How I started getting up at 4:00 in the morning and why I won't do it again


Question: what do sane people do if they start working until four in the morning while writing their bachelor's thesis and sleep until noon?

Answer: I do not know.

But here's what I did after several months of such work - I decided to turn my sleeping time 180° in one day and start GETTING UP at four in the morning. From 04:00 -> 12:00 sleep mode... to 21:00 -> 04:00 mode.  

Brilliant, right?

Well, not really, actually. Maybe I made a mistake by not listening to my own tried and tested small steps method. And maybe another mistake. But more on that later.

On the Fourth of July this summer, I decided to get my sleep pattern under control and this is what I experienced.

Graphics and the next (to me) most interesting part:

If you hate lines drawn with a pencil on white sheets, mathematics and other scientific subjects 1 gadgets... Please bear with me. I won't be long.

First, let's look at graph of sleep duration per day. At the same time, it also shows the time of waking up and falling asleep.

Then let's compare this with feel good after sleeping schedule. The value of well-being here is conditional, compared to the most pleasant days. 2

...Um. Yes. Don't look at me like that. Let me explain.

Eh... But wait, it's LITTLE not 4 in the morning! ...You liar, Daniel!

Hey, hey. Take it easy. I know, I promised four in the morning in the title. However, on the fifth day, my bedtime jumped to six in the morning, and on the thirteenth, it was back to five...

I know that. And I wonder how it happened.

Because after all, I planned to get up at four o'clock. I even said on Debesyla's Facebook that I would do it. 3 However, I lasted only five days.

Fascinating, right? I'm sure pursuit of crazy goals inspiration. 😀

Therefore, I'd better let the article go a little closer to the truth here - let me tell you more, how did you manage to get up so early in the first place. Although I used to go to bed at such hours for three months.

Because as much fun as it would be to write an article about getting up ONLY at four in the morning to get on the Delphi homepage... I can't do it this time. This experiment of mine is a bit of a failure.

But only a little. In my opinion, such experiences are not bad. They are just part of the experiments. It happens to everyone.

Such a test was the first in my life. 4 And despite the formal failure, I went on with my life for a whole month with earlier mornings than I had ever experienced before.

And yes, before this challenge, my earliest wake up time was 7:00 when I was still in high school about 6 years ago, and the buses were very infrequent. The old days.

By the way: I kept a public blog online during the challenge. But when I saw that no one was reading it, I started writing in the notebook. Unfortunately, I lost it. 5

Yes, that's my morning, shaved moustache. // Photo author Vi Kontrimaitė

What I learned from my month with the early riser... And what advice would I give you if you wanted to do this challenge again?

The experiment would have been worthless if I hadn't learned anything from it. Good thing it didn't happen. So here's what I figured out:

  1. A pleasant morning motivates. For the first five days, mornings were the best part of the day. Sitting on the balcony, the birds singing and the sunlight helped me get up earlier because it was nice.
  2. And gloomy mornings - no. And that's the reason why my goal changed on the sixth day. What's the point of getting up if it's gloomy, dark, raining outside, and cold at home even in the middle of summer? There is no desire to get up on gloomy mornings.
  3. Sleep is good. And especially when the sun is not going to shine from behind the clouds and even the birds are bored in the morning. Staying asleep longer is more pleasant than waking up and being sad.
  4. Want to get up early? Go to bed early. You will die without sleep. And I experienced this when I used to go to bed at 21:00 and fell asleep only at 22 because of neighbors sitting in the yard. If you get up at four or five in the morning, go to bed at least at 8 p.m.
  5. Earplugs clog your ears. And thank God, because if they didn't - there would be bad plugs. They get help from the same neighbors and family members. And believe me, even if you buy the cheapest ones for 1 euro each - they work.
  6. Do you have an alarm clock? Have three. Sincerely. It's easy to turn off one alarm, but turning off three is more difficult. The best alarm clock, admittedly, for me for a while was the neighbors rooster, because he does not listen to the snooze command. But can we each grow one?
  7. Rise and shine. That hated phrase from my childhood. Eh. However, getting up early in the morning is a must. Because otherwise it's easy to fall asleep again. Very, very, very easy.
  8. You need to have a friend. And I had Ignas of Debesylietis, who tried to get up at four in the morning with me. In the first days, we played a game with him that if we didn't get up, we would wake each other up with calls. It helped for the first few days, but later Ignas had to challenge his family, which was a shame.
  9. Fresh air is refreshing. After getting up open that fort or a window. The cold air is refreshing and prevents you from falling asleep. Bonus points if you do it after you've already made your bed so you don't want to sleep warm again.
  10. The rhythm of the sun is not the rhythm of the clock. And finally... Changes in the length of days are best seen when getting up early in the morning. Although in the first days the sun rose at four o'clock, but after the eleventh day, it was only around half past five. And to get up in the dark and turn on the lamp neither at one nor at fifteen and three-thirds. 6

