The Secrets to Waking Up Early (Even if You ‘Hate’ Mornings)
“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.”
― Glen Cook, Sweet Silver Blues
413 days ago I decided that I was going to start waking up early in the morning. There was just one problem…
I wasn’t a morning person.
I had friends, colleagues and people I really looked up to tell me about the competitive advantage they had from waking up early. How they felt more productive, less hurried and how it was their ‘secret weapon’.
For years I had read about how people like Benjamin Franklin, Richard Branson, Oprah and so many other highly successful people had one thing in common, they woke up early.
I had even dabbled with it in the past and felt great on the days I had actually done it. I got more accomplished and felt less hurried each day that I did.
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But something would always come up…
- I would stay up too late
- I would convince myself that I really needed extra sleep for an important day
- The snooze button was just too damn tempting
- My bed was too warm and cozy
- It was raining out (rain is good for sleep, right?)
- It was cold out (who wants to get out of bed when it’s cold?)
- It was hot out
- And on and on and on…
…and I would inevitably wind up going back to my old habit of waking up whenever I felt like it.
So what changed?
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How did I go from a guy who normally slept in and woke up whenever I felt like it… to someone who started waking up at 5am each morning?
Here’s what worked for me…
Focus on the benefits
“The early morning has gold in its mouth.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Waking up early allows me to start my day in a very relaxed and intentional way. I had proven that to myself the few times that I had tried it but I wasn’t fully convinced so I started to do lots of research to come up with as many benefits as possible.
In a 2008 study, Harvard biologist Christoph Randler discovered that early risers are more proactive. He found that morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them.
A 2012 study found that waking up early could be the distinguishing habit that makes older adults happier than younger adults.
Happier, more productive and better at dealing with problems? I’ll take it!
Quiet the Morning Demons
I used to wake up and lie in bed thinking about the day to come ahead. The first thought that came to my mind was always “You’re late!”
It wouldn’t matter if I was actually late or not. I almost never was. But that’s how my mind wants me to think. I could be on vacation and my mind would tell me I was late. It would start going…
- You have so much to do today, you’re never going to get it all done.
- You have a big meeting today — start stressing about that!
- You are never going to get everything done that you need to. Don’t even bother.
- You should really be worried about that thing…
…and keep going. On and on. On and on.
By waking up early, intentionally and immediately taking action — I was able to quiet and eventually defeat these morning demons.
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Full disclosure: I didn’t take this particular piece of advice. I decided to jump right into the deep-end and begin waking up at 5am. This ultimately wound up working but it also caused me to be a zombie for a couple of weeks. But with people that I work with, I have seen a better rate of success when they have eased into it.
The idea here is to make waking up early a part of your day that you don’t absolutely hate and that will be sustainable. So if you normally wake up each day at 7am but your goal is to start waking up at 5am each morning, then you work up to that target time with a schedule like this:
- Week 1: Wake up each morning at 6:30am
- Week 2: Wake up each morning at 6:00am
- Week 3: Wake up each morning at 5:30am
- Week 4: Wake up each morning at 5:00am (GOAL!)
Doing it this way is manageable and you’re not dramatically altering your schedule and your building on small wins each week.
Prepare the Night Before
Waking up early is uncomfortable at first and your mind is going to look for any excuses to make it more uncomfortable. You’re going to want to minimize this as much as possible.
By preparing the night before for the coming morning, you can dramatically increase your chances of success.
- Lay out your clothes
- Put your alarm clock/phone across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off
- Have your coffee/tea ready to go
- Know what you are going to do
Simple things that can make a big difference.
Have a Plan
You want to have something to look forward to in the morning. Something that is going to make you want to get out of bed.
When I go to sleep at night, I know exactly what I am going to be doing for the first hour of every morning (meditation, morning pages, affirmations and a gratitude list). The goal is to get a healthy routine that puts your mind in optimal shape for the rest of the day. And then to have this routine become a habit that is burned into your subconscious so that it’s not a struggle.
At the beginning, keep it simple. Do one thing that you enjoy and that is going to start your day in the right way (stretch, read part of a good book, walk your dog, listen to music, sit in silence for a few minutes).
Don’t overwhelm yourself.
It’s All in Your Mind
If you tell yourself that you are going to get enough sleep regardless of what time you are going to bed and truly believe that, you will help to program your subconscious mind to believe that.
Before we go to sleep at night, our minds can get into these vicious loops. Mine used to go something like this:
- 11:11pm Ugh, I need to wake up early tomorrow. I’m never going to get enough sleep.
- 11:43pm I really need to fall asleep right now. I’m only going to get 6 hours of sleep because I need to be up early to prepare for my meeting.
- 12:14am I can’t believe I’m still not asleep! What the hell is wrong with me! Shut off brain.
- 1:06am I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.
- 2:45am This sucks.
In his book The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod talks about the importance of affirmations before going to sleep at night. You can “trick” your mind into thinking you will have enough sleep simply by saying something like this:
Thank you for giving me these five hours of sleep tonight.
