Dolly Parton Reveals Her Typical Morning Routine
Ever hear the phrase “the early bird catches the worm?” That’s certainly true for country music legend Dolly Parton, who typically wakes at a time when most people are still asleep—and gets much more done in her mornings than most of us get done all day.
“I’m a very, very, very early riser,” she explained. “I go to bed pretty early, but I’m up and down. If I wake up and I’m pretty well awake, I think, I’ve got so much to do, I’ll get up and I’ll work a little while, write a little while, and I’ll lay back down. But I’m always, almost always up for good around 3 a.m.”
Yes, you read that right—at 3 a.m., when some teenagers are getting back from a raging party, Parton is up and ready to be productive. So what exactly does she do in the middle of the night? A LOT.
“I do some of my best spiritual work, some of my best writing, and some of my business work—call-ins and letters that I’m writing or whatever—between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.,” she said. “I get more work done during that little period of time when the world is calm, energies are down, and I just feel like a farmer.”
Once her husband, Carl Dean, begins to rise, she also squeezes in making him a delicious southern breakfast most mornings. “This morning I made breakfast for my husband and me,” she said. “I made some sausage patties, and I baked some biscuits, and I made some milk gravy. He likes that once in a while. Now, I can’t eat like that all the time, but I enjoy eating it when I do.”
Fun fact—she isn’t still in her PJs from the night before when she’s in the kitchen. Naturally, she’s ready with a face of makeup, her hair done and even a pair of high heels! “I have to always stay ready—street ready, I always say,” she said. “I have to keep my makeup on and keep my hair done. But I actually do wear high heels most of the time.”
So what time does she got o bed at night so that she can wake up with enough energy to get all of this done every morning? Later than you think! Parton says she’s realized over her lifetime that her body doesn’t need the same amount of sleep as everyone else.
“I don’t require a lot of sleep,” she said. “Three to five hours I can work on. Five hours I like to get. But usually I’m between three and five. But usually, if I’m on the job, I’ll take a little power nap.”
IT also helps that she’s just excited about work and life—enough to keep her awake more than she’s asleep every day and night!
“I’m energized by just what I do,” she said. “It’s like, work begets work, energy begets energy. I just really stay alive because I just live on creative and spiritual energy. I’m like the little Energizer Bunny. I’m just recharged by the excitement of being able to still be active and to still be able to create stuff and to be still in demand.”
What time do you rise every morning, and what does your morning routine look like?