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The Truth About Early Risers And Should You Be Waking Up At Early Hours

Waking early is no easy feat. Fortunately for some, early riser’s syndrome comes naturally. One thing we can agree on is the earlier you wake, the greater you feel. According to Forbes, Harvard biologist Christopher Randler discovered in 2008 that early risers are more proactive. They were likely to agree with statements such as “I spend time identifying long-term goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen”.

Some studies have shown that 90% of executives wake up before 6 am on weekdays, and nearly 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least three hours before their workday starts. Wow.



According to HuffPost, Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3.45am daily to go through emails, exercise and grab a coffee before attending to his day at work. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is already at the gym at 4 am to keep a competitive edge. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi rises at 4 am and is at work no later than 7 am.

Here’s a list of impressive people who wake at similar hours like these legends: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/this-is-when-successful-people-wake-up_b_596d17a3e4b0376db8b65a1a


The answer is related to an individual’s biological internal clock – or scientifically known as the circadian rhythm. Katherine Sharkey, MD, Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University and associate director of the Sleep for Science Research Lab mentioned “The human clock is about 24 hours, thanks to Earth’s 24-hour light-dark cycle. But some people have a slightly longer natural cycle, and some slightly shorter.”

If your circadian rhythm is on longer, you’re probably a night owl and vice versa.


Humans are creatures of habit and tend to prefer routine. What do early risers do first thing in the morning, here’s a start to a typical day of theirs:

  1.   WAKE UP TO A SOOTHING ALARM to start the day gently and avoid annoying loud buzzes
  2.   EXERCISE to increase energy levels, thinking abilities and reduce stress.
  3.   HAVE A HEALTHY BREAKFAST to jumpstart metabolism and increase energy
  4. AVOID CHECKING EMAILS AND SOCIAL MEDIA to be by yourself and prepare your mind for the day
  5. WRITE IN A JOURNAL to remember the important things in life, jot down your feelings and thoughts as well as what you are grateful for


So, you want to be like your idol who wakes up at 3 am? Does it really set you up for success? Well, not really. This deals with one’s cognitive ability which differs from person to person. In fact, could it ever be counterproductive to wake up early? The answer is yes.

Especially if it’s an abnormality and you’re trying this out on a whim. An associate professor of neurology who specializes in sleep medicine and sleep disorders at Johns Hopkins University in the US, Rachel Salas says “But that’s not consistent [sleep]. You’re messing with your system.” She also stresses how people tend to reduce sleep to become an early riser which is awful.

You should aim to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep time ensuring that the bulk of sleep occurs at night, with access to natural daylight in the morning. Enough sleep is important as is sleeping early, as this will usually determine the quality of sleep you get. Interrupted sleep is not beneficial.

Simply put, there is no direct correlation between your level of success and the time you get up every morning. Rather it is about how long and well-rested you are and how you manage your energy doing meaningful tasks throughout the day.


Despite the common misconceptions about early risers, we’d still urge you to aim to be one for overall health benefits. Here’s how to kickstart your early riser journey:

  1. DO NOT MAKE DRASTIC CHANGES. Start yourself at a comfortable pace, try getting up 15 minutes earlier than your usual time. With time, you’ll be able to work your way towards your goal time.
  1. UNDERSTAND THAT IT’S  ABOUT SLEEP TIME. Do not confuse waking up earlier with sleeping less. Allow yourself sufficient sleep time and tuck yourself into bed earlier instead of forcing yourself to get up earlier than you are used to.
  2. HAVE A STRONG PURPOSE. Truly understand why you are doing this. Is it to have more time? Destress? Be clear about this and let it serve as a reminder whenever you feel sluggish or want to slack.
  3.  MAKE WAKING UP A REWARD. Yes, it may be dangling a carrot and you may be doing it solely for the reward at first. A hot cup of tea or a quick YouTube motivational video perhaps? Find what’s pleasurable for you, treat yourself till it becomes a habit and you’ll even forget the treat was in the mix.

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