4 great reasons to wake up early

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and is currently traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

Since our life has been crazy the past few months, I haven’t had much of a routine.  But starting this week, our family is getting back at it.  There’s still a lot to do as we move in to our home, but we’re ready to get back to normal life, with some form of routine, predictability, and liturgy to our day.

One of the parts I look forward to most?  Waking up early.

I prefer mornings by nature, but even if I were a night owl, I’d still make a point to rise early.  There are so many things I’ve missed the past few months as we’ve gone through jet lag, time changes, and moving — the valuable benefits to rising early.

Here are my favorites.

1.  Time without the kids.

I love my children, I do.  But my life is different when they’re awake — I’m Mom, caregiver, mess cleaner, breakfast maker.  When they’re still sleeping, I’m a person who likes to read, exercise, groom myself, talk to my husband, pray, and possibly even get a few things done.

Waking up early gives me solid time to myself, before I don my mama uniform.

2.  A still, sweet world with cool weather and quiet surroundings.

Mornings are quiet, cool, and fresh. I hate missing that between the sheets.  When I wake up to savor the dawn of a new day, I’m in a better mood for the next 24 hours.


Photo by Steve

3.  I can prepare.

Sure, I can get myself ready the night before by filling out my Daily Docket, laying out my clothes, or showering.  But I’m even more prepared if I take the time that morning to read the Bible, think through my day, start a load of laundry, get breakfast prep started, and occasionally exercise my body.  It lays the foundation for a much more successful day.

4.  I sleep better.

When I wake up early, I get tired at a normal time by evening.  And when I listen to my body and head to bed at a decent time, I get more sleep, making it naturally easier to rise early again — it’s an upward spiral.  I’m following my body’s rhythms, and it rewards me with better health, moods, and energy.

Kat of Inspired to Action has written a great little e-book that gives you motivation and tools to prepare for great mornings.  And it’s free!  I encourage you to download it if you’re looking for a little kick in the pants.

I know it’s not easy to get up early — it’s not easy for me, especially if I cave in to that “second wind” at night and stay up too late.  But it really makes my days so much more pleasant and productive. I can’t wait to get back at it.

Why do you wake up early?  Or if you don’t, what’s keeping you?

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Comments

  1. I, too, wake up early for a bit of time without children. I use that time to get ready for my day, prepare their schoolwork, and enjoy some quiet. As much as I wish my family were more early-risers, I think I would miss my time alone! I think I’ll let them sleep!
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Cool science! =-.

  2. Sigh. This is a great reminder that I need to get to bed!

  3. “I prefer mornings by nature, but even if I were a night owl, I’d still make a point to rise early.”
    Spoken like a true early riser! If you were a night owl, it’s pretty much guaranteed that by nature you wouldn’t feel that way, lol. That being said, you make great points about the benefits of getting up early. I will try to enjoy early mornings even though it does go against my nature. :)

    • You know, I didn’t used to be a morning person — I was a certified night owl. It all changed when I became a mama. :)

      • I absolutely agree with your points mentioned. Past few days in my house has been horrible because I am getting up after my preschooler wakes up. He is cranky, very cranky in fact. When I get up, I am like so rushed, disoriented, unenergetic etc. My whole day is spoilt just coz I did not get up before he did and in a decent time in the morning.

        I googled because of this reason to see how important it is to get up early and before the kids wake up. And I saw your link.

        Thanks for the info.

  4. I am an early riser too, sometimes even 4 or 5 a.m. in the morning. I try to listen to my body and go to bed when I’m tired (usually 8 or 9 p.m.). I notice that my needs change when the daylight changes with the seasons.
    I love it when the birds sing in the morning, that everything is fresh outside, I can have a quiet and relaxed breakfast, everybody is still asleep and the world is quiet. Even my coffee tastes better ;-)
    I am much better prepared for my day and feel more fit when I wake up early.

    Greetings, Marjolein (the Netherlands)
    .-= Marjolein Aarts-Baas´s last blog ..Vriendinnetjes =-.

  5. I think it is absolute important to find quiet times as a mother and the morning is a perfect time!
    .-= Micha´s last blog ..Frühlingsspuren / finding spring =-.

  6. This is my first early morning…5:15am…it was tough to get up, but I already feel more in control of my day. It was such a great treat to have this post waiting for me. Now, on to my workout and a favorite show before the hectic routine of my morning begins.

