The British Geological Survey (BGS) confirmed a 2.9 magnitude earthquake struck the East Midlands at 5.20am.
Julian Bukits, of the BGS, said it was "average" for the UK and the epicentre had been located near Loughborough, Leicestershire.
Mike Flood, 45, who lives in Loughborough with his family, felt the earthquake.
He said: "I was awake, actually – I get up quite early. It was almost like a plane going over or an explosion in the distance."
Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Police forces all said they had received no reports of any tremors and had not been called out to any incidents.