Everyone is different. Some people are morning larks while others are night owls. The night owls among us often ask, “Should I wake up early?” because everyone else seems to be doing it. If you’re a night owl, while you probably enjoy staying up late, there comes a time when you start to realize that the realities of the professional or parenting world don’t agree with that lifestyle.
You might be forced to wake up early to attend to your children or other family member’s needs or to get ready for work, but should you wake up even earlier to attend to your own needs, carve out some personal time, or pursue a hobby or side business? The answer to this is yes! Yes, you should wake up early…
This is Why You Should Wake Up Early
While family and careers are the
You are an individual and you have your own interests that you need to develop and nourish. Otherwise, it’s too easy to feel burnout or for lack of better words… go nuts. No one wants to be a robot or deal with one.
I see so many struggling people every day and I think lack of balance is a big contributor to burnout and mental illness. Waking up early helps restore balance to your life!
Quite simply, by waking up early and immediately diving into whatever it is you want to do (not what you have to do) is a fantastic energy and mood booster.
Early in the morning, you have the chance to do things you are normally forced to push off until later or never do at all. Suddenly, you’ll realize you have the time to do something you enjoy and still get everything done each day.
Let’s be honest: Most peoples’ days are incredibly busy, so aside from first thing upon waking, when else are you going to do the things you really want to do? The rest of our days are typically filled with the things other people need or want us to do (bosses, spouses, children…)
Waking up early is my favorite life hack of all time.
As long as you make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night by shifting your bedtime earlier, waking up early is the best thing you can do for yourself. But if you’re a night owl, how do you become a morning person so you can wake up early and not feel tired? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
How Night Owls Can Learn to Wake Up Early
If you’re a bona fide night owl like I used to be, you’re going to appreciate this section. I’m going to help you convert into an enthusiastic morning lark who has time for everything and everyone – most importantly, time for yourself.
Yes, you should wake up early even if you’re a night owl, but be smart about it!
Use the Right Alarm Clock
Take It Slow…
The secret to becoming a morning person and consistently waking up early is to take a gradual approach. Morning people are not made overnight
You probably have a target wake-up time in mind (you should, in fact!). If it’s more than 30 minutes earlier than you currently wake up, your best bet is to slowly work toward that time over the next few weeks.
I recommend that you o
For example, if you currently wake up at
At this seemingly snail pace, it will take you 10 weeks to start waking up at
By going so slow, you are giving your body time to adjust to the new wake-up time. You won’t even notice you’re waking up earlier and the progression will be painless for you.
What this means is this: Slowly training your circadian rhythm is essentially how to wake up early, but in case you’re curious about more details I’ve linked you to the blog post I wrote about the step-by-step process of waking up early that turned me into a consistent early riser.
It’s very tempting to cheat and shift your wake-up time by an hour or more each week, but don’t! You’ll regret it! Doing just that was how I failed at waking up early – several times. You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson after the first fail, but it actually took me at least 5 tries that I can remember off-hand before I figured out this gradual approach and stuck with getting up early.
It wasn’t just me, though. Most people jump straight to their target wake-up time and feel miserably sleep deprived for weeks on end… and that’s if they don’t give up the pursuit of waking up early in the process. If they just end up quitting, what’s the point?
By waking up only 15 minutes earlier each week, you are easing your body into a new lifestyle change and giving yourself a better chance of making the habit stick.
Shift Your Bedtime Earlier By the Same Increment
This one is probably obvious, but I’ll mention it anyway. Since you’re getting up 15 minutes earlier each week, you’ll need to go to bed 15 minutes earlier each week as well.
Just because you’re waking up early doesn’t mean you have to be a sleep-deprived zombie.
It’s very important to make sure you’re getting the amount of sleep that suits you best. Some people need 8 or 9 hours of sleep per night while others need only 6 hours or even less. Most people need 7 to 8. You probably already have some idea about which type of person you are.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment with Sleep
I have experimented with how to sleep less and have more energy and determined my ideal amount of sleep to be 7.5 hours per night.
The key here is to know yourself and respect your body’s need for sleep. If you need 9 hours then you need 9 hours. Don’t cut corners, but I do recommend experimenting
It’s useful to know with absolute certainty how much sleep you need to thrive. If you can save some time and have the same or higher energy levels with less sleep than you thought, then why not, right? On the other hand, if you find out you do indeed need that 9 hours, that’s great, too… at least now you know. 🙂
Repeat the Sleep Experiment Every Decade
I tend to experiment with how many hours of sleep I think I need every decade or so. It’s a fact of life that most people tend to need less sleep as they age. For example, I’m in my 30s and I definitely don’t need the amount of sleep I needed as a teenager or even in my 20s. I simply cannot sleep for 10 hours straight anymore – even after the occasional night of drinking.
Wake Up Early First, then Experiment
One other thing I want to mention is that I recommend waiting to do the “hours of sleep” experiment until you have already shifted your wake-up time and bedtime to your target time.
Seal the deal first! In other words, do this experimentation after waking up early has already become a habit.
If you change too many things at once, there are too many moving parts and you’ll be more likely to fall off the wagon and stop waking up early. Focus on one change at a time, always.
Embrace the Early Riser Lifestyle
Make no mistake about it… Waking up early really is a lifestyle change.
Make sure that you are making the change for you – not for others. My answer to the question, “should I wake up early?” is
Quite frankly, you must learn to be happy about waking up early and make the most of it – or don’t do it at all. My answer is still yes, however. I think everyone can and should wake up early.