Waking up at 4am could help you get ahead (Picture: Getty)
If you’re anything like me, your best friend is probably the snooze button.
When my alarm goes off at 6am, I usually reach for it and hit snooze four times before finally dragging myself out of bed.
I’m not alone, because research says that the average Brit sets their alarm for 6.47am, but most people snooze their alarm for another 25 minutes before actually getting up.
Crawling out of bed in this manner can often leave people feeling lacklustre, tired and like they could sleep for another three hours.
But could waking up even earlier be the secret to being more productive and doing better at work?
The ‘4am club’ isn’t a new phenomenon, but in 2022 it seems to be the answer to getting ahead, according to business support platform Rovva.
It promises productivity, efficiency and a clear head – so do we need to rise before the sun in order to do smash through our to-do lists?
The productive professionals who claim to be a part of the 4am club get up early and get through their to-do lists before the rest of the world has even opened their eyes.
Waking up early has a multitude of benefits (Credits: Getty Images)
By the time most of the world is settling into work at 9am, these early risers have done half their day already.
You might think that rising early means you’ll feel worse for wear, but many claim that the benefits outweigh the pain of an early start.
Rovva reports that early risers feel like they’ve had a head start by getting ahead with tasks and projects without getting distracted.
Rising early also means you can get into a solid routine where you set aside an hour for working out or meditating – meaning it can help with mindfulness, too.
Emma George, owner of EGVS, believes the 4am club has truly benefited her and her business.
‘As a mummy to three children, waking before the rest of the house is key for me. I’ve always been an early riser, even before having kids,’ she says.
‘By the time the rest of my house is up, I feel like I’ve completed half of my day.
‘By 6.30 am (before the kids wake) I am able to tackle any issues or clashes within my client’s business (if any have arisen) and make them aware before their day starts which also makes me feel like I’m on top of my game.
‘My typical morning starts with my jazz music alarm (you can’t beat a saxophone), I will then write down three things I am grateful for – this always helps to kickstart my mood.
‘I make a mug of hot water and lemon and I then check my inbox and complete any personal admin, followed by my clients.’
You can practice mindfulness if you rise earlier (Credits: Getty Images)
For anyone wanting to try the 4am club, Emma urges that you challenge yourself and go for it.
She adds: ‘Commit to setting your alarm for 4am for one week, create yourself a routine, whether that’s a workout, yoga, reading or work.
‘If you want to be super organised, set out your task list the night before or have your gym wear out so you’re all ready to go when you wake. You won’t regret it.’
Jodie Harris, a PR professional from Brighton, uses her early starts to get a head start on the life admin tasks that she’s often too busy to do in the day.
‘I naturally get up at 4:30am and have realised that is actually my most productive time of the day,’ she explains.
‘Instead of staying in bed scrolling on my phone I get up, tidy the house, and do some of the admin bits that I’m too busy to do in the day.
‘I find the early hours are great for tasks you don’t have headspace for during typical working hours.
‘For anyone that wants to the join the 4am club start gradually, begin by setting your alarm earlier and getting up immediately. Have a shower, have a coffee, go for a run whatever it is, but just make sure you get up and go.
‘I’d also take advantage of the lighter summer mornings as it’s much harder to start in winter.’
It seems as though early starts really can work in making us feel more productive and raring to go.
So, will you be signing up to the 4am club and setting your alarm for the small hours of the morning tonight?
Trying the 4am club for yourself – things to do:
Make a consistent sleep schedule
Being a night owl is all well and good, but can be really hard to switch to early bird mode.
The team at Rovva say those who regularly rise at 4am find they put their heads on their pillows at anything from 6.45pm to 8.15pm.
If you grab an early night and rise at 4am, you can get around 7.5 hours or 9 hours of sleep.
This effectively means five or six full cycles of 90-minute sleep cycles, which will mean you feel refreshed when that morning alarm goes off.
Ignore the snooze button
It’s 4am and you’re tired and all you want to do is turn off that loud and annoying noise – but if you do, you’ll roll over and fall asleep again.
Switching off the snooze button and getting out of bed quickly is one of the best ways to beat that ‘five more minutes’ mentality, the team say.
They also share a hack from their 4am club experts, which is to have your alarm clock on the other side of the room, so it forces you to get up.
Once you’re out of bed, you’re halfway there.
Balance your caffeine
We all love a cup of coffee when we wake up, but giving it a miss in the early hours might actually help you.
The company explains that when we wake up in the morning, our bodies release a small amount of cortisol – the stress hormone to help you not fall back asleep.
They say: ‘Caffeine raises your cortisol levels so combining this with your early morning levels is a recipe for jitters and will be counter-productive.
‘If you do need that morning coffee, try to wait an hour after waking so your hormones can settle and you’ll feel the benefits better.’
Create a solid routine
‘Make sure you have a plan or routine for your early wake up and it will be much easier to stick to it long term,’ they add.
If you plan to do a workout and meditation at 4am, before making some food and a drink while starting any work or to-do list items, you’ll know what you’re doing each day.
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