This is one of the many things I advise in a Paleo LIFESTYLE. Myself, I have always been an early riser. I was raised to always align with the circadian rhythms. Chinese medicine teaches early morning is the most beneficial time to be outside, as well. I rise at 430am religiously without an alarm clock. By 5am, I am being walked 2-5 miles by our 3 large dogs. The morning air is the cleanest. The streets are empty. For me, my quality of life is determined by how many sunrises and sunsets I watch. The early morning much like Paleo, has been one of my lil secrets for some time.
The primary benefit is circadian rhythm, but going to bed shortly after sunset and getting up when the sun rises puts you in an awkward position for having a decent social life.
You can emulate this benefit pretty well with blackout curtains and a light alarm. Alternately if you have more willpower than me, immediately turn on some lights when you get up. The closer to natural spectrum the better. If you are somewhere sunny, go for a short walk when you wake up and get some real sun.
Try to keep the artificial light you are getting before bed to a minimum. I had a lot more trouble sleeping after laptop use til 1AM than I did when I switched to 15-30 minutes of reading by candle light in an otherwise blacked out room. Might have been just more relaxing, but I think the lack of artificial light for a little while before bed and the introduction of sunlight right after waking can get you 95% of the benefit of doing it the "real way". And you have the added bonus of being able to hang out with people besides those in the retirement home down the road!
Alex from PaleoPax
I crash by 8pm every night and roll out of bed every morning at 3:30.