The Life Experimenter : Change Your Life, One Month at a Time

Life Experiment #1: Wake-Up At 5AM For 30 Days

By Allen Rinehart

Can a person really become healthier, wealthy, & wiser from waking up early?  Is there anything to be gained from waking up before the sun rises?  I’m about to find out.  For 30 days, I’ll be waking at 5AM everyday to see what happens.  It’s only an experiment, so after the trial run I can give up at anytime.

Hypothesis:I predict that rising early everyday will give me the time I need to accomplish the most important tasks everyday prior to actually starting others.  Since I work an 8am-5pm job and get ready to go to work around 6:30am, I’ll have at least an hour and a half to do whatever I need to work on my most important goals.I believe the biggest gain in time is going to be on the weekend.  Since I sleep in till about 10am every weekend, I’ll have a big start on my day.  Plus I’ll establish a habit of waking up and doing something EVERYDAY, not just during the week.
Procedure: Here are some of the steps I plan on using during my 30-day experiment

  1. Have a reason for waking up early. Waking up early is not an easy task, but I believe that one of the most important reasons for doing it is to have a goal that you feel so strongly about, so passionate about accomplishing it that you’ll push through the sleepiness, through the urge to go back to bed.  My reason is to work on this blog.  It represents important changes I want to make in my life and that’s so much more important than sleeping everyday.  What are you trying to accomplish?  That’s your real reason for wanting to wake-up early.
  2. Set an alarm clock for my bedtime (thanks to for this one, check their site for even more tips).  Even though you shouldn’t go to bed before you’re sleepy, it’s a good idea to remind yourself to get ready to go to bed, so you can cut out all the distractions and mentally prepare to sleep.  I set my alarm for 9:30pm.
  3. Drink 4oz of water before going to bed and upon rising. Many people who can mastered waking up early have suggested drinking water directly after waking up as a way of stimulating the body internally.  Drinking water rehydrates the body after 7 hours of sleeping.  It’s also an excellent replacement for coffee.
  4. Do some conditioning exercises right when I wake-up. In addition to drinking water, I also plan on doing to stretching and conditioning exercises from Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning books.  Getting my blood circulating right away is important in jump starting my body to have more engery in the morning.
  5. Take a shower as soon as possible. Ever notice how you feel more awake directly after showering in the morning?  I’m hoping this will give me the boost I need to continue my routine.
  6. Create a morning routine. As I get use to the extra time I have in the mornings, I plan on creating a routine.  A set of habits that I practice on a daily basis.  Just like we brush our teeth everyday to keep our teeth healthy, we need to practice other habits to keep our mind healthy.  I plan on doing some mediation and visualization exercises in the morning to really focus on what I want to accomplish for the day.
  7. Limit caffeine, refine sugars, & alcohol. I have to confess that I love a nice cup of coffee in the morning, but drinking coffee effects your ability to sleep even when you drink it early in the morning.  Also, drinking alcohol to excess can really effect you ability to get a good nights sleep.
  8. Make a commitment to yourself & others. Tell everyone you know that you’ve made a commitment to wake-up early every morning.  You’re more likely to follow through with it because you’ve already committed to doing it.
  9. Practice waking during the day. This is great waking-up exercise from Steve Pavlina.  Practice waking up during the day by doing everything you would do when you wake-up before you go to bed.  Do your normal nightly ritual of say brushing your teeth and washing your face.  Then go to bed and set the alarm for 5 minutes later.  Then practice the ritual of waking-up.  Do everything you would do after you wake.  Then do it 10 more times.  I plan on doing this several times during the trial instill the habit of waking-up that is so strong that its also impossible to sleep in.
  10. Use written affirmations. One technique I’ve found particularly helpful in establishing a belief is written affirmations.  You take a piece of paper and write a certain affirmation repeatedly over and over until it comes into your reality.  For this experiment, I’m going to use the simple phrase, “I feel energized when I wake-up at 5AM everyday.”  Then all I do is rewrite this same sentence over and over.  I like to fill an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet everyday which will give you about 30 repetitions of the phrase.  After doing this one exercise for several days, the affirmation gets implanted into your head.
  11. Use a visualization exercise. Visualization through mediation doesn’t have to be a complicated thing.  To mediate you simply go to a quiet, dark area and close your eyes.  You can either lay down or sit in a chair.  Take a couple of deep breathes.  Relax your whole body.  Then when you’re completely relaxed, try to form an image of what you want to happen in your mind.  Replay this movie over and over and soon you will begin to form that habit.

Feel free to share your experiences below…

Have you had any success or failure from trying to wake-up early?
What worked for you?  What didn’t work?
What’s stopping you from waking-up early right now?

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17 responses to “Life Experiment #1: Wake-Up At 5AM For 30 Days”

  1. Phyllis Rinehart says:

    I wake up at 5:00 AM during the week. I have two hours before I need to leave for work. I use this time to get on the treadmill while catching up on the early morning news. I then have time to enjoy breakfast with my family and pack my lunch and read the morning newspaper. When I get to work I am ready for the day.

  2. […] Rinehart presents Life Experiment #1: Wake-Up At 5AM For 30 Days posted at The Life Experimenter: This article explores a 30-day trial of waking up early every […]

  3. Wondering how your 30 day trial went, getting up 5am each day? Was it luck or planning that made it finish just before NYE, and did you sleep in the next morning? 😉

    My trial had start times a bit all over the place, since some days I had to be up 3am to get to work early, other days (weekend) I had bf over who did NOT want me jumping up at “ungodly hour” – I’m wondering do you think that having a set time each day made it any easier?


  4. […] The life experimenter – The author of this interesting blog used one of my Felixstowe sunrise shots in his article “Life Experiment #1: Wake-Up At 5AM For 30 Days”. There is some food for thought in this article and its doubly cool that he’s using my picture. […]

  5. Jonathan says:

    So did your wake up experiment work? No good putting up a post with no results and/or observations…

  6. Ayushi says:

    I am gonna start this experiment right from tomorrow! Hope it works! 🙂
    I have this feeling in my mind that if I sleep less than 8 hrs a day I feel incomplete and drowsy whole day! I hope I overcome this thought!

  7. Cristian Tudor says:

    I get up at 4:30/4:40AM every day except weekends when my work program starts at 9AM.I get home usually at 3PM.
    At 5AM I have to be at work already because at 6AM I’m already on-air as I work at the national TV station.I’ve tried to drink water as soon as I wake up,coffee,juice and the results are unsatisfactory.I think it’s inhuman to wake up almost every day at this kind of hour but I don’t really have a choice because with the TV station’s programs this is the only way in which I can have a life with my family (the other would be 13PM-23PM) so it’s a no-go.
    Good article by the way.

  8. mano says:

    im trying to wake up 5am from tommorow…i hope it works properly.i want to kick start my gym routine again after small gap….i will get up and i have the determination

  9. prabin says:

    I will get up at 5 from tomorrow. i will study and prepare myself for scholarship exams.

  10. Steve Cook says:

    Congrats on your experiment. I assume that it’s successful and you gained most of the advantages that you were looking for. I tried it because I was a rookie in my profession and I wanted a head start over the veterans. I gained energy, confidence, time to read, exercise, think, meet people, listen, and lead. I’m proud to say I’ve stuck with it and it’s probably number one on my success strategy.. And, oh by the way, I made my commitment in 1973. It works!

  11. Melvin says:


    Next Day:
    Hit the snooze button and continue my sleep…

  12. Brian says:

    Is this blog still live?

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