The Problem With The Super Early Morning Trend

I LOVE the early morning trend that’s currently a-happening. I love that young people are focusing on getting up early, being productive, and leading a healthy life, as opposed to the student lifestyle of going out every night and eating cheap takeaways on a hangover every morning. I love replacing the pub with the hipster café, and meeting friends when it’s still light outside. I even suggested getting up early in my January Blues post.

 

However, like with any trend, there are people who take it to extremes. Waking up at 5am or even earlier is getting increasingly more popular, and there are countless articles and youtube videos on the subject (great productivity porn, by the way). This is being held up as the golden standard for living a healthy, millennial lifestyle, and like with the “clean eating” trend, it has some serious downsides in terms of health.

 

The problem with the super early morning trend is that it encourages people to get up at extreme times, without finding a sustainable bedtime to match. If you’re aiming to get up at 5am every day, you should be asleep by 9pm every night. And for most people, this simply isn’t feasible, especially if you live somewhere like London where the commute home and the late working hours will likely pile onto your evenings. More than that: going to bed early isn’t particularly encouraged by the early-morning movement. Sure, they’ll seemingly go to sleep at a reasonable time – 10, maybe 11pm. But for a 4 or 5am start, this simply isn’t enough sleep.

 

What I suggest is finding the earliest possible time you can expect to be asleep regularly – say 10pm – and work around that – say a 6am start. I know, if feels much more glamorous to get up earlier than that and have all that time before work in the morning. I get it. But you can’t just magic more time into existence – there are only so many hours in the day, and there are limits to how much more productive you can be by getting up earlier and earlier. Losing sleep in exchange for working harder isn’t healthy, and it’s likely to make you less efficient anyway. So do yourself a favour – give yourself the opportunity to get your 8 hours, and hopefully you can still achieve everything you want to accomplish in the remaining 16.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Stacey Sacco says:

    I’ve come across this too. I have been trying to get up at 5 (my kids have to get up at 6 for school), but it’s only sustainable for short periods of time. Then I get exhausted and sleep too much on the weekends. Still searching for that happy medium!

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    1. miletteriis says:

      Yeah making sure something is sustainable is SO important. A lot of people seem to attempt extreme lifestyles, find they’re not sustainable, and assume they just have bad willpower and go back to having terrible lifestyles. It’s all about balance people!

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  2. I probably am an extremist when it comes to early rising, but with having two littles, I find it hard to find time to get stuff done while working FT and running side hustles. Great points though.

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  3. Beth says:

    Very good point. I absolutely love the feeling of accomplishment when I get up super early and get most of my “to do” list done before many of my friends even get out of bed – BUT — I also love the way I feel on days I let myself sleep in and get out of bed feeling totally rested and refreshed. It’s all about balance. Thanks for reminding us that getting enough sleep is not only okay, but also very important!

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    1. miletteriis says:

      Fully agree with this, both productive and lazy days can leave you feeling amazing. I think we sometimes as a society forget about sleep and how important it is – many people seem to think it’s just “part of life”, or “part of being an adult”, yet you’d never expect anyone to skip meals or go hungry because “that’s just what life is like”! The more we talk about sleep and not only its effects on physical health but on mental health as well, the happier everyone will be I think ☺️

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  4. mariellethinks says:

    Agree with this, 100%! I love all those things too, and I actually started waking up earlier to give me more time in the morning. It works very well for me. Still, I really need my 8 hours so I go to sleep early too (10pm to 6am mostly). Definitely important to make sure we still get enough rest, otherwise it’s counterproductive.

    -Marielle
    http://www.mariellethinks.com

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  5. Bliss says:

    Completely agree, it is a fine line and dangerous to push the boundary too much. I am recently recovered from adrenal fatigue, which comes from pushing too much and not resting enough. I’ve always been extremely healthy and never expected my fast paced lifestyle to hit me back. Beware extreme early risers!

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