    I’m new here and so glad I found you—thanks for all the terrific information and inspiration :)

    -kristiina

  7. I’m a night-owl, but since kids, I find a huge conflict in my schedule if I ‘cave into the second wind’. Conflicts in my ability to function well with my kids. Thanks for posting this, and for sharing the e-book.
    Btw, my husband is an eeaaarrly riser, & we often have coffee & catch up on stuff we can’t share around kids. He’s up no matter what & I try to be! :)
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..This world is not my home- Life- Meds # 21 =-.

  8. I feel validated as it the first thing I read in a quiet, pitch-black living room on a Monday morning. Those are pretty much the reasons why I choose to get up early. I have a rule in my house: no children may leave their rooms unless the first number on their digital clocks is a 7. So I am guaranteed at least an hour to start a fire, start the coffee, start a load of laundry, read my emails, and hopefully, start my work day off right. Thanks!
    .-= Jennifer Tankersley´s last blog ..the week ahead 3/28/2010 =-.

  9. Great idea — but “early to rise” only works if you can also do “early to bed”! Any suggestions how to accomplish that?

  10. #4 is reason enough. Sleep is such a key to healthy living and sadly often overlooked. In college I used to enjoy working on homework and doing laundry late at night and sleeping until 9:00. But over the past few years I’ve changed and started to have even more appreciation for the mornings. There is something wonderful about a sunrise.
    .-= Annie´s last blog ..Weekend of Indoor Fun =-.

  11. I get up early enough to get ready before my kids get up/out of their rooms, but not any earlier that that (7am). It works for me and I love it, although there have been plenty of seasons when I’ve had to get up earlier than that.

    Only a couple of times have I tried to get up really early (530 or 6) and I just did not enjoy it! So I think everyone needs a plan in place to make their day start out the best for them, but it doesn’t mean everyone needs to get up at 530. (At least I hope not! ;)
    .-= Simple Homeschool ~ Jamie´s last blog ..How to Show Your Kids You’re Still Learning =-.

  12. I’ve always struggled with being a morning person, but love it when I wake early, feeling refreshed and peaceful about the day ahead.

    Holding me back? Like to stay up late and sleep in.

  13. I tried getting up early to work out with my husband. Not more than 3 days after I started, the kids started getting up EARLIER too. Although I tried, there is enough to fill my evenings to keep me from going to be early, so I refused to get up before 5:30. Of course, now that I’m back to sleeping until they wake up they have moved back to a 6:30 wake up. We’re really quiet, so I know it’s not that they hear us up that early. Who knows… maybe their clock is so closely tuned to mine that they follow my rythms.

    I definitely enjoyed the few days I woke up before them. I may need to try to give it another try. I’m curious… what time do you typically get up and go to bed? When do your kids wake up?
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..Beware of Promotional Periods… and the value of sleeping on it! =-.

  14. I totally agree! I love getting up early and getting some work done before anyone is up. This can be hard sometimes – the last couple of weeks, even though I wake up early, I don’t have the energy to get up – I hope it’s just a temporary, late winter/early spring phase, and I’ll soon be able to go back to my early morning routine.
    .-= Joanna @ Menstrual Cup´s last blog ..A Menstrual Cup or Period Cup….What is THAT? Plus 9 benefits of Using Menstrual Cups =-.

  15. I’d love to regularly get up before the kids (4 year old twins) and have some quiet time alone, but they get up early, too. So I get up at 6:30 when the first one wakes and jump in the shower while she cuddles with daddy. Her sister is usually up and in bed with them, too, by the time I’m out of the shower. By 6:45, we are all up and getting dressed and ready for the day. My husband and I tag team getting the girls through their routine, so we can both get ready, too. By 7:30, the girls are eating breakfast at the table and I’m unloading the dishwasher. To get up earlier, I’d have to go to bed earlier or lose sleep. Since I only have 2 hours alone with my husband after the girls are asleep, before our 10pm bedtime, I think I’d be giving up something much more important in the quest for more alone time in the early AM. Our system works for us.

    • avatar
      Myrrh C. says:

      I agree completely, but the fact that you get up an hour earlier than me tells me it might be possible to have the best of both worlds, i.e. I could still get my 2 hours with my husband and have an hour to myself in the morning if I didn’t take that extra hour at night afterwards to be alone. Hope that makes sense to someone! :)

    • avatar
      Shannon J says:

      Yes Rhonda, it is impossible to have it all I’ve found. Or at least I haven’t! I love my night time to do tasks (when noise wouldn’t wake the kids) and be with my husband and I do love to be up before them, but I can’t do both. For about a year I was getting up at 4am so I could do as many hours as possible while the kids were sleeping so they wouldn’t have to have a sitter for very long. I’ve cut my work hours dramatically recently (to 5hrs/wk) and now I sleep in with my kids until they get up which is 6:30-7:00. Right now my two littlest ones (4yos) still come into our bed every night so even if I wanted to get up before them, that would wake them. One day it will work to get up early again (when DO kids start sleeping through the night in their own beds?!) but now I’m enjoying my nights (I went to bed with the kids when I was getting up at 4am).

