Waking up at 4 am for some people can sound insane. To me, it’s very rewarding and it presents a lot of benefits. So why I wake up at 4 am what are these benefits I found by doing this? What is the science behind it? Why you should do it too and how can you do it? So let’s answer these questions.
Photo by Mickael Mercier. Myself in Australia.
Let’s start with a little story
We have to throwback to when I was 15. At that time I was a young teenager who was working to become a pastry chef. And nope, I didn’t end up doing that in the end.
Anyway as a pastry chef or a baker, you have to wake up very early to make the little pastries for people ready for when they get up. That’s the way it is. So it’s from the very young age that I start to wake up early.
Of course, after I’ve finished doing that job I never really wake up again that early until I turned 25 and start travelling. I wanted to see early sunsets in Thailand or somewhere else, getting the morning vibe in Asia. I also woke up early In Taiwan to ask for my little breakfast and to practice my Chinese. Walking in the street when it’s very early was so peaceful. I just need to close my eyes and get back in time to relax and live these moments again.
But why do I wake up now at 4 am when I don’t have to make bakeries anymore for people or ask for my breakfast in the streets of Taipei?
Firstly, it’s a matter of confidence
Being the first to wake up, what a great feeling. I start with the principle that if you want more than others, you must provide more than others. When I wake up at 4 am I know that I am part of a minority of people and this does give me a sense of confidence, during the day or even during that week I feel good. I know I get up early before the vast population. It’s like it’s a feat and it gives me confidence all week long.
Secondly, it’s a matter of silence and being alone
I like waking up at 4 as it’s simply the only moment when life sounds quiet. Even the birds are not singing yet. I can just hear them now at 4.50, here the birds start singing. However, you see at this time of the day, not a lot of people are awake. It’s kind of like you have the world for yourself. I currently live with housemates, and by that time I have the house alone as they are sleeping like babies. So when I wake up at 4 I jump from my room to the living room and put my daily meditation on. It’s quiet, it’s relaxing and as it’s getting a great habit that I enjoy. I look forward to finding back my early time alone of the day each early morning.
Thirdly, It’s a question of doing
Stephen King, Murakami and some other authors that I personally very like, used to wake up early as a habit to write as soon as they woke up. By waking up at 4 am. It’s like I have more time to do things. As soon as I wake up I do things like meditating, then I write a blog post. For some people, this is the stage in the day where you can get more valuable things done. That works for me too. If I wake up later at 6 am or after I don’t have proper time to do my morning routine which is important to me. To make it simple, once you wake up I have already done the most important tasks of my day.
Fourthly, it’s a matter of taking time for myself
Life is flying. Life goes so much fast. We are living in a fast world. You’re 20, and you look at the mirror and damn you have already turned 30. I know that if you’re in your 30’s like me, it starts to make so much sense. If not do a past decade review as I did, you’ll see how time is flying by getting back to your past memories.
Anyway, I am still young but a thing that I want to make sure is that when I’ll get older I wanna be able to remind me that I took enough time for myself. I have the chance to have a lot of moments during my life that I can remember where I took this time: to meditate, to embrace the world, to relax and just think about myself. You see I love to help and inspire people but I discovered that by not firstly helping or thinking about my wellbeing, I won’t have the strength, nor the energy to do it well and to give my best to them.
By waking up at 4 am, when no one is around, I know I can take some nice time for myself, without co-worker, email or phone conversations. The last is important, no distraction, so no phone. I never use my phone at this time of the day until at least 7 am. This little device makes us addicted, and never really alone. At 4 am the phone is off on the cupboard, meanwhile, I am taking care of myself. This is a great tip of productivity as well.
Lastly, If my mentors are doing it. I do it too
We’ve all heard it before: to be successful, get out of bed early. After all, Apple CEO Tim Cook gets up at 3:45 am, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne at 3:30 am and Richard Branson at 5 am – and, as we know, “the early bird catches the worm.”
Many of the successful people wake up very early. That’s kind of true, but I’m going to tell you a little secret as well. I don’t think these guys wake up all the time at 3 or 4. At some point they decide to stay in the bed a bit more, I guess their wives will be yelling at them if they don’t. Waking up at 4 am it’s great, but on a 12 months basis, it can be very difficult. If you, they and I do it on a 10 months’ basis it’s already great.
And also by waking up early forces me to go to bed early which is healthy for me as a fitness entrepreneur, I should do what I preach.
What are the benefits of waking up at 4 am and the science behind it?
Now that I’ve been talking about me, It’s time to talk about science. I know many people like myself love facts and proven stuff, it comforts us knowing things are reliable, tested and working. Hopefully, these facts will help you to decide why you should do it too.
Christophe Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Germany, states that people hitting the clock early are more proactive than evening people – and so they do well in business (I will personally add, they do well in life in general).
“When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards,” Randler told the Harvard Business Review of his research, some of which originally appeared in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
Several studies have linked this trait, proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages. Not bad advantages, right?
Higher learning and performance goals
Numerous studies have found that morning people are more persistent, self-directed and agreeable. They set higher goals for themselves, plan for the future more and have a better sense of well-being. And compared to night owls, they’re less likely to be depressed, drink or smoke.
“A six-year study says that not only does the early bird get the worm, they’re also ten per cent less likely to die than a night owl.
