Does the Early Bird Really Catch the Worm?

I’ve always been a morning person. I used to practically leap out of bed in the morning. I’d throw the covers off, swing my legs over the edge and hit the ground running.

Ayurveda suggests that, to optimize energy, waking just before sunrise is ideal for Pitta types; waking well before sunrise is best for Kapha but Vata can sleep later due to their hyper-mobile nature. They need more rest and stillness, since they are so mentally and physically active when awake.

I’m Pitta predominant and I’ve always enjoyed waking early after about 7 hours of sleep. This is exactly what Ayurveda suggests is a good amount of sleep for my type so, lucky me! I seem to be right on track.

Waking really early does have its cons, though. I’m often negotiating earlier dinner dates with friends so that I can be finished dinner by 7pm and home and in bed by 10:30pm. In the summer, when the days are longer, I sometimes wake as early as 4:30 or 5am and then find myself ready to be done the day by 5pm, when many friends are just getting off work and wanting to go out and do something active after sitting at a desk all day.

Since my early riser lifestyle occasionally puts me out of sync with others, I started to wonder if this schedule really does work best for me or if it’s just a habit I’ve gotten into. Would I actually function worse (or better) if I went to bed later and/or slept longer?

So, I did an experiment and started staying up later…