Why You Should Wake Up at 4:30 AM Every Day, According To A Navy SEAL

Published on May 13, 2018
With a busy schedule, Jocko Willink finds time to get everything done by waking up before everyone else does. Willink, former Navy SEAL and author of "Way of the Warrior Kid" explains the one habit from service that he can't shake.
For the full interview, search for "Success! How I Did It" on Apple Podcasts or your favorite app. itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/success-how-i-did-it/id1205997729?mt=2
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Following is a transcript of the video:
Richard Feloni: Are there some things from your service that you can't shake? So for example, you still wake up at 4:30 in the morning, to go workout, what was it about your time in the Seals, that you wanted to keep these habits up?
Jocko Willink: They're good habits, why would you not wake up at 4:30?
Richard Feloni: Well what does this bring to you?
Jocko Willink: Waking up early? You just get a jump on the day. The reason I wake up at 4:30 in the morning is because no one else is awake yet, so that gives me the opportunity to do things that I need to get done, kinda selfishly for myself, and the big one in that category is working out. And it doesn't feel good at 4:30 when you get up, but by the time 7 o'clock rolls around, and you've already worked out, and you've already got some work done, and you've got some time to say goodbye to your kids before they go to school? It's infinitely better than sleeping in until 6:45, and you get out of bed, and now you've missed your kids going to school, or whatever. You're not prepared for the day, it's awful.
Feloni: So if someone, maybe they don't have time to work out or they just need something that could be like a quick fix, is there something that you recommend?
Willink: Oh yeah, workouts don't have to take a long time. Workouts can be very quick. Matter of fact, go do two minutes of burpees, as many burpees as you can, in two minutes, or four minutes, or six minutes, go and sprint, go and do anything very intensely, for a short period of time and you'll get great benefit out of it.
Feloni: Something I'm sure you hear a lot is 4:30, like this either just can't fit into my schedule, or if I'm gonna be realistic, I'm probably not gonna wake up at 4:30, what do you tell people who say that?
Willink: Yeah, and there's people that work night shifts, and there's people that it's unhealthy for them, they can't fall as-- it's like no, be healthy, get enough sleep, but, first of all, wake up at the same time every day and, if you pick that time and you start waking up at the same time every day, that's very good for you. It doesn't have to be 4:30, it could be 6:30, it could be 7, I don't know what your personal schedule is, but find out a time, pick it, set it, stick to it, and maintain that schedule, and that's gonna end up better for you.
I recommend it's earlier. I recommend that you go to bed earlier, 'cause what are you doing at night, most of the time? Most of the time at night, you're not working on anything super productive, you're just winding down and watching stupid US-tv videos, or surfing the internet, reading clickbait stories, right? Don't do that, instead, go to sleep, and then wake up early.
Feloni: Could you explain that notion of discipline equals freedom?
Willink: If you want more freedom in your life, you have to have more discipline. If you don't have any discipline, you'll end up with absolutely no freedom, you'll end up being a slave to other people that boss you around. There's all kind of problems that can occur, if you don't have discipline in your life. And the more discipline you have, the more freedom you're gonna have.
Feloni: So just the discipline of the Seals, will never-- it's impossible to leave?
Willink: No, it's possible to leave, there's retired seals all over the place that are undisciplined. They've moved on, and they don't care about that anymore. It's fine, I don't judge other people on what they're doin', like they're probably stoked to sleep in and hang out with their kids, and eat breakfast in bed, that's fine. I don't have anything against that. But for me? I wanna get up and go.


  • God bless recon infantry and marsoc I'm very lucky

  • Figure out your rem cycle. Everyones is diffrent. Somone who works shifts....ex firefirghter or cop.....this isn't really an option. A workout is fit in anytime you can.

  • Hes telling this video is stupid.

  • I get the vibe the interviewer wasn’t digging having to get up earlier.

  • It's 3:41 am right now, I didn't sleep.

  • I like to lay out three sardines on the bedspread.

  • It's 5 am and I turn my phone off time to sleep 😪😪😪

  • This made me wanna sleep in later

  • I'm watching stupid youtube videos right now. LOL

  • It's 3:45 a.m. I should really go to sleep if I want to wake up at 4:00 a.m.

  • but working out on heavy compression style exercises after sleeping is bad for the spine...

    • also 'get up at 7:30 and miss saying goodbye to your kids' who the hell is sending the kids off to school then?

  • Just wake up for fajr

  • everybody should strive to be different. Otherwise you'll cause traffic jams...as you do.

  • Im watching this while going to sleep at 5am

  • I wish I could wake up 4:30 in the morning, but I'm a lazy fat slop so there's that

  • The real reason is to check the news. Ur ahead when market opens

  • It's always a good time to kill some innocent people.

  • So, 23:00 show up at this guys hse, he’ll be sleeping.

