Get up early: The best tips and things worth knowing about getting up early

Früh aufstehen: Die besten Tipps & Wissenswertes für frühes Aufstehen

Getting up early is difficult for many people. This is particularly tragic because it is an important part of everyday life for many of them and can therefore negatively affect their quality of life.

In this article we have clarified the most important questions that exist on the subject. They should help you to understand the problem and to take the solution into your own hands. We have also put together specific tips and tricks to make it easier for you to get up in the future.

the essentials in brief

  • When and how well you can get up depends on your chronotype. This is your internal clock, so to speak, which determines your daily and sleeping rhythm.
  • Getting up early should never be at the expense of adequate sleep. The consequences of lack of sleep can be a lack of concentration and forgetfulness in the short term, but even depression or diabetes in the long term.
  • There are many ways in which you can influence your sleep rhythm and thus your wake-up times. One of the most important ways of doing this is regularity, that is, building a stable routine.

Background: What you should know about getting up early

So that you can later find the right advice for you, you should know a few general things about sleeping and getting up. Because we don't all work the same way.

To give you the information you need, we have answered the following questions. They can help you to understand your individual problems and thus find the right solutions.

Why is it difficult for some people to get up early?

Not everyone gets out of bed the same way in the morning - and that's completely normal. People have different needs and sleep is no exception. Although the regulation of sleeping and waking states has not yet been finally clarified, some factors that influence it are already known (1).

The main reason why getting up is difficult for some and easy for others lies in the so-called chronotypes. Chronotypes describe a person's 'internal clock'. This depends on many different factors, such as genetics, and even changes over the course of a lifetime, but is relatively stable for an individual (2). This internal clock is not exactly 24 hours long, but about ten minutes longer or shorter, depending on the person. This can pose problems when it interferes with our 24-hour day (3).

You may have heard the terms 'lark' and 'owl' when it comes to sleep patterns. They designate the two most 'extreme' alignments of chronotypes. So if two people go to bed at the same time and get up early, but one is 'lark' and the other is 'owl', the 'owl' will have a hard time getting up.

What are the advantages of getting up early?

There's a saying, 'Get up early, get more out of the day', but that's only half true. That assumption would be true if everyone went to sleep at the same time, but of course that's not the case.

The proverb is only true when it comes to things that are limited to certain times of the day. Logically, people who get up earlier also have more time to go shopping or make appointments, for example, since these activities are only possible at certain times of the day. The same applies to sunlight, for example.

So getting up early has advantages if it is not related to other activities or social life. Of course, it also makes sense if you like to wake up early anyway. But getting up early for no reason or will is incomprehensible.

Am I more productive if I get up early?

At what time of the day someone is productive is just as individual as their sleeping rhythm. Both can also be related. However, there is no evidence that getting up early is generally associated with more productive behavior.

Much more important than the exact time you get up is another factor: sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep can be associated with various symptoms, even in the case of a slight deficiency: Too little sleep is associated with impairments in memory and learning ability, concentration problems, and long-term diseases such as depression or diabetes (5, 6, 4, 10"> .

So getting up early at the expense of sleep will not lead to a more productive day, but to an unhealthier life in the long term.

What time do I have to go to bed to get up early?

There is no clear answer to this question either, because the perfect time to sleep also depends on the individual sleep rhythm. However, there are approximate guidelines for how much sleep a person needs per day.

Old sleep per day
newborn 16-18 hours
kindergarten age 11-12 hours
school children about 10 hours
teenager 9-10 hours
Adult 7-8 hours


More important than the exact number of hours slept is that a sleep cycle is completed without interruption (8). You should therefore use the times in the table as a guide to find out your perfect times for sleeping and getting up. Then you can calculate the right time to fall asleep yourself. However, keep in mind that your rhythm has to adapt.

Why am I tired in the afternoon when I got up early?

If you are tired in the afternoon, there can be various reasons. For example, it could be related to your lunch or caffeine intake. If this is not the case, but only occurs if you got up early, for example, it may be related to your sleep.

The obvious assumption is that the tiredness stems from a lack of sleep. However, if this cannot explain the problem, there are other potential triggers. It could also be an indication that the quality of your sleep is not optimal: For example, if you wake up and a sleep phase is interrupted or you cannot go through all of them for other reasons, your sleep is less restful. However, the mechanism of sleep is related to many different aspects, so there are not always easy answers (9, 1">.

Why do I have circulatory problems after getting up early?

If you have circulatory problems when you wake up, it's probably not related to your sleep. Instead, they often have something to do with blood pressure - if it is too low, this often leads to dizziness and the like. If you have this problem for a long time, you should talk to your doctor.

