on the sofa waiting for it to start. The husband came in from being out, woke me up and I ate a slice of his pizza. I ploughed through the show and then couldn’t get to sleep till after 1am.

Friday

Fail! The alarm went off at 5 and I just couldn’t move. I woke at 6 am and felt guilty about the fact I hadn’t managed to see the week out. I spent the day tired and irritable and just annoyed with myself. I then went straight to work mode and cleared my emails but I felt frustrated.


The Weekend

I did end up getting up slightly earlier on Saturday. However, on Sunday I had a migraine (it may or may not be connected)…


Results

Will I be getting up a 5 every day in the future? NO!

Will I stop rolling out of bed at 8.45am? I did feel great for those first few days, so I hope so. I intend to do a happy medium of 6am, maybe 6.30am.

It might have been different had it been the Summer months, with the lovely warm mornings, but a 2 degrees blast in the face from the North East wind was enough to bring a tear to my eye on some of my very early mornings out.

Do I think it's worth having a go?

I think anything is worth a shot! Whilst I didn't feel "like a new person", the trial did make me realise I had written off the activity before really giving it a proper consideration. I also discovered the benefits of mixing up my daily activities, trying something new, and engaging with something that was out of my comfort zone.