  16. Yes, this is the key to having a good day for me. I am cranky all morning if I do not get up before everyone else. I NEED that 30-60 minutes at least to prep my spirit for the day.

  17. I’m a natural night owl, but I DO see the benefits of rising early. It takes effort, but the day does seem to go smoother when I’ve been awake before the rest of the crew, even if it’s only 30 minutes.

    It’s more tempting for me to use evening hours for productivity and I’m reluctant to stop when I’m engaged in something – this is probably due to my night owl tendancies – feeling energized at night….

    I’ve been keeping up with Kat at Inspired to Action – I’ve really enjoyed it!
    .-= heidi @ wonder woman wannabe´s last blog ..Monday Musings :: May WE Be ‘SHE’ =-.

  18. I’m with another poster who said that no matter what time she gets up the kids soon follow. I only have 1 daughter, and she’s a light sleeper. As soon as my alarm goes off she’s awake and I certainly could not get up earlier than I already do without my alarm. I also work full time so I’m spending my evenings doing house work that didn’t get done all day, and then by the time I relax for an hour it is already 11pm!

  19. Excellent and timely reminder, since here in France we just had the time change yesterday. This morning I slept in until 8 AM. Yuck! I’m going to set my alarm tomorrow so I can re-establish my early riser habits.
    .-= Simple in France´s last blog ..Sustainable, recession-proof restaurants near you? =-.

  20. I function best in the morning, and on work days I’m up with 4:15 and feel great and productive. My difficulties is getting up “by choice” on Friday and the weekends, I feel more productive in the mornings before kids wake up. Unfortunately I have early bird children who are up at 6pm no matter what time bedtime is for them, so I only get an hour or so to myself.

  21. I just started today getting up early so I could get back in the routine of exercising again. I wish I could get quiet time before the kids get up, but I have early risers too. So even though they are up they are playing quietly so I can have that half hour to forty five minutes for me.
    .-= Rana´s last blog ..Our week in pictures! =-.

  22. I find that getting up only 15 minutes earlier makes a huge difference. I can drink my coffee, relax and plan my day. If I start out my day rushed and without a plan, I’m likely to forget something I need to do and the whole day seems to go downhill from there.
    .-= Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book´s last blog ..Where to Find the Deals =-.

  23. I would love to get up early enough to have devotion, exercise and get myself prepped and ready for the day. My problem is that my children (usually the little one) get up the second I try and sneak out of the bed (co-sleeping).
    .-= LaToya´s last blog .. =-.

    • Exactly the case with me.
      My reliable “me” time is only at night – although I have been a morning person all along – before my kids were born.
      I miss those moments to myself right after I wake up – they are magical.

      But well, I might be getting them back in a couple of years :)
      .-= Maya´s last blog ..Why is storytelling important? =-.

  24. I used to love getting up early so I could pray, read, and pack a lunch for my husband who leaves early. It was so nice to spend that time together before he left for a long day. Now that I had my baby three months ago though I am struggling with this again. She still wakes up 3-4 times per night so I try to get as much sleep as I can when she does sleep in (8AM). Other days I’m up earlier, but it’s because she woke me up (6AM). Do I just suck it up and try and maybe wake up at 7 every day or do I wait until I am able to get more sleep at night? I miss that alone time in the morning, but I also miss those nights of uninterrupted sleep!

  25. As a night person to the extreme, I would contend that I actually get better sleep and feel more rested if I go to bed around 11pm and wake up between 7 and 8am. I take my best quality quiet time after kids have gone to bed around 8pm. My kids have inadvertently been trained to wake up at 8:30am. I still like to get up and going before them, but I do not function well in the early hours (especially since I gave up caffeine 7 years ago), so when I have taken the time to force a more morning routine, I feel less productive, often more overwhelmed, and always more tired.