Or at least that's the condensed version of my experience.

And have you ever tried getting up about eight hours earlier than you normally do?

...Would you like to try?

Well, not necessarily eight hours earlier. Maybe you don't sleep until midnight like I did. Then smaller changes will suffice.

But still, would you like to get up earlier? Then I suggest:

  1. Find your reason for getting up.
  2. Set your new morning time.
  3. Find a like-minded person or a friend.
  4. Use Aurims Mikalauskas's guide. 7
  5. Try doing this.
  6. And if you want, tell us how it went in the comments below.

Or, if you live in an early rhythm for a long time - share how are you doing?

I'm curious because even though this experiment of mine was partially successful, it wasn't completely successful... And if I ever want to repeat the experiment, I should learn more. 🙂

But this is how I started getting up earlier!

  1. They're not very scientific here, are they...

  2. Kayaking and the last days of the month.

  3. It should be here this link to my facebook page, but I deleted the page after a summer without Facebook.

  4. I had a similar get up earlier in general. But then I didn't get up very early.

  5. Brilliant...

  6. So why get up early if you turn on the light anyway? So that you can brag on Facebook that you are a very spiritual and productive person? With artificial light, you can live at night just like I did during my undergraduate writing.

  7. Very detailed!

  • The best way to get up early in the morning and go for a walk outside (even if it's stormy and blizzarding outside) is……. buy a dog! 😀
    Yes yes, every morning I start at ~6 am, I go outside in pajama pants, 20 min. I take a walk and then the day starts. Now I can't even imagine how it is possible to sleep for a long time.

    • Should I buy a cat that starts pitifully outside the door in the morning "meow, meow, meow, meow" for about half an hour before you get up to let it in. (Or if you leave the door open, you'll get a pat on the head anyway.) At least that's what I experience 😀

  • I think the point is to have a goal to get up. I've been getting up at 4:00 - 4:30 for over a year now because my work starts at 5:00 - 6:00 (depending on the circumstances). What helps me get up is the best thing is an alarm clock in the bathroom, since I live with a friend, so that I don't wake her up, whether I want to or not, I have to go to the bathroom to turn off the alarm clock, at the same time I turn on the light in the bathroom and then I start to see the world with different eyes. The next thing is to wash your face with cold water, drink a glass of water. The final awakening is followed by sun salutations (5 to 10 rounds). During the first round you really feel quite heavy, but already after the third round you feel the heat starting to flow through your whole body and the sleep disappears. After 15 minutes, I eat some fruit and rush to work, I have breakfast around 7-8, because somehow my body doesn't want food until then. Of course, there is also a side effect, I don't go to bed early because of my social life, in the best case I go to bed at 22:00 (at 6:00 as usual), but it's usually later, which affects the fatigue in the second half of the week and if you sit down instead of doing active activities when you come back , simply "break". Another problem is the weekends... As I mentioned at the beginning, if you want to get up early, you have to have a reason (at the moment it's work for me), and the weekend doesn't have that reason anymore, so often the rhythm gets out of balance again and you end up sleeping more than 10 hours.

