The world is made for morning people. Or at least that’s what it feels like. Gym classes at 6 a.m., meetings at 9 a.m., and that’s not to mention the culture of waking up early to get more done. But not all of us are morning people.
If you’re a night owl, you may struggle to get up early, and when you do finally make it out of bed, you feel tired, groggy and unproductive. But then when evening rolls around, you’re wide awake, alert and often get your best work done late into the night. So you stay up later, making the next morning even harder. You’re sleep deprived simply because the world wakes up earlier than you.
But what if there was an app that could help? Well, there is. RISE helps night owls break the cycle of sleepless nights to start having more energy during the day, and it can even help them "shift" their natural sleep and wake times to suit the early bird world.
That’s possible because it’s not you; it’s biology. You’re not living in sync with your circadian rhythm—the natural cycle of peaks and dips in energy throughout the day. And your sleep debt is high—the amount of sleep you “owe” your body if you haven’t been getting enough of it each night. Both of these things will leave you feeling drained, sluggish and lacking energy. By improving these two things, however, you could start feeling and performing better than ever—even in the mornings.
How do you do this exactly? With the power of sleep science. RISE harnesses 100 years of sleep science research to help people minimize their sleep debt and live in sync with their circadian rhythms.
Studies show that reducing sleep debt and working with, not against, your circadian rhythm are the two most impactful things you can do to improve how you feel. RISE founders Jeff Kahn and Leon Sasson know this. After working on sleep research together, they decided to put this knowledge into RISE to help others optimize their days and nights.
And it’s worked. By focusing on sleep debt and circadian rhythm, Kahn and Sasson have helped everyone from elite athletes to high-performing sales teams achieve more with their days. That includes two Super Bowl wins, a 14% increase in revenue and 95% of people feeling more productive at a Fortune 500 company.
At first the team only worked with businesses, but in mid-2020, they launched RISE to the rest of the world. The app already has 1 million users who are harnessing sleep science to become effortless early risers. And an incredible 80% say they feel and function better within just five days. Here’s how the app works.
RISE Helps You Understand Why You Prefer Late Nights and Late Mornings
If you’re always tired and sluggish in the mornings and wired in the evenings, you might think there’s something wrong with you. But RISE helps users understand what’s actually happening, and it all comes down to your chronotype and sleep debt.
Your chronotype is whether you’re an early bird, night owl, or somewhere in between. It dictates when your body wants to sleep, wake up, and when you feel most energetic in the day. If you have a late chronotype—the night owl type—you’ll often feel most energetic in the late morning, late evening, and want to go to sleep and wake up later.
Sleep debt refers to the amount of sleep you need to catch up on relative to your sleep need, which is the genetically determined amount of sleep you need each night. Just like height or eye color, you have no control over this amount. The average adult needs 8 hours 10 minutes of sleep, give or take 45 minutes.
The amount of sleep debt you have is the biggest factor in how much energy you have during the day. And, unfortunately, night owls usually have a lot of sleep debt after repeatedly getting up early after late nights. RISE calculates how much sleep debt you have and keeps track of it as you work to pay it back. You’ll find that just by keeping your sleep debt low, you start feeling better and having more energy during the day, even on your later schedule.
The app also predicts what your circadian rhythm will look like each day based on things like how long you’ve slept for and when you went to bed, as well as your chronotype. This helps you plan your schedule.
We all have two productive energy peaks in the day—yours may just be a little later than your early bird friends and colleagues. When you know they’re coming, you can plan to do your most important work during these peaks. Instead of doing creative and analytical work first thing like common advice says, your most productive window may be a few hours later.
RISE can also calculate your melatonin window, the time when your brain produces the most melatonin it will all night. This is the best time to be heading to bed. But if your natural melatonin window is from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., it’s no surprise you lay awake in bed unable to fall asleep at 10 p.m. Your body and brain just aren’t ready yet. Just by seeing when their melatonin window is, night owls can start to understand themselves better and prepare for bed at the right time for them.
RISE even predicts how long you’ll feel groggy for each morning and the time you can expect this to wear off. It’s natural to feel groggy in the morning, even for early birds. By knowing when you can expect it to end, night owls can stop fighting it, or blaming their late-night habits, and simply slowly ramp up their day, knowing their energy will start increasing soon.
