Early Riser

The Secret on How to Become an Early Riser

Tips to Become an Early Riser

One of my grandfather’s favorite quotes was, “The heights of great men reached and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upwards in the night.”  Well at least toiling upwards in the early morning would be a good start for some of us :-).  So how is this to be done?  How is one to wake up early and thus make full use of that most beautiful time of the day?  The answer does not lie in taping an alarm clock to your head, or in using electric shocks, or in hiring a drill sergeant as a personal trainer – the answer is simpler than that – the answer is to figure out what you are most passionate about in life.  Those great men above, I am certain, had one thing in common.  They all had a burning passion for something in life.  That is the key.  The secret to not only becoming an early riser, but also for living a fulfilling life.  That passion, that love, will give you the energy to spring out of bed at the break of dawn so you can give yourself to that which you love most.

Early Riser

Here is a simple experiment that you can do to validate the above argument.  Think about what you really enjoy doing and plan to do that early in the morning.  Here are a few simple examples of such an experiment.  If you really love a particular TV show and have a DVR (or VCR), tape that show instead of watching it when you normally do.  Now wait for a day when you don’t have to rush off to work and plan to watch that show on that day early in the morning.  See what happens.  You may be surprised at the energy available to you to get out of bed that morning.  When there is something that needs to be done, observe carefully within yourself and you will notice that the energy is there at that time for you to do it.  Try to never delay or procrastinate the necessary response to a requirement of life in a given moment (this is actually a very interesting topic in and of itself but I will leave that for another article).  Here are a few more examples.  If you are an avid gamer, lets say playing World of Warcraft.  Well, stop right before you level up or before you get your reward for a completed quest and see how quickly you get out of bed the next day and run to the computer.  Or leave the book you are reading at an interesting juncture and observe your ability to wake up the next day early to continue.  I think the point has been made.  Getting up and out of bed early has to do with your enthusiasm for starting the next day.

One problem that comes up of course is that many people do not know what their true passion is and so are not living an inspired life.  The article Stop the Madness of Self-Discipline goes into this more but here I will paste one portion of that post which presents the following questions to ask yourself to help you figure out what you love to do.  Here are those 6 questions….

  1. What is it that you like to do for its own sake, without any concern for reward or compliment? Do you like the joy of building things? Do you like to just create music? Do you like to teach? Do you like the challenge of watching your thoughts in action?
  2. If you won the lottery, I mean the really, really big one how would you like to spend the rest of your life?
  3. If you were informed you are about to die shortly, what would you regret most as not having spent your time doing?
  4. No matter where on Earth you are. In a rich, first world country, in the bush lands of Australia or high up in a Himalayan village what do you see yourself doing regardless of location?
  5. What activity do you always find yourself coming back to throughout your life?
  6. What activity can you just not see yourself doing without?

Hopefully these questions will start to reveal to you your real interests in life.  Once that happens, and you start to live according to your passions, trying to wake up early will be a non-issue.

There is another problem that sometimes comes up with regard to becoming an early riser and that has to do with health and energy.  Having good physical, emotional and mental health will go a long way in helping you, not only sleep better, but also in providing the necessary energy to kick-start the day bright and early.  If you find yourself lacking energy and feeling depleted there is no better cure for that than exercise and Yoga.  Here is a nice beginner Kundalini Yoga Kriya (set) that covers many aspects of your being and will help build your energy and health.  The kriya is actually called Morning Wakeup Series and ironically should be done in the morning when you wake up. This Kundalini Kriya, in a short time with regular practice, will help you overcome any energy issues that were hampering you from getting up early.

One last item that I think is worth touching upon while I am on this topic is the motivation for those who practice meditation, kundalini, chakra yoga, pranayama or other spiritual work to wake up early.  Here is a list of reasons why it is advantageous to practice sadhana in the early morning if possible…

  1. Early morning is called brahmamuhurta in Sanskrit.  It literally means “The Divine Time.” This is the time of the day when the spiritual energy on our lovely planet is at its highest.
  2. The air at this time is fresh and contains the greatest amount of prana (cosmic life force).
  3. The mind is also fresh and unburdened with the worries of everyday life.  This will help in the practice of concentration and meditation.
  4. This is the time of day when you are least likely to be distracted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  5. The stomach is empty, which is necessary before practicing many of the Yoga asanas and pranayamas.

Other articles that also touch upon this topic are Silent Mind Meditation Program: Practical Hints and Tips: Chapter 18 and How to Meditate by Yourself (Zazen Practice).

It is said that one of the things that we human beings waste our lives doing is sleeping (too much).  So let that not be the case for you.  Search inwards, experiment, figure out what you love to do in life and then muster up the courage to go after it.  There is a story of a Yogi high up in the Himalayan mountains and what he does early every morning is get up, stand and applaud.  He is applauding creation for the wonder of a new dawn, for the beauty of the sunrise and for the opportunity each new day provides.  Let us join him bright and early tomorrow morning.

