Could there possibly be any benefits of waking up early? Apparently so. I have been converted to an early riser by choice. My work day starts pretty early so waking early by compulsion has long been a part of my life. But lately I’ve taken to waking up early even when I don’t need to. I know my mum’s going to have trouble believing this.
I’ll be honest, I still don’t “enjoy” mornings – I mean, waking up is hard to do. But the truth is, the benefits of waking up early have turned me into a believer. If you’re not convinced, here are my top reasons why waking up early is good for you.
1. Waking Up Early Correlates With Better Grades
If you’re studying, you should know that research conducted by Texas University found that students who consistently woke up early each day actually scored better test scores and overall grade points, in comparison to those who slept in all the time.
Of course this is not simply a result of waking up early but when you wake up early you’re more likely to take part in a fixed routine, and most importantly – eat a good breakfast.
2. Waking Up Early Helps You To Sustain a Healthier Diet
This brings me to the next benefit. Often late snoozers tend to skip breakfast because they try to get in every last wink of sleep and skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast is a bad idea because your body needs those nutrients in the morning for energy and focus.
Your body has been on a “fast” all night (6 to 8 hours) and you need to “break the fast” with some healthy food. When you decide to skip your A.M. meal, your body goes into starvation mode so the next time you actually eat something, you are more likely to overeat and crave unhealthy foods.
Eating breakfast is also a foundation for building healthy eating habits and makes you less likely to eat junk the rest of the day.
3. Waking Up Early Enhances Your Productivity
Some of the most successful people in the world are early risers. It’s simple, if you wake up early, you get more done.
In 2010, Christoph Randler, a biologist from Harvard found that early risers are more proactive. When presented with statements such as “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself”, an early riser is more likely to agree.
How does waking up early help productivity?
- There are less distractions in the early hours of the day so you can achieve more with minimal interruptions.
- After a good night’s sleep, your brain is charged and ready to work hard. You are at your efficient best and will get things done quicker and better.
- Early risers are also better at making decisions, planning and setting goals.
- Waking up early may find you grumpy in the beginning but once you get used to it, you will have more energy to take on the day.
4. Waking Up Early Gives You a Better Mental Health
Often one of the least spoken about (yet most important) benefits of waking up early is the impact it can have on your mental health. The first hour of your day and how you spend it often sets the tone for the rest of your day and your life.
By waking up earlier, you start to reduce the stress in your life by eliminating the need to rush in the mornings. Believe me when I say this will add an incredible amount of positivity to your life and you will start to notice a change in your attitude.
Studies have shown “morning people” are often more positive, more optimistic and more likely to experience satisfaction in their lives. While several night owls are known for their creativity, they can also pay the price by becoming more likely to succumb to depression and other psychological problems.
5. Waking Up Early Gives You More Time To Exercise
Waking up early has been known to reduce the chances of missed workouts. Of course there is nothing wrong with exercising after work. However, by exercising first thing in the morning, you are not going to let a tiring work day or social plans after work get in the way of your workout.
So if you’re trying to commit to a regular exercise routine – make morning time your exercise time. Also, if you’re really struggling to wake up and snap out of the sleepiness in the morning, exercise is a good way to fix it. By exercising, you are energizing your body and getting it ready to take on the day.
Exercise and waking up early are a great way to combat lethargy.
6. Waking Up Early Improves Your Quality of Sleep
Early risers often have very well established sleep routines. This means going to bed early, and most likely at the same time every day. This makes it easier to establish a habit of waking up earlier, and at the same time every morning. To wake up earlier, you must of course go to bed earlier.
According to many sleep experts, it’s important to establish a proper sleep routine to improve the quality of your sleep as this helps to set your body’s “internal clock” to establish a routine – making it easier for you to sleep and wake naturally.
So while you may think sleeping in on the weekends to catch up on your sleep is helping you, you’re actually doing more harm to your body in the long run.
7. Waking Up Early Helps You Enjoying Quiet Time
There is a lot of power in “quiet time” and early risers often talk about enjoying the quiet time of earlier starts. By waking up early than the rest of the family, you probably have more quiet time to yourself at home. But this quiet time isn’t limited to home alone.
If you commute to work, early starts will see you avoiding the peak hour congestion and enjoying a quiet(er), more peaceful commute to work. Also, speaking from personal experience, I have found that I really enjoy starting work earlier than my other colleagues.
I relish the first couple of hours of my day as it’s distraction-free and it’s a great time to make important decisions as I am the most focused.