Let’s be honest. For most people, it’s not easy to get up first thing in the morning, especially when it’s still dark. Sounds like torture doesn’t it? But a lot of successful people say, “If you win the morning, you win the day.”
However, there are so many other benefits to waking up early, from better performance in school to being more able to stick to a diet plan. As it turns out, to wake up early is to do yourself a favor. There are almost no limits to the positive things it can do for your mind and body.
BENEFITS OF GETTING UP EARLY
1. EARLY MORNING EXERCISE
If you wake up early in the morning, this gives you more time to work on your overall fitness. Your health depends on your activity level and exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle. We know it can be difficult to fit this in once you are home for the night. However, if you wake up in the morning and give yourself time, you would be surprised how much exercise you can get in. You can go for a walk, go to the gym or even have time to walk your dog. Whatever it is, getting up early can allow you to get it in.
2. LESS TRAFFIC, EASIER COMMUTES
It never ceases to amaze me how just five minutes time difference can make on morning work hour traffic. If you have your morning planned out down to the last minute, then you’ve certainly experienced that five minute delay that has you stuck smack in the middle of it, and stressing over whether you’ll make the board meeting on time. Why do this to yourself when by rising early you can be out the door and well ahead of those hundreds of commuters that have failed to read this article? Taking your time on the way to work lowers your stress over time management. Besides, it gives you the opportunity to relax and think about the rest of your day.
3. ENOUGH TIME FOR BREAKFAST
Being an early riser also gives you enough time to get a good breakfast. Let’s face it: everybody’s busy, and you probably lack time and get so rushed in the morning that oftentimes, you forget to have breakfast, or you have just 10 minutes and you go for a very sugary cereal or something unhealthy. Waking up early in the morning gives you enough time to prepare a healthy, nutritious meal. Not only for you, but for your spouse or significant other, or if you have kids, for your entire family.
An essential part to your productivity is having a good, healthy breakfast. Be it fruits or some meat or eggs or even a sandwich – everything is going to be better than just jumping into some frozen thing or some sugary cereal or even the so-called healthy yogurts. If you wake up early, you’re going to have enough time for a good, nutritious, healthy breakfast. That’s going to give you enough energy to start your day the right way.
4. HEALTHY EATING HABITS
It turns out that the times of day (or night) where you get things done can also have big influences on your eating habits. Whether from social pressure, the influence of better self-control, or just the fact that fast food joints are the ones open late at night, people who get up early eat fewer calories and more fruits and veggies than those who stay up late.
This interferes with the ideal schedule of eating for health: it’s best to eat the majority of your calories in the early morning and middle of the day, not at night, because your body feels “full” more slowly after sunset, causing overeating. Morning people who get a proper breakfast, it seems, are giving themselves an edge over night owls nabbing a takeout at 1 a.m.
5. PEACE, QUIET, AND SILENCE
Waking up before the rest of the house does can provide you with a couple hours of much needed alone time. Alone time is good for your focus which helps your productivity and health in many ways. You can drink your tea and perhaps read a book in peace, or work on a project that needs to be completed without interruptions. This time slot may be easier to get than one in the evening before bed. Relish in the moments you have at 6 AM and watch the sunrise, go for a jog or read the newspaper. Just relax and breathe for a few moments. Just a short amount of quiet can provide numerous positives to your overall health – a perfect reason to wake up early.
“Wake up early every day so that while others are dreaming, you can make your dreams come true.” – Hal Elrod
6. LESS STRESS AND DEPRESSION
Here’s a news flash: morning people and night owls have different psychological profiles. Big surprise, isn’t it? But it turns out that morning people might be less vulnerable to certain mental health risks than night owls: they report lower rates of anxiety and depression. And it’s possibly down to physical brain structure.
When you wake up at 6 a.m. that gives you some extra hours to not only get ready, but also catch-up on emails, the news, or work on a pet project. Most importantly, it makes your mornings less stressful, which in turn, will make your days less stressful.
7. MORE CHANCE OF SUCCESS
According to Christopher Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany, “When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards. My earlier research showed that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them.” Randler added, “ They’re proactive. Many studies have linked this trait, proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.”
