Benefits of Waking Up Early
For the longest time, I was not an early riser. I was in the habit of going to bed late and waking up long after the sun rose. My rationalization was that I was simply not a morning person and I blamed my DNA for my sleep habits. I now realize that I was misguided.
Contrary to what I believed before, it is possible to rise early and to reap the benefits. In fact, one of the best changes I have ever made in my life is learning to wake up earlier. What do I mean by early? For me, that means 6am or earlier. This habit has changed my life for the better in so many ways. All of us have different schedules so waking up early for you does not have to be 6am. The point is is to make the effort to wake up earlier than you normally do. You will be amazed how much your life will change.
Why You Should Wake Up Early
Most people know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Waking up early allows us to prepare and consume a nutritious breakfast that will nourish us and give us the energy we need to tackle the rest of our day. It beats grabbing a bagel, lathering it with cream cheese and dashing out the door. Or even worse, stopping at a fast food restaurant on the way to work or not eating breakfast altogether.
Peace and Quiet
One thing I love about waking up early is the peace and quiet. While the majority of people are asleep, I get to enjoy quiet time. There are no phones ringing, no text messages from friends or work colleagues, no noise from traffic, nobody mowing their lawn, nobody knocking on the door, no neighbours playing music, etc. It is the perfect time to reflect, focus, and get important things done.
Plan the Day
Another advantage of waking up early is that we have time to plan our day. Most people are reactive when it comes to managing their day. They handle things as they come along rather than plan ahead of time how they are going to spend their valuable time. Having the time to plan how we are going to navigate our day allows us to prioritize our tasks and complete them in the most logical and efficient way.
Waking up early actually helps to reduce our stress levels. When we make the effort to wake up early each day, we do not experience the stress associated with being late and rushing as so many people do. We have more time to complete the tasks required in the morning without feeling the pressure of being late. It gives us peace of mind and the satisfaction of of knowing that we have a handle on things.
Better Mental Health/Less Risk of Depression
Scientific studies have shown that people who wake up early are less prone to depression than those who are night owls. They also are more optimistic and have fewer psychological illnesses.
We all know that exercise is an important activity that we should incorporate into our lives. Waking up early allows us to get our daily exercise out of the way when we are fully rested and energized. It makes it less likely that we will skip our workout as so often happens when we decide to exercise after work or late in the evening. It also is a wonderful way to start our day because exercise releases oxytocin and serotonin, which in turn make us happier. Now that I exercise in the morning rather than in the evening, I can attest to the fact that it makes me feel great and I am less likely to miss a workout.
Humans are meant to sleep when it is dark. Going to bed earlier and waking up early assures that we will get our sleep when there is no daylight to affect the quality of our sleep. It also means that we have consciously planned our daily sleep schedules rather than sleep at different hours every day. This allows our bodies to get used to the sleep schedule and cycles and get better sleep. It allows us to be fully rested when we wake up
Fall Asleep More Easily
When we plan our sleep schedule, go to bed and wake up at a certain hour, our bodies get used to the pattern. This allows us to fall asleep more easily at night. Our internal clock will get used to the rhythm and we will be tired and sleepy when the time comes to go to bed.
For those who commute to work every day, waking up early allows us to go to work earlier and miss the worst rush hour traffic in the morning. We can choose exactly what time we would like to leave the house, perhaps even get to work before we are required to in order to be more productive and efficient.
Better Discipline, Willpower and Control
When we actually plan our sleep schedule (most people do not do this), we are making a conscious choice. While some simply succumb to their daily whims and fancies that dictate when they go to bed and wake up, others are deliberate and determined to sleep and wake up early. They commit to the cause and draw on their discipline and willpower to ensure that they are successful.
More Proactive and Goal Oriented
People who wake up early tend to be more proactive and goal oriented. They actually plan when they will go to bed and when they will wake up rather than sleep at odd hours that vary each day. They feel more in-charge of their lives, perhaps because they are more deliberate in their actions. They set goals and subscribe to the adage, “Early to bed, early to rise”.
Clearer Mind/Better Focus
Ever since I made the commitment to wake up earlier, I have noticed that I have a clearer mind and better focus. Our minds are sharper when we have a regular schedule and get proper sleep. Perhaps this is partly because people who wake up early are more likely to decline late night activities that will infringe on their sleep. It is a wonderful feeling when your head is clear and focused.
Waking up earlier can affect our level of happiness. Perhaps because of all the advantages associated with rising early, we are more likely to be happy. The feeling of being in control, getting things done, being clear-minded and healthier leads to high levels of happiness. This, in turn, reinforces the habit of waking up early.
Studies have shown a correlation between waking up early and better grades. In fact, a Texas university study revealed that students who wake up early have grade point averages that are a full point higher than those who do not.
Overall, people who wake up early are healthier than those who do not. This could be because early risers are more like to eat a proper breakfast and exercise. It could also be because they are less stressed than those who rush in the morning.
One Step Ahead/Headstart
Another benefit of waking up early is that it allows us to be one step ahead of 95% of the world. For example, if you work in sales, you can be the first to research and contact a potential client. If you are signing up for college classes, it will increase your chances of being successful. The list is almost endless in this regard. The early bird really does get the proverbial worm.
It is obvious that people who wake up early are more likely to be punctual and avoid tardiness. Whether it is showing up for work, an appointment or a class, rising early allows us to be on time, which, in itself, has tremendous advantages.
More Activity Options
Think about all the wonderful activity options available to us during the day. Everything from yoga classes, hiking, going to the beach, playing with our children at the park, flying a kite, to going to the bank or post office, there are so many more choices available when we wake up early.
Interaction With Like-Minded People
One thing I love about waking up early is that I get to meet others who do the same. When I go to the gym early in the morning, I get to meet early risers who are determined, disciplined, and who set goals. These are generally not people who spent the previous night binge drinking in a bar. Most of them are positive, optimistic, and self-disciplined.
One benefit of waking up early is the ability to witness the sunrise and enjoy nature. Besides starting the day right by watching the sun emerge, I also enjoy watching the birds sing, the butterflies fluttering, and the squirrels scrounging for nuts.
More Productivity and Success
Lastly, when you combine all the benefits of waking up early, it is easy to see why early risers experience higher levels of productivity and success. The quantum effect is tremendous and makes us more likely to achieve our goals and desires.
I have changed my mind about not being a morning person. After experiencing the advantages of waking up early firsthand, I now realize that there is so much to gain. It might take awhile to get used to your new sleep schedule, but you will be glad that you made the effort. I encourage you to wake up earlier each day and witness for yourself how your life will change for the better.