Be Happier: Wake Up EarlierMy happiness project has turned me into a sleep zealot. If I want to feel happy, calm, energetic, and mentally sharp, I must get enough sleep.

At the same time, though, a resolution that has also boosted my happiness is “Get up earlier.” A few years ago, because I wanted a calmer, less hurried morning with my family, I started getting up earlier — and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve started setting my alarm earlier and earlier.

I started at 7:00 a.m. with the rest of my family, then moved to 6:30, then 6:15, and now 6:00. I love the early morning so much that I’d wake up at 5:00, but that would mean a bedtime of about 8:00 p.m., which just isn’t workable. I can barely stay up to a normal adult hour, as it is.

I spend the hour from 6:00 to 7:00 working at my desk, and I love the light, and the quiet, and the sense of focus and freedom from interruption that I have during that hour. I wish I could go for a walk, too, but so far the desire to spend the time at my desk has triumphed.

I’m a fan of the writings as well as the photographs of photographer Edward Weston, and in his Daybooks on February 2, 1931, he captures the atmosphere of working in the early morning:

“Peace again! – The exquisite hour before dawn, here at my old desk — seldom have I realized so keenly, appreciated so fully, these still, dark hours.”

One of the great challenges of a happiness project is to think about time: whether the structure of our ordinary days reflects our values, interests, and temperament. Sometimes, making a shift like waking earlier or changing a daily routine can make a big difference.

Of course, for someone else, a happiness project might suggest getting up later. There’s no right or wrong way, only what is right for a particular person.

?How about you? Do you love early mornings — or quite the opposite?
If you could, would you wake up earlier, or later?

A thoughtful reader who knows about my continuing obsession with the sense of smell sent me the link from the New York Times about Sensorium, “a nerdy, interactive exhibit devoted to perfume” sponsored by Firmenich and Sephora. It’s right here in New York City, and I cannot wait to go.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 6 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Oct 2011
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Rubin, G. (2011). Be Happier: Wake Up Earlier. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 26, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/10/30/be-happier-wake-up-earlier/

 

Recent Comments
  • Chet Bush: Thank you Professor Betsy Hoza for your ‘much needed Study on the ‘impotence of...
  • Lucy: Hi Shawna – you really need to get away from your father. You also need to realise that nothing he says...
  • kazchaz: This is helpful, very much so and it would be great to hear from you again, with updates on your progress,...
  • sambo: I really need some help im so depressed and anxious I cant work or leave the house im on antidepressants and...
  • Concerned: My father was a narcissist. He basically ruined my mother’s life and she ended up dying young of...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 11789
Join Us Now!