8. YOU BECOME MORE PROACTIVE
The tendency to get tasks done in the morning so they don’t fall wayside may also be why early risers are successful. Researches found that morning people are more proactive than late risers, and that they also anticipate problems and try to minimize them.
Even though there’s a relationship between being proactive and waking early, successful people are successful because they’re tuned in to when they get stuff done.
9. MORE HOURS IN A DAY
As far as productivity goes, there is no better way to get in more time in the day. Every hour you spend sleeping is an hour you could be using for something else in the mornings. Sleep is important however, oversleeping can cut you short on time. Waking up early in the morning allows you a few more hours to accomplish what needs to be done before the busy day and evening approaches. This can give you more free time in the evening, or more time to relax after work.
10. MORE FAMILY TIME
When you aren’t focused each night on everything you didn’t get done during the day, or how to best fit in a quick workout, you can better enjoy the time you have with your family before bedtimes. You might still be tired from your day’s work, but mentally you can unwind surrounded by those you love in a relaxed setting. Some unseen early morning habits can also include uninterrupted quiet time with your significant other. Morning sex has been linked to a variety of health benefits as well, and you should take advantage of them!
11. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
A study published in the Journal of General Psychology in 2008 revealed that those who wake up early procrastinate less than those who burn the midnight oil and wake up late. Many morning people tend to be more disciplined and focused, which contributes to this productivity.
Plenty of studies detail how early risers have a tendency to be more agreeable and cooperative. This can allow for more work to be done since you’re a better team player. Those who wake up early also tend to be more persistent than others, so they are more determined to complete tasks.
12. YOU HAVE MORE ENERGY
Better rest equals more energy. And early risers generally have better sleep patterns than night owls. Enough said. But not really because this is really interesting stuff: a bunch of things happen when your body finally relaxes in sleep, and all of it is beneficial to your long term physical health as well as mental health. Once you drop into deeper cycles of sleep, your blood pressure drops, breathing slows, muscles are relaxed, body temperatures drop, and the blood supply to your muscles increase. This results in tissue and bone both repair, as well as cellular corrections. Growth hormones are also released that are essential for muscle development.
13. BETTER ORGANIZED DAY
It’s a no brainer. Wake up earlier, and you get a jump start on tackling everything you have to do that day. When you wake up even just 15 minutes earlier than normal and you use that time for planning your day, you are already entering domination mode.
We’ve all been there: we go to sleep with an idea of what we want to be accomplished the next day, but once we rise – life happens. Simple things like a forgotten lunch, or a slow commute can be seen to through off the entire day. Rising earlier and laying out your day in advance creates a series of approachable goals that you can dive right into. Worrying about traffic and your first grader’s untied shoelaces are much more easy to deal with when you aren’t trying to remember a half dozen things while you run out the door.
Waking up earlier in the morning can also prepare you for your day ahead. Perhaps your babysitter calls you sick. This gives you much needed time to solve this issue before it is too late. Do you have a bill that is due today? Waking up early allows you to be prepared for it and get the job done. Preparing for the day ahead by picking out your clothes, eating a good breakfast or fuelling up your vehicle allows you to stave off any issues that may arise later.
14. BETTER AND DEEPER REST
Your circadian rhythm is affected by setting a sleep schedule. And this is directly related to how well you rest each night as well. When you get yourself into a consistent cycle of rising and waking, you increase the effectiveness of the natural sleep stages your body needs to heal and promote healthy brain function. The sleep cycle happens multiple times throughout the night. And it is directly related to how our brain processes information and store memory. In fact, many studies suggest that much of our problem solving occurs during this time – making it especially important to make sure this is not interrupted. Plus, your body is physically able to regenerate and heal when well rested.
15. BETTER MENTAL HEALTH
Everything described above equals a support structure for better mental health. Improved brain function, a lack of physical strain and stress, and restorative sleep are all components of an equation that results in your ability to release anxiety and approach your day as it comes. Not surprisingly, mental health experts tie good time management and organization combined with a good night’s rest to a healthier mind. Too much sleep and non-productive sleep leads to a higher incidence of depression and psychological illness.