Five hours is exactly what I need to feel rested and energized in the morning.
My body is capable of miraculous things, the least of which is generating an abundance of energy from five restful hours of sleep.
I believe that I create my experience of reality, and I choose to create waking up tomorrow feeling energized and excited to take on my day, and I’m grateful for that.
Never Hit Snooze
Hitting the snooze button in the morning doesn’t even make sense. It’s like saying, “I hate getting up in the morning so I do it over and over and over again.”
— Dimitri Martin, Comedian
The snooze button is a healthy sleep routine’s biggest enemies. Once you understand that, you can eradicate it from your life.
If hitting the snooze button is the first action you take every morning, you are effectively starting with procrastination and telling your subconscious mind that they don’t even have the self-discipline to get out of bed in the morning.
Kill your snooze button and kill part of your inner procrastinator in the process.
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Don’t Start Your Morning With Junk
And I’m not talking about food. When I ask people what’s the first thing they do when they wake up, the vast majority say “Check my email and social media.” Don’t do this.
Email and social media consumption first thing in the morning starts your day off with other people’s lives and priorities. You want to use your mornings to focus on you.
Caffeine is Your Friend
My friend Kevin started waking up early and decided that he was going to do it completely naturally so he quit drinking coffee. This is akin to someone who never works out and then decides they are going to run a marathon the next day.
It didn’t work out for Kevin. He was miserable after a couple of days and decided to give up on waking up early and went back to drinking coffee.
Personally, I had to drink a ton of coffee when I first started waking up early. I’ve been able to cut it back dramatically but it’s what I needed to readjust my internal clock early on. Nowadays I really don’t need any caffeine (I usually just drink a cup of green tea in the morning) but I wanted to make sure to share the reality of what I needed early on (for awhile actually).
Don’t Be Afraid to Tweak
Once you’ve worked up to your optimal time to wake up (and only you can be the one to determine this, not your friends or some blog post) it’s time to start getting the most out of your “extra” time. I have one simple suggestion for you…
Do things that are going to put you in a better “state”.
A better state of mind, body and soul.
Here are a bunch of suggestions and things that I have tried:
- Go for a walk
- Work Out
- Plan out your day
- Watch a motivational video on YouTube
- Write a gratitude list
- Spend time with your family
- Write a thank you note to someone
- Pet your dog or cat
- Say positive affirmations out loud
- Write a blog post
- Come up with 10 ideas
Once you try something, don’t be afraid to expand the practice or discard it (after you’ve given it sufficient time). The goal is to find a practice that works for you.
Listen to Your Body
Here’s another bit of advice that I didn’t take but wish I had…
I got sick about four months after I first started waking up at 5am. Really sick. But I was so all or nothing that I just kept waking up at 5am and I could barely even function. I think it wound up prolonging my sickness and it’s something that I could have avoided.
If you’re sick. If you are super jet-lagged. Or if you just really, really need sleep. Sleep in. Listen to your body.
One word of warning, don’t use this too often and don’t use this until after waking up early has become an established habit for you (typically anywhere from 21 to 60 days).
What About Weekends?
I used to wake up at 5am everyday of the week (including Saturday, Sunday and even holidays). This was helpful for establishing the habit but it also had some negative effects on me as I began to resent having to go to sleep earlier and started to get very worn down if I didn’t (if I went out on a Friday night and didn’t go to sleep until 2am and then woke up at 5am).
In the last 6 months, I adjusted my schedule so that I gave myself more flexibility on the weekends. I typically just set my alarm so that I get 7 hours of sleep (so if I go to sleep at 12am on Friday, I will wake up at 7am on Saturday). I then follow the rest of my morning routine the same way and still have a good start to each day.
Don’t Forget the Point
Waking up early isn’t some masochistic way to show how great you are as a person. Don’t let anyone tell you differently 🙂
It’s simply a tool that allows you to start your day in a positive, more intentional manner. It gives you time to focus on you so that you can set yourself up for a successful day mentally, physically and emotionally.
Keep that in mind when you are creating your plan. Focus on the good stuff. You don’t want it to be something that you dread, you want it to be something that you enjoy and there’s one simple twist that you can use to change your entire mindset:
- Don’t ever say this: “I HAVE to wake up at 5am tomorrow.”
- Always say this: “I GET to wake up at 5am tomorrow!
With these simple guidelines and tools, I was able to go from a person who hated mornings to someone who now looks forward to them. If I could do it, you certainly can.
What time do you wake up each morning? How does that work for you? Let me know in the comments below.
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Really enjoyed this article Chris, thanks.
I have struggled with waking up early and just can’t seem to stick with it, despite feeling so much better when I do.
I’m going to try some of your suggestions. Cheers!
Awesome Winston — let me know how it goes!
