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Nisha, a working professional: “Waking up early has completely transformed my life. I used to rush through my mornings, feeling stressed and unprepared. But since I started waking up at 6:30 AM, I have time for exercise, meditation, and a healthy breakfast. I feel so much more energized and focused throughout the day, and my productivity at work has skyrocketed.”
Sahil, an entrepreneur: “As an entrepreneur, time is my most valuable asset. Waking up early allows me to get a head start on my day and accomplish important tasks before the world wakes up. The quiet mornings give me the space to think creatively and strategize for my business. It’s been a game-changer for my success.”
Waking up early has long been touted as a habit of highly successful individuals. From CEOs to athletes, many attribute their accomplishments to rising with the sun.
Some of us are early risers, meanwhile, others need a reason to wake up early in the morning. Are there any “Benefits ” for our health on waking up early? Studies have shown “morning people” are often more positive, more optimistic and more likely to experience satisfaction in their lives.
But what is it about waking up early that makes it so beneficial?
The psychology behind it
The psychology behind why waking up early works lies in the concept of willpower and self-control. When we wake up early, we are essentially starting our day with a win. By resisting the temptation to hit the snooze button and getting out of bed, we are exercising our willpower muscles. This sets a positive tone for the rest of the day, as we feel a sense of accomplishment and control right from the start.
Waking up early allows us to have uninterrupted time for ourselves. In the early hours of the morning, the world is still asleep, and we have the opportunity to engage in activities that nourish our mind, body, and soul. Whether it’s reading a book, practising meditation, or going for a jog, these moments of solitude and self-care set a positive foundation for the day ahead.
How to make waking up early a habit
Making waking up early a habit requires discipline and consistency. Here are some tips to help you establish this beneficial routine:
- Gradual adjustment: Start by waking up just 15 minutes earlier each day and gradually increase this time over a couple of weeks. This gradual adjustment will make the transition easier and prevent shocking your body.
- Create a bedtime routine: Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine can signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Avoiding screens before bed, practising relaxation techniques, and keeping a consistent sleep schedule can help you fall asleep faster and wake up more refreshed.
- Set a compelling reason: Find a strong motivation to wake up early. Whether it’s pursuing a passion, improving your health, or spending quality time with loved ones, having a compelling reason will make waking up early more meaningful and enjoyable.
Remember, forming a habit takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.
Benefits of waking up early
Now that we understand the psychology behind why waking up early works and how to make it a habit, let’s explore the numerous benefits that come with this practice:
Improves Quality of Sleep
Sleep experts say that if you go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, your body will be more in tune with the earth’s circadian rhythms, which offers more restorative sleep. The earth’s circadian rhythms refer to the natural patterns of light and darkness that occur over a 24-hour cycle, influencing our sleep-wake patterns. By aligning our sleep schedule with these rhythms, we can optimize our sleep quality and overall well-being. Going to bed earlier and waking up earlier can help synchronize our internal body clock with the external environment, promoting a more harmonious sleep-wake cycle.
Early risers often have very well-established sleep routines. This means they are 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.
Enhances Productivity: Some of the most successful people in the world are early risers. Waking up early allows you to get more done.
How does waking up early help productivity?
- There are fewer 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.
Helps Sustain a Healthier Diet
Often late risers tend to 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. By missing the morning meal, the 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.
Improved mental well-being
One of the 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.
By waking up earlier, you start to reduce the stress in your life by eliminating the need to rush in the mornings. Waking up early provides an opportunity for self-care activities that promote mental well-being.
Better physical health
Waking up early has been known to reduce the chances of missed workouts. While 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. 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 great ways to combat lethargy.
Helps you enjoy Commute Time
If you commute to work, by waking up early you can commute early. The traffic is much lighter, you get to work faster, and thus save yourself more time. Early starts will see you avoiding the peak hour congestion and enjoying a quieter, more peaceful commute to work. It will also help you relish the first couple of hours of the work day as it’s distraction-free. Those who arrive at the office before their colleagues say they enjoy that first hour or two that provide quiet, uninterrupted time to focus.
The quiet and stillness of the early morning hours often foster a sense of creativity. With fewer distractions and a calm environment, you can tap into your creative side and explore new ideas and possibilities.
Time for personal growth
Waking up early allows you to invest in your personal growth and self-improvement. Whether it’s reading educational books, learning a new skill, or working on personal projects, this dedicated time in the morning can accelerate your personal development journey.
How many hours of sleep is enough?
While the ideal amount of sleep can vary from person to person, most adults require between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to wake up feeling refreshed and energized. It’s important to prioritize getting enough sleep to support your overall well-being. If you’re aiming to wake up early, ensure you adjust your bedtime accordingly to allow for adequate rest.
The recommended time to wake up early varies depending on personal preferences and lifestyle. However, many experts suggest waking up between 5:00 AM and 6:00 AM. This timeframe allows for ample quiet and solitude before the demands of the day begin. Experiment with different wake-up times and find the one that aligns best with your natural rhythm and daily commitments.
An ideal morning routine
A well-crafted morning routine can fuel your productivity and set the stage for a successful day. Here are some elements to consider when creating your own morning routine:
- Wake up at a consistent time: Establish a consistent wake-up time that aligns with your goals and lifestyle. Consistency is key in forming a habit and optimizing your mornings.
- Hydrate: Start your day by hydrating your body. Drink a glass of water upon waking to replenish lost fluids and kickstart your metabolism.
- Move your body: Engage in some form of physical activity to get your blood flowing and boost your energy levels. This could be a quick workout, stretching, or even a brisk walk.
- Practice mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness practices into your morning routine, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling. These activities can help cultivate a calm and focused mindset.
- Plan your day: Take a few minutes to plan your day ahead. This could involve reviewing your to-do list, prioritizing tasks, or setting specific goals. Having a clear plan enhances productivity and reduces stress.
Start each morning by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual. Use this extra time to engage in a self-care activity that nourishes your mind, body, or soul. Notice how this small shift in your routine makes a big difference in your day.
Many of us would like to be more physically fit and healthy. Yet making and implementing changes in behaviour is never easy. A wellness coach can help you to set goals and work towards them while providing the motivation and encouragement you need.
If you would like to discuss this further or need some help or support in this or any other area, our wellness coaches would be happy to help.