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Harmonizing Science and Faith on the Lark Advantage

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By: Mohd Younus Bhat

The term “lark” is inspired by the lark bird, known for its early morning activities, and describes individuals who naturally wake up early and retire early in the evening. Such individuals are often most energetic and productive in the morning, embodying the timeless adage, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a person healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

This gender-neutral saying not only bridges the gap between scientific understanding and religious teachings but also stands as a universally accepted principle that transcends cultural and temporal boundaries. It highlights the benefits of aligning one’s habits with the natural rhythms of day and night, underscoring the wisdom in early rising and its positive impact on one’s health, prosperity, and intellectual well-being.

The confluence of scientific validation and spiritual enlightenment supporting this adage is illuminated in this piece highlighting how an early sleep regimen is pivotal for nurturing physical vigour, economic success, and intellectual sharpness, concurrently resonating with spiritual disciplines for a comprehensive state of well-being.

Scientific Perspective

Scientific investigations suggest a subtle link between sleep timing and self-assessed health, challenging the straightforward benefits traditionally associated with early sleeping and rising. While some studies find no significant correlation between early sleep/wake times and outcomes like health, wealth, or wisdom, others underline the cognitive advantages of early rising, such as enhanced attention and memory, potentially bolstering economic and spiritual pursuits.

Additionally, exploring the effects of early morning activities on sleep and alertness reveals potential drawbacks, including reduced sleep time and increased stress. These insights collectively focus on the importance of a balanced approach to sleep habits, aligning with natural circadian rhythms for optimal well-being, and offer a more complex view that both questions and supports the age-old advice.

Economic & Spiritual Prosperity

The early sleep-wake habits contribute to economic productivity is a notion supported by both scientific research and the teachings of major world religions. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism each shed light on the importance of discipline, diligence, and the wise use of time, underscoring the link between early rising and material success.

In Christianity, Proverbs 6:10-11 warns against laziness and underscores the value of diligence for economic stability (“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a bandit. The practice of the Fajr prayer before dawn in Islam encourages a productive start to the day, aligning spiritual discipline with economic well-being (“And in the early hours of the morning, they were found praying for Forgiveness,” Quran 51:18). The concept of Brahmamuhurta in Hinduism suggests that success in material and spiritual matters comes from rising early (Laws of Manu, Chapter 4, Verse 92). Buddhism, through teachings in the AnguttaraNikaya, advocates for diligence and mindfulness in daily work, implying an early start is conducive to both spiritual practice and economic activity.

Cognitive Enhancement

The confluence of religious practices and scientific insights reveals a universal appreciation for the early morning hours as a time of spiritual and cognitive rejuvenation. Christianity emphasizes preparedness and mental alertness, akin to the cognitive readiness advocated by the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Islam sanctifies the early dawn with the Fajr prayer, seen as a blessed time for spiritual and mental clarity (Quran 17:78). Hinduism identifies the Brahmamuhurta as an auspicious time for meditation and intellectual pursuits, harmonizing spiritual practice with cognitive enhancement (Rig Veda, Mandala 1, Sukta 125). Buddhism regards early morning meditation as the key to developing mindfulness and decision-making skills, linking spiritual discipline with improved cognitive functions (Dhammapada, Verse 293-294).

This synthesis of religious and scientific perspectives underlines the early morning as a pivotal time for both spiritual awakening and cognitive optimization, suggesting a holistic approach to enhancing well-being through early rising and engagement in reflective or meditative practices.

A Universal Truth

The principle of rising with the first light embodies a universal truth revered across Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, underlining its profound impact beyond mere lifestyle advice. This shared value across diverse religious teachings emphasizes the principle’s role as a spiritual discipline, suggesting that early rising is not just beneficial for physical health and productivity but crucial for spiritual growth and alignment.

This alignment with the natural rhythm of daybreak is seen as a conduit to a higher order of living, integrating the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of well-being. The unanimity among these religions on the importance of embracing the dawn reflects collective wisdom: that the discipline of early rising nurtures not only the body and mind but also the spirit, paving the way for a fulfilled and harmonious life.


The ageless saying, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a person healthy, wealthy, and wise,” finds robust backing both in modern scientific studies and age-old religious doctrines, providing a comprehensive framework for achieving overall well-being. This convergence of evidence suggests that by adopting early sleeping and rising habits, individuals can tap into a wide range of benefits that encompass physical health, economic success, cognitive sharpness, and spiritual peace.

It suggests that the early morning, with its inherent tranquillity, offers a unique opportunity for personal growth and fulfilment. This shared wisdom across scientific and spiritual realms advocates for a lifestyle marked by discipline and mindfulness, underscoring the early hours as a crucial period for setting the foundation of a balanced, productive, and enriched life.

The writer is Research Scholar, Pondicherry University.

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