This is really helpful. At this point I’m motivated to try this for 60days and see what works best for me. I have always hated waking up early sleep is my best friend! Now with being pregnant we’ve only became closer. I even feel like it’s taking a toll on me. I feel pure lazy! I know that’s normal while pregnant but I’d like to get in the habit of waking up early before the baby comes so I can be sure to feel well rested at all times. All the negative thoughts and sayings are surly what I say each morning before getting out of bed. I’m late every morning to work. Always rushed and never prepared for my morning meetings. I feel useless. I hope these tips can help me out.
“Well-rested at all times” when you have the baby? Lololol, how’s that one working out for ya? I haven’t slept enough in almost a year, baby is 10 months old. Good luck, you’ll need it.
Really great tips! My normal commute in the morning is between 45 mins and an hour so I already wake up pretty early (6AM). However, I would really like to start walking my dog in the mornings before work (which would put me to waking up at 5:30), I really do enjoy being awake in the mornings and could see myself walking my dog and sipping some coffee before work. Thanks!
I actually really enjoy waking up early. I like to waver between 430am and 5am to get the day going, but I cannot think of a single friend who also genuinely enjoys it. I like the feeling of productivity earlier in the day so that, no matter what goes on throughout the day, I can at least say that I got something done. I also find that meditating right before bed helps ease the body into the relaxation needed to get up early so as to avoid the struggle.
It’s incredibly empowering to get up at 430, grab a shower and breakfast immediately, and get a project done before most people even have alarm go off. I totally agree though, this is something that is rough to go into all at once. That’s how I operate also, and it was REALLY hard the first few times. But it does get better.
Interesteing, but what is the use of getting up early? I tried for a while but all it did was force me to go to bed early as you get tired already at 8 in the evening if you get up that early. Also I am much more prductive in the evening. So getting up early actually reduced my productivity , I got less done and just got super stressed out about it every night as I was to tired to do my work. I work in the creative sector so just being up and able to preforme some chore does not help me, I need my brain to function and it has never done that in the morning. So for me, getting up early is counterproductive. Just think about when you are most productive, for people who can be productive at 6 in the morning, getting up early is great. But chances are they are already doing that.
fuck waking up early. I hate it and I hate my life because of it. All I can do is work. The main focus of my life is getting the motherfucking job done, and going to bed. Been at this shit for 6 years and I hate it. I’m too fucking depressed to do anything about it because I’m always exhausted. Fuck You, FUCK EARLY RISERS.
I’ve never really been a morning person… even after serving in the Army for over 20 years… the times I did get up early, for personal reasons, I truly enjoyed the day more… but now that I am retired, I find myself sleeping until 9 am every morning … I have been struggling with wanting to get up early every morning , but always find myself getting to bed late and waking up at 9 am and hating myself for it … After reading this article , I feel I can make the changes and find myself waking up earlier and enjoying life more…. thanks for your help
I need this! I hate waking up. I do all the things on your list and have such a hard time with this. It’s my biggest weakness. My dad used to never let us sleep late. He would come in my room at 6:00 am and kick my bed saying “what are you going to do? Sleep all day?” He was highly successful. It did not matter what he did the night before, (up all night at a fire call as a volunteer firefighter, up late drinking, up late with one of us sick) He was up, showered and dressed at 5:30 every morning. Then on to his “home work”. One thing I noticed here at Toys R Us is it does not matter how late you work. If your not in early (8:30 the latest) every one will look down on you.
Thanks for sharing about your dad Irene, great example 🙂
I wake up at 5am M-F. Although this is by necessity and not a choice I would have made were it not for my long commute, it has turned into something I enjoy. I always feel productive and successful on the days I wake up early. After having a baby who was not a strong sleeper and living exhausted for 5 years on minimal sleep, getting 7 straight hours of sleep feels like winning. Although I did have to start this routine by jumping right in (and I don’t drink caffeine) I don’t suggest this for everyone. I do wish my mornings offered me some “extra” time to start the day off slowly with meditation or writing. However, I have an accelerated version of what you suggest. I try to use my commuting time for these things. I have read more books in the last 4 months than I have in years. I’m grateful for the ability to get up early in a beautiful place and go to a job I really like. When I look at it like that, it doesn’t seem too tough.
I love your outlook on things Jennifer!
Since having my son I have been forced into getting up earlier than I would like. I have noticed those few mornings I wake before he does, I really enjoy those 10min just sitting and having coffee. I always say to myself “I’m going to make sure I get up earlier every morning”. This has yet to happen, but I have been way more productive on theses days. My dad says you should be up every morning to see the sunrise, it’s so beautiful. Nature is a miracle. He’s up every morning by 4:30, no matter what. And he is usually done with all his tasks by the afternoon. Although 4:30 is a bit early for me I would like to take your advice and try baby steps to getting up early, having some me time before the baby is up.
Try to focus on this part Janelle:
“I really enjoy those 10min just sitting and having coffee.”
Keep that in mind so that you actually start looking forward to waking up earlier and earlier.
