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I Tried Getting Up 1 Hour Early Every Day For a Week – Here's What Happened

Hi, my name is Nicole Yi and I am not a morning person – at all. My friends and family know not to disturb me before a certain hour for fear that I will turn into the Demogorgon, and I cherish every single minute of my sleep. I’ve gotten a lot better as an adult, but I was known to hibernate in high school and college, sometimes waking up the following day around dinner time. I’m surprised more people weren’t concerned, now that I think about it.

Obviously, since becoming a working professional after school, I’ve had to get rid of my habits. I’ve always envied my colleagues who have enough self-discipline to work out before coming into the office, or who are able to wake up early to get a calm start to their day. My mornings consist of snoozing, some more snoozing, and rushing out the door. So I decided – and immediately regretted – to try waking up an hour early each work day for a week to see if one, I could do it, and two, if it would be as life-changing as I predicted. Here’s what happened:

Monday

My 6:30 a.m. alarm went off and I thought, “Not bad! I can do this.” I took an intense cycling class and felt surprisingly great afterwards as I was getting ready to go to work. Around 11 a.m. though, I definitely needed another cup of coffee. And then another one around 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday

My 6:30 a.m. alarm sounded especially horrific this morning as I was in and out of sleep all night from a damn mosquito buzzing around my ear. (Don’t worry, I got my vengeance later.) I had plans of going on a morning run and then grabbing coffee at my favorite cafe, but none of that happened because I went back to bed. It was day two and I had already failed. I starting feeling hungover from the previous day’s early start around the afternoon, and I was desperate for a nap.

Wednesday

If it wasn’t for the barre class I had already booked and paid for, I would’ve had another Tuesday repeat. I was successful in getting myself out of bed at 6:30 this time, but I was falling asleep during the class. I didn’t feel too bad while getting ready afterwards but needed that extra coffee again throughout the day.

Thursday

It was pretty terrible waking up, but I decided to use my extra hour for making the most of the morning inside my apartment. I took my time getting ready, checked my emails, and I even got breakfast. I arrived to work earlier than usual and it felt great not scrambling.

Friday

It was a long internal battle before I finally settled on staying in bed. Yes, I failed again.

By the end of the experimental week, I learned that I had no self-discipline whatsoever, which was disappointing because I honestly thought I was a little better than that. What’s even more disappointing is that I woke up at 2:00 a.m. (yes, you read that correctly) for a whole Summer during college for a news station internship, and I wasn’t even able to get myself out of bed at an hour when most people wake up daily.

The most effective way to maintain an early schedule was to book fitness classes to hold myself accountable. Without them, it allowed too much room to decide “no.” But I did love that I was able to cross off working out on my list before my day had even really started. Even if you don’t feel like exercising before work, an alternative to a workout buddy is a coffee buddy. If I ever try this again, I’ll make plans with a co-worker to grab coffee at a nearby cafe before getting into the office. That way, we can both check our emails without feeling guilty and have a relaxed start to our days.

As much as I love the idea of being a morning person, sadly, it’s just not who I am. I prefer to take back my hour of sleep and continue finishing things up into the evening rather than the reverse. Maybe I’ll give it a go another time.

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