Why I Wake Up Everyday at 5AM

Gusts of wind go WHOOSH. Leaves rustle like crazy.

— this is my alarm tone.

It’s 5AM.

My room is still dark as hell. During the winter, crawling out from under the toasty comfort of my blankets completely sucks. The room is freakishly cold — I try to keep the thermostat low while I’m sleeping, to save energy. After cursing a few times and giving myself a pep talk, I jump out of bed, and start my morning rituals and routine.

5:03AM

I do the following simple tasks:

  • Flick on the steaming pot.
  • Turn on the countertop toaster oven.
  • Throw down my vitamins and other meds from my doctor.
  • Drink a half cup of pure matcha tea.

I don’t have to fumble through any of the tasks above, because I prep everything the night before; food is already in the pot and toaster oven, my vitamins are already sorted, and the hot water thermos already has water boiled and ready for the tea.

After my kitchen routine, I quickly brush my teeth, and go back in my room.

5:22AM

I do the following exercises:

  • 20 minute chi gong routine.
  • 20 minute yoga routine

I then meditate for 10 minutes.

6:17AM

My food from both the toaster oven and steaming pot are ready to chow down. I take my sweet time to eat. I then turn on my Vitamix (which already has veges, fruit, ginger, matcha powder, and chia seeds cut up from the night before), and throw that down the hatchet. I often catch up briefly on some Netflix show, or John Oliver if it’s a Monday morning.

6:46AM

After cleaning up dishes so the sink doesn’t pile up, I sit down for a free-writing session, that ranges from 10 minutes, to 1 hour. This all depends on how inspired I feel. Regardless, I have to get some writing in. Even if it’s 10 minutes of absolute garbage on the page (which coincidentally is most of this medium post I’m writing now, ha.).

7:21AM

Now, I check my calendar for the day and go through emails I received from the day before. I try following Tony Hsieh’s yesterbox theory. I still have a long way to go in practice.

7:55AM

Time to get outta my jammies. Actually, i don’t have pajamas, just my boxers and t-shirt, so really, I just get dressed, fill my water bottle, throw my lunch into my backpack (packed from the night before), and…

8:00AM

Head out the door.

Why do I bother sticking to this routine?

Because it makes the rest of my day a whole hell of a lot better.

I feel:

  • healthier
  • happier
  • more present
  • more alert
  • faster
  • sharper
  • more adaptive

And the awesome thing is, this all cumulatively improves my mind and body day to day, and saves my ass on shitty days; I bounce back more quickly, because I’m now primed from my daily practice. Countless science articles and medical journals over the years have reinforced my routine, and encourage me to keep it up.

I encourage you to do so as well. Try adding this stuff to your life:

  • Right when you wake up, take deliberate, conscious, big, full breaths. Get a lot of oxygen in yourself right away.
  • Make a 15 minute stretch one of the first things you do every morning; it activates your full body blood flow, and adds a decade to your life.
  • Eat a full, whole-spectrum, fat-inclusive meal every morning. After the morning stretch, eating a full meal further activates your entire digestive system, which accounts for 90%+ of your health and energy.
  • Write or do some creative brain exercises. This keeps your mind sharp, your synapses firing, and all parts of your brain massaged, flossed, and ready to go.

Overall, get up earlier so you can take your time, and do good things for your mind & body so you can set the tone for the rest of the day.

Good luck. See you at 5AM.