The Strangest Secret to waking up early


The Strangest Secret to waking up early

A problem I’ve come to notice was that many of my readers have been struggling with the ability to wake up before the sun rises. The common time goal people had preferred to wake up to was between 5:00 – 6:00 AM. This reminded me of a time when I used to sleep until 11:00 AM every morning. And it would greatly annoy me when people would tell me to wake up before 8:00 AM on a day I wasn’t require to. In fact, the thought would terrify me.

However, the more I noticed my readers requests, the more I realized this was a habit many people desired to fix. This technique seems to be somewhat of a strange secret that many people are not aware of yet, and if they are, do not believe it could work for them. After all, I used to be one of those people who was highly suspicious of that sort of lifestyle, believing it was only fairy tales that would bring no changes into my life.

But after adopting the early riser technique, I found myself not only more productive in the morning, but throughout my day. I found a strange source of energy that allowed me to actively work on anything I set my mind to. I also developed a sense of staying more focused on the tasks I was dealt with. So for my readers who might not have time or enjoy straight to the point articles, the strangest secret to waking up early is:

Sticking with a consistent time pattern to wake up to every morning that’s between 5:00 AM – 8:00 AM.

For my readers who prefer a deeper understanding about this concept so they could easily adopt this method into their life, the answers are below.

So how did you change your path to become an early riser?

It all started when I took a few courses across the world, and my instructors required us to wake up around 6 AM every day of the week. It was perhaps one of  the biggest challenges I faced because not only did it take me out of my comfort zone, it surrounded me with people I wasn’t familiar or close with, (But that’s a topic I’ll dig deeper into for another article).

The challenge to this story was that I had to deal with my instructor demanding time schedules. So I didn’t really deal with self-discipline when I changed my life to waking up earlier. However, when I left my courses and was allowed to resume my usual sleeping habit, I discovered a strange change in my behavior.

I started waking up around 6:00 – 7:00 AM without the alarm even ringing. I found it annoying and difficult to fall back asleep, forced to lie in my bed in total thought. This was when I realized my newly found waking up pattern. Since that moment, I have kept my early wake up ritual for several years and it has been very effective.

So what time do you wake up after years of practicing it?

Due to the time I like to go to bed, which is usually late, well after midnight. (I tend to be a night owl sometimes), I usually  wake up at 6 – 7 AM depending on the time I went to bed. My favorite time to wake up is normally around 6:30 AM because it’s the best time for me to see the sun shine through my windows, the neighborhood is quiet, and I have a peaceful moment in my head.

Some people like to suggest that there is a certain amount of hours of sleep we need every night before going to bed. This is what sets others to failure because they want to wake up early, but they don’t want to go to bed at 9, 10, or 11 PM. Especially if they’re night owls such as myself. Some people like to blindly encourage others that we need 8 hours of sleep to be fully productive and go about our day with full energy. After practicing this theory, I discovered it doesn’t work that simple.

This practice of sleep eventually makes our bodies more tired throughout the day. When we sleep for 8 hours, our bodies become spoil and tries to persuade our thoughts for more hours of sleep. Each one of us holds a different schedule, and some can’t afford to sleep for 8 hours every night and if they try to abide this theory, they end up failing and disappointing themselves.

Our body will never be satisfied of the amount of sleep we give it. That’s why it’s up to the mind to override our feelings in the morning because too many hours of sleep will negatively impact an individual with low fatigue or mental focus.

There’s two common sayings that I was told by a few successful mentors, which were, “the early bird will always get the worm,” or “he who spends the most time at their craft is the person who experience the less pain.” That being said, I initially didn’t understand the true meaning of them at first because back then, the idea of becoming an early riser seemed perplexed. I thought waking up early was the sort of activity that wasn’t important to inquire. After all, it requires mentally preparing yourself before even attempting this exercise.

Science has shown that willpower is like a muscle, and it’s encouraged to test yourself against habits you’re not comfortable with. When a person wakes up, they are at their greatest will power struggle because they’re dealing with their first decision of the day: “Will I get out of bed or hit the snooze button?”

We naturally want to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep, but studies have proven that during the time frame between 5:00 – 8:00 AM, people will have the most willpower, energy, and mental focus. It may seem difficult and from first hand experience, extremely difficult; but afterwards you would be surprised of what you could accomplish.

By starting your day between 5-8 AM, you will be ahead of the world and accomplish more in a week than what some people can do in a month. Your mind becomes focused, your body has more energy, and you adapt well performance work habits. Another reason it’s encouraged to wake up early is because it gives you a mental confidence that differentiate from the rest of the world. You feel stronger, more alert, and more prepared. You feel like a leader.

So how can I apply the method to waking up earlier? What is this strange secret?