    PS I think that it would be enough to sleep 5-6 hours, and maybe even 4 hours, if you know how to meditate well, to rest your brain in a state other than sleep, as yoga masters say, they can even not sleep, but living in the chaos of the Western world, it is difficult to be able to do this .

  • I will also add to your golden thoughts that even without an animal it is quite fun STRAIGHT from the bed - to the OUTSIDE, running (preferably in the forest, where the air is fresh and the birds are singing :), exercising, meditating..., after that the shower is warm - cold, water with lemon and - the day's work begins;) Good luck!

    • ...It would also be good to dress up. 😀

      Seriously though? I heard before that the best thing to drink is a glass of water when you wake up. 😮

  • My biggest problem is SNOOZE… I can press and press every five minutes until I finally have to run because I'm late for work. It helped me to simply keep the alarm clock in the bathroom. Then I am forced to get out of bed, turn it off, and then the sink is not far away, I wash up and fall asleep 🙂

    • And the housemates, if you have them, aren't they all woken up by the alarm clock? 😉

  • Once, as an experiment, I tried to get up at five in the morning, so that later I would meditate for half an hour, read for another half hour and then prepare for my work, three weeks passed freely and with pleasure... And then I forgot all about it. It seemed to evaporate from my mind and why I was looking for an answer, but about that another time. And a much better way was to get up at five or half past five when I lived in London. Do you know on what basis? Well, more precisely, what motivated? WORK. Because I started work at seven, I decided that if I had to drive an hour or so, then I would get up earlier. The year is like this. Now another job. Guess if I get up at five….

    • You probably don't get up anymore. 😀

      Well, the same thing happened to me with the sun and the birds. No sun and birds, no desire to get up. Sometimes just wanting to show off because you get up early isn't that terribly capable ;)

  • They look amazing on you. You just sit there, read and understand perfectly what's going on in the fort, but when you click on the picture, the account Debesyla is stuck, and you see Kernagis!
    I'm confused, let's... Oops! 🙂

  • Hello, the topic of sleep rhythm is relevant right now.

    The most mystical question for me is how to fall asleep?! Especially the first times.

    (Now I can hardly imagine falling asleep before 00.00, and at 21.00 it still seems terribly early).

    • Get up at 4:00 or 5:00 and after a few days it will be very easy to fall asleep at 21-22! I started in the summer to get up at this time before work and run outside for 20-30 minutes. Great start to the day! And then read for 15-20 minutes while having breakfast. You leave the house and so much is already done! Of course, as it got gloomy in the fall, I had to replace jogging with yoga. Everything is possible, good luck! Only if you have a partner, it would be best to start living together in this mode, otherwise it can become a mess : D

  • I'm reading a book about habits right now. And there is one golden rule of habit – when changing a behavior/habit, reward is very important. It can be anything - feeling good, having a nice morning just for yourself, being able to take a shower and get normal warm water, being able to go out without traffic jams, etc. - you can create nnn options. And only when a person creates a reward for himself, a change in habit is possible. In the case of this experiment, as I understood, there was no reward? 😉 Maybe it's worth trying again, just to reward yourself for it?

    And the second thing is that there is a natural time when the body is ready to wake up. You need to try different times - 6, 6.05, 6.10, 6.30, 6.15, 5, 5.05, 5.30, 5.15, 5.20, 4, 4.30, 4.15, 4.20, 4.10, etc., literally, get up at any time for a while (good pun 🙂 ) and observe yourself, how the body feels. And after discovering THAT super time for your body to fix it and then wake up with it. This will make the experiment long-term.

    And thanks for the text. I'm experimenting with time too 😉 So far, fatigue is taking over. However, I know that I can mobilize if there are things to do. So I don't put too much pressure on myself.

