We’ve long been told the “early bird gets the worm.” It always been impressed upon us that waking up early is one of the keys to being successful. But is that really accurate? Can waking up early make the difference between success and failure? Realistically, no. However, there are plenty of reasons to consider waking up early. There is no question waking up early can often feel like a drag, but let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should.
Let’s be clear that waking up early does not mean less sleep. You can still get the right amount of sleep by going to bed earlier. Changing your sleep patterns can provide big health benefits. When you wake up early, you likely have significantly more energy to get the day going. You’ll often find that by the time breakfast rolls around, you’ve already hit on a good chunk of your do-to list.
Feeling more productive helps your overall mental health, and that is a very good thing. Additionally, waking up early will give you extra time to exercise, which will also give you more energy.
While we love the idea of pressing the snooze button a few times each morning, there is a better option. Most mornings you are likely frantically running around the house, hurrying to walk the dog, making breakfast and rushing to be out the door in time. By the time you get to work, you’re already exhausted and stressed. Let’s go back to the beginning and see what happens if you wake up earlier.
You have time to take a relaxing shower, pick out what you want to wear, casually make breakfast and potentially lunch. On top of that, you will also have time to leave the house before traffic gets too heavy. Think of how much stress you can eliminate from your morning if you woke up early. Think how frequently you go through the same scenario each day of rushing around and how much stress that adds up to over time.
Whether it’s time for more exercise, eliminating unnecessary stress or just being able to beat traffic, waking up earlier can add to improved mental health. Mental health experts have related poor sleep to a number of health troubles including depression and anxiety. Forcing yourself to wake up earlier will force you to go to bed earlier which can provide almost immediate benefits to mental health. Having solid mental health will help you live life to the fullest, create and maintain better relationships with friends and family and overall lead to better decision-making.
The more time you allow yourself each morning to get ready, the more likely you are to find time for things like breakfast. Late-risers are likely so focused on getting out the door on time that they do not save time for things like a meal. Missing breakfast can have a number of adverse health impacts. It can be as simple as being hungry early in the day and reaching for that doughnut or muffin in the office kitchen.
That not only means less energy but it can often mean your body is now full of high fat and high carb items that provide little to no health benefits. Will you feel full? Yes. Unfortunately, that is about the only health “benefit.” Instead, wake up early and cook a healthy breakfast. Spend time casually drinking your first cup of coffee, and you will enjoy a much healthier diet overall. A healthier diet, of course, leads to improved health benefits across the board, both mental and physical.
It goes without saying that fewer distractions can lead to improved productivity. Waking up early allows you a chance to set the schedule for the day. Can you get an extra hour or two of work done before you leave the house for the day? In that time, can you clear or catch up on your inbox or finish that big project you’ve been focused on? The ability to accomplish more in the morning will allow you a chance to get ahead every day. Getting to the office earlier may allow you a chance to work peacefully before people arrive.
As our brains tend to be more alert in the morning, using this time to focus on work-related tasks can be incredibly helpful. You will concentrate more and be more focused. You may even find that you can get done in an hour what would have taken three during the middle of the day. All of this extra productivity will lead to improved mental health.
For all of the above reasons and more, it’s clear to see that waking up early has plenty of health benefits. Setting up a good routine each morning will help set a tone for the rest of the day. Waking up early and laying out the whole day will help you feel more productive and less stressed. Go ahead and try waking up early for a week and see if you feel any better. We bet you will.