The 5:00 AM challenge (9/30)

Okay, confession time:

I set my alarm. Went to bed at a reasonable time. Had a great sleep. Had great aspirations to get up at 5:00 AM.

But when my alarm went off?

Well, I barely remember getting up to shut it off and stumble back to bed to sleep for another 3 1/2 hours. I was tired!

I’m now basically just over a week into this 5:00 AM challenge and I find that I’m waking up in one of three different states:

  • Alertness is when I wake up during or even sometimes just before my alarm and feel great. I’m wide awake, I’m ready to go, and my brain is firing on all cylinders right from the moment my feet touch the floor. I love waking up like this. I think it’s happened 3 times since this challenge started.
  • Grogginess is when I wake up and I’m pretty aware of my surroundings but my brain is just trying to get warmed up. I can usually shake off groggy pretty easily by the time I get to my alarm and I feel alert and ready to go. I think I’ve woken up like this 2-3 times since the challenge started.
  • Sleepiness is another thing altogether. It’s a sense that I’m still actually sleeping. Like I woke up in the middle of a dream or am perhaps still dreaming. I barely possess gross motor skills. And in the past when I’ve tried to write in this mental state, my writing is total garbage. Horrible spelling, horrible grammar, no content structure. I end up using the backspace button more than anything else. I think I’ve woken up like this 3-4 times since the challenge started.

Prior to this challenge, when my alarm was too close to the bed, I’d reach out and hit snooze and there were more groggy days and sleepy days than alert days, but even that groggy state would turn back into sleeping when I hit snooze.

When I started this challenge, I noticed an increase in my alert days (maybe not an actual increase… maybe only an increase in the amount I noticed them). I also noticed that I could stay up and push through the grogginess much more easily.

But sleepiness is still holding me back from excelling at this challenge. It’s impacted me enough this week to either go back to bed right away or to crash on the couch for nap part way through the day. Certainly part of it is a willpower issue, but it also feels like a physical/mental issue: I’m on autopilot when I shut off my alarm and go back to bed; I can’t even remember it.

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to figure out why I wake up so sleepy some days. That’s still the “black box” in terms of this puzzle. However, I’m only 1/3 of the way through the challenge so I’ll work on trying to figure out what’s causing those sleepiness days.

Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and he's a real estate investor and a copywriter for real estate investors.