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Up with the Lark - Why Becoming a 'Super-Early Riser' Could Work for Parents

Among the many New Year’s resolutions parents are keen to commit to, getting more sleep is enduringly popular, but remains, for most, frustratingly aspirational! Yes, the ubiquitous Gro-Clock may rule supreme in some households but others are resigned to the fact that in summer no blackout blind on the planet- no, not even combined with a comforting ‘resettling routine’- is going to prevent little Jessica or Jenson ‘bouncing off the walls’ before BBC Breakfast goes on air. If you are a sleep deprived parent who, despite the dreary January mornings, is currently woken at the crack of dawn by a child ready to begin their day, becoming a ‘Super-Early Riser’ may be the answer. It’s a lifestyle choice that many people in the public-eye have embraced - (and none purely because they found a toddler asking for Cheerios in their room at an ungodly hour!) Most report that waking up in the wee hours has enabled them to carve out time for their own fulfilling interests and endeavours. Finnish vlogger and mother of ten (!) Tania Licciardo-Toivola rises most often a few minutes in advance of her 3am alarm. This allows around three hours of precious time to herself before her youngest children wake. She uses this time to read, study, play the piano, calmly prepare herself for the day and oh- even has time to pop on a load of laundry! US- based actor, producer and restauranteur Mark Wahlberg’s routine sees him waking at 2:30am. He spends the early morning hours working hard in the the gym, meditating , praying and playing golf or basketball. Having ticked off the majority of both work-related and personal to do lists by 3pm, he is able to dedicate the late afternoon to his family.

Both of these ‘Larks’ head for bed predictably early though, Licciardo-Toivola at around 8:25pm and Wahlberg by 7:30pm. Discussing this lifestyle proposal with a group of London based parents, I was met with some puzzled faces, a single word response (‘Insane’) and among many other questions “When are you supposed to spend time with your partner or call your friends?”

Usually of course, we would also miss the joyous excitement of dressing up for an evening out at the theatre, cinema, concert, bar, restaurant or visiting friends. Now though, with our evening activities currently limited and many able to work remotely or flexibly, could becoming a Super Early Riser in 2021 actually make complete sense?

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