Waking up at 5 AM literally changed my life!

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No, this is not another unnecessarily exaggerated post, waking up at 5 AM was the game changer for me and this started from when I had no single idea of what this would do for me.

Waking up at 5 AM was a family tradition as we would all have to converge for morning devotion. I thoroughly disliked it. I would get to school and know that many of my friends at my age were allowed to wake up by 6 – 7 AM.

Waking up at 5 AM made me feel slightly abused as a child. I thought it was so unfair to make me wake up when I still felt sleepy or wanted to rest some more. Ever heard? Early morning sleep is the sweetest!

Don’t blame me, I didn’t know that it was going to be one of the best self-care moves of all time.

I mean, I watch as people struggle to wake up early in the morning to reap the benefits of waking up early. Here I am, with a body system that is so accustomed to waking up so early it would kickstart at around 5 AM.

It doesn’t even matter when I slept, my body clock wakes me up that early. I then decide if I wanted to get up or go back to rest some more. This depends on what day of the week it is and what I have in view for the rest of the day.

Waking up early during my childhood was compulsory but as soon as I gained my freedom, a.k.a moved to the University, I was responsible for either keeping up the tradition or just discarding it altogether.

I am happy I kept it. I will share with you some of the benefits of waking up at 5 AM and ways you can make it easier for you to wake up that early.

Benefits of waking up at 5 AM

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how to wake up at 5am and not feel tired

You have more time on your hands

So, I used to live in rush hour city and trust me, the way we rushed for everything was insane. We rushed to jump buses, rushed to work, rushed breakfast. It was always a rat race. Like we were being pursued or something.

Waking up at 5 AM makes it very easy to plan your life. I mean, while the world is rushing to make breakfast, you are already done with that and at a much more relaxed pace too.

Exercise is more enjoyable

Have you seen Lionheart? Such a great movie. I particularly loved the early morning scenes where she was seen to wake up at 5 AM to prepare for a morning run. Exercise comes with a lot of reinvigoration and this jumpstarts a highly productive day.

Quiet time is very easy to observe

Because of the hustle and bustle of living and surviving (or thriving) generally, it can be very difficult to maintain a great relationship with God.

Waking up at 5 AM gives me the space to tune in to what God has to say. Also, because of the peace and quiet of the environment, it is very easy to meditate and hear your thoughts and what God has to say.

The day starts off fresh

This time is the best time for ideas to be birthed and freshly served. The world is quiet, the weather is cool and the air smells so fresh. Your energy is out of this world and you are so ready to face the day with all of this good energy.


There are so many ways to train yourself to discipline, waking up early in the morning is one of them. To imbibe a culture of discipline you will have to start from what you can control.

Waking up at 5 AM is a good place to learn discipline, practice restraint and imbibe self-control. You will be surprised at how this will positively affect other areas of your life.

How to wake up at 5 AM and not feel tired

So, I get it, not everyone was raised in a home that made waking up very early that compulsory. I also know that I might not properly understand what it means to learn this from scratch way along in life.

I have however watched friends who made this into a habit and I can say I learned one or two things from their processes. These, I will be sharing with you. Hopefully, you can adapt some of these into your lifestyle and begin to make some changes as necessary. Trust me, this is going to be one of the most incredible lifestyle changes you would be glad you made, you can check here for some other great lifestyle changes. 

Go to bed earlier

Of course, “early to bed, early to rise”. This really works. Make it a habit to go to bed as early as 10 pm or thereabout so that you can still have a good night’s sleep.

Never underestimate a good night’s sleep too. So, yeah, you should go to bed earlier to wake up early and still have longer sleep time.

Power down your gadgets and go off Instagram. Oh, by the way, if you are on Instagram, I would love to connect with you in there. It’s mostly fun, I promise. Please click on this link to find me. I can’t wait to meet you!

Wash your face as soon as you are up

Washing your face can change it all for you. As soon as you are up, get your face washed. This will make you sharp and ready.

It is also a bad idea to remain on your bed as soon as you are up. You are going to rely on your alarm clock for weeks until your body fully adjusts to waking up early on its own.

Allow slip-ups

Yes, allow some slips. What I have come to realize is that as soon as people don’t make it up at 5 AM the first day, they conclude, “this is not my thing”.

No, you should give your body time to adjust to this new change especially if you have been waking up by 7 or 8 AM all your life.

If you mess up a day, do it the next day, wake up at 5 AM. Keep on doing it until you don’t have to think about doing it.

Have an accountability partner

If you have someone who is also of the same goal as you to wake up early, it greatly helps. It could be your spouse, a parent, a sibling, a colleague or roommate.

If you are a family person, it might greatly help if you make it a family tradition like my family did. Trust me, your kids are going to grumble. I was once them too. I was born into it, yet I grumbled. This time, you are getting grown-ups to adapt; people who weren’t even born into it, so be prepared. aha.

If you make it a habit to wake up very early in the morning, so many things about your life will change for good. You will have an increased energy level and an optimistic morning.