    Having said that, I think the main reason I even try on occasion to change the cycle is because our society functions on an early morning cycle when it comes to work and commerce and school. While I home-school my kids, many of our field trip and sports events are situated on an early schedule. So if I were giving reasons, as a night person, to shift to an early morning cycle, it would be based more in 1)enjoying the feel of the morning and 2) to function at the level of a culture based on “early to bed early to rise…”
    .-= Elizabeth Hernandez´s last blog ..Cockroaches =-.

  26. I don’t get anything done when I don’t get up early… it throws off my whole day! I love my quiet time with God before the kids get up, and I do prepare and get work done, too. I used to get up at 4am every day, but now I’m happy if I’m up by 6.
    .-= Angela @ Homegrown Mom´s last blog ..Giveaway Week: Garnish =-.

  27. Wow! Thanks SO much for your kind words and for sharing my ebook with your readers.
    .-= Kat @ Inspired To Action´s last blog ..The Most Powerful Way To Impact Your Child =-.

  28. avatar
    jennifer says:

    I pack my clothes the night before and get up before hubby and son to get to the gym before work. I love love love hearing the birds in the quiet semi-darkness, and watching the world wake up as the sky changes colors. And I love only being responsible for myself in the mornings and letting my husband make sure everyone’s up and out on time. And working out is prob a good thing too! Even though daylight savings time is CRUMMY because it’s now dark when my alarm goes off, many things encourage me to get up early.

  29. This is great advice, and I really need to try harder to take it! I’m such a night owl by nature, and my most productive times are from around 9:00 p.m. till midnight. Of course with a career and two little ones to tend to, I am always up by 6:30 a.m. and NOT feeling like a ray of sunshine.

    Your post has me thinking: maybe I should plan to be up by 5:30 a.m. to get some things done in the morning, and maybe that will allow me to get to bed a decent time in the evening. The thought of being an early riser sounds great, but it is so hard to break old habits. Worth a shot!
    .-= Dustin | Engaged Marriage´s last blog ..Your Life. Live it. Love it. A Book Review and Giveaway! =-.

  30. Growing up I usually had the morning chore routine for the cows, horses, sheep, and pigs so I got used to hoping out of bed by 6 am. Before having my twins (4yrs ago) I would get up before 6 to have time to workout before work. Then babies came and my new motto was “if there’s no baby awake and crying, I’m not getting out of bed”! Then I got a cpap machine and started getting a good nights sleep and for the last year I’ve been getting out of bed by 5 am–naturally. This is my time to have my first cup of coffee with peace and quiet, peruse my google reader, or work on a project. Since starting my online masters program in education I have been using the mornings as time to read and respond to the message boards and work on homework. On days when I try to sleep in, I usually don’t last longer than 6 am. It’s just nice to have a little quiet me time before the chaos of the day starts!
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..What’s in a label? SAHM, teacher, student, self-employed, guilty, half crazed =-.

  31. I thought I would pipe in to say that I sleep until my daughter is up (and even later than her sometimes, because she loves to sit quietly in her crib and read in the mornings)–and I love it!! I am one of the many people who feels absolutely awful every morning, no matter how much sleep I’ve gotten. I’ve tried many times to get up earlier and start my day slowly with some tea, in the hopes of getting into a pleasant morning rhythm. Bottom line: the only thing that works for waking me up is a crying baby or a morning appointment.

    I’ve often envied early-risers, especially those of you who actually feel refreshed when you wake up. But I do think there is a little bit of a bias toward morning people, like they have it better somehow, and the night people should change. Obviously, we all need to get enough sleep no matter what, but I’ve been trying to embrace my body’s rhythms and go with it. It’s taken me awhile to learn that morning people aren’t better, they’re just different.
    .-= Meghan´s last blog ..A Very Wet Day in Lansing by karpov the wrecked train =-.

  32. Thanks! You inspire me to be a better Mother and person everyday. Oh! and thanks for the fabulous e-book!

  33. I love it when I manage to wake-up early. I prefer to get up at 4:30 AM, which is when my husband gets up. My days are a thousand times better when I do.
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..Lyon, go to bed! =-.

  34. I’m working on this… really, I am! However, this morning “five more minutes” turned into two more hours. Not so much. But God’s helping me… I just need to do my part! (Feel free to read my latest post for more details!)
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..When you pray… Part Two!! =-.

  35. You are so right! I don’t consider myself a morning person, but it seems like no matter when I get up, I need 45 minutes or so before I really feel alert. It’s definitely better when I have that time to myself without needing to keep my toddler out of trouble!

  36. I have been working on this and am clearly lacking the motivation to get up and going. So, yes, I need a kick in the pants and downloaded the ebook, thank you! This post came at a great time for me!
    .-= jeana´s last blog ..A Thankful Heart =-.

