Morning majesty: Early risers have greater faith, satisfaction in their lives

WARSAW, Poland — If you’ve been looking for a sign from heaven, you might just have to get up a little earlier. Researchers from the University of Warsaw suggest that early birds tend to be more religious than those who stay up late at night. Their study found being religious also displayed an association with a preference for mornings.

More specifically, this new study indicates that being religious may contribute to a previously established link connecting a preference for waking early and having higher life satisfaction. That relationship, consequently, may also be influenced by a person’s level of conscientiousness — the character trait of being careful, hard-working, or diligent.

Some people naturally prefer waking up early in the morning, while others like staying up late, and a third group falls somewhere in between. Prior research has linked being a “morning person” with having generally higher life satisfaction and being more conscientious. Moreover, earlier studies have uncovered associations between being religious and those same traits.

All of this suggests, researchers explain, that there is a possibility that religiosity contributes to the relationship between being a morning person and enjoying higher life satisfaction.

morning person watches the sunrise
More morning-oriented individuals may benefit from higher psychological wellbeing thanks to both personality characteristics and attitudes toward religion. CREDIT: Hippopx, CC0 (

In an effort to better understand the relationship and interplay between preference for mornings, conscientiousness, religiosity, and life satisfaction, researchers put together and conducted two survey-based analyses of Polish adults — one featuring 500 participants and another gathering 728 participants.

Both cohorts completed questionnaires evaluating their preference for mornings, their life satisfaction, and their conscientiousness level. One group was asked about their belief in God, while the other was asked about their level of religiosity in general.

The results of those studies reaffirmed the notion that being a morning person has a connection with both higher conscientiousness and life satisfaction. Survey results also indicated that religious people have a preference for mornings.

Upon further analysis, researchers discovered that a higher level of religiousness among morning people could at least partially statistically account for the observed association connecting morning preference with higher life satisfaction. Meanwhile, that relationship appeared to be statistically affected by conscientiousness.

Due to these results, study authors theorize morning people generally tend to be more conscientious, making them more likely to be religious, with that religiosity possibly contributing to greater life satisfaction. However, it’s important to note that this project ultimately did not confirm any cause-and-effect relationships and did not account for the sociodemographic traits of the participants.

“The association between ‘morningness-eveningness’ and satisfaction with life might stem, at least in part, from higher religiosity among morning-oriented individuals. It means that more morning-oriented individuals may benefit from higher psychological wellbeing thanks to both personality characteristics and attitudes toward religion,” study authors conclude in a media release.

The study is published in PLoS ONE.

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