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Becoming friends with 4am

five stages of waking up

Recently, a colleague and friend of mine, Rachel Rambach with Listen & Learn Music, posted about “The Miracle Morning.” I was intrigued, since I’ve noticed that “me time” and “to-be list time” kept disappearing. The book went up on my reading list, but to honest, I’ll probably never get to it unless I listen to it on audio book.

The thought of earlier mornings drifted into the abyss and I didn’t think about it again until last week when a friend was over and he had to leave early so he could get up at 4:00am to study (he’s in medical school with my hubs).

4:00am? By choice? For reallies??

That sounded horrible.

His logic was sound though. He said that he was so exhausted at the end of the day that he couldn’t focus, or stay awake, to get any studying done. Third-year medical students work in clinics for 8-12 hours a day and then still have to find time to study for their exams. It was stressing him out, so he decided to try a different tactic.

He would wake up early enough to get in an hour or two of studying, when we was rested and able to focus (with a big cup of coffee, I’m sure), before heading off to the clinic. When he came home, he could just relax and head to bed.

This really resonated with me. For the last couple of months, since Pookie’s night sleeping became pretty consistent, I’ve been waking up at 5:00am as often as possible so I could workout, meditate, and get ready for the day before she woke up and needed my full attention.

Some weeks where more successful than others…

But after waking up at 5:00am and a long day of teaching, I would sit down at 7:30pm after putting Pookie to sleep, and just wanted to watch some Netflix and hit the sack. I was just too tired and unmotivated to get much done.

So, I thought to myself, “4:00am really isn’t that much earlier than 5:00am – right?  That doesn’t sound too bad.”

I decided to give it a try this week. I started on Monday and have been pretty dedicated, to my own amazement. I’m on day four and I have to say, it’s growing on me.

IMG_0211Day one and two were the hardest so far. I had a hard time falling asleep early, but waking up wasn’t actually the problem. It was 8:30am, when I felt like I already needed a nap.

On Tuesday this week, I was home with Pookie in the morning, so when she took her morning nap, I joined in. I still took my afternoon nap around 1:00pm. Again, when Pookie napped. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be sustainable, especially since most days I’m teaching from 10-4, and only have an hour break for lunch and napping.

However, I did feel like I got an amazing amount of stuff done before Pookie woke up. I felt successful already at 6:00am. It was awesome!

Wednesday, I let myself sleep until 4:30, and I’m either adjusting, or that extra 30 minutes made the whole day easier. I still got a bunch of things accomplished, but I didn’t feel the need to nap until the afternoon. Win! (I told you I was dedicated to napping – it’s how I survive.)

So today is day four, Thursday. I’ll check in once in awhile and let you know how this is working out. As of right now, I feel like it may be the key to me getting a lot more of my “to-be’s” done each day.

Wish me luck!!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Z.D. April 12, 2015, 8:13 am

    Wow, you & I must have very, VERY different brains….
    I’ve been getting up at 4:30am for the last two months–not by choice, my own husband’s schedule demands it. And it’s driving me insane. On the face of things, it seems perfect, because once he’s out the door at 5:30am I DO get a lot done. Mostly writing, which should be ideal for a wannabe novelist. But I’m a person who wakes with a concrete To-Do list in my head, and my instinct is to get those things done first. And since banks, dry-cleaners, post offices, car repair shops, pet supply stores, dentists, libraries, and vets simply aren’t open at that hour, I’m unable to work on my chores until my day feels almost half over, a huge frustration.
    Not only that, despite allowing myself 8 hours of sleep each night, with every opportunity my body tries so hard to put me back on a 10:30pm to 6:30am schedule. My will is not my own. I am literally longing for the summer and the return of a normal schedule.
    I’m glad you’ve figured out a system that works for you, however. In the peak of summer, you’ll be able to watch the sun come up! 🙂

    • Amy Rakowczyk April 14, 2015, 6:38 am

      Watching the sunrise will be a pretty good perk! I didn’t even think of that! I do admit that this waking at at 4am is by choice, but a bit not. When Pookie makes the house get up at 6:30am, there’s only so many opportunities to fit in the “you” stuff you want to do. I’m 100% a night owl, but over the years, Rob’s schedule (and now Pookie) has forced me into accepting mornings – humph. Adult life, ya know? 🙂

  • Rachel Rambach April 14, 2015, 12:43 pm

    4:00 am is insane! And awesome! I’ve been pretty consistently waking up between 5-5:30 and LOVE what is has done for my productivity. The best part is that now I can go to bed when I’m tired instead of when I get everything on my list finished, knowing I have my morning time to get back to work 🙂

    • Amy Rakowczyk April 14, 2015, 5:47 pm

      It is pretty crazy!! But so far, I’m loving it. Sometimes it gets pushed to 4:30, or like last night 5:30am, because Anya had a rough night. You gotta do what you gotta do! 🙂

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