Why I Started Waking Up At 5:30- OpEd

By: Young Kim 

As August was coming to an end and the school year was coming to a start, I began my mental preparation for a year that was posed to have endless nights due to my bad habits. My sleep schedule throughout my freshmen and sophomore year were what I can only describe as abysmal. I would wake up every morning feeling miserable and unmotivated to go to school. I knew this year had to be different. 

In preparation, I began to set “Do not disturb” on my phone to start around 10:30. This way, I would not be woken up by any texts or notifications that may motivate me to stay awake. In order to get a full 7 hours of sleep I decided to sleep around 10:30, which is something I had given up on since entering high school. For the first three days I could not fall asleep until 11:30. I would just lie on my bed constantly feeling the urge to get up and reach for my phone. Throughout the first week I began to slowly become accustomed to sleeping just a little bit earlier and eventually started waking up around 6, the earliest I began waking up in two years. 

Now that I had learned how to wake up, the problem became staying up. Every morning I was feeling tired and sluggish with my comfortable bed only a step away. While I admit I fell back asleep multiple times, I found myself discovering a formula to counteract this. By placing your phone and alarm a walking distance from your bed, you are forced to stand up to turn it off. The key is to not fall back asleep within the bed. This creates an enabling environment for your body to shut down once again. If you are able to stay away from your bed throughout the whole morning, the rest of the day should be much easier to deal with. I also began to experiment with other ways of feeling energized in the morning and found one particular way to be very effective: cold showers. Trust me, this will wake up just about anybody in the morning, but the problem lies in actually doing it. To this day I have to constantly prepare myself for that first drop of ice cold water because to be frank, it does not get any better. Most people would rather end up opting out and getting coffee instead. 

Now after a whole month of waking up I finally mastered waking up at 5:30. By waking up earlier I found myself open to almost an hour of extra time to work on anything ranging from reading to homework. The great part about this sleep schedule is that it gives you so much freedom to schedule accordingly. I don’t have to stress about not completely finishing my work since I give myself ample time to do it in the morning. This also allows me to start thinking earlier in the morning, putting myself in a great mindset going into school. 

Overall, waking up early may be one of the best habits I got into this whole year. It allows me to look forward to the morning instead of sleeping in and waking up hating life. While it may look and sound daunting, it should be a habit everyone should try to integrate into their lives.