How I Became an Early Riser

For many years, I was what some like to call “restless elite.” I’d go to bed at five in the morning, and wake up at around eleven…

Yes, I could properly function on just 6 hours of sleep. But I also drank a gallon of Coke, 5-6 coffees, and smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, so “function” might not be the kind of word that I could define even if you’d slap me with a dictionary. Or use it to wake me up.

I did all this because, well, in case you didn’t know, I live in the future.


My timezone is Bucharest, Romania. GMT+3. Which means I am usually a few hours ahead of just about everyone who reads my blog, so to fix this, I’d go to bed around the time the sun would rise.

Then things changed.

What happened?

Old age.

Well… I am not quite old, but that lifestyle was as chaotic as lifestyles can be, and it took its toll on my body. I’d be less and less productive, I’d have trouble sleeping, I’d have issues concentrating…

Then, when I started working out, I’d be a mess. I’d fall asleep at 7:30 PM, besides an hour nap after lunch, and even so, I was pretty much a zombie throughout the day.

Soon though, energy levels started to rise. I’d be getting up at 5:30 AM, then at 5 AM.

Now, I usually wake up at 4:30 AM, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. I do not set an alarm clock. I also go to bed at 9 PM sharp most nights, sometimes even sooner than that.

What I noticed is the fact that I get more stuff done before everyone else wakes up than I used to get when I’d wake up at around noon. I also eat two meals and work out for two hours before noon. That’s insanely cool, because then I get another 8 hours of pure grind. Fantastic!

Here’s what helped me become an early riser:

  • Working out. Obviously. If I don’t go to the gym, I can’t fall asleep until 1-2 AM.
  • Going to be as early as possible.
  • No mindless stuff at least an hour before bedtime: this includes TV, watching movies, or scrolling through Instagram.
  • No computer screens at least one hours before bedtime.
  • ASMR usually works to put me in the mood for sleep.
  • Get excited about tomorrow. I plan most of my to-do list for the next day before going to be. I get excited about falling asleep, so I can rise as early as possible the next day.

Are you an early riser? Night owl? Both?



  1. I have to go to bed early S-F cause I work Monday-Friday 8-5. I can sleep in on weekends cause waking up usually isn’t the struggle.

    Falling asleep on Sundays is. My mom still doesn’t understand how my phone could keep me up half the night if I spend too much time on it. I usually text her good night love you at 7:30 and tell her doctors say it’s not good to text hours before bed. She has an old fashioned type of phone, not a smart phone.

    I try not to be on it past 8 cause I try to fall asleep at 11-11:30. I read on my night time mode e-reader which I love so much because it does help me fall asleep. I do still watch TV before bed though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I seem to be somewhere in between. My wife is a night owl. I naturally get up before her on a saturday morning but I don’t naturally wake up super early. It takes some work. I’ll get tired much earlier than her though.

    We’re working on doing some workouts early in the morning before work, though. Feels great to get started early and get the legs moving before sitting at my day job. Our biggest problem seems to be getting to bed at a reasonable time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am also an early riser, and I agree with your list. However, there are two points which I see different. They are mostly in preference.
    I like to watch nature, science or space documentaries in the evening before bedtime. To me watching the earth and the planets, and the sun, is relaxing. I enjoyed “How it’s made” a lot.
    The other is thinking of the next day. I am also excited about the next day’s prospects. So much so that it keeps me awake. I need the planets and the landscapes, and butterflies and flowers, to help me get to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to get up super late as well. But now I love the luxury of having early morning to myself, before anyone wakes up and the work mode kicks in. My most creative time. And I used to think I was a night owl.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely an early riser (the military does that to you!). I wake up about two and a half hours before work starts so that I can work out, eat a good breakfast, and help get the kids off to school before leaving myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t agree any less.. I noticed it when i stopped my regular exercise routine and gym but am glad now because, this has just motivated me to go back to it.


  7. Definitely a Night Owl. And Coca-Cola and Coffee drinker! And want to visit Transylvania, Romania. :-) I have always been a Night Owl. So maybe I’m living in the wrong time zone. Or just nocturnal. I am way more creative at night though. It’s way more mysterious.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m in my own transition from night owl to early riser as a result of, just like you, age. I wish I had know that we’re called “restless elite” by the way. The term would have come in handy during college. I also appreciate the idea of making a list to look forward to the next day. I will give it a try!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Night owl for now. Got up very early for many, many years to go to work. It was like I had to force myself to go to sleep, so I could force myself to wake up. Loving being up late for now, and sleeping til noon.


  10. I am also an early riser. I have to be up well before the sun to feel well. I don’t know why, but I need a few hours before the daylight. I agree with most of what you said, but if I am thinking about the day ahead, I cannot go to sleep, as I want to stay up and do everything immediately. I have to do something mindless to take me away from myself and my life to be able to sleep.


  11. I used to be a night owl also. But 6 times a week fix morning work schedule and working out 3-5times a week (depending on weather) has led me into a much better and more stable sleep schedule. Now i feel much better than I did before. I reached a point in my past where I would sleep one hour later everyday and wake up one hour later till I did a full 24 hour rotation lol.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Worst part was when my awake time was between afternoon to early morning. No stores no supermarket. Sometimes i waited for supermarket to open in order to get stuff and then sleep. Glad this period is over! Seemed ok at the time but now I cant but wonder how I did it.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Early morning is my most productive time, but when evening comes I definitely cannot “get excited” about tomorrow or I will lie in bed, awake, mentally going over and over everything I have planned. Many a sleepless night has been caused by tomorrow’s exciting agenda!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe I should write a post about it.

      What are your favorite triggers?

      Mine are anything medical… like cranial nerve exams, eye exams, stuff like that. Weird, but I think it’s got to do with personal attention.


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