  • Hi Daniel!

    What a cool and commendable challenge. Only in your case it is already drastic 😀

    I have been an owl since childhood. Even jobs seemed to work better at night. But at the beginning of this year, when I changed my life, I also touched this habit of mine. The current result is getting up even 2 or 3 hours earlier than before, no more tiring late nights. And most importantly, the quality of sleep has improved. Because before that he often suffered from insomnia.

    I get up at 8 am now. morning So far, this is the best time for me. Maybe then it will be possible even earlier. But now it's winter, it's not worth getting too early. 😀 Oh, and I won't become an old man anyway. Only in the early Owl. So maybe it will stay that way. 🙂

    I was aiming for a little bit of all of this. At certain stages, I got up earlier. When I go to bed depends on the day, how tired I am, or how much I have to do. So far, it is not possible to regularly travel to the land of dreams. :/ Just remember that there are no weekends for this habit. This workaholic works at the same time every day. So you need to beware of the tempter's sleep and the lure's bed. These ambushers tend to resist.

    I realized that a person's rest is greatly influenced by his activity level. The more active you spend your time, the earlier you want to sleep, because you are pleasantly tired. Of course, not to mention the extremes of overworking. You always have to find the middle ground. 🙂

    But anyway, I am happy with these achievements. For me personally, it really improved the quality of the day. It's also fun to create morning rituals. For example I got up and went for a walk with the dog. (I live in a small town). The fresh air woke me up, and the body moved a little. I am a child of nature, so in the summer the morning sounds and sights made me happy. I noticed many things in the surrounding environment. Eventually, even productivity moved into the first part of the day. I want peace in the evening.

    The best thing about getting up early is that you don't have to rush anywhere. You calmly perform your morning rituals, prepare a healthy breakfast, because you have enough time for that. And it's easy to meet your friend Diena. At least I like to enjoy the charm of the moment. 🙂

    This is my challenge. Extremely surprised my family members. 🙂

  • I definitely won't try to get up earlier, because that would be close to madness, because for me, getting up at 6 or even 5 in the morning is quite normal and it doesn't matter whether it's summer or gloomy winter outside the window.

  • Hello, that's what I tried, or rather it turned out that way by itself, it was just a great stimulus to get up so early and it was really great. You get up in the morning, you exercise, then you make a cup of coffee and see all the neighbors off to work. But as soon as there is no clear purpose for which to get up so early, you would get up and think, what am I going to do on such a long day. And anyway, in spring and summer, I automatically get up earlier all the time, in autumn or winter, it's hard.

  • Joke work - take it and get up. The only nuance is that the closest person must be allowed to go to bed at 10 p.m. Would you say 6 hours of sleep is too little? Don't forget that the hours until midnight provide more rest.

    • If I'm not mistaken, there is no scientific evidence to show that this is even SLIGHTLY true. Midnight is not some magical time. I saw that illustration on Facebook and I - the author did not give any evidence to anyone who asked, his phrase was "is because it is true". 😀

      • And I just read that this time before midnight and a little after is important, because at that time certain organs are active, maybe even all of them, and it's best if they can do their work there when a person is sleeping peacefully 🙂

        • Aha. When you find someone with a mind writing (not some spiritual guru who only cares about the spirit, not the body), share it! Always interesting! <3

          • Hello, I read your article and the comments caught my eye. This turned out to be worthy of my comment too 😀 I am studying medicine, I am in my third year, I already have a lot of contact with patients and I have passed almost the entire theory of medicine and I can say this (and even quote my physiology teacher) - "Only in the first half of the night (evening sleep) are available the deepest stages of sleep (this is the most productive sleep), towards the morning the deepest stages of sleep are decreasing, but the stage of paradoxical sleep, during which the information received during the day is absorbed, is getting longer." Here we are talking about rational, 8-9 hours of sleep. In the stages of deep sleep, energy reserves are restored in the body, synthesis of various substances takes place and various chemical processes are organized. It automatically happens that the fewer deep sleep stages there are (the later you go to bed and DO NOT SLEEP), the worse energy reserves are restored and the person feels bad. However, if a person goes to bed at 4 in the morning and gets up at 12, he can also sleep well. I tried to explain simply 🙂

