Early Rising Is Not a Fancy Thing (It’s Not Bad Either)

Jake and I exchanged couple of emails about ‘getting up early’ and this made me wonder how many of you are early risers. I get up around 7:00 – 8:00 every morning and go for 30+ minute walk. At some point in my life I was waking up around 11:00 and took a 30 minute walk to the university.

Now as I compare these habits, I can say that there’s no need for an alarm clock (my internal clock wakes me up when needed – whether it was 8 am or 11 am). I think I felt sometimes felt bit tired whether I was waking up 7 am or 11 am.

The biggest difference is that days seem to last bit longer and there’s more daylight when you get up early… but haven’t noticed much else. (Maybe that alone is okay reason to get up early). The biggest advantage of getting up late (and staying up late) for a Finnish guy is that you get to talk with the American folks (since the 10 hour whatnot time difference) – this can be good.

I don’t know if there’s studies up benefits of getting up early (there probably is), but in conclusion I’d say that in terms of game production it bears little meaning at what time I get up. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not sure there’s anything too fancy about getting up early. I don’t think there’s anything bad either. Pick the pattern that suits your style.

I know some of you guys are vampires, but I wonder how many early risers there is. Is it just me alone? Anybody else getting up early?

P.S. Naps are a king thing. A 15-30 minute nap around 3 pm is a great energy boost for me. I warmly recommend a brief siesta for every game producer.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. i agree ! Let’s stop !

    “recommended sleep is an average of 8.1274 hours sleep for a man with an average age of 26.1265 years. However if you have a child (average age 4.678 years) then the chances of you achieving maximun benefits from your sleep decrease by a ratio of 2.467% for every hour of sleep”

    oh come on, just take a sleeping pill !

    Next subject please haha

  2. “Research has showed that, on average, adults need 8.1 hours of sleep per night.”
    => if they use “averages” they might not really having a terribly scientific approach. Averages are close to useless (if not packed with info about mediums or other numbers). ;)

    Heh. :P

    Maybe we should stop this?

  3. ok had a quick look around:had time to find one Not 3 sorry)

    “Research at the University of Westminster has confirmed something that most of us already knew – there are people who do mornings and there are people who don’t. There is a difference between those who leap out of bed early and throw themselves straight into demanding activities and those who have to drag themselves into consciousness, needing a prolonged warm-up period before they can face a coffee let alone the business of the day. Are early birds physically different?Research has showed that, on average, adults need 8.1 hours of sleep per night.

    Psychologist Dr Angela Clow, who did the research, asked 42 volunteers to take saliva samples eight times during the day for two days, beginning when they first woke up. The waking times ranged from an uncomfortable pre-dawn 5.22am to the more laid-back hour of 10.37am. Half of the group were awake by 7.21am and they were found to have higher levels of cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone, than those who lingered longer in the sack.

    ‘These results are interesting,’ says Dr Angela Clow because they provide a physiological basis for the often-reported difference between early and late risers.

    ‘Early awakening has been associated with greater powers of concentration, being busier and experiencing more hassles through the day, as well as having more anger and less energy at the end of the day.
    On the other hand, late wakers were more leisurely and less busy. It is possible the cortisol may contribute towards these differences in temperament because it is known to influence mood and concentration,’ she said.

    In follow-up research over a 10-week period, it was found that the early risers were more likely to suffer from muscle aches, colds, headaches and mood swings.

    On that note, I am off to bed haha

  4. There’s a lot of medical research out there that shows its far better to go to sleep beofre midnight and wake up 8 hours later. However, I cannot function at all until noon at least… so sod the research!

  5. I was just being silly. The Airhead thing came from watching Robocop on TV once and they had dubbed over all the swearing, one of the guys says “and we even called the boss Airhead”, it was so funny.

  6. Well, I was more like thinking that “since you are unsure if it’s good for me” (early rising) you could give it a go. Taking drugs & shooting people have obvious cons (calling boss “airhead” is of course okay)… so you don’t really need your own experience on this to make an intelligent decision..

  7. I guess the same benefit can be applied to taking drugs, shooting people and calling your boss an “airhead”. You can try it out and compare it with not doing those things :-)

  8. I used to be a late sleeper, and would hit the hay around 4-7 AM every day. Now I get up at 8 AM every day and go to bed around 12-1 AM. I can’t say much for whether to get up early or late, but I can stress one VERY important advice: GET UP THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY

    If you, like me had trouble sleeping, try tihs. Get up the same time every day for two weeks. This includes the day after drinking, raiding, coding, whatever. No matter that you haven’t had much sleep. Just get normal to one hour extra sleep the next night. It has changed my life.

