The Truth About How to Become a Morning Person


The ringing of an alarm clock can be a dreadful sound, aggressively yanking people out of a deep sleep. Some folks, however, are spared the jarring noise. The morning person naturally wakes up feeling refreshed, alert, and ready to start the day. It’s a lifestyle preference, many believe, but science says otherwise. Whether or not you can become a morning person has little to do with choice and a lot to do with your DNA, or more specifically, your chronotype.

“It’s not too long ago that the chronotype was a very vague concept. It basically was how you felt about yourself—whether you felt you were a morning person or an evening person,” says Nick Littlehales, advisor on sleep to several corporations and professional sports teams and founder of

“But it’s now proven genetically that there is a certain set of the population that is two to three hours behind the rest.”

One of the leading scientists examining chronotypes is Till Roenneberg, Ph.D., of Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. In the mid-2000s, he and his staff examined the sleep-wake times of more than 55,000 people. They found within that group, small sets of people followed pretty extreme schedules—night owls preferred to go to bed as late as 5 a.m., which is about the same time that very early wakers (described as larks) get up. The majority of people went to sleep sometime between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., w…

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