Dolly Parton Wakes up at 3 in the Morning, Does Her Best Work Then


  • Dolly Parton told Insider she often starts her day at 3 a.m. and does some of her “best work” then. 
  • She said she doesn’t require much sleep, adding that “it’s kind of a Parton family trait.”
  • Parton said she doesn’t have any skin-care secrets, crediting her good skin with never sunbathing.

She might sing about working from 9 to 5, but most of Dolly Parton’s days start at 3. 

As in, 3 a.m. 

The country-music legend recently sat down with Insider to discuss her new line of Southern desserts with Duncan Hines, and also revealed more about her (very early) morning routine.

“I don’t need a whole lot of sleep,” Parton said. “I go to bed pretty early, but even if I’ve been up late — it’s just kind of like a little clock inside of me that says ‘it’s 3 o’clock!'” 

“I do some of my best work there, but I get enough sleep,” she added. “I don’t require as much sleep as a lot of other people do, that’s kind of a Parton family trait.” 

Dolly Parton wearing a black and cream striped and floral gown.

Parton credits her great skin to the fact that she never sunbathed when she was younger.

Mark Seilinger/Getty Images


Parton said her late father, Robert Lee Parton, was also a very early riser. 

“I’m like my daddy,” she said. “He was always up early, even if he had to go to bed late.”

Although she’s an early riser, Parton said she doesn’t have any big skin-care secrets to looking well-rested. 

“I don’t do any big rituals with my skin or anything, and I don’t think you have to pay a ton of money to have good products,” Parton said. “Most of the products that cost less are just as good, and sometimes better than the ones that cost a fortune.” 

“I don’t buy for fame,” she added. “I just buy the ones that work for me.” 

Parton — who celebrated her 76th birthday in January — also credits her great skin to the fact that she never sunbathed when she was younger. 

Dolly Parton with Duncan Hines products

Parton has a new line of Southern desserts with Duncan Hines.

Sebastian Smith


“I never got out in the sun,” she said. “I don’t have a lot of the same problems that women my age do ’cause I never baked myself in the sun. I would’ve if I’d been able to tan but I couldn’t, so now I’m glad!”

After getting up early on the weekends, Parton cooks up a big Southern breakfast for her husband Carl Dean — who she’s been married to for 55 years

Parton has a special trick to get her scrambled eggs perfectly fluffy (which she shared with Insider), and also loves making French toast and bacon or gravy with biscuits. 

When she’s not in the kitchen, Parton said she and Carl love going to fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell — and she has particularly strong feelings about its beloved Mexican Pizza.



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