  37. avatar
    Catherine S. says:

    My husband and I are both night owls by nature, which was great when we were in college and working in restuarants until midnight or later. Now, with 4 kids and a “regular” job (his) we have to get up at a “decent” hour. I absolutely hate getting up at 6:30am but it’s the only way to guarantee I get a shower every day, so I do it. It has never been easy for me to get up in the mornings and I have always felt kind of out of sync with the world (and it seems like EVERYBODY gets up early here in New England… my dentist even schedules appointments as early as 7am!). My oldest son is the same way, he would stay up til 10pm or later every night if he could, and when school is out he can sleep as late as 10am! When my alarm went off this morning and I saw a dark, rainy Monday, I SO wished I could just go back to sleep for an hour or two!

  38. avatar
    Anonymous says:

    such a great reminder.

  39. Thanks for the link to the Daily Docket — I am forever on the hunt for the perfect organization tools that actually fit my lifestyle, and I’m getting that tingling sensation when I look at your DD! :-)
    .-= Hannah´s last blog ..Snippets for Your Amusement =-.

  40. I wake up early every day, including the weekends, to take our dogs for a nice hike every morning. depending on the weather, it may be shorter than normal, but it happens rain, snow, ice, sun, stuffy nose, or what have you. Its automatic now – I don’t even linger much except the occasional morning when I’ve stayed up far too late the night before. I find it a peaceful time with just the woods and the dogs! Then I come home and shower and get lunches prepped and straight to my office to start work before the kids are awake!

  41. Hi,
    I love to read your blog.

    it was just this morning when I thought about your getting up early tipps I read before. I think I can´t test it. My perfect time is 7 – sometime 6 is possible sometimes not. The problem is: My daughter wakes up somewhere between 5 (!!!) and 7 in the morning. For that my live and day saving method is to get half an hour to awake comfortly without any urgend “MAMA!”-calls. I don´t think I will really try out to get up earlier than her. I think I will wait if she (a preschooler by know) will change her sleeping times some day :)
    And now it is really time to sleep :)
    greetings from abroad,
    jana

  42. avatar
    Mother of Pearl says:

    Tsh,
    I’m sorry, but I just had to laugh. Night owls by nature enjoy the evening for what morning people enjoy the morning for. I can organize my life, relax, do all the things I can’t do with kids around, enjoy the dark night sky, etc. Then I go to bed and get my full night’s sleep, waking when the kids do and then begin our day. I don’t function well in the morning. Any of those things I tried to do in the early morning would be a waste of time, compared to how easily I can do them at night. Morning people are welcome to the early morning, just let me enjoy the night.

    • I agree. When I had babies I also had to be up earlier for nursing, etc. But each season is different and I honestly see no reason to force myself up, very early, against my natural tendencies. I do devotions in the day, exercise in the evening and do planning throughout the (homeschool) day- or chunks of time wherever I choose. It all works well for me. Another thing is that as kids grow older they need time with us in the evening, after younger kids have gone to bed – just to talk or read together or whatever. Once all the kids are in bed I happily have some ‘quiet’ time to myself or time with my husband.

    • avatar
      Shannon J says:

      You’re right; the night IS magical, too. Quiet, gentle, cool, mysterious. Similar to early morning, really. I feel I ‘should’ be trying to get into an early rising schedule again but enjoying my nights is working for me right now. Glad to hear I’m not the only one.

  43. avatar
    Christine says:

    I so agree in theory. In practice, I am not a morning person but my 2 year old is. I have tried, on and on over the years to get up early (often by necessity) and have never been able to convince my body it’s a good idea, even after months of an early wake up time. The fact that I can get up at 6:15/6:30 now to start my day is a huge breakthrough. But to get up before my 2 year old? He awakens at 5:45 every morning, no matter what we do. Currently my husband gets up with him because I do all of the night time wakings with our 7 month old. It’s our arrangement to get us all the needed sleep. I get up between 6 and 6:30 to relieve my husband so he can leave for work. I love having quiet time in the morning. In fact, I’m a total grump for the 30 min after I get up. But beating my kid to the punch? I’d need to get up at 5:15 and since my body balks at anything before 7, I’m still in negotiations to figure out the best solution.

  44. I also wake up early to have some “alone” time. I love my coffee, but I love QUIET coffee even better. I love to have time to be ready before everyone is even stirring. My husband wakes up when I’m about halfway done, so it works out great. Getting the night before mess cleared up is also a bonus! A lot of family and friends think I’m weird, so it’s nice to see other people wake up early on purpose too!