You make everything seem so simple, I love that! Thank you for inspiring me to do life better!
You make everything seem so simple, I love that! Thank you for inspiring me to do life better! This morning I actually got up before my alarm.
This piece makes so much sense … for me it’s tough to get out of that warm bed in the winter & much easier during other times of the year. Thanks for posting this, Chris
I hear you 🙂 But I think we can always find some type of reason to not do something (I know I can) so it’s good to just recognize that and take action.
Perfect timing for your post Chris! Yesterday I decided I was going to get up at 5:30 every morning… changed the setting on the furnace so it would come on at 4am (I hate getting up to a cold house) and went to bed hoping for the best. Made it for one day – ha! I’m going to try your gradual change to waking time starting tomorrow. I’m sure that will be easier! And I’ll reprogram the heat accordingly.
Very smart idea about the furnace timer Virginia! You want to give yourself as many advantages as possible and eliminate as many excuses as possible.
Thanks again Chris. Definitely somethings here I can use to improve and fine tune my life!
Awesome Michael — let me know how it goes!
One of the many things that makes sense to be about what you wrote is not getting on social media right away. That is a bad habit I have gotten into and often sets my day off with a negative tone. Great call!
This is long overdue for me… Going to give it a shot, was thinking already, “what if I move my alarm across the room and the coffee maker into my room…”, you know like when traveling to conferences, no matter how long I was out the night before, when that auto-start coffee begins brewing, I am up…
Ha, good call!
Make it as easy as possible for yourself Cesar 🙂
I get up early partly due to an early start time at work but also I enjoy not being rushed and the quiet. I’ll often get focused effort on knocking small tasks off my list for the day. Or photo editing with fresh eyes on pics I selected for tweaking the night before. But with the winter, I’ve fallen off a bit, getting up later and slipping into rush mode. Thanks for the reminder to get back on the program!
My pleasure Kris — since you already know how good it can be, focus on the benefits as much as you can (especially the night before) and then just dive back into it!
My problem actually was the opposite: getting up when I didn’t necessarily want to. I don’t think I’ll stop hitting snooze, but it is good to hear that I’m destined for great success because I’m an early riser.
Thanks for sharing Greg!
Loved this Chris! 🙂
I’ve experienced the benefits of looking forward to waking up early before and I want to get back into it. I like how you’re about finding the pleasure in it.
I have a personal question.. Are you a believer in God/intelligent design?
Seems like you’re on to some simple yet profound stuff here.
And yes, I definitely believe in God/intelligent design/whatever you choose to call it.
A trick to those who are morning zombies is to keep a frozen bottle of water next to your alarm over night, and then drink it when the alarm is ringing. 🙂 You dehydrate over night, which can make you dizzy, so some icewater in the morning gives your body something that it needs. Plus, the cold really is an eye opener and you’ll get a little magic need for getting up when you drink something. 😉
Great idea Thor — love it!
My time is 5:30am. It works perfect for me and have done it that way for years, except weekends it’s more like 7 or 8am. I love waking up early, it allows me more time instead of rushing. I can spend more time with my kids before sending them to school. Also I can leave for work at a decent time and arrive a little early to start the day instead of plowing through the doors at exactly 8am. And women need more time to get ready anyhow, this way your not putting on your mascara while driving:) I feel much more prepared waking up early. And if I don’t, I can feel the difference. But I do sleep in if need be, just not monday thru friday. Yep, I’m kinda the poster child for this but it does work!
That’s awesome Robyn! Thanks for sharing what works for you 🙂
Thank you, this was a fantastic read! Especially for someone prone to hitting the snooze button multiple times every morning!
Thanks Tara — let me know how it goes for you 🙂
I always get up early although some days when I get to sleep late I feel to roll over and go back to sleep, but there is a clock inside that says – it is time to get up.
That’s awesome Josephine!
Thank you for sharing your experiences and results. I am constantly thinking that this is what I really would like. So that I have more time to walk the dog, clean up the dishes, read the morning paper and start my day quietly before the morning-breakfast-packing-lunches-getting-the-kids-to-school-on-time rush starts.
Just the one question: who made this their routine within a relationship: I find it challenging that my partner and I have different times of needing to go to bed to. Anyone care to share their thoughts on that one?
I wake up at 5am but my wife doesn’t get up until about 7am, which means that I usually go to bed a couple of hours before her.
It can definitely be done 🙂
I’m generally up by 4 a.m. during the weekdays and at the gym by 5. This is out of necessity since I hate working out after being at my job all day and my son and I commute into work together and have to be on the road before 7.
I actually like early mornings. It’s quiet and that hour between 4 and 5 lets me sip a cup of coffee and slowly let my brain come back to life. Of course the consequence is that I’m usually in bed by no later than 9 p.m.
