By now, you've probably decided that you're either an early riser or a night owl. Early risers spring out of bed at 5 a.m., eager to get going. Night owls, of course, could not drag themselves out of bed at 5 a.m. for even the most important event.

While there is considerable debate over whether it's better to be an early riser than a night owl, it's known that your preference for one over the other has to do with your circadian rhythm, or internal body clock. Your circadian rhythm regulates your sleep/wake cycle, and controls the release of hormones to get you going in the morning.

For some people, it's possible that their circadian rhythm responds to the outside world in a slightly different way, making some of us prefer late nights and others early mornings.

Still, according to professor Jim Horne from the Loughborough Sleep Research Centre, only a fraction of us are actually 'morning' or 'night' people. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

"About half the population is neither one nor the other," he says. "About 10 percent are extreme morning or evening types. Most people are somewhere in between."

Assuming you are not a night owl or an early riser, but are somewhere in the middle, should you strive to become a morning person (assuming you are not a shift worker and actually have this option)? According to some experts, yes.

Early Rising May be Beneficial

Numerous productivity experts swear by the powers of getting up early to make the most of your day. And, according to Psychology Today, "early risers are more agreeable than those who prefer the P.M. hours," and "morning people also have more stable personalities and lower levels of aggression."

These findings support the idea, according to Psychology Today, that the feel-good hormone serotonin plays a role in keeping your circadian rhythm 'regular,' while at the same time keeping your mood stable. This may explain why people who naturally wake up early, and fall asleep at a reasonable hour, seem to also have more agreeable personalities.

Similarly, adolescents who prefer to stay up late and sleep in may have more behavioral problems than those who like to wake early, according to Pennsylvania State University researchers.

"A preference for evening activities and staying up late is related to problem behavior and is evident even in preteens," said study co-author Dr. Elizabeth J. Susman.

How to Become an Early Riser

For night owls, becoming someone who springs out of bed as soon as the first morning sunlight filters through the shades may seem impossible, but rest assured that with The Sedona Method, it's not.

"Often night owls cannot get to sleep early because their minds are still racing from the day or they have simply gotten into a different sleep pattern that has now become a habit," says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and Director of Training of Sedona Training Associates.

"The best way to break this cycle is to release when you are trying to fall asleep, which very quickly slows down your mind and allows for clear, restful sleep," he says.

The Sedona Method will show you how to tap into your inner ability to release so you can relax and slumber earlier in the evening. You can focus on letting go of:
  • Your list of things to do before you go to sleep
  • Your inhibitions about sleeping earlier
  • Your fear that you won't be able to fall asleep
  • Your desire to stay up late
  • Your resistance to waking early

The more you release, the more both the duration and the quality of your sleep will increase. Soon you'll find that you're naturally waking earlier, with increased energy.