>>>If you liked this post, you would love this: 5 ridiculously simple ways to simplify your life

I would love to connect with you on a deeper level

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(46) Comments

  1. Recent 5AM convert right here! Since starting a full time job, I had been feeling groggy, sluggish, and gaining weight. I felt my joints ache from sitting all day (and I’m 26…) And I knew I had to do something to make me feel better. The whole job thing wasn’t going away, so I had to do something else.

    I started waking up at 5am to work out, and it has changed my life! I haven’t lost any weight since waking up at 5am…it’s not one of those kinds of transformations. I FEEL better! I don’t ache anymore, I don’t feel groggy anymore, and I don’t get winded climbing up the stairs. Suddenly, waking up at 5am has made me feel more awake! It seems silly to say this at my age, but I feel five years younger…meaning I felt like I used to before I started working full time.

    It’s amazing to me that I used to “not have time to work out” and suddenly found time by going to bed a little earlier and waking up before the sun.

    And some days when I don’t feel like working out, I get up, drink a cup of coffee, and READ! (I used to not have time to do that either…) Could not recommend this enough!

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Wow! I am so glad you shared this with us. Waking up 5 AM can literally transform one’s life. It’s made life really easier. Thank you so much for sharing your transitioning into early rising.

      1. I love your post Kelly.. just another reason why this post is so powerful

  2. Shweta Betai says:

    I just marry 2 months ago.
    And the problem which I faced is to wake early because I go to bed late as I have to lots of work. I’m also a M. Com student n my clg is at evening so my sleeping time is 12 night or sometime 1

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Ouch, so sorry about your tight schedule. And oh, congratulations and happy married life. I believe that if you are particular about it, gradually, you will begin to find balance. I would suggest that you don’t put too much pressure on your self. Try to go with the flow for now until you begin to figure it out.

      1. Waking up by 5 am was a tradition in my home but I can’t still get my body system to adapt to it and i wake by 5 am only if I’ve a right schedule.

        Thank you for the tips

        1. Esther Adeniyi says:

          Actually, you will have to resolve to adapt to it until your body can’t help but wake up at 5 AM

  3. 5am gang right here…because I have two young children to get ready for school with zero help….and I also have to do my morning routine complete before they wake so I don’t have a grumpy day!!!

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Well, hello, team 5AM!

  4. Hey Esther.
    I have adapted over time the worst sleeping pattern you could ever imagine!
    After reading your post I feel inspired to try this approach and adopt a new regime to phase out and kill all the bad habits I’ve picked up along the way!!
    All the benefits you listed appeal to me 100%

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Yay! I am so glad you are taking this route. Please know that you might fail to wake up at 5 AM a couple of times but it is all a process. Continue until your body can’t help but wake up early. I would love to know your progress. Cheers.

  5. Grace Walters says:

    I love your post! I’m going to try this out!

    BTW, I’m a sticker in proofreading. Habit from the Army! ? In your “Go to bed earlier” paragraph, I believe you meant to write that you went to bed at 10 p.m. and not 10 a.m.

    Great job on the article!

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Oh myyyy, thank you so much for the correction. Going in to check and correct right away. I am so glad you stopped by. Loveeeesss…

  6. Oluwasemilore says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve Been really struggling with waking up early mostly because I want to engage in morning fellowship with God. I’m really tired most nights from work (I just started recently) and I’ve always wondered what will be the best time for me to start, but I hope to imbibe this culture with the steps you gave. Thanks again!

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      You are most welcome. Congrats on your new job too. Don’t be overwhelmed, just take this one day at a time until you master the art of waking up early.

  7. Kanchan says:

    Your article has inspired me to wake up early..I am.gonna start from tomorrow itself..thanks for a great write up?

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Wow, this is so good.

  8. Sara Dana says:

    I’ve had this tap open all week to read. Mornings are definitely a struggle. Tired of always feeling behind in the morning. Going to start this tomorrow! Can’t wait for the change!

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Yaaaaay! That’d be great…

  9. Nursey says:

    I’d love to be able to do this. I’m a shift worker and it’s quite hard when I shift from AM to PM shifts! Any tips? X

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      I would say not to put that kind of pressure on yourself. Don’t be pressured into waking up by 5 am everyday like the rest of us who don’t do shifts. Just relax and find your own rhythm. Cheers.

  10. Dimps says:

    Its difffuclt to wake up at 5 a.m when u have small kids..Because generally they wont let you a good night sleep..I have tried this but then if you are not getting your proper will get tired at the end of day..Perhaps when you have older kids i can give it a chance.I have seen my mother.She has been early riser..and she is still fit n fine and have no major health concerns

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      I completely agree. It is easier for single people like me to achieve that than for people with kids.

  11. My dad has been preaching this for years and he’s pretty much the only one in the family who wakes up at 5 am no matter what day of the week it is. The earliest I wake up weekdays is 6.30 am and weekends… well like 8 am.

    I want to wake up earlier as I have noted that people who rise early seem to get something out of the day that us non-early risers don’t. I am trying to wake up earlier. I don’t work anymore but I’ve tried to stick to my 6.30 wake up time regardless.

