If you follow any online expert — no matter what they’re expert in — chances are, they’re going to tell you they get up early. And you should too.
And why I say early, I mean… really early. Super early. Like 5 am – even 4 am! – super early.
I’m not getting up at 5 am by choice. I don’t care if that makes me less productive. Sleep is important too.
Should you get up super early?
Well, the answer isn’t as straightforward as the experts insist. Science shows that a lot of our wake/sleep cycles are biologically based, and no amount of self-discipline is really going to change that. So if you’re a natural night owl, no matter how much you try to go to bed early and wake up early, you’re probably always going to feel groggy first thing in the morning, and struggle to fall asleep at night.
Getting up early has its perks.
There is something to be said for getting up early though. There’s enough evidence to show that morning people tend to have more goals and plan for the future. And many successful CEOs and motivators get up early, because it works.
First thing in the morning tends to be quiet with less distractions. You can set the tone for your day, and that can lead to a better overall mood. Plus, by accomplishing tasks first thing, you can feel like you have more time in your day for all the other things.
But trying to force yourself awake and busy first thing in the morning, when your natural body clock says you’re still asleep can lead to negative health effects. You could end up with sleep deprivation, and it’s more stressful – both mentally and physically.
And for those of us who are moms, waking up early in the morning often doesn’t mean a quieter, more productive time — but simply that our kids get up too early too.
Is there something wrong with late risers?
Our culture has glorified the early riser. So much so, that if you wake up later, you might struggle with self-esteem issues. But are late risers really just lazy and unproductive?
Just because you don’t get up early doesn’t mean you don’t get things done. One study suggests that night owls may actually make more money than morning larks!
While late risers might find themselves feeling rushed and constantly late or missing morning appointments, they might also have healthier sleep habits. It depends on if they’re following natural sleep cycles or not.
Getting up early or late isn’t the real problem.
Whether you choose to get up early, or stay up late, doesn’t really matter in the long run. The real impact on your productivity, health and self-esteem comes from how well you pay attention to your own natural rhythms.
Everyone is born with a natural circadian rhythm. Your biological clock is largely genetic. 1 in 4 of us are natural morning larks. 1 in 4 are more night owl-ish. And 50% of us are neither!
Are you getting enough sleep?
For all of us, the real question isn’t whether or not you should be getting up early to work. But rather, are you getting enough sleep?
A proper amount of sleep, with healthy sleep habits, is the key to improving your income and your health. A lack of sleep affects everything from your intelligence to your weight to your ability to focus. When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin ages faster, you become more forgetful and you’re at higher risk for a whole host of diseases, like cancer or heart disease.
In fact, if you get less than 7 hours sleep a night, you double your risk of dying.
Should you get up early to work?
Sure. Get up early to work — if you’ve gotten enough sleep. And if your natural body rhythms aren’t working against you. And if your family situation allows for it.
But if your lifestyle and biology say no to 5 am, then don’t feel guilty for “sleeping in”. Sleep is more important to your overall wellness than any expert’s recommendation.
As for me, I’m a natural night owl. So you can almost always reach me at 10 pm or later! But don’t call before 8 am.
Because I’ll be sleeping.