What does it mean to wake up at 3 a.m.

3 scientific reasons why we shouldn't get up before 5 a.m.

Apple CEO Tim Cook gets up at 3:45 a.m. Michelle Obama does her morning exercise at 4:30 a.m. Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne starts the day at 3:30.

A guilty conscience grabs you: Do we have to get up early to be successful?

Bullshit, says behavioral scientist and "Inc" author Jon Levy. On the contrary. Not everyone is made to be on their feet in the wee hours - here's the scientific rationale.

1. Getting up early makes you unhappy

Circadian neuroscientist Russell Foster studies the sleep-wake cycle. He says there is no research that truly suggests that getting up early makes you more productive.

Accordingly, there is no scientific evidence that early risers are generally more productive and richer. "There is no different socio-economic status between early risers and late risers," writes Levy.

In a survey about what makes people happiest, getting enough sleep was named as the most important factor. And that even before social interaction!

2. It is against your nature

Whether we are early risers or late risers is genetic. Dr. Michael Breus aka the "Sleep Doctor" emphasizes in his book "The Power of When" that our bodies are programmed to be most productive at certain times of the day. And if it's against your nature, then it shouldn't be!

He divides the various preferences into the following four categories:

  • Lions: Early risers who prefer to get up with the sun
  • Bears: This sleep pattern occurs most frequently, one sleeps at night and stays awake during the day
  • Dolphins: Dolphins generally sleep very poorly. Real dolphins sleep while only half of their brain is in sleep mode
  • Wolves: You stay up late into the night and are most productive at this time

"The overwhelming majority of people are not designed to wake up at 5 a.m. regularly," says Levy. As long as you do not belong to the category of lions, you should not force yourself to get up too early - this will be noticeable in your body.

3. Lack of sleep makes you unproductive

“Waking up at an unnatural time can lead to a lack of sleep. When you are tired you become less productive. "

Everyone has probably noticed that a lack of sleep leads to poor productivity when they have had a long night and had to work early the next day.

One study found that after 17 to 19 hours without resting, people's productivity became just as bad, and even worse, than someone who drank alcohol. The numbers speak for themselves: The reaction speed of tired people was 50 percent slower than that of people with alcohol in their blood.

So if you weren't made to get up early, you shouldn't get used to it either. Because sooner or later the negative effects will become noticeable: You will become less productive and unhappy.