How I Survive Waking up Before 3 A.M.

My first alarm goes off at 2:40ish every morning. I would like to say that I get up, but I am trying to break my addiction to the snooze button.  Being an adult is tiring and waking up in the middle of the night often leaves me feeling like a hamster on a wheel, always going and going.  Over the years, I have discovered some things that help me make it to the next day.

Set Multiple Alarms

Being late is not an option.  Our show starts at 4:30am and I HAVE TO be on air. There’s no such thing as running 5 minutes late. One alarm is just not enough.  I often turn them off.  Setting more than one assures that I will be too preoccupied turning off alarms to completely fall back asleep. 

Have a Backup for Sleep

Everyone says get enough sleep. Well I’m here to say, that’s just not always going to happen.  And I don’t drink coffee, but it’s crucial that I have a go to when I just CAN’T! For me, it’s green tea.

Say No

There are only so many hours in a day. I had to accept that I can’t do it all at one time. Learning to say no has helped me feel less overwhelmed and happier because I am only doing things that are really important to me.  It’s also easier to keep going when I am tired if everything I have to get done is something that I am really passionate about.


To get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, I would have to go to bed by 6:30pm. The world is still alive and buzzing. I have tried, but mentally, I just can’t check out that early in the day.  I am also much more productive at night, so I don’t want to give up that time.  I have become dependent on naps to get me through the day…everyday.  I have a vicious cycle where I go to bed somewhere between 9pm-11pm, wake up exhausted, get off work usually between 1pm-3pm, nap and then have a regular afternoon.  It’s not perfect, but it works for me.

Prioritize by Day

There’s no such thing as a normal day for me, and if I try to stick with a regular schedule it just doesn’t work.  One day I may use my afternoon to go to the gym, another day I may use it to hang out with friends or stay at work late.  I had to let go of the idea of a regular, daily schedule and take things day by day.