Thank you for this article… For the first time in my life I have been experiencing recurring restlessness. I get plenty of hours of sleep yet every morning I am waking up so tired. And I just want to crawl back into bed. And the funny thing is, very early morning is my favorite time of day. It is when I like to go for hikes. But I have not felt I have had the energy lately. It bothers me a lot since I pride myself on abiding to a life-time of healthy habits. But something has shifted within the past 2 months or so. Balance is gone. I am a meditator, have been for 10 years. However in recent years that practice has become less and less regular. I feel that I may to get serious about hitting the cushion again.
I have been successfully unsuccessful at waking up early. I want to find some me time and early mornings are the perfect time because my husband and boys are still sleeping. You have given me a more positive perspective to getting up early. I like how you eased into it. Thanks for the great info.
Article is really great chris, but i can’t do this because i m working in a nightshifts:(
Just a note: waking up early is no guarantee that you’ll be early – or even on time – at work. I do wake up very early in the morning since early childhood, and never felt like staying in bed late in the morning – seems tiring to me. But maybe specifically because I have plenty of time in the morning (it’s a 20 minutes walk mainly through green areas and two peasant’s markets from home to work for me) , I find lots of things to do, just so I don’t go to work.
Great article! Really helpful. Last year I spent about 6 months getting up at 4am, until I got sick and just couldn’t get back into it after that, but I’ve been trying to get up at 5 for a few months now and have really struggled. This might just be the angle I need to make it work.
Great article. I’ve wanted to be a morning person for roughly… oh I don’t know… 14 years but I’m always starting tomorrow.
I might start tomorrow 😉
I really enjoyed reading your article. Thank you for all the tips you have given!
I wake up currently at 7am during the weekdays. My problem? I leave for work 20-30 mins later. Within this time I get ready, feed my cats and dog, let my dog out for a morning stretch and bathroom break, if i forgot to make my lunch the night before there is that, then off I go. I have wanted to rise earlier forever because I have constantly be this person in the mornings, and yet I hate being rushed… odd right?!
I love your tips about the weekends and the positive thoughts!! My weekends throw me off all the time, I don’t really want to get up at the same time I do during the week, especially on nights I am up later. The 7hr trick may help me out with this one! Plus positive thinking about when you are going to bed and how much sleep you will get! Trying this for sure! I am someone who will set my phone alarm, just to see it tell me how many hours til it is going to go off… whew!
Can’t wait to get these tips into action! Thanks again!
Great article. I wasn’t a natural morning person ether. One thing that helped me was setting two alarms. The first one next to my bed at my wake up time and then another one about 30 seconds later in the bathroom. This allowed me just a little time to realize its time to get up and start to wake up, but the second clock doesn’t let me ‘accidentally’ fall back asleep. My body knows now that the second one is coming and starts getting ready. Plus after turning off the clock in the bathroom I am right there to take a shower and that really wakes me up. At the end of the shower I do about 10 seconds of cold water to jolt the body. At first I hated it, then I was indifferent, now I kind of like it.
Side note: when I travel (work, vacation) and am in a hotel I always seem to wake up no problem and refreshed. I think its because my body knows the day will be different, fun and exciting. I think there is something to be said about subconsciously knowing tomorrow is going to be different / awesome that really charges the body to wake up.
Chris, what theme is this site using (If it’s wordpress)? it’s beautiful.
great tips. the MOST important thing I have learned from 2+ yrs of experimenting with getting up consistently (same time) is something you actually mentioned you have come to practice now – once you find your body’s “natural” sleep cycle, it doesn’t particularly matter WHEN you get up, but that you give your body & mind the freedom to get the hrs of rest you seek (in my case, as in yours, it’s 7 hrs). HOWEVER, I’ve noticed that as an ADHD sufferer, the research (and my personal experience) suggests that Getting up at the same time every morning has been the most important success tip I’ve followed to achieve more focus in my day – in my case that’s been 6:30. Really wanted to be a 5:30 riser, but couldn’t consistently get to bed by 10:30pm, so have to be realistic in that regard as well.
Thanks for a great post.
Thank you for this. This is a struggle for me…even after the Hal Elrod book.
I find myself sitting in bed staring at my ceiling thinking how much time I can sleep… It’s a struggle for me.
i have retired from my full time work and wants to pursue writing. having the liberty to sleep anytime i want and waking up anytime i want becomes a disadvantage. thank you for your articles, the tips are simple, practical and effective. thank you for sharing awesome tools as well. i’m now a fan and a follower.
I get up at 5am every morning since July started. I ha e to be to work at 5:30am. I mix milk for 800 baby calves. But I was thinking right now. I get to get up at 5am tomorrow wahoo!!! Haha thanks this helped alot
This is a picture of my mornings:
Alarm goes on: “I’m not a morning person, I hate mornings, I hate waking up, ugh…” I’m slow, moody, tired, cranky, you get the idea… on the other hand, my husband wakes up every morning “hello sunshine!” (and I hate his guts when he is all happy and productive) moving around like a twister, getting stuff done, doing in 5 minutes what it takes me 1/2 hour at least or even longer if my ADD kicks in 😀 that’s a big slap on my tired and cranky face.