The study, published in Chronobiology International followed over 400,000 people who identified themselves on a scale ranging from “definite morning” types to “definite evening” types.”
“Past research has suggested that morning-type people report feeling happier than evening-type people, and this research was only on young adults,” study researcher Renee Biss, a graduate student at the University of Toronto, told LiveScience.
The researchers studied two populations: a group of 435 adults ages 17 to 38, and a group of 297 older adults, ages 59 to 79. Both groups filled out questionnaires about their emotional state, how healthy they feel and their preferred “time of day.” [Life’s Extremes: Early Birds vs. Night Owls]
By age 60, most people are more accustomed to being early birds, the researchers found. Only about 7 per cent of young adults are morning larks, but as the population ages, this switches — in the older years only about 7 per cent of the population are still night owls.
“We found that older adults reported greater positive emotion than younger adults, and older adults were more likely to be morning-type people than younger adults,” Biss said. “The ‘morningness’ was associated with greater happiness emotions in both age groups.”
It’s simply our nature
Atlanta-based psychiatrist Tracey Marks, the author of Master Your Sleep, told USNews.com, “We are supposed to be awake when it’s light outside and asleep when it’s dark outside.” Not an early bird? Your chronotype—what time you’re active—is determined in large part by your genes, but it can be influenced. (Note: It’s fine if you can’t force change, according to sleep medicine expert and psychologist Michael Breus, who discusses night owl pros in the Huffington Post.)
We are thinner
It might be the fact that you and I go to bed early, have a nice sleep, and have a healthy breakfast? For sure that set a healthy day, a healthy week, a healthy life. These are good for our waist.
By taking the term of science, they say that the people who got most of their light exposure for the day in the morning had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who got most of their light later in the day. study senior author Phyllis C. Zee, MD, told ScienceDaily.com. “If you don’t get sufficient light at the appropriate time of day, it could de-synchronize your internal body clock, which is known to alter metabolism and can lead to weight gain.”
Why you should wake up at 4 am?
Do you ever catch yourself having no time for you? As you wake up you go straight up to work. Meeting a bunch of people having a lot of conversation. Getting back tired from work, talking again to family members, your partner or your flatmates, then go to bed. And do the same shit for the whole week without ever taking ten minutes for yourself?
So I don’t know if you are interested like me to be more productive or creative and if you want to be more self-confident and happy. If that’s the case, I have some good tips for you on why you should wake up at 4 am too.
Making a nice healthy breakfast
You will finally have the time to make a nice breakfast and feel healthier. You certainly know how important it is to have a healthy breakfast. If you wake up at 4 am you can’t tell me that you don’t have time to do it smoothly.
Having a healthy gym routine
Many people say they find it hard to find the time to workout. If you are one of them, no more excuses, go to the bed early and wake up to workout with the early birds. Follow my simple tip to have a gym routine too.
Looking good for your boss and co-workers
You will not catch yourself late at work anymore. Your boss will maybe raise your payslip or at least no one will yell at you anymore.
Have some relaxing time for yourself
Even if you are not into relaxation or meditation, turn the phone off and take some time for yourself to do anything you want too without being bothered by anyone. Spending some time for yourself it’s all the time rewarding. And don’t fool me, it’s not selfish. It’s necessary.
How can you wake up at 4 am?
I know it can appear daunting when you never stop the clock so early before. So here are my recommendations for you to be able to wake up at 4 am:
Go to bed early: no media, no distraction
Make sure you sleep at least 6 or 7 hours by setting up your alarm at 4, make sure between 9 or 10 you are in the bed, relaxed with no distraction. Don’t watch something exciting yourself just before you go to bed. Also during wintertime, it’s easier to sleep early as at 5 it looks like it’s already 9 pm outside.
Write if you think too much
If something is wearing you down and you find you can’t sleep as it’s not your habit yet, take a bloc note next to you and write your thoughts or your to-do list or anything you need to write to be still in your mind.
Put some relaxing or meditating music
It’s all about relaxing your mind to sleep early. And don’t worry once you get used to waking up very early, you will see your body turning off by itself when it’s getting late.
Set the alarm clock, and get up straight away
Once you wake up at 4 am, I agree that you can spend some time on your phone, looking at Instagram or other things even if I don’t recommend it. It will wake your eyes up and help you to get off the duvet. However, please don’t check at your email straight away when you wake up as it can stress you out and you may lose the habits to wake up early if you do.
I know it’s not common what I m going to tell you. But I have to share with you what works with me when I had or still have difficulties to wake up early. Firstly, I drink water or herbal tea before I sleep, It forces me to wake up early as I need to go to the bathroom at some point. As soon as I hear the alarm clock I need to go. So If I wake up to go to the toilet and of course I don’t go back to bed. So I’m going from here to my morning routine.
Hope you find this helpful.
As you can see for you and me it’s a great deal to wake up at 4 am. But it is essential that you take time for yourself, get more things done, feeling confident around your family, co-workers and people in general.
But please guys do not all wake up at 4 am, as I won’t find my time alone and I will have to wake up at 3 to make sure I’m the first to wake up. Question of confidence. Haha.
Here we go, By 6.30 am I’ve already written more than two thousand words. The day is set.
Hope you enjoy this blog post, be good and comment below if yourself also wake up early and why you do it. It’s all about sharing.