I used to consider the concept of waking up before the sun sacrilege. I spent an embarrassing amount of time pondering what would possess people to happily wake up before 8am. I figured, if the sun was still asleep, shouldn’t I be asleep? Then, I had a baby.
After waking up every two hours for three-ish months, I broke up with the sun; I no longer needed her to help regulate my sleep cycles. As my breast milk flowed in, my consistent sleep cycles seeped out.
I now have a toddler, and while he doesn’t quite sleep through the night, he’s so over waking up every two hours. The catch is, I no longer have 5 plus hours of “free-time” to get stuff done while my infant naps, because my infant is now a 25 pound running, jumping, mud-puddle-finding machine.
This leads me to my current sleep cycle. I’ve joined the crazies and now wake up at 6am. It was painful coercing myself into this routine, but I’ve been converted. Why didn’t anyone tell me that all I needed to do to conquer the world (or be able to take a daily shower) was wake up an hour before my child?
The benefits have been popping up everywhere, and I’m loving it.
These are my top 10:
1. Bragging Rights. I now get to chime in when fellow humans are discussing the absurdly early hours they rise. Although I can’t tout the 4:30am wake up time my father adheres to (insanity,) I’m quite pleased with the evenness of my 6.
2. Quiet. It’s really quiet at 6am.
3. Coffee. The coffee tastes better at 6am. Really it does. I feel like I somehow deserve it more when I’ve dragged myself into the darkness of the morning.
4. Writing. Shockingly, it’s easier for me to get a few coherent thoughts from mind to screen when my child is sleeping. I’m able to sit wherever I please and seamlessly move my fingers without chubby tot hands pushing me aside to discover what mischief awaits in mommy’s computer.
5. Guilt-free. There is little guilt in waking up early. My child is not awake to see me not paying attention to him, I’m getting a jump start on the 256 things I need to complete before noon, and a yogi guru I once met told me to follow the Earth’s rhythms by calling it a day at 10pm and arising by 6am; and yogi gurus never feel guilty, right?
6. My House is Clean. I get to enjoy a blip in time when my living room is not covered in tiny trucks, my bathroom is not strewn with shredded toilet paper, and there are not bits of breakfast entwined in the carpet.
7. Injury Free Shower. I forgot how peaceful showering could be when a little person isn’t grabbing for my razor, letting all the warm air out of the shower, and super soaking his fresh diaper.
8. Coffee. Did I mention that coffee tastes better at 6am?
9. Greeting the Sun. There is something sacred in being present to witness the sun wake up. Having caffeine, creative juices, and some form of protein and veggie flowing in the system, while greeting the sun, sets a beautiful pace for the rest of the day.
10. I Greet My Child with Joy. If I’m still snoozing when my little one pops awake with the zest of a jumping bean, I’m not able to give him the enthusiasm his precious self deserves. When I’ve absorbed 1 through 9 of the above mentioned early rising perks, I greet my son with equal happy jumpiness, and it’s not just from the caffeine, or maybe it is, but whatever.