  • I go to sleep at 7:00am

  • Is this video selling something? It feels like an infomercial

  • No thanks

  • sure working out doesnt take to long but it takes me an hour to stretch out all the kinks first lol

  • I resent the whole "you're just watching stupid youtube videos" comment. Personally, I feel most awake and productive when the evening rolls around, so whenever I have times in my life when I have things to work on for deadlines or if I'm doing personal projects, I find that's when I produce the best quality end product. I think early morning stuff is better for getting chores done on the weekend and giving yourself enough time to get ready for work, drive to work, and get a to-do list of things to do for work during the day out of the way fast since not everybody is there yet to distract you. However, your ability to do that is also dependent on when your work building opens, if you don't have access to doing that yourself with an employee card, so that's another thing that doesn't work for everybody. In my experience, getting up early is great for when you have a hectic schedule, but otherwise, I think people should base when to get up on what their own circadian rhythm and levels of productivity are like. What's more important is blocking off time every day to do something that is important to you and needs to be prioritized, and disciplining yourself to stick to that time block for as long as the project or responsibility exists.

  • I wake up at 3:00am every work day... so...

  • 💪👌👍

  • I'm not even asleep at 4:30 am -_-

  • Its all the guilt of the poor people they have killed

  • What time do they go to sleep though?

  • I go to sleep at about 4am.

  • Anyone watching thing post 12 am?

  • Always brush your teeth

  • He's speaking in code..he really is saying take it back 10 mins from 430 bruh..munchies yes I have them.. Damn I just figured out the longest conspiracy in the government.

  • Lol i wake up 3:40am monday thru Saturday!

  • Just another "stupid youtube video " !!

  • I'd love to sleep in another hour and a half

  • That’s a pretty cool guy right there. 👍

  • We actually have a ton of evidence that waking up at 0430 is not good for us and not natural. So, no need to watch this video on what a "navy seal" thinks.

  • At my old job I had to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to begin work at 4:30.

  • Superb.

  • I like how I’m now watching a click bait story

  • WRONG! When you have responsibilities you are better off doing them at night, then you can do them relaxed as you have stretch hours. Doing things in the morning gives stress because you're on the clock. I wouldn't expect a cancerous cringy soldier to know. They have no responsibilities except being on time for training.

    • Slyceth not one thing about your comment makes any sense at all...I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul

    • He said he wakes up at 4:30 and he even has time to chill with the kids so he’s not rushed and!! I consider 4:30am nighttime so you’re still agreeing with him.

    • Wow that's small minded

  • He's right, I have more energy/focus/strength/body heat during sunny hours. -Morning I waste time struggling trying move around, eat, poop/pee, eat/drink, or just nodding my sleepy head off till I finally decide go back to sleep again lol! -Afternoon is most productive 4 me -Night time i waste time eating, drinking, US-tv...

  • I get up at 2.am and function on 3 hours sleep a night. I'll get my sleep when I get Alzheimer's.

  • no ones awake at 2am either, can't i wake up then too

  • I see my genuine reply was erased but all the goofy ones remain. I guess this video is on the same level as the comments. 👎

  • How about no?

  • Lmao talking about waking up at 4:30 *eyes look like they are about to shut off*

  • Been waking at 5 for years with like 6 hours of sleep and it is so helpful.

  • My shift starts at 0430.

  • I respect you. I appreciate your service to the country. I will not be waking up at 4:30am personally, but I do wake up at 5:15am for the same reasons. Quiet time to work and focus on yourself can really set the tone for the rest of the day.

  • I'm 13 and I wake up at 5:00 everyday and doing that for a long time means I don't need an alarm anymore, I wake up naturally at that time lol

  • Yea nah thanks, off to the gulag with you

  • That ending was kind of awkward

  • Learn to sleep walk. Then you can have the best of both day and night. At 4:30 you can sleep and workout same time.

  • Who’s kids are already at school by 6:45? Lol

  • Most muslims wake up at 4 everyday during ramadan and a lot even on normal days, it's really beneficial

  • But McDonald's doesn't open until 10:30am!

  • I bet he got that natural frown from waking up that early 🤔

  • 645 is sleeping in? Shit, ive gotta get some discipline!

  • In a matter of fact 4:30-5:00 am is the natural time to wake up and go to sleep soon after sun went down

  • what time does he go to bed tho?

  • "Sleeping in till 6:45" lol that aint sleepin in for me

  • I go to sleep at 4am LOL

  • The future is militias, like USA was founded on. What are police but a bunch of guys with guns and walkie-talkies. The Navy SEALs are for stupid and lazy people who just want to join the military because they have no future anyway. Militias are groups of true Americans who live and breath it.

  • Calls 6:45 "waking up late"

  • Woke

  • I awake 4:05 am. Now sunrise is 5:00 am.

  • Nahhh. I work a 2-11pm shift, I'm a night owl and I like it that way because the world is quiet after midnight and I get my peaceful time to myself.

  • I dont know why but he reminds me of Matt Damon

  • I’m watching this at 4:47 am rn