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.
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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.


  • Clicked for the comments

  • I wake up at 4 in weekdays but in weekends sleep is not a thing

  • I work until 8pm at work home and eaten showered etc by 9pm. Asleep by 9:30-10 awake at 4/4:30. Even know my shift doesn’t start till 11am. College days were better as I start at 9am finish around 2-5pm depending on the day. Some days you get tired. But you go asleep earlier the next night to make up for it

  • I like staying up late so there's no way I'm doing this

  • I wake up at 4:30 cuz I have to work

  • Legendas em português, please!

  • Great advices! Thanks for this content!

  • 80 percent of the commenters actually seem proud of being lazy and shiftless. "Dude it's like 5:30 AM right now and I've totes been awake all night, how badass is my complete inability to regulate myself? It's like I have no discipline at all! Eyuck yuck!" Then they'll cry when they can't make a good living and put up the Bern signal for Bernie Sanders to swoop in and whisk them off to Never Never Land.

  • Pick it stick to it Me: Ok, 1:00pm

  • 10:00 a.m. Daily is good for me.

  • Getting less than 7hours sleep is dangerous.

  • what time do you go to bed to wake up at 4:30? if your giving yourself 8hrs of sleep you need to be in bed by 8:30pm... if you work till 5 like most people then you work , eat , sleep.. that sucks . it takes discipline to work all day and raise a family on 3-4 hours of sleep a day imo

  • Who else is up at 4:47 huh... No one ... Okay...

  • Why do these people even come to watch Inspirational videos, if they don't even want to follow those tips? Uff*

  • This man's head is perfectly helmet shaped

  • Due to my high school schedule at a college prep magnet school, for the past 4 years, I've been forced to wake up at 4 and sleep at the earliest at 10 p.m! ;D

  • i wake up naturally at 1pm, say whatever you want about me!

  • but most people aren't Flipin' Navy seal's!

  • so based on him discpline ===> freedom HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  • why would I not wake up at 4:30? glad you asked, well because I don't wanna feel like shit for the rest of the day? 2.because long sleep regenerates all bodily processes? 3.because I enjoy sleeping till 8-9 and feel good and rested? 4.because I have nothing to do at 4:30? 5.because I feel like shit when I was working out in the morning as my blood sugar dropped and my body wasn't in the optimal state to torture it at 5am thinking it's good? I wake up whenever I fcking want and based how I feel and you can keep your military bullshit discipline

  • The people that can make jokes about this don't know what it's like to serve.

  • Sleep is the devil

  • So you have to fall asleep by 8:30pm to get the 8 hours of sleep. No thank you

  • If thanos had my dad's haircut.

  • Starting the new routine of %am wake - just trying to get to bed earlier without distractions and not hit the snooze button or go back to bed when zombified in the mornings. There's getting up and there's waking up.. I just need to keep improving until it works every damn day. I've also noticed my best sleep efficiency is 6 hours, then 8, then 6, then 8 etc.. rather than 7 each night.. weird!

  • That super skinny boy wants to be a navy seal.

  • Why would you not wake up at 4:30 -that sum stimulus colonel shit right there

  • What if you have insomnia and can’t go to sleep

  • People are really stupid

  • You do NOT mess with this man. Not without.... consequences.....

  • fucc it, i woke up at 3 everyday

  • Absolute NONSENSE. This "hustle" lifestyle and not making time for proper sleep is such a childish and dangerous thing. Horrible.

  • No wife and kids it makes it easier.

  • Three something

  • Kurt angle

  • Sleep in until 6:45 haha we are in on different planets

  • when u fall asleep at 5am.........

  • I’m 15 and I go to bed at 7:00 PM to wake up at 4:30 AM like this guy, but instead of working out during those early hours I spent it gaming until 7AM and then go to school 😎

    • Maxuo You are right , but I already speak Spanish and English so Im good, I will soon quit gaming because I know it is a waste of time

    • Juan Vargas don’t game. Do something more useful. Learn a language, code your own games, etc..

  • Yeah I wake up early all the time I sleep only 1 hour a day the PTSD gets me but I need to get don't shit it doesn't feel good to get things done then not doing anything I feel like I don't feel like I accomplish anything.... If I'm forced to sleep I can't sleep for months for some reason 🤔🤔🤔🤔


  • I work with haggard old women who get up at 2:30am and they don’t make a big deal out of it.

  • "Sleeping in to 6 AM" wdym

  • “what are you doing at night? watching stupid youtube videos.” this is the most accurate statement.

  • Routines

  • I'm going to wake up at 4:30 hold my beer

  • R.I.P to people who actually starts to sleep at 4:30 a. m.

  • 0:44 SLEEPING IN untill 6:45??? bruh

  • And Here’s me Watching Stupid US-tv Videos... hahahhahahhaha

  • “You’re watching stupid US-tv videos” it’s 2:16 am

  • How do you bring discipline to your life? How do you fix in your mind?

