“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”: Origin, Meaning, and Explanation


The saying “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” can be traced to as far back as the 15th century.

Even though the version during this time was slightly different due to the type of English that was spoken, it still translates to something similar to what we have today.

The phrase is mostly associated with Benjamin Franklin who used it in his annual journal publication called Almanack.


The proverb ”Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” is quite easy to understand. Here are some of its meanings:

  • Someone who wakes up early in the morning has the advantage of time on his or her side and can accomplish a lot compared to those who wake up late.
  • Having sufficient amount of sleep makes a person active throughout the day and thus a lot can be accomplished.
  • Lack of enough sleep or oversleeping can lead to poor mental and physical health.
  • Resources are scarce and those who make arrangements to get to them first will succeed or get the best on offer.
  • Having a head-start is the best strategy for success in life.


Early risers have time to chase dreams. The day is so short and if you waste it by oversleeping, you’ll barely have time to achieve much and realize your dreams. Thus, the saying ‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ reminds people that time is of the essence and must not be wasted.

Sufficient sleep is beneficial. A lot of people ignore the importance of having enough sleep yet the benefits are many and priceless. For one, a person will be well rested and ready for the new day and secondly, it does a lot of good to an individual’s health and well-being.

Resources are limited. Again this proverb reminds people of the scarcity of resources and suggests that in order to get the best, one has to start early before other people arrive and scramble for the same.

Hard work pays. Lazy people never really get ahead. It’s known that people who wake up early are generally hardworking. The proverb also shows that there are rewards for this.

It’s important to be organized. A person who goes to bed early and wakes up early is certainly organized. This proverb implies that being disorganized does not contribute to success. Those who plan their day well and use their time appropriately accomplish a lot.

Similar proverbs

Other proverbs that are similar to this one include a German proverb that translates to “The early morning has gold in its mouth.” When we look at them in relation to the proverb in question, they try to emphasize the need to be early starters as opposed to late beginners.


This proverb can be used to describe a student who uses his or her school hours well and gets good grades in return. The same can be said of an entrepreneur who opens the business premise early and a person who arrives at a function venue in good time to get the best seat and view.


Going to bed early and waking up in good time has its perks. People have to strive for success, and it doesn’t come cheap. The best way to achieve your goals is by having a head-start.

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