Think Waking Up at 5 A.M. Will Boost Your Productivity? Think Again

Updated 05/05/19
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You've probably heard many times that waking up early will ensure you enjoy a productive day. Some of the most accomplished people swear by their early wake-up times and packed morning routines, suggesting that setting the alarm clock ahead could be the secret to success. However, Jon Levy, behavioral scientist and author of The 2 AM Principle, argues the opposite, writing in Inc. that waking up at 5 a.m. could be what's actually hurting not helping your productivity.

For starters, Levy cites circadian neuroscientist Russell Foster's assertion that there is no research that proves waking up early makes you more productive. On the contrary, there is evidence that not getting enough sleep can reduce your happiness. A Gallup poll found that getting more sleep is linked to higher well-being and getting enough sleep is the number one factor on the list for what makes people happiest.

Michael Breus, PhD, nicknamed The Sleep Doctor, asserts that individuals fall into one of four chronotypes that dictate the best time for them to wake up. "Our biology influences what times of the day we are most productive," writes Levy of Breus's work. "The overwhleming majority of all people are not built to consistently wake up at 5 a.m. As his third point, Levy cites how studies have found that sleep deprivation mimics intoxication, making you more irritable, less functional, and certainly less productive.

So unless you're biologically wired to be an early riser, set your alarm to a time when your body feels ready to start the day (and still get to work on time). There's no use in forcing yourself to adopt a schedule your internal clock resists, only to crash later on down the line.

To actually boost your productivity, remove this one thing from your morning routine once you do get up.

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