So, I guess maybe this is something I should try! I will probably take the dogs for a run 🙂 I love working out, so I guess that could help to start my morning out in a positive way.
Thanks so much for sharing this article Chris, maybe after all, if I really stay focus I will be able to be a morning person!
Great post Chris!
I was similar in that I used to roll out of bed around 9/10am but I’ve progressively changed my routine to a 6:30am start. I’d still love to improve it so going to try some of your suggestions and work towards a 5am start with a morning walk and meditation.
Thanks for sharing.
No offense, but maybe some people are never going to be morning people. I’ve been going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 5:30am for years, and I’m still not a morning person. I’m mean and grouchy for at least an hour and really just want to smack anyone who’s chipper or asking too many questions.
My natural sleep cycle is more 10pm-8am. I feel great, ready to do things, I can think and answer questions, and have massive amounts of energy sans caffeine. So, kudos to those of you who can make short # of hours, get up early thing work…I just don’t think that it works for everyone.
I’ve started waking up much earlier to be more productive daily. On a work week, I need to do this so that I can hit the gym first thing in the morning. This way I can be assured that I’ve hit my fitness goals before anything else. The problem though is that I get cranky and feel stressed because of the negative things that normally prop up in my mind every time I wake. Basically, it’s been a struggle but I’m still going at it. Your article has a been a good reminder for me to focus on the good things and how I can battle out the negativities of this decision to be a morning and productive person. Thanks for this article and your efforts to share the good stuff to people who want to be really productive. Cheers!
My issue is deciding what my morning routine should be. I keep reading the advice to “eat that frog” and then I start wondering what exactly my “frog” for the day should be (which means more decision-making). And on the other hand I also see the advice that you should start the day calmly and not get to work right away. What do you recommend?
Hate going to bed, take tabs to sleep, could and would sleep 24/48 hrs, waking only for bathroom or water. If needed by anyone could nap and be up for all hours needed. Was home carer for 15yrs and always on alert. Before that, same with children. Now ,no motivation, loads to do in house, but too tired and comfort in waking up, warm, safe is destroying my days alive.
Wow! Thank you so much I have tried this for the past months and honestly it’s the best thing I could’ve ever done. I LOVE THISSSS!
Nice post, I liked it a lot!
I have read so many articles on how to get up early. Yours is the only one that made me feel motivated enough to try it.
How about the earlyHOMER method? I believe you need a clear plan how to get over the worst moments in the morning. This method works great for me
This article, like many others, ignores the other end of the equation: Night owls are AT THEIR BEST… at night. I’ve been yanking myself out of bed too early ever since I left (wonderful) second shift years ago. It doesn’t seem to matter how little sleep I’ve been getting–when evening comes on, my mind sharpens. (I went to a 10-day meditation retreat and got up at 4:00. I fought sleepiness all day, started pepping up around 5:00 p.m., and was gung-ho to meditate every evening by 8:00 p.m.) I’m at my most creative and most profound in the evening and early night, and it’s a constant source of frustration to me that I’m expected to shut that off and go to sleep. Ask a morning person to try and go to back bed at 9:00 a.m. when they feel awake and they’re at THEIR best… I’ve told morning-person friends: At 10:00 at night I feel like you do at 10:00 in the morning. At 10:00 in the morning I feel like you do at 10:00 at night.
I really liked your article.It is very useful to me.Immediatly I shared this article to my husband.Thank you.
I needed this so much right now!
i am going to implement this from tomorrow morning.Hope this works for me! 🙂
Thanks for help!
i have awoken at 5am for the last 20 years. I get 8 hours sleep,
i don’t have a problem falling asleep or staying asleep.I start
work at 630am.There is nothing more i hate than getting up
at this time-if you handed my a gun at 5:01am i would probably
kill myself. There is absolutely nothing i can do to make this
pleasant.It has ruined my life because i am exhausted all the time.
Thanks… I suppose you are an Angel.
Thank you for this post.
It is really hard to find someone who understands!
I have a really hard time getting up.
Truly It has been a problem for me since I was young.
I tried not going to sleep all night.
I tried sleeping in the car for the sunlight to wake me up.
I tried medicine.
I tried going to be super early but I still didn’t wake up early.
I really need help with the mind.
I feel anxious about the day ahead, about work and about all the things I don’t like to do that I rather not wake up to do them at all.
I felt like you definitely understood that anxiety and I appreciate that you took the time to write this article.
I want to change!!
I really do.
I will take your experience to heart.
Interesting food for thought here. I am often late in the morning, and because my job has flex timing, I’ve always just told myself that I can “make it up later”. Your writing about how being late affects the subconscious mind and starts the morning off on a sour note as well as the video link you included that explains why hitting the snooze button is a bad idea both resonated with me. I have to get a handle on this!!
When I followed your cycle of sleep and how it began with good intentions from 12:00 to 1:00 and then 2:45, I looked at the clock and behold: 2:45 it is!