Internet Resources, Recognitions and Links: 

This article is part of the Feature Selections of the Carnival of Powerful living.  Head on over there to read other great stuff on personal development and self-improvement.

This article was hand picked by the organizer to be featured in the Carnival of Healing. 

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  1. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Fion,

    Yes undoubtedly constitution (doshas in ayurveda) and other such individual attributes do play a role, but I would say in general one should see if waking up as early as possible makes a difference in one’s world. I suspect that it would :-).

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments and feedback.


  2. Fion
    Fion says:

    Very interesting site. Still, dont’ you think that personal biorythms also have an influence on early rising? Some people are more active in the morning and fell tired in the evenings, while others are just the other way around. What about people who are more active when daylight is gone? Thanks!

  3. Explore Meditation
    Explore Meditation says:

    Ive found myself in the habit of saying, ‘I only get up early for a surf or a bushwalk’. As you say anmol, they are my passions and the time on the clock does not matter. Unfortunately, on a work day I have mastered the art of sleeping till the last possible moment, then rushing like a madman to make it on time. Having read your post – I will try to do atleast 1 activity before work i enjoy each day, thank you :)

  4. _Jon
    _Jon says:

    I have learned through my own experiences that it is the motivation for waking early that resulted in the waking early. I followed the link to this post to see if my ideas aligned with your and yes, they do. I’ve given similar examples to what you’ve written here. For example; If you have a vacation flight early in the morning, yet stay up late to pack, you will awaken on time and with a lot of energy. Similarly, with the Christian holiday Christmas, millions of children will stay up late on Christmas Eve, yet wake up early to open their gifts – with seemingly limitless energy! It is the passion of the future that motivates them to awaken early.
    I have suggested to many people that they focus on something in their lives that they love – no matter how small a piece of their day – and use that as their motivation for everything. I’ve been getting responses that such focus also decreases the need for as much sleep.

    I heartily agree with your article.

  5. hks
    hks says:

    The ‘secret’ of early rising is not about passion. It is about commitment. Commitment to yourself. Passion is based in feeling and the object of the passion may vary from day to day. Instead, make a commitment to get up–and keep it, regardless of how you feel. If your commitment is resolute you will not need an alarm clock. Can you keep a commitment to yourself? Of course. Will you? Now that’s another question altogether. Ultimately it is a question about your relationship with yourself and who is in control–you or your ego. The ego fears commitment because of the assertion of your will over it–thus the importance of a non-feeling based approach. Ego will use your feelings, or more precisely thoughts masquerading as feelings, against you. Why? Because it can. It is the master of illusion and fortunately, illusion alone. Commitment cuts through illusion as if it were, well, nothing. But you must assert your will.
    For example, if you wake up at 3am and then go back to sleep because you are “tired”, then did you assert your will? No. You gave in to the illusion of “I am tired”. Make your commitment more important than anything else and you will win everytime.

  6. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Hael,

    It’s a tricky situation you are in, but the right direction to move in is your getting up early. Whether he does or does not eventually, is immaterial. Now towards this end, the following idea come to mind.

    Wake up and the first few days do what you can in bed if possible. Since its just reading/writing/meditating.

    Then migrate out of the bed, but still in the room and finally see if you he will be ok with you being elsewhere.

    When it comes to the meditative path, often we have be like an immovable rock when we know what we are doing is necessary for us to evolve. Our environment/relationships, etc then adjust to that (and are generally pulled along with us).

    Hope this helps. If not, try to ask for inspired creative solutions from within. Once you know what must be done, life generally shows a way :-D.

    All Good Wishes,

    PS: Your husband may want to try the Free Weight Loss Course

  7. Hael Harobed
    Hael Harobed says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for this article. I found myself awake much earlier this morning than usual, for no good reason, and remembered it was one of my favorite times of the day. When I was younger and single, I used to be an early riser. I love the early morning hours (4, 5, 6, a.m.). In recent years, I have fallen into my husband’s pattern: stay up until midnight or later, wake at 8 or later. Not only has this become a problem for my work, I realized this morning that I’ve been sleeping through one of my favorite — and most productive — parts of the day.

    Here’s my problem: my husband, a very sweet, overweight man, is very insecure. When/if he wakes up and I am not near him, he panics. I can be in the other room, but he will awake and start hollering (fearful, panicked hollering) for me until I can get to him and assure him I haven’t left. Many times, he is still partially asleep, and I can’t rationally calm him down until I lie down with him and rub his back for awhile — it has become almost not worth it to try to sneak out of bed before him. I’ve tried talking to him about this during his waking, rational hours, but even if he were to agree that he doesn’t mind if I get up, when he awakes in that “dream” state, he isn’t thinking — just reacting.

