One of the things I was fortunate to learn early in life was the benefits of waking up early.
As a child, I didn’t like having to wake up at 6:30 in the morning, get some house chores done before heading off to school.
In fact, I hated it. Any chance I had to get wake up late, I took.
Like most things, when we grow up and look back, we thank our parents for raising us the way they did. Waking up early was one of them for me.
I know that some people are night owls and are more productive that way. I, on the other hand, do most of my work before noon.
This is something I learned a few years ago when a seminar made me record and document the everything I did for a whole week.
Here are some health and productivity benefits of waking up early.
How We Benefit from Waking Up Early
1. People who wake up early are more likely to stick to their exercise routine
I tried working out in the evenings but I’d often find myself making more excuses like being tired from work or just wanting to relax after a long day.
Apparently this experience isn’t limited to me. A study showed that people who worked out in the morning are more likely to keep at their routine for the long term. Getting exercise in the morning has also been shown to better for those who are looking to lose weight, want to have more energy throughout the day and sleep better at night.
2. You Get to Enjoy Breakfast (and be healthier)
When I get up late, I often find myself rushing to get to work. That means not getting anything planned out and often missing breakfast and just picking up something at work or a cup of coffee.
Being able to eat at home and enjoy breakfast is much healthier than picking up take out for breakfast or skipping it all together. At home, you get to prepare healthy food without all the added salt, sugar or fat.
Aside from being able to make healthier food choices, eating before you get to work lessens the hunger pangs that make us seek out anything that smells or tastes good that probably isn’t healthy.
3. Students who woke up earlier get better grades
This is an extra benefit for students who get up early. Honestly, I never thought there would be a correlation between waking up early and getting better grades.
A study made by Texas University in 2008 showed that students who were described as early risers got better grades than those who were night owls. There was a big difference in GPA, in fact a full point with the early waking students getting a 3.5 GPA on average and only 2.5 for those who preferred the night.
I’m not sure if it has to do with study habits or discipline but the difference in GPA is definitely something to think about for students.
4. Early risers are more productive
When I get up before 6:30 I often find myself finishing a lot of work before 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. I’ve noticed that compared to when I get up at 8:00 a.m., which I think isn’t that late.
For me something about the tranquility of the early morning lets me work and focus. It makes work a lot smoother in terms of flow and I often find myself doing a full day’s work by lunch time when I get up before 6:30.
5. Morning people are happier
Want to be happier and healthier,? Try getting up earlier?
According to the journal Emotion, which is published by the Americal Psychological Association, those who considered themselves morning people were observed to be happier and healthier compared to those who described themselves as night owls.
This was a fairly large group studied of 700 participants with ages ranging from 17 to 79 years old, making it something to consider. After all, we all want to be healthy and happy, don’t we?
If you want to make some changes to the time you wake up, you don’t have to do it in a single day. One thing I noticed about our bodies is that they respond better to routine and mild changes. Slowly turn back the alarm time a few minutes every few days.
In a few weeks you’ll find yourself waking up much earlier than you used to.
6. More time to relax
I get up in early on weekends and holidays too because during this time I get time to myself. I can relax or mediate without having to thing of preparing to get to work or getting the kids ready for school. It’s all about me, at least till the kids get up.
Because there are so many things going on around us, morning seems to be one of those few times that there aren’t many cars zooming by, digital devices or television making sound or noise of anything else.
I also like being able to breathe in the cool morning air which for me is a lot fresher than during other parts of the day. This lets you be refreshed in taking on the day even if it’s full of chores like cleaning.