Said to include the Obamas, Apple CEO Tim Cook and US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, the uber early risers leave their beds as early as 4.30am to get ahead of their day and make the most of the calm before the working day storm.
Generally thought to be planners and forward thinkers, larks are often more studious than their late night counterparts, the owls. These late night birds tend to be more creative types – innovative, extrovert and flexible.
Said Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council: “People have always tended to fall into two camps when it comes to sleeping habits but we’re hearing about a growing number of high profile business leaders who start their day while the rest of us are still buried under the duvet.
“But whether you are a night or morning person, stealing too much sleep from either end of the day will ultimately take its toll. Most of us need a good seven to eight hours of solid sleep a night to really perform at our best – start scrimping on that and people are in danger of becoming too tired to be truly effective.”
Here then are The Sleep Council’s tips for joining the ranks of the early bird entrepreneurs:
- If you’re determined to make an early assault on the day, make the transition gradually. Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier every two or three days and phase in the early starts over the course of a few weeks.
- If you’re going to rise early, then go to bed at a correspondingly early hour. As your alarm time creeps forward, so must your bedtime. To make the early morning adjustment, set three different alarms – each timed to go off about a minute apart. Place the final alarm in a spot in the bedroom where you will have to get out of bed to turn it off.
- Use light to boost your early morning alertness. In winter, use of wake-up lights stimulates the production of hormones to help us get up and go and will also help with resetting your body clock.
- Sleep Council research shows that high flyers tend to recognise the importance of sleeping in a comfortable and supportive bed – and are more likely to invest in buying a really good quality mattress. Spend as much as you can afford on a new bed – and buy as big a one as your bedroom allows.
- Don’t be tempted to lie-in for too long at weekends to make up for all the early starts. Keeping regular hours is important to maintaining body clock routine – and straying too far from it will just leave you feeling tired and lethargic come Monday morning.
- Remember, to effect change, you have to change your behavior. And once you’ve successfully made the transition to early morning riser, make the most of the extra time you’ve gained by doing all your important planning and thinking while you feel at your freshest and the day is at its quietist.