Why Being An Early Riser Often Leads To Success

Here I am. Awake. I got up at 5:00 A.M. and now I’m beginning to write you this blog post at 5:15. After my first summer of adopting a regular teenager’s sleep patterns I decided I was going to establish rising early as a habit again. I figured doing so would be good preparation for school as well as a “fun” experiment.

Surprisingly enough, despite shifting my summer sleep pattern four hours forward over the course of one night I actually feel calm and am enjoying the zen of this morning. However, this has made me curious.

Many successful people swear by waking up early. Why? What’s the difference between someone who wakes up at 4:00 A.M. and someone who stumbles out of bed at 10:00 A.M.? Does an early start to the day increase you chances of success, or is adjusting your sleep patterns merely for bragging rights? I found little research on this topic, so here’s some of my theories.

One Has No Obligations at 4:00 A.M.

When you’re waking up five hours before everyone else you have the ideal time to work. It’s calming to work on your passion, in the sweet solitude of the morning as you watch the sun rise out of the corner of your eye. There’s no text messages, meetings, or anyone to distract you.

Of course, you could argue that the same would apply for night owls who work in solitude late at night right? To some extent yes. But the problem lies in our next point.

Biological Clock/Being Well Rested

Although night owls may encounter the same quiet as early risers the problem lies in that many of them are unable to properly utilize their quiet time. Because of our biological clock the majority of us are more or less wired to wake and sleep with the rising and falling of the sun.

By going against this tendancy night owls are forcing themselves to do their creative work at inoptimal times. Of course, genetic variances exist and many who stay up late into the night are wired to do so.

However, even the natural night owls may struggle to do their best work at the end of the day because of our next point.

Willpower Is Finite

This is an oversimplication, but life is kind of like a video game. You’re only given so many “willpower points” each day and when you’re done using them all you’re essentially on autopilot until the next morning.

That’s why many successful people preach doing your most important work the minute you wake up. When you’ve got all your willpower points to work with doing something great is a lot more manageable.

Theoretically it’s possible to do your best work late at night, but it’s conceivable it would be difficult to consistently produce high quality work at a late hour because you’d rarely get to that point with a full tank of willpower points with which to do your work.

Feeling Of Accomplishment

There’s a certain sense of pride you experience when you know that you’re working before other people have even begun their days. It’s conceivable that the same may apply for those who stay up late to work while others are already sleeping, but nothing compares to the feeling of knowing you’ve accomplished a full day of work before others have even got out of bed.

It feels good, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is why so many early risers are successful. When you’ve got this feeling it leads you to wanting to do more work. You ask yourself, “How else can I move toward my goals today?”

Regardless of when you wake up that’s one of the best questions you can ask yourself on a daily basis. Of course, I’m sure there’s other reasons being an early riser seems to often lead to success and I’d love to hear what you think those are in the comments below. I’m excited to hear your thoughts on the topic.

Until then, I’m going to sit down and enjoy watching the sun as it rises over the trees in my back yard.


Thanks to those that provided me with feedback recently on how I can improve the community here. I’ll definitely implement the things you’ve said to the best of my abilities.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, but if not don’t fear. I’m going to establish a more regular posting schedule here. As such, we’ll be back later this week with two more posts. Wednesday we’ll discuss consumerism and the expression “You Don’t Know What You’re Missing ‘Til You Get It.” Friday we’ll bring what I feel is easily the best post of the bunch. “Why You Must Face Your Fear Of Being Vulnerable (And How To Do It)”

See you then!

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