A 19 year old asked me, how can I start waking up earlier? (I wake up at 10 AM every morning he explained to me.) I told him that at 19 you need more sleep (8–9 hours a night) than a 70 year old (6–7 hours a night) so you have to respect your physical need for extra sleep. Also, your body tends to wake up at a certain time no matter what time you go to bed. My father used to get up at 6 AM to go to work five days a week, and on weekends, he would wake up at 6 AM too. For you, your body is used to getting up at 10 AM.

So you also have to respect the fact that your body holds onto these patterns of sleep and if you want to change them, you’ll have to do it gradually. You could try going to bed a half hour earlier every night for a week or even a month in order to get used to a new, slightly earlier, wake up time. Repeat this pattern of going to bed earlier and earlier until you get to where you want to be.

There a lot of famous people who attribute much of their success to the habit of getting up early (usually around 5 AM) from Ben Franklin to Richard Branson. It was Franklin who wrote the famous limerick: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. But it also helps to have something that you LOVE to do, to get you motivated to get up that early in the morning. For me, I LOVE to write. So I can’t wait to get up and spend a couple of hours writing first thing in the morning.

Stephen Covey, author of the best-selling self-help book, The Seven Habits of Effective People,wrote that finding uninterrupted blocks of time – where you can really focus on things that are important to you (like writing is for me) – is the key to success. Getting up at 5 AM almost guarantees that your first two hours of the day are going to be uninterrupted time. You can use that time for getting exercise, meditating, doing your homework, educating yourself, starting a business, or working on a long term project like writing a book. You’ll be amazed at how much easie.