  • I’m watching this at 4am so like wdym

  • It's not if a person will pay the price, but when they will pay the price. As there is a price to success, and a price to failure.

  • I'm normally just getting to bed at 2am. This "one size fits all" mentality doesn't work. Some people are more awake/alert in the evening than they are in the morning. I've always been that way. It's a struggle for me to wake up early, and I'm always sluggish and tired when I do so. If I wake up early, I'm tired all day. If I wake up late, I can go all night.

  • Why 04:30? Why not 03:00?

  • Non sense. When it’s not winter I get up at 5:50 and go for a 5 mile run and I’m still done by 7 am. I get extra sleep and still get the workout done for the day

  • I wake up from bed at 1:00 pm then sleep at 4:30 a.m

  • What BS. Anything a seal says must be true.

  • makes sense in a way, u get up that early u can get stuff done, u don't half to mess with the rush hour traffic and can go to the store and no one in there

  • Anyone else live in LA here?

  • A true Soldier never sleeps

  • I create websites at night and apply for jobs lol. But yeah, TV sucks me up big time sometimes, although there a periods where I don't watch much TV for weeks hah.

  • I haven't even watched the video yet but my answer is: No.

  • @2:30

  • Iam dng productv thing listning to u ....nt watchng crap...2:08 ....plzz dnt genralise

  • is he awaken when talking?

  • *Sleeping in until **6:45**.* *_SLEEPING IN UNTIL _**_6:45_*

  • I go to sleep at 4:30 in the morning lmao

  • Hell no. I have to wake up at 5:30 for school.

  • Matt Damian got old. 😂😂😂

  • I have a year old baby and a 3 week old. I have no choice. 😂

  • Now seriously, how do I do that without losing my friends? I think for waking up at 4.30am I should go sleep in the time I'm having some time with my friends (9-11.30pm)... so what I should do?

  • If you are not slave of jews ....wake up when you wake up ...because you can not control it youself without alarm klock ....we are fuskin slaves

  • As long as I'm out of bed before 1pm I'm happy with myself

  • All these videos telling people to wake up in the middle of the night are posted by people who have no social life. It's fine if you're an army dude with a bunch of comrades who're on the same schedule or even if you happen to have a partner at home who's on a similar schedule as you. Otherwise, you end up going crazy with lonliness because everyone else is out having drinks and socializing past 9:30 or 10 while you're in bed sleeping.

  • Someone call the SAS

  • I only came to read the comments


  • I see why he wakes up at 4:30 but other than his reason it’s kind of dumb to wake up at 4:30 you can wake up at 8:00 and do the same stuff you’re just losing more sleep for no reason

  • been doing this for about two weeks. I feel great.

  • Mate I go to bed at like 4.30am even when I got work/uni the next day. Look what waking up at 4.30 every mornings done to him guy's probably in his 20's lol.

  • Before I watch this video, hell no

  • us-tv.org/tv/video-aXflBZXAucQ.html?t=37

  • Looking like if Tom Hanks and John Cena had a child

  • False. 1st sgt said formation at 0430, be 15 mins prior.

  • My respect for this Navy Seal, but no, thanks. Getting out of bed before 7:30 or 8:00 am is the perfect recipe for me to feel like crap and die of laziness (thus unproductive) for the rest of the day.

  • From the thumbnail I thought you had to wake up at 4;30 AM because someone’s sniping you. 😂

  • I wake up at 4:20.

  • I live under a rock so this doesn’t really work out for me.

  • 😂😂 I'm mad he said sleeping in until 6:45.

    • What he means by sleeping in and what I mean by sleeping in, those are two totally different things. :)

  • That’s the time I go to bed

  • Did u get enough sleep?

  • Just get 6-8 hours of sleep and work hard when you’re awake. The time you wake up has zero effect on productivity because when you get tired, everyone else who slept in still has energy. Therefore you have to say “sleep less for success” which is fundamentally unhealthy.

  • HA! This guy calls sleeping until 6:45am “sleeping in” lmaoooo

  • Just be productive with your time and learn to say no (esp. to yourself), have self-discipline. Wake-up time is irrelevant. Plus why does it matter a Navy SEAL advocates this? It does NOT, he is just a soldier and doesn't know more than you.

  • He looks tired.

  • I don't enjoy working out at early stages in the day so I'm afraid this is not for me 😂 I did try waking up at 5 but late nights on the weekend made that pretty hard to maintain

  • "you're just winding down and watching stupid youtube videos." heh heh...

  • "Sleeping in until 6:45"

  • Jocko looks like he wants to tear the other guys head off, very intense dude.

  • I can’t work out in the early mornings cause I always need to shit mid way