I also follow this cycle but hate to sleep to face the day. All my preparations are done the night before, but those exact preparations keep me up!
Not enjoying my job could be part of the problem, I am sure, but I have always been a late night person. My mother had told me as a child that I hated going to be and hated waking up.
Isn’t there biology taken into consideration? Also, my body needs 9 hours of sleep. If I force myself to sleep less than that regularly, I will get sick, just as you explained.
So I do believe the bad stigma associated with late sleepers and do in fact wake up early when I have to some mornings at about 6:30am, but don’t some people just need more sleep and can’t people be genuine night owls?
Just sayin… Happy 3:00 am 😉
i will suggest you that ….limits are only consider by your mind not by your body ….but if still think in same way then go for a meditation it helped me a lot more with waking cycle. i hope this will help you.
I agree. I had a very demanding work schedule and used to get up at 5am each day and was in bed by 9pm. But I developed a serious neurological disease which my doctor said was in part due to my early rising and exercise routine (I worked out nearly everyday). Now I am woken at 5am to take medicine and usually get up around 7am for next lot of pain relief. Listen to your body. If you feel unwell getting up early then stop. What I would give to turn the clock back four years and go back to a life with no pain where I was physically able.
Such a great article! Two things that I found beneficial that will help me overcome my bad habits were getting negative thoughts out of my mind because this is subconsciously programming my mind to believe that. Also, not checking my social media as soon as I wake up this is such a terrible habit because it’s so many other things I can focus on within myself. Very helpful & informative article looking forward to reading more!
Have any suggestions for a twelve year old who is in-between houses (so doesn’t have an alarm) and has a Dad who keep taking my only other viable option (an iPod) away?
I’m one of those people who gets plenty of sleep and wakes up early only if it’s very important. i normally sleep 7-9 hours every night. I’ve read about how important sleep is to repair and restore the body, especially deep R.E.M. sleep. I would like a life that is more proactive and better-paced. As long as I get plenty of sleep, this would probably work. The a.m. prayer/scripture time to meet with the Lord would be great too. Thanks for the tips.
One of my major excuses is that working in customer service and my schedule is inconsistent at best and so I throw my hands in the air and say, “this is never going to work”. But I know it is all a mental game
Love it! Especially the part where it is important to take it easy and ease yourself into it.
There is a lot of misconception of ALL OR NOTHING — or the gym mentality of “go hard or go home”… but the power of starting small and letting that habit take its natural route is so important.
I just can not get rid of daytime sleepiness, I get up at 6:45 and go to bed about 10:30-11:00 and some days after I get up it can be 9:00 am and I feel so tired and sleepy I can easily go back to sleep. It’s hard because I am a stay at home mom with a lot to do.
I just turned 60 though not really old I’m not the 26 year old I was when it came to early mornings. Fact is I worked most of my life on 2nd shift or evenings. I have done mornings but with in a decent time frame and distance this time it’s very different. I was laid off six months ago and finally got something but its an hour away and it’s all I have for now. I have to get up at 4am to get things going. Take care of my cat who is my best friend, and my system wants to allow nature to run its course several times after I get up. Ugh! Make sure my clothes are looking good, yada, yada and then get in the car and drive on the dreaded interstate. It’s like jet lag but by car and time change all at once. I can’t afford to ask for a change in shifts being so new and I have drifted off the road a few times from being cloudy in the head. Fate has kinda given me a break while at the same time attached a few strings to it. Your advice might work for the younger class but us maturing people in this crazy workforce tend to require dealing with a few hurdles. Will look into some of your ideas but not sure where this will go.
How about if I dont have a reason to get up, Do you still get up early?
How about you don;t have a reason to get up? Do you still get up early?
just what i needed to read, thank you Mr. Winfield, this was so soo helpful.
I don’t get why we should aspire to wake early.
The world should be more accepting to those of us who naturally stay awake later and sleep in. We don’t get more sleep, we just want it at a different time.
To be honest, I don’t really know if I can do it. I’m definitely a night person and works better at midnight (12am onwards). And having a baby who disrupts my sleep, I’ve convinced myself that yes, it’s OK for me to sleep late and wake up late. Well lucky for me, I stumbled upon your website looking for inspiration for my future website, and found this article which fueled me again to try waking up early. I’m actually a believer of what they call the ’21 days to form a habit’ stuff, so let’s see if it will work for me. Thanks for the article!
It’s great, thank you for sharing. According to my opinion, to be able to get up early, it is best to go to bed early.
what if your coffee gives you acidity ??? 🙂
Personally, I think the optimal schedule is entirely up to the individual (assuming it is not out of necessity, such as a 6 AM meeting). Broadly stating that early risers are more production, insinuating that they are more productive because of their wake-time, does not feel right to me.
