Rise and Shine: 5 Reasons to Get Up Early in the Morning

“Daybreak is a never-ending glory, getting out of bed is a never-ending nuisance.”
- G.K. Chesterton

For the past year or so, I’ve been getting out of bed earlier than I ever have. Don’t get me wrong, it can be hard, and I still hit the snooze button more often than I’d like, but I find that waking up really early is tremendously helpful.

Today, I’d like to share five reasons I think every man should get up early in the morning.

1. Quietness - The world is filled with noise in the form of busyness and media stimulation. We rush around frantically, and when we aren’t busy, our downtime is filled with the glow of electronic screens. I was recently at gas station, and even the gas pump had a built in TV flashing news headlines and advertisements. Apparently filling up without a TV screen is too much to ask.

In contrast, getting up early provides some much needed quiet space. It might even be the only time of day when you’re not distracted by something, and having those few moments of peace can make a big difference in your stress levels.

2. Time with our Lord - Do you feel you don’t have time to pray? Do you want to spend some time in Scripture or the writings of the saints, but you find yourself too busy? Just as it makes space for silence, getting up early can provide much needed time for prayer, Scripture reading, meditating on the truths of the faith, or just resting in God’s presence.

In Psalm 5, David says, “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.” God blesses those who rise early to praise him.

Even if you begin to get up a half hour earlier than you normally do, you will find that it’s plenty of time to read a chapter of the Gospels and pray for strength for the day. In my experience, I find this simple activity sets the tone for the rest of the day. If I miss it, I am stressed out and more irritable. When I make time for it, though, I am more peaceful and mindful of God’s presence.

3. It builds discipline - Getting up is hard. When you’re tucked between warm sheets and resting on a comfortable pillow, prolonging the comfort becomes very important. Because it’s so comfortable, getting out of bed can be an excellent exercise in self-mastery—and the saints tell us that conquering ourselves is necessary for any kind of holiness.

St. Josemaria Escriva once said that getting out of bed early is hard enough that it makes for an excellent penance—especially if you leap out of bed the minute your alarm goes off. If you really want to show God you are sorry for your sins, pry yourself out of bed and spend some time with him in prayer.

4. Sunrises - When’s the last time you saw a sunrise? If you haven’t seen one recently, you really should. They are one of the glories of God’s creation. The problem is, sunrises don’t wait for you to wake up. They happen pretty early. So get out of bed and watch one! You won’t regret it.

5. Creativity - Most of my blog posts are written in the early morning (if there’s typos, it’s probably because I’m not quite awake yet!). Once I’ve shaken off the drowsiness, I find I am actually quite creative in the morning. The silence I mentioned earlier makes it easier to focus, and there is a certain mental freshness that accompanies a new day after a good night’s sleep.

CONCLUSION

There you have it. Waking up early can be hard, but it is definitely worth it. It gives you much needed space for important things like prayer and silence, and it builds your muscles of self-discipline.

Now, I will add that if you’ve read the above points and they’ve inspired you to wake up earlier than you normally do, you should probably ease into things. Don’t set your alarm for 4:30 a.m. if you’re used to getting up at 6:30 a.m.! It will be too much of a shock, you’ll fail, and you’ll get frustrated. Instead, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than normal until it’s no longer a shock. Then, work your way back to your desired wake up time.

Happy early rising!

PS: A great cup of coffee makes the morning routine both a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable. If you’re looking for some delicious, manly brew to help you get up early, you’ll want to check out brand new Catholic Gentleman Coffee! We’re currently offering two blends: The Gentleman’s Blend and The Mustache Blend. Click through to learn more about these delicious, “infallibly roasted” coffees!

By

Sam Guzman is an author and editor of The Catholic Gentleman whose work has appeared in several publications. He resides in Wisconsin with his wife and two small boys where he is also the Communications Director for Pro-Life Wisconsin.

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  • Benny K

    You are absolutely correct on #2 above. I have my own routine now in the morning, and it is the best way to start my day.

  • Dave Jones

    Good post Sam! I agree with it completely, especially #2. It’s my quiet prayer time that sets the tone for the day and keeps Jesus centered in my life. I like to pray as I run on my treadmill and ride my stationary bike in the silence of my basement.

  • stella

    I totally agree with getting up early. St. Josemaria Escriva called the first minute the “heroic minute”. I try very hard every day to get up between 5 and 6 am. I have time to do my daily Mass reading, my meditations and also my breviary along with prayers for the Holy Souls and to the Holy Spirit. I add prayers for the Holy Father, more holy priests and those who are fighting in wars far from home. Granted I don’t always make it thru but I find it a wonderful way to start the day and it seems like I have more time to do things. The wonderful thing is that I get prepared for daily Mass and afterward join daily Rosary group in the Adoration Chapel. Sometimes I stay an hour or at least 30 minutes. I know not everyone has the privilege of time like we older retired persons do but I can’t think of a more wonderful way for an senior citizen to spend their time and the great friendships that come from daily Mass/Rosary attendance. Thank you Jesus.

  • CP

    This only works if you can get to bed at a decent time. I have a hard time getting to bed before 11:30 pm due to work load and commitments. That makes it very impracticable to get up before 6 am.

  • Stacy

    Here I am, it’s 5:07 a.m. … and I do totally agree with all the reasons. God Bless

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