Whether you wake up as early as 4 AM or as late as 10 AM, we know that morning can be different for everyone. Night owls find it easier to hit the alarm clock’s snooze button and struggle to become morning people.
The early bird gets the worm, so what should you do to get an excellent start to your day? Is there a specific time that will make you productive and goal-driven?
What CEO’s and celebrities do
Look at famous political leaders, entertainers, or tech CEOs, and you’ll find that they unanimously recommend waking up in the early morning. Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 4 AM, while Michelle Obama is up at 4:30 to hit the gym. Many others suggest wake-up times between 4 and 6 AM. They exercise, meditate, and answer work emails as part of their morning routines.
The reality of sleep and wakefulness
The recommendations of these successful individuals may seem enticing to some and daunting to others. They may lead you to believe that you can encounter the same level of success and productivity as them as long as you wake up at a similar hour and make the most of your day. But, in reality, if you attempt to copy the sleep schedules of people you admire, you may only end up with less sleep, poor sleep quality, and less daytime energy.
Superstar sleep-wake schedules work only for the superstars who promote them. Their schedules fit their lifestyles and habits. You will need your own schedule, tailored specifically for your circumstances, needs, and goals.
What the team at Ecosa says
Trust the sleep experts; there’s no best time to wake up. In fact, your wake-up time all depends on your sleep.
You need to look at your internal clock and sleep patterns. How many hours of sleep does your body need? What sleep habits do you have? Your job or lifestyle may force you to wake up earlier or later in the day.
If you currently wake up at 8 AM and want to start rising earlier, look at making small changes before trying to completely change your routine to wake up at 6 AM. You can make tweaks and adjustments to your sleep habits, such as discarding unhealthy practices and beginning healthy habits to get you enough sleep, high sleep quality, and a decent start to your day.
Everybody needs enough sleep
Some people have a biological advantage that allows them to sleep less yet still have a good sleep. Due to that short but restful sleep, they can immediately work out their day to day activities during the wee hours of the morning. As a result, they will experience little to no sleepiness or slumps of energy throughout their day.
In contrast, the average person needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day to function. Unfortunately, many people struggle to get this amount, with sleep disorders and bad sleep habits shortening sleep time to 6 hours or less. As a result, you tend to feel heavy, groggy, and in no state to start your day well in the morning.
If you intend to wake up at a specific time in the morning, you have to make time to get the recommended amount of sleep intentionally. Listen to what your body needs and consider when you want to wake up. For example, if you intend to rise at 7 AM and your body needs 9 hours of sleep, go to bed at 10 PM. Then, create a schedule that fits your sleep needs and goals.
No interruptions to the sleep cycle
The body’s circadian rhythm determines cortisol and melatonin production. During the daytime, the sunlight signals your body to keep you alert with cortisol. At night, the darkness tells your body to wind down for sleep using melatonin.
If you disrupt that natural circadian rhythm, you cause yourself to be alert too late at night, costing you a good night’s rest. You then wake up late the next day since you hit snooze on your alarm clock again.
Aside from getting enough sleep, you also have to encourage your circadian rhythm to make you sleep and wake up when you want. Your body clock will adjust as long as you assist it. This means staying away from social media before bed. Don’t use any electronic device for an hour before your planned sleeping time. Follow reliable sleep hygiene practices that will bring you restful sleep and an easy awakening the next day.
What this means for shift workers
For shift workers, your work plays a huge factor in how you sleep. It can be a struggle following a strict schedule, whether you work just nights or a mix of day and night shifts.
Shift workers have it tough. The irregular hours disrupt their sleep-wake cycles and make them lose much-needed sleep. They even face a higher risk for sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea. In addition, irregular sleep can impact their physical wellness and mental health.
To have better sleep, set a wake-up time that still gives you your needed sleep hours. Even though you’re tired and sleepy, keep practising good sleep hygiene. Also, make sure that no one at home disturbs you when you sleep—black out your entire room. The darkness and peace during your rest time will help you reach rapid eye movement sleep, even during the daytime. This REM sleep will be crucial to your restfulness and wakefulness.
The best time to wake up depends on you
The secret that the 4 AM risers aren’t telling you is that they have the same hours in their day. They’re going to bed at 8 PM to get adequate sleep, or they’re running on fewer hours than required.
A 4 AM wake-up time will be good for you in the same way that an 8 AM wake-up time is. As long as you get enough restful sleep, you shouldn’t worry about the best time to wake up. Whenever you wake up will already be the best time to start your day.