  45. Finally…someone who understands. I am just much more productive in general when I get up in the mornings! Unfortunately, I have a child who also appreciates mornings and as soon as someone is up, she is sitting right beside them…of course some mornings we’ve been done with school by 9am.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Saving Dirt =-.

  46. avatar
    katie kerr says:

    Anyone have any suggestions about how to get up without waking up the babies?

  47. This past year, I began waking up early each day in order to search for substitute teaching jobs online. The transition took awhile, but has been greatly helped since my husband changed jobs and begins work at 6 a.m. We now go to bed early and get up early, and I have time to prepare myself for the day through devotions and once in awhile, exercise. I love it!

  48. I find it fascinating the amount of readers here who feel the opposite of me here, saying they’re night owls. And there’s this sense of needing to justify their rhythm, or that somehow they feel “guilty” for not being naturally early risers.

    Please don’t feel like you need to explain yourself! :) I know some people simply function better in the evenings, and that’s fine. I, for one, used to think I was that way, until I started waking up early to see what all the “fuss” was about. I read enough about the benefits to rising early — yes, even surpassing the same reasons people stay up late — so I thought I’d give it a shot. I loved it, so I did my best to listen to my body’s rhythms and start going to bed at a decent time.

    Here are a few more good articles about waking up early:

    • 5 Things That Become Easier When You Wake Up Early
    • How to Become an Early Riser
    • How to Wake Up Early

    It’s still challenging sometimes, especially when I get that second wind, or when I just really want to get things done with the kids asleep at night — but for me, I’ve decided that overall, the benefits outweigh the negatives of missing that late night. I’ve simply morphed from a night owl to a morning person, and I’m not sure why. Life stage, perhaps? Not sure.

    Which reminds me — it also makes complete sense when someone (especially a mama) is in the throes of a particularly challenging season, and needs to take advantage of a sleeping kiddo. When you’ve got super early risers, it makes sense to take advantage of them sleeping and get your shut-eye time, too. Or if your kids are light sleepers and wake when you wake.

    I do experience that sometimes. My daughter does sleep lightly, so there are times when she comes traipsing down the hall not 5 minutes after I wake up. So I understand. :) It doesn’t always work.

    • Ok, I really liked that second article about how to become an early riser. That being said, do you ever hear someone advertising, “How to become a night owl!” Either staying up a little later and sleeping in later than 7 is actually bad for us, or there is a definite cultural bias toward morning people (which would explain our desire to explain ourselves!). I’m trying to figure out (sincerely) which it is.
      .-= Meghan´s last blog ..A Very Wet Day in Lansing by karpov the wrecked train =-.

      • I’m sorry if my previous comment came off frustrated. I’m wrestling with all this stuff in my life; trying to strip away standards in my life that are not placed there by God. I do feel guilty when I sleep in, and I know that’s my issue. I’m just trying to understand why. I shouldn’t blame my feelings on society, that’s not helpful.
        .-= Meghan´s last blog ..A Very Wet Day in Lansing by karpov the wrecked train =-.

        • That’s great, Meghan. I’m all about grace, and not having man-made standards placed on a pedestal as though they were put there by God. It’s not a sin to be a night owl.

          I honestly think there are more natural night owls in the world (or at least in this culture), and yet our culture functions on an 8-5 schedule, as some other posters have said. And I’m not sure where, but I’ve read about how many of the “successful” people in our society (entrepreneurs, etc.) are early birds, and that it might mean something. So perhaps there is something beneficial to the early hours that simply can’t be replicated at night. But I don’t know… I think many SM readers here are mamas to young children, and need to listen to their bodies in their respective seasons.

          All this to say… You’re doing just fine! :) And thanks for sharing your thoughts. Venting is welcome.

    • I do tend to feel defensive when I read posts like this. I think it is because I feel like no matter how much I do, it is never enough. My issue, not yours. In addition, somehow the ‘early to rise’ messages (in general – not from your post specifically) seem to focus on extra productivity which, in my mind, contradict a ‘slower living’ approach to life. (For instance, that seems to be the focus of the second article you linked to). Working this all out in my mind/heart can be a frustrating experience at times. Thanks for all your informative posts!

      • Yeah, it’s definitely not all about the productivity (or it shouldn’t be, anyway). Though there is a sense of maximizing the time you have around your natural energy cycles… And when that happens, you naturally tend to be more productive, but not because there’s something magical about the 5-7 a.m. hours.

