The first recommendation is for a healthy person to get up before the sun rises, usually before 6am, depending on the location. Exceptions include being very young, very old, a new parent, or having a fever or diarrhea.

Several studies correlate waking up early with success and benefits such as having a positive attitude, better mental performance, being more proactive, a better planner and being physically healthier (due to finding extra time to exercise in the morning.)

According to Vedic wisdom, about 1½ hours before sunrise is the purest, most auspicious time of the day for our consciousness. Known as the brahma-muhurta, it is especially conducive for spiritual practices and lasts for 1 muhurta (48 minutes). Activities like meditation, prayer and study have the greatest effect during this time than at any other time in the day. Being sattvic in nature, these early hours from 2am – 6am are considered to have the qualities of Vata — light, peaceful with clarity of mind and freshness of the senses.

Rising early is an important part of the Vedic lifestyle. It aligns us with the natural rhythm of the sun and gives us an opportunity to develop our spiritual consciousness. Serious followers of Lord Krishna rise early around 3am – 4am each morning to attend the first ceremony of the day, the auspicious mangal-arati at 4.30am in their local temple. Lord Krishna Himself would immediately get up from bed on the appearance of brahma-muhurta.

Of course, our schedule may prevent us from waking up at three or four in the morning, but our aim should be to get up before sunrise. The best way to wake up early is to try go to bed as early as we practically can, say 9pm. This might seem impossible with hectic work and family responsibilities, but we should try to make an effort to adjust things in such a way to live a more natural life.