Why I Wake Up Early

3 02 2006

I wake up before my problems do. It is really that simple. I was asked why I got up early and I really had to think about it. But after I contemplated whether I really had a reason, I decided that it was it. I wake up before my problems do.


There has always been a battle between Early Risers (ER) and Night Owls (NO). They don’t understand each other. However, in my personal experience, the ER is much more respectful that the NO. The ER is always looked down upon for going to bed early and scoffed at for their pre-midnight bedtime. The ER often has trouble sleeping at night due to the noise of the NO and their inconsiderate attitude towards the ER who is in bed. You will also have the NO who finds it funny to wake up the ER for entertainment value. However, you don’t find the ER making noise when he awakens. You find the ER quietly going about his business. The ER does not get up to play music loudly or shout in the halls. The ER gets up early because his problems are still asleep.


I have an uncle who claims that there has never been a successful person who has gotten up past 6:30 AM. Now, I’m sure there is factual and scientific evidence to support this. But as an ER, I see this to be true by my own verification. Not that I myself am successful, but I see the people who are up and are at work early in the morning and I see them to be much more successful than those still in bed. I think it’s easy to see why the ER is more productive than the NO. When the ER gets to work, his problems are still asleep.


I get up around 6:30 AM. I am up at this time at minimum five days a week, but often six or seven. I have my morning scheduled. I wake up, go to the gym, shower, do devotions, and eat breakfast by 8:45 AM. I usually do some of my class readings at this time, too. I then go to either class or chapel and by 11:00 AM, I am most of the way through my classes for the day. By this point, the rest of the world is getting up. My problems are now awake. My cell phone starts to ring. My desk phone starts to ring. My inbox begins to fill up. Today, on a Friday, I received 20 emails that required attention. Only two of these came before 8:00 AM. Fortunately, Friday is the day that I receive the fewest emails. Yesterday, for example, I received 37 emails. None of these were before 8:00 AM.


Working in an office, I often went in early. It was amazing that I could accomplish more between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM than I could between 10:00 AM and noon. There were others that were there even earlier than I. I know people who go into the office by 6:00 AM. Why are they there? So they can get something done before the phone starts ringing, the emails start coming, and the mail arrives.


I read this interesting article online. Doesn’t everyone want to become an Early Riser? I think so. I think every Night Owl wishes that they had the potential to rise up with vigor at the break of dawn. After you read that article, check out some of the other ones on that site. The guy who wrote it is into polyphasic sleeping now which is a new interest of mine.


I’m convinced that some day the rest of the world will catch on to the Early Riser. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the time that I have to myself from the time I wake up until lunch. I’ll let my problems sleep.





10 responses

5 02 2006
Libby Greene

This NO has been victimized by ER’s on several occasions.

10 02 2006

good post, james … however, i am a NO and I like it. While everyone is sleeping at night, I am able to accomplish a lot 🙂 I’m sure my habits will change once I get a “real job,” but for now … I enjoy the nighttime better 🙂

10 02 2006

I wish I could be an ER… but my bed is so nice and warm…

12 02 2006

Excellent post, James.
However, you’ve made one error in your analysis as it applies to college students. I think, deep down, I really am an ER, but often in living the college life I find that my problems stay up later than a good ER can handle. Thus, I find myself being force to go to sleep after 12:30/1Am and able to wake no earlier than 7:45.

12 02 2006

i think kristen makes an excellent point. you accomplish a lot in the AM while your problems are asleep . . . i am able to do the same thing at night when all you ERs go to sleep. and lucky for me, no broadway theatre ever opens their office before 10 AM, so i can stay somewhat of a NO for an indefinite amount of time.

though i will saying, an ER dating a NO can be challenging for both of them. and its usually the ER that compromises . . .

13 02 2006
Donkey Patrol


Being as that I am now a ‘working man’in the sense that I have obligations to attend to before 8:00AM, I can definitely appreciate being an ER more now than when I was in college.

This factual, brief post was brought to you by Andrew, the ER-by-forces-beyond-my-control-but-sho-is-slowly-liking-getting-up-early

13 02 2006

I sometimes do wish I was an ER, but I’m happy being a NO. I just am more awake at night.
I’ve been bothered by both more exteme NOs and ERs. It’s called quiet hours, ya’ll.

15 02 2006

you forgot one…an AT…that’s an All the Time person…no matter what time of day it is we’re ready to go 🙂

23 02 2006
Nathan Peretic


I’ve been waking up at 6 for the past month thanks to Steve’s article.–>

22 02 2007

makes you think doesn’t it

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