I woke up at 3am for a week, and I did not regret it (much)
This is not for the faint-hearted
For those who may have seen, one Lancs student gets up at 3am during deadline weeks, as it’s a more productive time for her. I have to applaud such dedication. Most students’ morning routines consist of waking up at noon, skipping breakfast and wasting the day before scrolling through TikTok all night.
This got me thinking… What would happen if someone woke up at 3am everyday for a week? Could it be done without falling asleep in your online seminars as you are completely sleep deprived? Would it benefit your academic life and allow you to thrive as a uni student?
Stupidly, I’ve put it to the test. Here’s how it played out.
After an 8pm bedtime on Sunday, my body decided that 2:20am was a better wake up time for day one. I questioned going back to sleep but my 3am alarm destroyed that plan. I didn’t feel too bad and managed a workout, laundry and finished an internship application before 8:30am. Not too shabby for the first morning, but it’s still early days.
I got to work straight after this and smashed out some lecture write ups, notes for readings and another draft of my internship application – all before 5pm. I dipped in energy levels around here, so naturally had to make a beeline for Sultans, it’s more than enough to stay awake for.
This was a hard wake up, there’s no point trying to lie. Note to self: buy some earplugs to block out my flatmates talking in the corridor after 10pm. I was told by one of my flatmates that the girl who wakes up at 3am on the regular usually has a 10am nap. I wish I had known this before starting.
I then managed 30 pages of reading in about six hours while feeling like I had a sleep deprived hangover the whole time. Not much else happened today as I felt dead the entire time.
Earplugs do wonders! Nine hours sleep was unbelievably thrilling and made a fab breakfast of sweet potato, blueberries and peanut butter, trust me, it’s a combination that works.
Wednesday is usually a slump day as that mid-week grind slows and I lose motivation. I did a workout to boost my energy levels and it helped, but not as much as a tow hour nap at midday. I read a lot, listened to some lectures and did some assessment work, but didn’t feel as productive as I did on Monday.
I died a little inside when the alarm rudely awoke me that day. Some people decided to kick our door before realising they had the wrong flat at 2am. I nearly went out and screamed at them but passed out before that happened.
I pushed myself out of bed and went to make what has been described as an ungodly amount of coffee and chucked in a double espresso shot to give me a boost. I questioned my sanity when downing my fourth cup. Did it help me wake up? Absolutely not. I managed a few hours on some coursework before a seminar, where I smashed a glass off-camera and had to act like it didn’t happen for 20 minutes.
1:59am was my wake up time. I laid in bed questioning my will to live, then reading for what felt like hours but was more like 45 minutes. I slowly crawled to the kitchen like the girl out of The Ring at 4am for that sweet caffeine fix.
Then I had a seminar which was followed by a trip into town for a flat bar crawl. We made each room a different country. I drank to forget about the Spain room and missed the England room, which, to be honest, wasn’t badly missed.
Today was the day I broke the 3am routine, waking up at 12:30pm instead. Apparently after a night of partying I decided to throw my phone across my room to escape the alarm (didn’t break though!). I spent the rest of the day feeling like death, waking up again at around 5pm and decided to be a social with the flat. I went to bed at 10pm and I don’t think I’ve gone to sleep so quickly the whole week.
I decided to end the week strong, despite the Saturday fail, and managed to wake up at 3am, but it was tricky to find the will to get out of bed after the snow hit. It was a food shop and meal prep day followed by planning out the next week and a horror film in one of the bedrooms was an excellent end to the week. Also, a trip to the library was just about managed.
Would I do this again? Not for a whole week. Maybe for a few days, but a week almost killed me. I almost killed several flatmates for waking me up on certain days and nearly killed the people who kicked on our door at 2am.
The idea of productivity is a great thing, but without adequate sleep, you’re basically destined to fail before you start. If you want to try a 3am wake up, get in your seven to nine hours snooze beforehand otherwise you’re going to feel like death and not get as much done as you would hope.