      • Ooo, an old article, but the comments caught my eye too. I remember how my mother's friend, a psychoanalyst, has repeatedly said that it is best for a person to be asleep at 10 p.m. Because our biological clock is genetically inherited, that is, innate, not just the result of long-term circumstances. So, sleep +- from 22h to 24h is similar in quality to 4-5h sleep, as Kotryna mentioned, most likely due to all the body's processes in the body in the deepest phases of sleep. To be honest, I have always been an owl myself, but there were times when I had to forcibly wake up early (5-6 am) and finally go to bed early (9-10 pm). And after about a month, I noticed that I felt better both psychologically and physically. Most of the time I felt refreshed and strong. The quality of studies and memory have greatly improved. So now I think there is definitely a lot of truth in that. And the best part of all this is that the internal clock has already settled down to exactly that - on weekends I sleep up to 7 am.
        By the way, thank you, Daniel, for the article, it was a pleasure to read. Good luck

  • Chi, chi, chi. I would like to change my schedule and be able to stay overnight. I've been getting up between 5 and 6 a.m. for, um, a long time (almost my whole life)... I go to bed at 9 p.m. But, it's true, I used to live in the south, and the Lithuanian winter doesn't really motivate me to get up... Of course, the question is why to get up. I do sports, sometimes I work, sometimes I try to meditate. Because just getting up for the sake of getting up…. Sleep will be a good thing...

    • True, true. It is important to know what the hell to get up earlier. Just because it's fun or because it's really worth it? Hmm!

  • I periodically get up early in the morning. Early - it's exactly 4 o'clock. It came out of the fact that I used to work from 7 am to 7 pm and study. I tried to study in the evenings, but it was a flop after an intense day dealing with problematic people. Then I decided to get up at 4 am and study. The problem is that I used to go to bed quite late and literally burn out, my body just couldn't take it. At the moment, when I'm raising children, I also periodically get up at 4 a.m. because I really want to read a more interesting book. And those evenings should be sacrificed to do other work.

    I have no problem getting up. I set the alarm clock, it rings, I press it and immediately get out of bed. For me, the time of year or living in the city-rural area does not affect me. In the city, I liked to watch people get up, turn on the lights, and see the light bulbs moving through the streets. I enjoy the silence in the countryside. Only again, the body periodically experiences sleep starvation, then I go to bed with the children and get up only with them 🙂

  • However, I think it also depends on the type of person - "night owls" and "owls"... since I am a "night owl", I can definitely get up at 5 a.m. I often wake up at this time and just doze off, and often I get up, but at 10 p.m. I'm already sleeping...

  • I work in shifts 🙂 so one week 4, the next 6 🙂 I used to be an owl, maybe I changed over the years 😀 interesting considerations 🙂

  • hello

    Now I practice sleeping through the night (because the night is for sleep (surprise surprise LOL)….I will try really hard to go to bed by 10 pm so I wake up at 5.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out, sometimes 21:40 does (which is perfect). bitter 22:30….if I pick up the phone, then until 23:30……NO SCROLL is the rule. using special modes and apps on phones is VERY useful.

    in a word, sleeping 22-5 on weekdays is great. But when Friday comes, sister, no...I want freedom and chaos again...and I go to bed around midnight and sleep until 9 :)))))) that's it……………

    It is impossible to find 8 o'clock sleep on a working day. It's really impossible. 🙂
    Because for me at 1 o'clock in the morning, when it's quiet and I can read and write - this is a MUST for life 🙂 I like that there is time for family, work and home:)))


    Thanks Debesyla great website great.
    I will use the advice in practice.

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