    I’d love for him to get up early with me, but I also cherish this “alone” time for writing, reading, meditating. I’d love for him to be able to stay in bed another hour or so, also. What do you think?

    Thank you!

  8. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Nidhi,

    Great to hear you are benefiting from the Introduction to Meditation & Kundalini Yoga Class. Many yogis have really enjoyed and gained from that class.

    Breath of Fire is not Surya Bhedi Pranayama (which is exclusive Right Nostril Breathing and quite powerful too). I will publish that one of these days :-D.

    I suggest your husband to try the Healthy Weight Loss Yoga & Meditation Class. Tell him to start slowly and gently and then build up from there.


  9. nidhi
    nidhi says:

    thanks anmol for ur advice. I will check the above link and get back to u. I have started ur course 101 for past 2 days and it has really helped me in opening the nostril and reducing the heaviness in my head, nose and eyes. Thanks a ton and GOD bless you! I love breath of fire!! its very energizing! Is it also called surya bhedi pranayam in hindi?? just curious to u know.

    Also, my husband is really obese and he lacks the will to do any kind of exercise. He is 5’11” height and weighs around 110kgs, is 29 years old.He sweats a lot, has family history of heart attacks. Which course do u recomend for him which is energising,and he loses weight fast. Let me tell u he lost 10kg in a 10 day yoga shivir here where he was on raw food as well as only doing pranayams. he does have the tendency to gain and lose weight fast too. Plz advice on this as its my constant worry. I will update u his progess. thanks

  10. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Nidhi,

    1. If you can’t download the Weight Loss from my website. You can try from my Youtube account. This usually solves the problem for many. Here is my youtube channel info…


    2. You are already taking the right steps for this condition. Don’t do the Jal Neti in the evenings if it’s getting stuck, do it early in the day to allow it to drain.

    Remember the body knows how to heal itself so just be relaxed and give it the space and quietude to help it heal. Meditation will help. Also, exercise will help in giving you more energy, fitness and confidence.


  11. nidhi
    nidhi says:

    hi Anmol, fantastic website on yoga.Its the best i have seen.I am a beginner in hatha yoga and do pranayams. I have 2 qs.
    1) plz put the video of Weight Loss Kundalini Yoga Program.Its not available now.
    2) Iam suffering from nasal polyp.Have undergone 1 operation 3 years ago. Now it is in another nostril. I am taking steam, doing jal neti. Its not curing well.The water/steam is getting stuck in the nostril and its leading to secretion of water when i blow the nose slightly and little blood. what shud i do? I am feel heaviness in my eyes and head and feel lethargic. plz guide. thanks

  12. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hey Alex,

    You are 100% right. This is a great method and one I have used very often throughout my life with uncanny success. My dad actually taught me this technique when I was young :-).

    Glad the tips were helpful.


  13. alex
    alex says:

    One of the best ways to wake up at any given time is to ask yourself (or rather your higher self) to wake you up at that specific time. You can even ask it (well, yourself, to wake you up at the best time to practice meditation). You may be surprised at how effective this is. So before you go to sleep, ask yourself (but with meaning, you can’t just say the words in your head) to wake you up at whatever time you wish.
    Oh and your tips helped me alot as well, giving me more energy after waking up.

  14. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Greetings MysticSaint,

    Great to have your presence here on Mastery of Meditation. You have a wonderful blog as well, full of wisdom and inspiration.

    Thank you for your encouraging feedback.

    All Good Wishes,


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Meditation Techniques For Beginners » Blog Archive says:

    […] Time: Dawn is a terrific time to practice yoga and meditation, but this is more so for pranayama practice.  This is because the early morning air is fresh and at this time the air contains the most amount of prana.  Practicing at this time, will bestow benefits faster.  Of course, if this is not feasible, no worries, practice when you can.  Here is an article on How to Help You Become an Early Riser. […]

  2. Daily Journal: February 26 « Improvement Journal says:

    […] On getting up early […]

  3. […] If you want to live an inspired and energetic life, do what you are passionate about.  I have written about this key topic in the ever popular article, The Secret of How to Become an Early Riser, but will summarize the essence of it for you here.  Energy is provided where it is needed or demanded by life.  When you are really interested in doing something, you will notice that the energy will show up, in this way, when you are doing things you are passionate about, you will find yourself having abundant energy and motivation.  A sure fire way to feel lethargic and depressed is to undertake jobs and careers you have no love or passion for.  If you really want to be full of energy and zeal, do that which love to do. […]

  4. […] To really increase the chances of meditation becoming an integral part of your life, set a particular time of day when you plan to meditate.  Preferably this should be early in the morning if possible (See: How to Become an Early Riser), but if not, then some other time of day when you can do your meditation consistently is also fine.  For beginner’s, the optimum configuration is 2 times per day, 20 minutes each session, once in the morning, once in the evening.  This configuration has been proven time and again to be the best for those just learning to meditate. […]

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