Sleeping is an essential part of our life, without it we wouldn’t live 11 days, with the right sleep schedule you can maximize your health and productivity. What is this right schedule? It’s an early one! Now keep in mind, waking up early isn’t for everyone—so if you’re happy waking up late keep on keeping on!
Early risers reported being happier compared with people who wake up later, according to a study done by Emotion. 700 people were quizzed on their preferred time of day and their emotional-state. Those who identified as morning people also reported higher levels of happiness than those who identified as night preferring.
The study hypothesized that the reason for this happier emotional state was because of the standard 8-5 workday. These hours complement an earlier schedule: benefiting those who go to bed early and wake up early. The main reason behind this, is our genetic makeup actually determines when we prefer to go bed and wake up. If you’re “programmed” to wake up late and go to be late, you’re likely not getting the sleep quality you need.
You also get to see the sunrise if you get up early enough, tell me that wouldn’t start your day off on a great note!
A second benefit of early rising is that it gives you the opportunity eat healthier. Getting up early allows time for breakfast, the most important meal of the day. You still need to eat a healthy breakfast to benefit from this, sorry but doughnuts don’t qualify (I know I’m sad too). . .
Eating a healthy breakfast provides you with a more healthy, nutritious diet; it improves your concentration in school and work; and provides you with more strength throughout the day. If you sleep in to 11:00 AM every morning and miss breakfast, you miss out on all these benefits, and actually harm yourself. Breakfast is a crucial part of our lives; a part which waking up early facilitates.
The third, most notable benefit of waking up early is that it allows you to be more productive. For me, mornings are the most productive time of the day (thanks high school and first period AP Bio!). However, it’s not really the morning that makes me productive, rather, the extra time I have get things done if I wake up early.
When waking up at 10:00 AM on weekends I get half the amount of things done compared with waking up at 6:00 AM on weekdays. After waking up, it takes me about two-and-a-half hours to feel fully awake. On weekdays I’m usually completely awake by 8:30ish in the morning. However, on weekends I am often not fully awake until 12:00 PM if I wake up late!
This huge difference leads to a loss of about two hours of productivity in my day. I have less time to do the things I care to do when I wake up late, but more time when I wake up earlier.
“But wait! There’s more!”
Waking up early is great, but how can you do it? Well here are three easy ways:
1. Start waking up 15 minutes earlier than you do now for the next few days. Then wake up 15 minutes earlier than that for another few days, and so on until you reach your desired wake up time.
2. Get to bed earlier! The best way to feel your best is to get the proper amount of sleep. If you go to sleep at 3 AM every night and wake up at 6 AM, you’re doing it wrong! To obtain any of these advantages you need to sleep a healthy amount! The recommended amount for adults is 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Start getting to bed early!
3. Stay up once you’re up. NEVER snooze! Sleeping an extra 10-15 minutes in the morning doesn’t actually help at all. Check out this article for all the reasons why.