        Just thinking out loud here…

    • avatar
      Shannon J says:

      An hour before midnight is worth two after. ~sleep proverb

      I believe it even if I don’t do it. marksdailyapple.com has had some great posts lately about sleep.

  49. I am not an early riser, never was and so wanting to be. The problem is that I go to bed so late (around midnight). I usually write, blog, do some crafts once my children are asleep. Which means that from 9 to 12 p.m is my time. I really want to start waking up earlier, more refreshed. I know I have to break the cycle, stop making excuses…
    .-= Imene´s last blog ..Just be =-.

  50. Hi Tsh! I gave you a Sunshine Award on my blog today! You can see it here
    http://shehathdonewhatshecould.blogspot.com/2010/03/sunshine-award.html

  51. ughh, I used to be such an early bird, I could get up at 6 no problem. But somehow by being married to a man who can easily sleep until noon, I find myself sleeping in until 7-7:30. Which simply DOES NOT work around here, my kids are up at 7-7:30 so that means jumping up to deal with breakfast and a little girl who simply is not all cheery sunshine in the morning no matter how much sleep she gets. I don’t get a shower until late, I don’t get a chance to read my Bible, I don’t get a head start on that coffee I love.

    I need to challenge myself to get up by 6:45 and then slowly push it back by increments of 5 minutes. That what I would do in college when I found myself with 8am classes. it works, I just need to do it! :)
    .-= Lindsey@ Mama Sews´s last blog ..a good read… =-.

  52. Oh, I love the mornings and have always been an early riser. That’s most likely because I was raised on a farm and we had no choices in that regard BUT I still get up a 5:00 to this day. There’s nothing like enjoying the quietness that the early morning brings. I love to enjoy a cup of coffee and watch all the animals check out my back yard before us humans scare them off. And I love the time that it gives me to prepare for my busy day.
    .-= Tina @ Ride On Toys´s last blog ..The Power Wheels Harley Davidson Rocks! =-.

  53. I wish I could rise early. How much more productive I’d be if I could start my day on track instead of catching up all day. Here is my problem…I have a one year old who still loves to wake me up several times a night for some milky. I have tried over and over to night wean her but then another tooth starts to pop and who can ignore a sad, hurting baby at 3am? Maybe I am just lazy, but during this season of my life, I have concluded that sleep is the best way I can be my best for my sweet husband and daughter.

  54. I don’t get up early, mostly because I’m a night owl…and at risk of being argumentative, I don’t think Tsh would still get up early even if she was a night owl. I enjoy summer mornings, but that doesn’t force me out of bed if I’ve been up late. The night has it’s own vibration and allows for quiet preparation in a different way – I often write out my To Do list as well as a possible schedule for the next day and this works well for me…unless, of course, my child decided to wake up before I’ve gotten enough sleep (which is probably the only thing that makes a good case for going to bed early). I do go to school in the evenings, which also makes it hard to get to bed early enough to be an early riser – I get home at 11 pm, and need some time to wind down, and do the next day’s preparation.

    I think it’s great that rising early works for many people, but I think that for those who are up late, we need a whole new way of approaching it – and as one commenter above said, you never hear about how to become a night owl – I think there is definitely some sort of negative stigma attached to those who enjoy the late night hours. “The early bird gets the worm” anyone? Perhaps one of us night owls could write a piece about how to maximize night owlness?

  55. I know I should get up early. I’m such a morning person, but I all too often go to bed much too late, and am too tired to get up. Daylight savings here is Australia isn’t helping either, it’s still pitch black at 7am, so forget about getting up any earlier than that! This weekend it switches back though so hopefully that will make it easier for me.

    Thanks for the inspiring post, you are so right on all 4 points! (Though for me, #1 is more about pets hehe)

  56. My problem is that I’m such a night owl. So although starting the day as ‘me’ instead of ‘mommy’ would probably do wonders for us, I get my alone time at night. More importantly each of my children are early risers–they almost always are awake before I am.

    I think it’s wonderful for those who are able to get up early and have that quiet time first thing. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to as well. ;)
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..Owning Our Learning =-.

  57. I love the morning! While it’s hard to wake up sometimes, especially when I go to bed too late… there is nothing quite like the still and calm and even optimism of morning. I was just speaking with my guy last night about how much I missed my Sunday morning 7am long walks with my dog. There really isn’t a better way to start the day… I’m also way more productive!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..March Money Update =-.

