Why setting your alarm for 5.30am every day could be good for you

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 Photo: Getty Images

There's no doubt that Ashley French adores her children.

"I have two miracle blessings that bring unspeakable joy to my life every second of every day. They are my world. My ENTIRE world," she wrote in a Facebook post on her page, The Wino Workout Wife, in March this year.

However, Ashley has also shed many tears since the birth of her second baby.

"I have days where I can't see past the next 5 minutes. I doubt everything I think I know. My abilities to be a mother. My strength to overcome it. My own self-worth. Post-partum depression SUCKS," she wrote.

In a bid to find inner "peace" - and to help win the "day to day battle" to make time for herself - Ashley came up with a new idea.

Instead of trying to squeeze some 'me' time into her busy days, Ashley decided she would wake up earlier to get that much-needed time.

She believes waking early is a great way to "set your day up for success" and put yourself back on your "priority list".

Kate Cashman couldn't agree more.

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The 32 year-old mum of two from Tasmania embraced this ritual herself a few years ago.

Every day, she now sets her alarm clock for 5.30am.

After waking, Kate indulges in activities that make her feel good and that focus on her own self-care.

"I sit in silence for at least five minutes, then I write about my day - what I'm looking forward to, [what I'm] grateful for and how I'm going to look after myself and help others."

She then uses visualisations on her dream board, says affirmations and does some exercise.

Kate winds down by reading a book in peace while sipping on a hot cup of tea – all while her family still sleeps.

While Kate used to "struggle" to get up at 5.30am, she soon relished how good she felt after her 'me' time, which made waking early the next day easier.

"The ritual began to totally transform my days - I was more focused, more energetic physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally as well."

She began sleeping better (because she went to bed earlier) and credits her early starts for making her a "more calm and loving mother".

Dr Nicole Highet is a doctor of Clinical Psychology and Executive Director of COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence.

She says having 'me' time when you're a mum is "critical", as it can give mums a chance to restore their "sense of self" on all levels.

Mums can benefit physically, mentally and emotionally from time to themselves.

"If these for elements are not nurtured or restored, over time this can increase a woman's stress, and in some instances (depending on other factors), may also increase her risk of postpartum depression."

Dr Highet says waking early to get your 'me' time can be extra beneficial, as you're less likely to be disturbed by others during that time.

However, she says this plan won't suit everyone.

If your quality of sleep is poor, waking up early may leave you even more tired. In that case, she says it might be better to take your 'me' time in the evening.

Dr Highet reassures that it doesn't matter when you take time out for yourself – be it morning, afternoon or evening.

What's important is that you simply make such time a priority.

If you're keen to try some early morning 'me' time, you can join Ashley in her aim to unite mums in what she's dubbed the "miracle momma morning" by heading to her Facebook page.

While the idea of setting your alarm for the wee hours might not seem appealing, Kate reassures that waking early not only gets easier with time, but that it's worth the effort.

"Morning rituals help us feel renewed and re-energised… [and] can be truly transformative in every aspect of our lives."