The magic of waking up at 3am

Walter Guevara
5 min readSep 14, 2020

If you are reading this, then you’ve probably heard about how all of the most successful people in the world wake up at 3am and then do hundreds of pull-ups or mediate for hours or take ice-cold water plunges all in the name of glory and success. And you might be wondering whether this lifestyle is for you.

Well, while I don’t condone 3am ice water plunges, there might be something to this circadian rhythm shift after all.

I too was one of those people. From age 32 to around 34 I woke up every single day at 3am, without any form of alarm clock. How did I achieve this feat of magic you may ask? I can safely say that I did not plan this in any way in order to boast about how productive I was. It just sort of happened one day.

Theories range from “mystical space signals sent to only to receptive people” to the more scientific “hypersensitivity to power grids going online at 3am”. My theory is more rooted in psychology. I was reading alot of self-help books and kept seeing that people wake up early, typically 3am. I’m assuming I programmed myself to do the very same thing. Although I’m not against mystical space signals.

Regardless of how it happened though, I decided to make use of this new ability. And while the first week I essentially spent it tilted upwards in bed looking at my phone from 3am to 6am thinking I had some form of sleeping disorder, I eventually decided to get up and do something more productive.

The first thing I did was make coffee. And since I am a programmer for the most part, there aren’t too many other things that I could do besides program.

I fired up the laptop and was blasted with the brightest colors I ever did see. For some reason, your eyes perceive light differently at 3am. Probably because for millions of years light didn’t exist at 3am. If I wasn’t awake already, I was awake now.

The first thing that I always do when starting the day is to open up Notepad.exe, the best app ever, and to make a super quick list of things to do for the day. It’s almost like a brain-dump of tasks in a way with no real structure besides adding a ‘tab’ and bullet points every so often. There was alot to write about at 3am. Things that I just never really thought about doing during the day but that made sense now…

Walter Guevara

Startup CTO. Sr. Programmer. Blogger. Los Angeles native. Future sci-fi author.