  58. I can’t begin to tell you how insightful and helpful this article is. I have been trying to get into an early morning routine for a while. Now I know more than ever that I have to get this done for my own health and sanity, as well as for the success and balance of my family life. Thank you.

  59. Back when we had roommates I would wake up early for the only bit of me time in the house. And just last week I started doing this again. So, so perfect for me. Even on the weekend I felt much more prepared for the day having already showered, dressed, and made my pot of tea. Getting an email check out of the way also helped, because then I felt no anxiety about doing that in front of the kids. It also helped me get them going earlier too. Now, if only I could get my Hubby moving just a bit earlier…

  60. This is a great site, I just found it today from Twitter. It’s quite hard to wake up early but if you really get used to it, our body clock adjusts on itself. There comes the “heroic minute” when you already awaken but your body is pulling you down to get back to fight. Now a tug-of-war whether you will go up or go back to bed. I like to wake up early to accomplish more things in a day. Time is too fast when you wake up late.
    .-= mywebfeed´s last blog ..Power of Search Engines – Links Submission =-.

  61. I have always been a night owl… and one to lay in the bed as long as possible. I am jealous of those that hear the alarm and just bound of bed ready to face the day and get things done. I am going to download the e-book and try to get up early EVERY day of the week and not just on those days when I have to finish getting hubby’s lunch ready b/c I forgot the night before!
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..My Search Story…. =-.

  62. First of all I would like to commend you on this amazing website. I love it and its my go to place whenever I need any inspiration in regards to the house, kids, myself.. And I plan to recommend it to all my friends :)

    I love my day when I wake up early as well, although thats not very often. I am from the Middle East, living in Dubai to be precise and our lifestyle over here is very different, we are all owls by nature ;) if i wanna spend anytime with my husband, go to a movie, or hangout with friends this all will start at 9 pm on average by the time we go to bed on a daily basis its 1 am on average so that makes it quite difficult to wake up very early for me especially coz my kids (20 month daughter & 8 month son) are not attending school as of yet.
    I do however wake up early on days i have things planned for it (horseriding at 7.45 am twice a week)etc.

    I would love to be an early riser by nature. Maybe when the kids start going to school ;)

  63. Also if you get up early, you can give your husband a kiss good-bye and start his day of right. Studies show that men who kiss their wives every morning make 25% more money than men who don’t and they also live 5 years longer.

  64. Being a professional early riser myself, I can attest to the awesomeness of the early mornings. I find the only downside is living in a cold area, such as here in Toronto. When I lived abroad I wouldn’t mind waking up early because of the serene quiteness and WARMTH of the area. Here it’s just so cold you want to stay in bed…

  65. Hi Trish ,
    Thank you so much for this blog. I am a new mom of an almost 2 year old , and a wife to a gorgeous & devoted husband. We recently relocated from California to North Carolina to build a better life for a family. Before, leaving CA, I decided to leave teaching after 8 years , in order to pursue a career that would allow me to stay home part-time. As blessed as I feel to be have spent the last 4 months caring ,full-time,for my beautiful little girl , it continues to be a huge adjustment for all involved. For, me it means , managing my time , my home, my toddler, and my emotions . I say emotions, because during this transition my daughter has has taken us on the “trying two’s ” road and my patience is not always at it’s best when she suddenly tries to reclaim her independence or express her wants or needs. I know that I need to make time for quiet centering a priority . So, I have found inspiration in blogs like yours and Hello Morning !!

  66. Today, I got to experience the sunrise with my daughter when she woke up at 5 a.m. with a nightmare and has been up ever since. I’m exhausted, but, at the same time, I got to experience a moment at which my 2-year-old was quiet as we both watched the sunbeams slowly ascend into our living room.

    I so prefer to be a night owl but, as others have said, with motherhood comes early mornings. But, also, if one is lucky enough, with motherhood also comes naps. Thank goodness for those!

  67. Ahh, now you’ve hit something, The early morning is the best time of day. I get up at 5AM everyday, I haven’t used an alarm clock in 10 years. Its my time, its quite time, its coffee time. I run a small business and I have 3 employees. My business is very customer service oriented , and my phone starts ringing at about 7:30 am and doesn’t stop til about 5PM. 5-7:30AM is my time. No one requires anything of me during this beautiful morning time. It’s 6:45AM right now, I am at peace!

  68. The next step is to start waking up early. I did it by making it a challenge. Try it and let me know if it works for you:

    http://keystooptimalliving.com/6-am-challenge-the-benefits-of-waking-up-early/

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