  9. In fact, now I found the benefit of trying “early rising” (from my previous comment):

    – You try it so you have perspective to compare it with “late rising” and then you can decide what suits best for you.

    That’s a good reason to try it out.

  10. Hah hah :)

    Sorry if I sound like a stupid idiot or something… but the thing is that if I look very carefully about the “getting up early” versus “getting up late” I don’t think there’s any benefits that couldn’t be got in other ways.

    Also notice that I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against people getting up early. It’s totally cool – nothing wrong with that. :)

    If I were you, I’d do this:
    – give it a go for like couple of weeks (or 30 days) or something.

    If it feels crappy after 30 days… just get back to what feels better. We can try listing two hundred reasons why somebody should be early riser or late riser (or something in between) but I think the best way is to try on your own.

    If you think you could benefit from getting up earlier (whether it’s family life or whatnot)… then why not try it?

    I do gotta agree that one social benefit there is: if you wake up the close same time when your family, you gotta hang out with them more (kind of)… but it might be just me.

    I’ve tried both ways and currently get up around 7-8am and it’s ok for me. You do what’s okay for you (and your family/friends/work/life) and forget what some random blogger (that would be me :D) says in some stupid blog :)

    P.S. But I know you already knew all this :)

  11. OK getting up early is good because I say it is ;-p

    Seriously though you are putting me off trying it out now though. I thought it sounded good but now I’m not so sure…

  12. Hmm, so you use ‘early rising’ as a way to isolate yourself?

    As for those interruptions:
    – email (don’t check it)
    – IM (log off)
    – skype (log off)
    – telephone (turn silent)
    – text message (see above)
    – fax (how the hell can you get interrupted by a fax machine? :D put it some closet or something :)
    – postman (consider it to be time to take a walk away from the computer – It never bothers me)
    – door salesman (don’t open the door)
    – colleagues (you gotta teach them not to interrupt you. cartman’s “I’ll kick you in the nuts” works if nothing else does the trick ;)
    – family members (close to same as above)
    – friends (tell them to get a job or something ;)


  13. @Juuso: Why not do important stuff later in the day? Because you’ll get interrupted later in the day by: email, IM, Skype, Telephone, Text Message, Fax, PostMan, Door to Door Salesman, Colleagues, Family Members, Friends etc. Also working in the middle of the night may have a similar effect to getting up early (I’ve worked all night plenty of times) but then a lot of times someone will wake you up too early (like at 9am or something) and you get bad sleep. It would only be possible to work at night and get good sleep if you isolated yourself from society (and family) in a cave with no telephone or something.

    There’s probably other reasons too as to why getting up early is good, I need to find them out.

  14. Jake: I don’t quite understand how the situation would be different if either (1) one would wake up at 11:00 for example, or if (2) done in other order (doing work/exercise afterwards).

    Don’t see any actual ‘benefit’ in that… (like “okay, if you do stuff before normal world starts up, how is that better for doing the same stuff at 11:00 or at 18:00 or whatever?” :)

  15. Toni: heh :)

    travisuped: sounds like a healthy habit. I remember reading about one bodybuilder who woke up around 4am then did exercise in 2 hours time… and was ready to go to work at 7am or something…

    DtD: ummm, so how do you deal with that? :)

  16. Pavlina is an early riser and he uses it to get more work done before the normal world starts up and he exercises too. Sounds sensible.

  17. I hate morning, and I tend to work more efficently at night, so I tend to sleep in. Plus I can’t wake up very easily before 11 AM w/o an alarm clock. (Although, I typically have to wake at 6:00 AM anyway.)


  18. I’m a morning person in general. I used to get up about 4AM and stay up until 8PM
    More recently, it’s been waking around 5-7AM and sleeping at 8-10PM

    As soon as the sunlight fades from view and it gets dark out, I get an urge to go to bed. Not heeding that results in me being very grumpy the next morning.

  19. If I could wake up around 4pm, that would be great. Though my sleep rythm gets instantly screwed if I have any free time. But given enough time, my sleep rythm would eventually loop around so it’ll appear like normal people.

    So I’m NOT a morning person :)

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