    Great post!

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Thank you for reading. There isn’t a magic number here though but I think that you can keep pushing for waking up sooner maybe like by 30 minutes until your body is completely used to the system. I currently wake up by 4:30 AM now BUT I try to sleep very early. 9 -10 pm ish, so that I am well rested. 6 AM looks fine if you can do that.

  12. Umaima says:

    I also concluded one day that this is not my thing but u r right every one c can wake up early…
    It’s really realistic!
    Thank you..

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      You are very much welcome, Umaima.

  13. Morgan says:

    I’m retired but I do have lots to do, garden, animals and large house. I want to get in the habit of getting up early but getting out of bed has always been so hard for me. If I do have something that I have to get out of bed for ie. club meeting , dr appointment I get up but if nothing specific then I end up sleeping until 10 lots of days. Do you have any advice on how I can get started? I think starting to get up at 5 now might be a bit much. But I want to work on this. By the way my husband sleeps late too so not much help there.

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Hi hi. How about starting gradually? Plus 5 AM doesn’t seem like a magic number. Yours could be 6 AM though. I think the point is just finding a way to get up earlier than the majority of the world so that you can reap the benefits of early mornings.

  14. Carmen says:

    Great article! I love the idea and would like to try this new routine. I am not an early morning but it’s in my mind for so long. I’m sacred but I’m going to give it a try this Monday.

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Oh, this is awesome. Please let me know how it goes when you try it.

  15. Jennifer Quigley says:

    I would love more than anything to wake up at 5! However, I get headaches when I do not sleep enough. I have seen many neurologists for this…taken sleep studies etc….–the only solution I have gotten is “My body needs to sleep 9 hours” or I will have a headaches. I can not live with this diagnosis and continually am looking for solutions on my own…..I am a fitness fanatic, married and have a young child and a career in finance…… and can not stand having to sleep so much……Any thoughts? I really envy you for having so many hours in your day 🙂

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Well, in my own opinion, I think you should not put yourself under such pressure as waking up at 5 am. Some of the things that work for millions of people will just never work for you because you are unique, a separate, different individual. I think it’s okay to chart your own path and forge your own course. Optimize living and get the best out of it. It might not just be in this way- waking up at a certain time.


  16. Refilwe says:

    I’m so bad at waking up my shifts are always different… Which makes it difficult for me.. How I wish I could wake up early… Ooh I’m so frustrated

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Hey Refilwe,

      Please do not put yourself under pressure. If this won’t work for you, you shouldn’t force it. Just live,love, laugh and be healthy.

      Cheers to a beautiful life. Please don’t feel frustrated.

  17. Vicki says:

    I work from home so it’s easy to be lazy and take my time, especially in the summer time when I don’t have to get kids to school! But I love waking up early and having that fresh morning air, drink my coffee and enjoy some ME time. I struggle daily with my snooze button…. it’s my total enemy! I know I love to wake up early but I also love to sleep! My alarm is set for 5am, and always will be! So, I keep trying daily! Thank you for you article about this, I love the encouragement!

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Hello Vicki. Your comment was so fun to read. I am glad that you found this article encouraging. Enjoy!

  18. Knwoing how sleep cycles work also help in waking up fresh. If you complete a sleep cycle and wake up close a multiple of 90 min in total sleep, you have a much higher chance of waking up fresh.

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Wow, thank you very much for adding in that information.

  19. Total opposite here! I am a complete night owl – 9:00 pm-1:00 am is when I am at my most awake, most creative, and most energetic. I have to get up early for work but no matter how early I am up or how little sleep I get, I can’t fall asleep until about 1:00-2:00 am (I have to wake up at 6:00 every day). I find that I reap all the benefits you mentioned in the article late in the evening, so it works for me. I love grocery shopping at about 11:00 pm because nobody is out. I think its all about finding a schedule that works for you. So while I won’t be a 5 am convert, I still appreciated the spirit of the article – making time for self-care. Thanks!

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      This is such a very warm comment. In Nigeria, you dare not even be out of your house by 11:00 pm. Ahahahahahhhahahha. No grocery store even opens by then! Thank you for sharing with us.

  20. Maybe you should credit the original source of this — The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Just a thought.

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Hello Bee,

      I have never even seen that before. I also do not, have never and will never copy anything from anyone to put on my blog. I have that much integrity.

      Thank you for commenting.

  21. Are you from Nigeria? Why is everyone I meet from Nigeria so happy! So smiling! In a most contagious way. And always SO intelligent! I have read your piece about getting up at 5AM. I am hoping this will be what I need to finally accomplish this elusive goal! If it does the trick I will be so grateful. I know my life will change so positively. I will be in touch!

    1. Esther Adeniyi says:

      Ahahahaaahhhhaa Jack, I am from Nigeria! Thank you very much for your positive feedback. I am glad this article resonates with you this much. Please let me know of your progress.

  22. Am surely going to try out waking up at 5am. Thanks for this piece. Such a great read

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