waking up early

Becoming a morning person: The benefits of waking up early

Besides keeping you healthy, getting up early in the morning can also help you stay stress-free and energised.
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Many of us find it hard to wake up early in the morning. But the old proverb ‘early bird gets the worms,’ does hold some truth. Rising early doesn’t just mean getting more out of your day, but the habit can also have a positive effect on your memory and overall performance. From athletes to entrepreneurs, many renowned personalities follow this habit. For example, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who starts his mornings at 3:45 am and Olympic swimmer Caroline Burckle, who wakes up at 5:30 am to work out. But it’s not guaranteed that you will automatically enhance your productivity level by trying to follow their example but not making early rising a daily habit.

Being productive has a lot to do with sticking to a proper sleeping schedule. In a study titled Irregular sleep/wake patterns are associated with poorer academic performance and delayed circadian and sleep/wake timing, researchers studied the sleeping patterns of 61 undergraduates for 30 days and correlated those patterns with their academic performance. They discovered that students who had irregular sleeping schedules got lower grades compared to the ones who followed a regular sleeping routine. Hence, it doesn’t matter whether you are a night owl or an early bird, what matters is that you follow a regular schedule.

Nevertheless, there are many benefits of waking up early if you want to become a morning person. Besides keeping you healthy, getting up early in the morning can also help you stay stress-free and energised. When you make this practice a part of your daily routine, you can reap many benefits that are listed below.

You have more time to exercise

When you get up early in the morning, your day becomes longer, which means you have more time on your hands. You can use this time to exercise. While you can exercise in the evenings after finishing your work shift, sometimes it may not be possible if you have to extend your hours or when you feel exhausted. Therefore, exercising at the start of the day is beneficial, as it enables you to focus on the activity without such worries. Moreover, a study suggests that exercising in the morning can improve your “working memory or executive function.”

You won’t skip breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. According to WebMD, “breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work.” However, late risers often have to rush out the door, so they grab something easy or skip the meal altogether. The problem with skipping breakfast, according to research, is it can cause weight gain and make you less active. In the study, “researchers examined the association between breakfast frequency and five-year body weight change in more than 2,200 adolescents, and the results indicate that daily breakfast eaters consumed a healthier diet and were more physically active than breakfast-skippers during adolescence.” On the other hand, early risers don’t have any reason to skip breakfast as they have enough time for it. Hence, by being an early riser, you can eliminate the negative habit of skipping breakfast.

You will have less stress

How often do your mornings start with you snoozing the alarm until the clock strikes the time that finally pushes you to get out of bed? When you start your mornings late, chances are that you will try to squeeze in every activity in a short time. By the time you start your work, you might still feel overwhelmed, agitated and stressed. But when you wake up early, you won’t have to rush through all the morning activities. You will be ready on time, eat a healthy breakfast, and start your work in a relaxed state of mind. This simple change can help the tone for your entire day.

Your sleep quality improves

One of the long-term benefits of waking up early is developing the ability to go to sleep early as well. When you train your body to follow a sleep routine, it will be easier for you to wake up early. This is important for the health of your body’s circadian rhythm. As per the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, “circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living thing. One example of a light-related circadian rhythm is sleeping at night and being awake during the day.” People who wake up early naturally become tired early at night and tend to have a predictable sleep routine that helps them wake up the next morning feeling fully rested.

You will be more optimistic

Another benefit of waking up early is you tend to have more optimism in life. A study titled Duration and Timing of Sleep are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking too supports this fact. It suggests that people who wake up early are less likely to think negatively than those who stay up late. Think about it, how many nights of sleep you have lost trying to solve a problem or worrying about something. As the study discovered, staying up late can lead to negative thinking, so it might be a good idea to develop a habit of waking up early. This will help you get rid of negative thoughts and help you become more optimistic.

Your concentration will get a boost

Waking up early in the morning can also improve your ability to concentrate. As suggested in the study Influence of early rising on performance in tasks requiring attention and memory, rising early can improve your memory. Moreover, when you start your day early, you have more time on your hand. As nothing is distracting you from doing what you want, your ability to focus on a particular task or activity improves considerably.

You will become more efficient and organised

Another benefit of waking up early is that you tend to plan your day better because your thought process is not interrupted. You can accomplish any task faster when nothing is distracting you or keeping you from doing your work. You can easily use this time to plan your day and allocate an appropriate amount of time to each task. This way, you can become more organised and efficient.

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