Happy Talk

Can you only be successful if you wake up at the crack of dawn?

Society tells us success is exclusive to the early risers, but does a morning routine work for everyone? Christine Manby sets her alarm and dons her gym clothes to put the theory to the test

Monday 13 May 2019 17:41 BST
Scenes of debauchery in Gin Lane by William Hogarth
Scenes of debauchery in Gin Lane by William Hogarth

For the past few weeks I’ve been learning about the joys and benefits of an early morning routine and, needless to say, it’s been exhausting. I am not a natural lark. However, Googling “the benefits of getting up late” to excuse my sloth-like behaviour spurred me into action. According to the Internet, there are no benefits to sleeping in. The first item Google threw up was a list of all the things I’m missing out on with a warning in capital letters “YOU WILL NEVER BE SUCCESSFUL”. It seems that those of us who sleep after seven are on a par with smokers, binge drinkers and people who think chips count as one of their five a day.

If Hogarth were drawing the scene, the early birds would be like the residents of his Beer Street. Look how happy and prosperous they are! Meanwhile, we late starters would be like the denizens of Gin Lane, showing our tits and letting the baby fall down the stairs while we catch an extra forty winks.

As a society we make value judgments about people who prefer to stay in bed until the Radio 2 Breakfast Show is safely off air and none of them are good. Tired of being judged for my sleeping habits, I decided it was time to join the moral majority. I’d tried Five Rhythms Dancing. I could try “getting up”.

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