Asleep on a Hot Day - "Played Out"
Credit: The Library of Congress

Researchers from Roehampton University recently found that "morning people" who wake up early are healthier, happier, and more productive than "night owls" who sleep in as long as they can. Even on weekends early risers were found to "sleep in" only until about 7:45am, while late sleepers stayed in bed until after 10:00am.

Ben FranklinMany of the world's brightest minds and most successful leaders had the habit of waking up early. Benjamin Franklin, Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), Rachael Ray, Thomas Jefferson, and Napoleon all make the list of early risers.

The world is quiet at 6:00am, and your mind is refreshed from a night's sleep. The morning can be the most productive time of your day. Some use the time to be active and productive, while others user the time to plan, set goals, or quietly contemplate the day ahead. Many writers, artists, and inventors find that their creativity is at its peak in the early-morning light.

Why to Become an Early Riser

Sleeping is great, no question about it. But think of all the hours of your life spent lounging in bed when you could be accomplishing goals, exercising, reading, making money, or just meditating.

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How to Become an Early Riser

Go to Bed Earlier

You need to get enough sleep for your body and brain to perform its best. Everyone needs a slightly different amount of sleep. One way to find out how much sleep your body needs is to set your alarm for the time you would like to wake up. Go to bed each night 15 minutes earlier than you did the night before. When you start to consistently wake up before the alarm goes off, you can calculate about how much sleep your body requires.

Start Small

If you are used to waking up at 9am, suddenly starting to wake up at 5am can be difficult. Going cold turkey may work for some people, but you may find it easier to make the change gradually by waking up 10 or 15 minutes earlier each day.

Establish a Routine

Have a bedtime routine that you follow every night. Find something that helps you wind down. It could be reading a book, taking a bath, or about anything else that is calming. Try to avoid vigorous activities, like exercising, right before you climb between the sheets. Also, it's best not to read or watch TV in bed; the bed should be for sleeping.

Also, have a morning routine to help you wake up. It could be a cool shower, a jog, push ups, etc. Have it be something that will get you out of bed and moving around.

Get Your Heart Pumping

Exercises, Naval Militia Camp, Somersville, New York.Credit: National Archives at College ParkStart your day with a bit of exercise to increase your health and help you wake up. Try rolling right out of bed and doing a few sets of push ups or jumping jacks. You could even put your running shoes right next to your bed, so you can run right out the door for an early-morning jog. Elevating your heart rate with exercise will help you shake off the morning fog and is good for you.

Eat a Good Breakfast

Dinner is typically the biggest meal of the day, but I often find that I'm more productive when I eat a hearty breakfast and keep the other meals lighter. Make it a breakfast you can look forward to; since you'll be up early, you'll have a the extra time needed to cook those eggs and bacon.

Make it a Social Activity

It's easier to get out of bed if you are scheduled to meet somebody. Meet a friend for breakfast or coffee, join a local jogging or cycling group, or take part in some other morning social activity. Knowing that someone else who woke up early is waiting for you is a great motivator.


Make a goal and stick to it. If you have the discipline to wake up early, then you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. The more you get into the habit of waking up early, the easier it will become. It's very satisfying to know that you are in control of your own body and mind.

Waking up early can give a boost to your day and help you to become more productive and successful. As you start taking control of your mind and body, you will be able to apply that same discipline to other areas of your life. Start by making a goal to wake up early every day for a week, then extend your goal to a month. You will find your days to be more productive and fulfilling as you learn to become an early riser.