Reading through the comments: I do not see one explanation provided that could not be adapted to night-owl as well. For instance: One comment stated that they hate working out and so, out of necessity, wake up at 4 AM for the gym. I also do not enjoy working out, but go to the gym from 8:30-9:30 PM. I find that I have a better nights rest when I work out a couple of hours before bed. Also, I personally find that rewarding. I like to “sweat out” my day.
Another example would be that I enjoy walking my dog late at night. The solitude and the chirping insects have a desirable effect for me. I find myself more calm at this time and therefore more susceptible to the healing effects of a brisk night walk. I also love the stars and the moon, preferring it to the gentle glow of a rising sun.
To prepare for the morning, I set my clothes out, have coffee brewed on a timer, and still have about 10-15 minutes of peace before leaving for work. I generally arrive at work at about 9 AM (and not once have I felt late or behind during the morning).
In short: The desire to be more productive, and a better person all around, cannot simply be accomplished by what time you wake up. It is a mindset and an eagerness to be better that is the contributing factor.
I liked your article …bt still I don’t know whether I will work upon it or not …..
hope so it works
I liked your article …bt still I don’t know whether I will be able to work upon it or not …..
hope so it works
A great answer to question “How To Get Up Early In The Morning” is get sooooper fit. When you are a world-class physical condition just need less sleep.
I have the habit of hitting the snooze button 4-5 times before getting out of bed. Will try taking baby steps by following the weekly interval.
Nice article. This is really motivating which is definitely what I needed lol
actually it was good motivation
when i am at boarding we wake up 4.30am
but when i come for holiday i decide to wake whenever and this made my day routine in a bad
i tried to change many times but still i am trying to do what i was at the boarding.
thank you for u=your mativation.
Great article. I run a newsletter that aims to motivate people to get in the habit of being an early riser and to be as productive as possible each day. I would love to link to your article as a piece of motivation if you wouldn’t mind!
For years and years, I’ve been an early riser. I have, however, had a complete rearrangement of my life over the last year. Part of that rearrangement has been sleeping in, usually until 8 or 9am. I’ve been wanting to change it for sometime and now I’m feeling inspired after reading this post. Thank you, Chris. 🙂
These secrets are truly helpful. I must say, most of them are not really secrets but we need to drill it down in our heads. Great post!
I have never liked getting up early and struggle to do so every day. I think perhaps part of my problem and part of the reason I tend to run late to work is my lack of motivation. I’ve never really liked any of my jobs (except one kinda) so I always dread work and have no reason to get up.
Excellent post, Chris. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you start your day at 5 am. Unfortunately, right now my story is the opposite of yours–I’ve always been an early riser, but lately I just cannot unstick the sheets, even after four or five of my insufferable alarms go off. I’m a church-going guy, and I recently found more motivation to get up in the morning from some religious books I’ve got. Who would’ve thought mornings could be spiritual?
It is really a problem for me to wake up early in morning. It is one and biggest problem for me.
I like waking up early but sometimes its really hard to do these small things that I know would improve my life. I can set an alarm clock across the room but I would actually get up and turn it off and then get back to sleep…and then I will feel bad the rest of my day :-(:-(
I find these tips to be really helpful and im looking forward to trying them! I start back to work tomorrow and I am also pregnant, so I’m nervous about getting back into a routine. My main problem is not waking up early. I love mornings…but I always feel like I NEED a nap at some point after work so therefore i give in, take one, and the cycle starts all over. In bed llater than I should be, up early and ready for a nap the next day again. Ugh what a struggle. Its hard for me to feel energized for the entire day. ?
Chris – really appreciate your candid suggestions. Well written! Hardest part is ‘putting them into practice”.
Personally, my most difficult issue is going to be way too late then trying to wake up. As an athlete I prefer to get at least 8 sometimes 9 hours of sleep.
I’ll be re-doubling my efforts to slowly go from 7am to eventually, 5:15am.
Try getting up very early all alone with no family at all which is much worse altogether.
Hello! You have great, positive ideas. I need help with my 22 year old grandson. He has been living with us over a year. When he came to use he was forced to be awake all night for all his life and no education was aloud. Yes, he was abused, but now he has his GED and is in college. He is doing great, but mornings are real had for him. We will give your idea a go. Thank you Chris!
Getting a good amount of hours of sleep at night always helps me.
I have always been a night owl, and my husband has always had to get up around 4:30-4:45am for work. I call this insane. However, lately now that my daughter is off at school, it is only he and I during the week, and he is usually nodding off by 9:30pm, and I am WIDE awake for hours. This is also causing some major insomnia due to the fact that he snores (making it harder for me to fall asleep), and then I usually lay awake from 3:30 on, waiting for his alarm to go off. I’m starting to think I might just bite the bullet and start getting up early with him to balance our schedules. It just makes me actually sad to think that I will be conking out at like 9pm on weekends and in the summer when my daughter is home and I love to be out doing things!
I always tell people that there’s no one “right” way to run your business (or your life). You can try and see how it works out for you but you can always adjust and tailor it to your needs. 🙂