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Waking Up at 4 A.M. Every Day Is the Key to Success. Or to Getting a Cold.

Waking Up at 4 A.M. Every Day Is the Key to Success. Or to Getting a Cold.

Read more on The New York Times

Featured contributions

  • I would love to see a study that looks at sleep management tactics for those who have to keep odd hours of work —night shifts for doctors and nurses or security guards; parents of young children; international jet-set workers who cross timezones; or students catching up on learning and of course, farmers

    I would love to see a study that looks at sleep management tactics for those who have to keep odd hours of work —night shifts for doctors and nurses or security guards; parents of young children; international jet-set workers who cross timezones; or students catching up on learning and of course, farmers. What do you do when you can’t get eight hours sleep?

More contributions

  • So much selection bias here. Plenty of successful people sleep in. But they don’t admit it!

  • As a parent of small children the debate about the time and level of sleep is ongoing. Glad to have science on my side proving the need for adequate sleep!

  • TL;DR - Wake up at the time that makes you most effective.

    Freshman year, I rose around 4 AM each morning. As a photojournalist, classical pianist, and full-time student, I took on many small assignments that year and therefore felt rising early was a pragmatic response to the daily workload.

    From

    TL;DR - Wake up at the time that makes you most effective.

    Freshman year, I rose around 4 AM each morning. As a photojournalist, classical pianist, and full-time student, I took on many small assignments that year and therefore felt rising early was a pragmatic response to the daily workload.

    From sophomore year until now as a rising senior, I've listened to the advice of close mentors to sleep better and take a longer-term, more sustainable view of my health, which has made me more deliberate and effective as my projects and assignments have grown in form and complexity.

    Still, I've had a few cases since that have required me to run the numbers and adapt to new sleep schedules, such as a World Bank photo exhibition that required taking photos by the Anacostia River each morning at sunrise, or preparing for a piano concerto debut, which required extra concentration and vigor for hours each day in a practice room. ^^These two projects actually coincided with each other during the same semester as a full-time student with an additional internship in Washington DC; therefore, it took even greater self-awareness to adapt, compensate and be accountable for my sleep schedule.

    That's when I realized, it's not that waking up before dawn is an enviable umbrella-habit that will miraculously improve everyone's life; it's that waking up early is a temporary lifestyle change that people choose to adopt when the circumstances in their life prove that such a change is necessary. In other words, wake up at the time that makes you most effective.

  • I'm the one who gets the cold. Seriously, I've thought about adopting the early rise productivity strategy, but it's all about what works for *you* And I can't get to bed before 12 midnight most nights anyway so a 4AM wakeup isn't quite all that practical.

  • “Never get less than 12 hours of sleep at night. Never play cards with a guy named after a city. Never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese” (ok, 80’s fans, name the movie)

  • Sleep is profoundly important, especially for children. It is really important for neurotic tiger parents not to misunderstand any of these data points and think that there is either tight correlation or causality, and start depriving their children of sleep. Plenty of people in history slept 4 hours

    Sleep is profoundly important, especially for children. It is really important for neurotic tiger parents not to misunderstand any of these data points and think that there is either tight correlation or causality, and start depriving their children of sleep. Plenty of people in history slept 4 hours a night, but many of them also met gruesome deaths or we're able ere they saw Elba...

  • The dawn of Electricity turned people in the Orient from the 70's onwards into night owls.

    I have witnessed this from UAE to India, and from Philippines to Japan, people not only wake up so very early, but they even hit the sack at 8pm, 8:30pm maximum 9.

    So at least they are smart enough to get their

    The dawn of Electricity turned people in the Orient from the 70's onwards into night owls.

    I have witnessed this from UAE to India, and from Philippines to Japan, people not only wake up so very early, but they even hit the sack at 8pm, 8:30pm maximum 9.

    So at least they are smart enough to get their Zzz in to remain strong and healthy, and many today myself included live by that rule (whenever I can help it).!

    It is imperative that you do not rush in the morning and allow yourself to prepare for your day at a leisurely pace.

  • Vindication! I prioritize 7.5 hours of sleep and try not to get up before 6 am.

  • Surely that depends on what time you go to bed?

  • The key to success is what you do with your time after you get up whether it’s 4 A.M. or any time after.

  • Time to set a proper sleep schedule

  • Sleep as you need to. Bragging about a 4 am wake up time seems like bragging about multitasking. It can be done but at what cost?

  • Time is relative. Saying anything else is comedy.

  • It’s obviously not one-size-fit-all. Short sleepers are genetic and mid/long sleepers should not try to follow them. Needless to say, the more time you have, the higher probability of success you get. But, most importantly, the definition of success is also not one-size-fit-all.

  • Interesting story to read after waking up early with jet lag. I certainly agree that health and wellness is underrated in our entrepreneurial society. But it’s coming around, and there’s an increasing intentionality around doing things that are good for our bodies. If you think about life as more than

    Interesting story to read after waking up early with jet lag. I certainly agree that health and wellness is underrated in our entrepreneurial society. But it’s coming around, and there’s an increasing intentionality around doing things that are good for our bodies. If you think about life as more than just achieving our goals, you quickly realize wellness is one of the most important areas we can focus on for living a good life. And that means getting the proper amount of sleep every night.

  • I am a 4:00am riser myself.

  • This is a tricky one, when you have a real good work ethic , you can rise up in pretty much any vocation , if you from that become a workaholic ( which you pretty much have to in the corporate realm) this is just the norm , although I had one amazing mentor that was slightly better balanced he was at

    This is a tricky one, when you have a real good work ethic , you can rise up in pretty much any vocation , if you from that become a workaholic ( which you pretty much have to in the corporate realm) this is just the norm , although I had one amazing mentor that was slightly better balanced he was at the offfice at 5:30 ( as was I ) then he left at 5:30 ( I stayed many times) he worked Saturday & Sunday if his wife would let him , he was in bed by 9:30 every night , here’s the rub , fun -zero , hobbies -zero, vacation-zero, guys to hang out with, I don’t have to say it do I ? ( interestingly all his peers were type 1 Diabetics ?

  • What happens at 4am?

  • Umm... Has the author heard of ultradian rhythms?

  • What a bunch of crap this is ridiculous who paid for this The sleep centers of USA?

  • The answer: prolific napping.

  • My dad used to say that if you had the name of being an early riser you could sleep all day!!!!

  • I started to wake up at 4 am. I begin with meditation, followed by some energization exercises,and breath work. It has improved my concentration, clarity of thought, perception, and stress levels.

    As a CIO, I wouldnt be sble to perform with the chronic stress without the aboce morning rituals.