RISE Helps You Become a Morning Person and Get More Done — Even if You’re Naturally a Night Owl
There’s nothing wrong with being a night owl. As long as you keep your sleep debt low and schedule your day as best you can to fit with your circadian rhythm, you can live a healthy, happy and productive life—just a few hours later than early birds.
But sometimes you need to be more of an early riser. Maybe you have to show up for 9 a.m. team meetings every morning, or you’re a shift worker who’s been assigned an earlier-than-you’d-like start time, or perhaps you simply want to reclaim your mornings. If that’s the case, there is a way you can shift your sleep schedule and still feel energetic and alert throughout the day, and ready to sleep come nighttime.
First you need to decide the time you want to wake up each morning, taking into account your sleep need, which RISE calculates for you by looking at your phone-use behavior.
Next, gradually wake up 15 minutes earlier each day until you’re waking up at your desired time. Be sure to also shift your bed times, and the times at which you eat your meals, to help with the adjustment. This may take a while if you’re shifting your wake up time by a couple of hours, but it’s still worth shifting it gradually to allow your body to get used to it.
Each morning, make sure to get at least 10 minutes of light exposure—preferably from the sun but a light lamp works too—as soon as you wake up. Then at night, dim the lights and put on blue-light blocking glasses about 90 minutes before you go to sleep. This will make sure your body produces enough melatonin for you to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. And coffee is great for perking you up in the mornings, but be sure to stop drinking it come the afternoon as caffeine can linger in your system for up to 10 hours, or even longer for slow metabolizers.
To help make all of this happen, RISE tells you the exact time you should be doing these sleep-enhancing behaviors. You can get a notification for when to stop drinking caffeinated drinks to make sure your earlier bedtime isn’t sabotaged by a late-afternoon latte, for example. And the app can also tell you when to stop doing other sleep-stopping habits like eating late meals and drinking alcohol.
Use the app to keep track of your sleep debt to ensure you’re feeling your best each day and, with the right behaviors, your sleep schedule will move closer and closer to that of an early riser.
RISE Uses Smart Technology to Give You Personalized Recommendations
RISE helps everyone optimize their sleep and energy, but it doesn’t give everyone the same advice. Instead, the app gives you personalized suggestions for your sleep and how to structure your days. It uses historical data on your phone to determine how much sleep you actually need and analyzes your phone-use behavior, or your wearable technology if you use any, to see how much you’ve been getting. It then calculates how much sleep debt you need to pay back.
Next, RISE uses your sleep times and light exposure based on your location to work out your circadian rhythm. Armed with this information, and based on each night’s sleep, it predicts the next day's rhythm, so you can see when you’ll have the most and least energy in the day and, if possible, you can adapt your schedule to fit with this rhythm.
These personalized suggestions mean you can optimize your energy levels to get the most out of each day. Night owls can make sure they feel their best, even on their later schedule. Or they can slowly work towards becoming an early riser, having more energy in the mornings and feeling sleepy earlier come nighttime.
Millions Use RISE to Become Early Risers
The company first helped elite athletes and businesses, and then launched the RISE app to the public mid-2020. The app was soon getting up to 30,000 downloads a week, making it one of the fastest growing consumer apps out there.
Just 11 months after launching, it has 1 million users who say RISE helps them get on top of their sleep schedule, manage their energy as a night owl and even become early birds over time.
Here’s what some night owls have to say:
“[RISE is] really helping me understand how my late nights have been affecting my mood and mental health, and helping me get on top of a new, earlier bedtime.” (December, 2021)
“I definitely recommend this app if you’re a night owl like me who works early mornings.” (August, 2021)
“I’m a night owl who has struggled my whole life to balance when I needed to go to bed and when I felt tired/actually wanted to sleep…Now that I follow my circadian rhythm and know when to prioritize sleep, I feel like a new person.” (May, 2021)
Become a Morning Person in 2022
There are plenty of hacks that promise to make you love mornings, but not many of them are built on scientific research and backed by real-life results. RISE can help night owls work with their natural late-night tendencies to feel their best, or even help them become early risers and learn to love mornings once and for all.
Learn more about Rise for sales teams.
RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential