You might want to rethink hitting that snooze button.

Woman waking up and stretching in bed
Credit: Cavan Images / Getty Images

Not a morning person? We have some sad news for you: A pair of related surveys conducted by Amerisleep find that early risers report having higher productivity levels, salaries, and quality of life than late sleepers. And not just early risers—really early risers.

Amerisleep separately polled 510 "early risers" (here, meaning those typically up and at 'em between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m) and 506 "late risers" (people who wake up between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.) to uncover how certain wake-up times affect everything from mood to salary. The survey also breaks down results by generation to see how morning routines vary by age demographic.

Among the early riser crew, the most common wake-up time is 6 a.m., with baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials choosing to get up at 6 a.m. at least 40 percent of the time. But just because it's the most favored time to wake up doesn't mean it yields the highest productivity. Per the survey, people who get themselves out of bed at the crack of dawn—yes, we're talking about 4 a.m.—responded they felt "highly productive" 71 percent of the time. Compare that to people who snooze until 11 a.m, the least likely group to report being productive (they're only productive 36 percent of the time).

Getting things done isn't the only perk of setting an early alarm. On average, early risers earn $45,725 a year, nearly $15,000 more per year than the average late-riser's salary of $30,835. Those with 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. wake-up calls make the most ($48, 582 and $48,339 respectively), while those used to getting out of bed at noon earn the least (with an average income of $22,689).

Early risers also tend to be the happiest and most satisfied with their quality of life. While both early and late risers claimed to be similarly satisfied with how much sleep they get (to each their own!), morning people were more likely to say their health, sleep quality, and social life were excellent, compared to those who typically sleep late.

It makes sense that waking up early exposes you to more daylight, adds hours to your day, and cultivates productivity, which could potentially yield higher earnings. But listen, not being a morning person doesn't mean you'll never earn a good living, or that you're lazy or a failure—and if you like sleeping in, by all means, hit snooze and sleep in.

But if you've been thinking about training yourself to become a morning person for reasons of your own, know that it can absolutely be done. In fact, a lot of people who get up early now, weren't always this chipper before 7 a.m. As the study finds, of the group of early risers, only half of them claim to have always been that way, while the other half either had to or chose to become early risers. The majority said their job inspired the change, some made the switch purely from wanting to get more done, others were forced to once they had kids, and a sizable group said they started working out in the mornings.


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