The Sacred Hour: Rise Before the Sun

This post comes from our Australia contributor, Miann Scanlan. Follow along with her on Instagram @freepeopleaustralia

When the world is still and the breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you…

The outside world is still dark, stars faintly glimmer from light years away and the slightest hint of cool color blankets the night sky. The breeze is almost still as it whispers silently through the trees. Birds don’t chirp, cars don’t drive past. It feels like the world is still and the breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. The sacred hour.

Dawn is, by nature, a peaceful contemplative time of day laden with mystery, possibility, and the energy of renewal. Each sunrise, signifying a new day on earth, the opportunity for a fresh start. Last summer I made a pact with myself that I would become a morning person. In curious awe of my friends who seemed to have it all, and juggle it all with grace and effortless ease… I yearned to strike that balance, something inside my being told me that an early morning was a great place to start, and I was right. Here’s why:

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That feeling of accomplishment and success lingers all day

You know the feeling I’m talking about. The first time you get up early and go for a run, you feel like you have conquered the world. And in a way, you have. Setting out to commit to something, and then accomplishing it instills the feeling that you can literally achieve anything (especially when paired with a scenic sunrise). And this feeling lingers and even leads to an increased sense of motivation and ambition all day.

Creativity is highest immediately after sleep

This is especially true if you rise before the sun when there’s no noise, no chaos, no stress from hours past. It’s easier to focus when the world outside is still, ideas are clearer as the mind hasn’t yet been troubled with the day’s trivialities and our problem-solving abilities are of a particularly high standard when the mind is fresh early in the morning. Immediately after waking, the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain which is in charge of creativity) is also most active.

Balance the body

When you rise with (or just before) the sun, and begin to wind down for the day shortly after the sun has set, you are literally mimicking the body’s natural circadian rhythm which aids to restore peace and balance within the body’s physiology. Afterall, I believe the majority of our suffering comes from going against nature. Of course, creating more of a natural balance in the body leads to a more balanced life.

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It’s prime time for me-time

I read somewhere once that the hour before the sun rises is the most potent time to connect to higher realms (whether, according to your personal spiritual beliefs, those realms exist within you or beyond you) due to the angle at which the earth sits to the sun, allowing the earth to absorb solar rays as it comes into rotation. Whether or not this is true, the sentiment is still the same, and leveraging this peaceful serenity under the rising sun is the very least you can do for yourself every day to indulge in the ultimate me-time.

Try turning back your alarm clock in 5 minute increments per day until you reach the sacred hour (remember, this also means going to bed 5 minutes earlier each night!) You will seriously be overflowing with joy, love and light that you will project out into the world. Who knows, you may be the one to inspire others, in the same way that I was inspired to want to feel the same way.

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7 years ago

I love creating in the night and sitting late till the sun comes up. I’m definitely an owl and always stay late no matter how I try :D

7 years ago

This is exactly why I leave the window shade closest to my bed open, I love to see the sun rise on mornings when I get up before dawn breaks or those mornings where I can sleep in and the sky is painted all different shades and color.


7 years ago

Watching the sunrise is one of my favourite things to do. One of the good things about winter in Europe is that the sun won’t rise before 7am, so I always wake up watching the sunrise. I love the feeling you get when you wake up that early, always makes me feel so incredibly productive and inspired.

xx Cheyenne

7 years ago

This is beautiful and just the reminder i needed on this beautiful chilly friday.

7 years ago

Beautiful post! I am hoping to get to this point soon once the extreme cold is over! Lovely pictures and great advice. x x

7 years ago

Beautiful! This is definitely resonating – I once read that making your bed in the morning is such a great feeling of being accomplished even before the day starts.

Warm Regards,

7 years ago

I totally agree. there is something so incredibly magical about the wee hours before dawn, when the world is still sleeping and my mind is clear and refreshed. I effortlessly connect to the flow of creativity then. that’s when I get my best writing done. Thank you for your lovely post.

The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale

7 years ago

I’m a night owl but desperately trying to change. How to do it?! It’s really really really hard.

7 years ago

I read this whole peice aloud – you write so beautifully!

I agree with what you believe to be a chief cause of human suffering, our removal from nature…so I am gonna absorb this advice and try to restore the balance.

Thank you! :D

7 years ago

I usually wake up a little before the sun (school), and I do quite love it. For some reason, it makes me feel more awake and at peace…it’s a sense of goodness that I’ve fallen in love with.