Get up early: The best tips & tricks for getting up early

Regardless of whether you would like to change your rhythm of life, or whether you are forced to get up early because of school, study or work: there are a few tricks that can help you.

We have summarized these for you in the following paragraphs.

Get up early by getting used to the sleep rhythm

As already described above, people have different sleep and daily rhythms. Your inner clock, for example, is also dependent on your genetics, but you can also influence it yourself.


If you only use your bedroom for sleeping, your body will get used to it and you will be able to fall asleep better. (Image Source: Unsplash / Mink Mingle)

Your body is constantly resetting its internal clock. Light, for example, is one factor that influences this (7). So if you give your body clear signals, for example by opening the curtains immediately after getting up or exposing yourself to artificial light from a daylight lamp, this can influence your sleeping rhythm. However, this also means that the light is off when you want to fall asleep, i.e. there is no bright light coming from your mobile phone, for example (8).

Getting up early due to routine

Routine is repeatedly mentioned as an important factor for an even sleep rhythm. This also seems logical if you know about the inner clock. It is therefore part of the routine that the times for falling asleep and waking up are always the same. This also applies to the weekend, when your inner clock doesn't take a break either (7, 8">.

people who jog

Routine can help you get used to getting up early. This could be, for example, a regular appointment to go jogging - or to drink coffee. (Image source: Unsplash / Tomasz Woźniak)

The routine before falling asleep is also part of routine sleeping or a sleep ritual. If you've gotten used to having a cup of tea, brushing your teeth, and lying down immediately afterwards, chances are your body will too. It can also help if the bedroom (or the bed if you don't have separate rooms) is not used for other activities. So TV should be on the couch, sleeping in bed (9, 7, 8">.

Getting up early with good reason

The motivation to get up early is sometimes not easy to find. Especially if you don't have any compulsions but want to keep up your sleep schedule, it can be hard to find a good reason to do so. Not everything works for everyone, but maybe one of the following reasons will motivate you:

  • Relaxed morning and commute
  • More time with your loved ones
  • Reward with coffee or a hearty breakfast
  • More free time in the afternoon
  • Watching a morning show

There are many different good reasons why it can be worthwhile for you. The best thing to do is to write your own list and see what works for you.

Getting up without a reason is a hurdle you have to overcome every day. Therefore, it is better to find one, even if it is trivial, because it will make things easier for you.

Get up early with water

Your body consists mostly of water - and needs this to live. After getting up, it's best to drink a glass or more of water quickly to get your body going. You lose a lot of water at night because you sweat. You can balance that out and feed it back to the body.

Taking a shower after waking up can also help. Whether you then use cold water because it wakes you up faster or not is of secondary importance. Just getting into a routine can help you stick to that routine.

Getting up early through (forced) exercise

If you find it particularly difficult to get out of bed in the morning and are more likely to lie around and fall asleep again, exercise can help. Since it's probably difficult to motivate yourself to do this every day, you can force yourself. This works, for example, by not putting your alarm clock next to your bed, but in a place you have to walk to. This can be the shower or the coffee machine, because if you've already made it there, you can take a shower or make coffee right away.

Alarm clock with coffee and tea in the background

If you have already managed to get out of bed, you can immediately reward yourself with a cup of coffee or tea. Then you have a good reason not to lie down again. (Image Source: Unsplash / Sanah Suvarna)

So if you can force yourself to get out of bed, you've already done the hardest part. It takes more effort to lie down and repeat this procedure later than to start the day right away. This is especially true if you link this step to the next.


How well or poorly you can stand up depends on many different factors. You cannot influence all of them, but this does not mean that you are at the mercy of your inner clock. However, it is important to understand roughly how it works so that you can then exert a targeted influence.

The same goes for the tips and tricks: not all of them work equally well for everyone. It is therefore all the more important to get an overview and to find suitable ones. This is particularly essential when you think about the fact that getting up early accompanies many of us every day for many years.


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  3. Fischer D, Lombardi DA, Marucci-Wellman H, Roenneberg T. Chronotypes in the US - Influence of age and sex. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 21;12(6):e0178782. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178782. PMID: 28636610; PMCID: PMC5479630.
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  6. Marx R, Tanner-Smith EE, Davison CM, Ufholz LA, Freeman J, Shankar R, Newton L, Brown RS, Parpia AS, Cozma I, Hendrikx S. Later school start times for supporting the education, health, and well-being of high school students. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 3;7(7):CD009467. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009467.pub2. PMID: 28670711; PMCID: PMC6483483.
  7. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). (2011, September). In Brief: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep. Retrieved June 15, 2020, from
  8. US National Library of Medicine (2017). healthy sleep
  9. American Family Physician (2015). Chronic Insomnia: What You Can Do to Sleep Better. In: Am Fam Physician, 92(12).
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