It’s sometimes the ‘open and simple secrets” we hear throughout our lives that end up being true, but we have always discarded them as lies to prevent us from going any further into them. To put it simple, I found the best solution to waking up early isn’t trying to find a way to schedule 8 hours of sleep every night, but to schedule a time you plan to wake up in the morning around 5 – 8 AM. These are the time zones most people are still asleep.

If you want to take a slow approach at this, start with waking up at 8AM and once you mastered that, go down from there. If you want to approach this challenge completely, set yourself between 5 – 6 AM. It will be difficult for the first week, but you’ll discover a natural process slowly starting to take affect afterwards.

Your body will slowly stop relying on the alarm to wake you up and you’ll be set on a natural sleeping cycle to waking up. My usual time zone to wake up is around 6:00 AM, however, if I have days where I decide to sleep in, it rarely reaches past 8:00 AM.

So as a reminder, don’t go to bed because you feel the need to. Stay up until your body starts to feel fatigue. From there, take action and then go to bed, making going to sleep more natural than just staying up all night lying under your covers. You may only have 4 – 5 hours of sleep at first, but by continuing to wake up early, your body will eventually start to tell you to go to bed at an earlier time.

If you’re dealing with a  minor case of insomnia, find productive activities that will mentally tire you such as reading a book or writing. Now for those who are still questioning about the concepts or strategies to waking up early, it’s best to remember to:

1. Keep the Habit: 

For my readers who like to deal with precise dates and expectations when starting something new, the University of London had discovered through their research that it takes 66 days of practice to rewire a mental pathway known as our habits. Therefore, it will take 66 days before you actually start to like the comfort of waking up early and at that point, be addicted to it.

The reason I give an exact quota for when this should be completed is because people often assume all it takes is 3 – 4  times of doing this before mastering it. I’ve known people who tried waking up early only twice before giving up and resuming the snooze button habit.

A common and very understanding thought we tend to hold onto is that we deserve to sleep in on our days off. It’s already bad we have to wake up early on workdays, but to mix it in with pleasure would almost seem like an evil itself.

And I will admit, it’s nice to sleep in every once in a while such as it is to have a drink of alcohol, or eat junk food. But don’t  make a habit into sleeping in because it changes your physical body and mental mind. Waking up early transforms your productivity level into a new level.

Change will always be hard at the beginning, but once a person makes it through that dreaded path, there will be a transformation in their life. After 66 days of practicing this habit, you will find yourself not wanting to wake up late again.


2. Wake up at a consistent time:

The goal will be to build up a morning ritual. You want to set your brain nerves and body clock to automatically be accustomed to making these changes when waking up. It’s not going to be an immediate change and you will need to rely on an alarm clock to wake up on a consistent basis.

The recommended days to practice your regular routine time would be 5-6 times a week. Spend one day a week to sleep in if you’d like. Just don’t make a habit out of that, or else you’ll be forced to start over in your path of rewiring your brain.


3. Exercise:

You won’t be required to break a sweat for this breakdown. This step is only meant for those who are struggling to stay awake when they jump out of bed. Whether it’s doing jumping jacks, walking around the house, or spinning in circles, perform something that requires starting your blood circulations.

A habit I like to practice when I find myself exhausted in the morning is performing stretches. I stretch my body for around 10 – 15 minutes until I feel that natural alertness tingling. Some people prefer drinking coffee as a boost to start their day, but it’s not a healthy source to solely rely on for this everyday habit.


In final thoughts….

An important concept to remember when starting this journey is that it’s not the quantity of sleep you receive, but the quality. I’ve had numerous moments where I felt more alert and active with only 5 hours of sleep than with 11. Set yourself up for success before falling asleep by placing yourself in a dark room with no lights to distract you.

Ensure that there isn’t any distractions or noises in the background. Some of us grow strong habits of watching television before falling asleep, and I used to be one of them. Since I was younger, I would fall asleep to television. But this creates a distraction for our subconscious when we’re asleep, eventually affecting our body the next day.

So develop a habit of jumping out of bed as soon as the alarm rings to set your rituals, and not rely on willpower. Willpower is important when starting a process, but it’s not the key your brain neurons are going to work with. It’s creating a ritual for you every day, which will set your body and mind into a motion to follow through.


About Author

Besides being random and dealing with ADHD from time to time, Michael Gregory II is the CEO of the Self Development Workshop. He's traveled to over a dozen countries, counselled a variety of people, and continues furthering his knowledge in self-development, depression, and mastering your happiness. On his lazy days, he enjoy watching people, reading in Starbucks, and speaking to random strangers. (Yeah, he’s weird.)


  1. I know I’m more productive when I get up early. It seems my body has more energy! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: Wake Up Consistently Instead Of Sleeping 8 Hours To Wake Up Earlier | Lifehacker Australia

  3. For me also this is a biggest challenge to wake up early. I am a night owl and can work whole night without any issues but I was never able to wake up early. However I tried multiple times to fix this but no success.

    Will try mentioned methods to see if I can. Thanks

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