If you have a choice, do you sleep in, or wake up early? It turns out, if you choose to wake up early, you could be healthier than your sleeping-in counterparts. Not only do you have more time in your day, but there are also several health benefits to waking up with the sun. While opinions vary about what constitutes early, most experts agree that waking up anytime before 7:00 AM can get you these tremendous health benefits:
Have Less Stress and Better Mental Health
When you think about what stresses you out, you will probably notice a recurring theme: not enough time. You find yourself rushed to get things done and frustrated at what you were not able to get done. All of this stress, day after day, can wear down your mental health. By waking up early, you give yourself a lot more time in the day. You won’t have to rush to get out of the door in the morning, and you will have ample time to complete your to-do list.
What’s more, Live Science reported that people who wake up early have been shown to have a more optimistic outlook in life. The first hour of the day is what sets the tone for the remainder of the day, and when you wake up early, you have time to accomplish the important things before you start your day—as opposed to people who sleep in and barely have time to grab coffee on their way out the door.
It’s pretty simple really; when you wake up earlier, you have more time to get things done. In fact, in an in-depth study completed by biologist Christoph Randler in 2010, it was shown that people who wake up early spend more time focusing on their goals. Since there is less going on in the morning, you can focus entirely on what is most important to you. You won’t be interrupted by phone calls, work emails, or kids (if applicable), and you can use the time to take advantage of your optimal brain power. After a full night of sleep, your brain is re-charged and ready to go, so you want to wake up early enough to put this optimal time to use.
One of the main components of being healthy is eating a well-rounded, balanced diet. But when you are constantly rushed and on the move, you don’t have time for anything but grab-and-go processed food—if you eat breakfast at all. Your body needs nutrients in the morning so that it can have energy and get you through your day, so skipping this vital meal can take a big toll.
On the contrary, when you wake up early, you have plenty of time to eat a hearty breakfast. You can make a nutritious meal that will set you up for success throughout the day. Not only will a healthy breakfast keep you energized, it will also set the tone for your hunger levels throughout the day. Since you won’t feel like you’re starving, you will have more control over your cravings and you will make smarter food choices all day long.
What is the main reason you don’t exercise? It’s probably time, right? If it’s not a time issue, it is likely an energy issue. If you wait to exercise until the end day, chances are you will usually be too tired and talk yourself out of it. However, if you wake up early enough to fit in exercise before you start the day, you won’t have any excuses. Not only does this guarantee you fit it in, it helps wake you up and it kickstarts your metabolism so you can burn more calories all day long.
Get Better Sleep
It may seem contradicting, but people who wake up early often have a defined sleep routine. They know that they have to go to bed at a certain time so that they can wake up as planned. When your body gets used to going to bed and waking up at the same time, it is able to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. And when you get quality sleep every night, the health benefits are vast. You will have fewer stress hormones wreaking havoc on your body, which can lead to weight loss, and you will have a stronger immune system. The tricky part is to stick to the same routine no matter what you have planned in the day, but once your body gets used to it, you may not even need an alarm clock.
Savor Quiet Time
There is something to be said about a few moments of quiet time to yourself every morning – it relaxes your mind and your body. When you wake up early, you can enjoy the quiet moments before the rest of the world awakes. If you have a long commute, you can beat the traffic and keep your calm. You can even arrive to work early and tackle some of your to-do list before the rest of the office staff arrives and starts distracting you.
Perform Better at Work and School
If it isn’t clear yet, waking up early literally impacts every aspect of your life. With better sleep, more energy, a full tummy, and increased productivity, it stands to reason that you will also do better work at your job and/or school. With better grades and better performance at work, your pathway to success is well paved.
You’ve heard the adage many times about how healthy and wise going to bed early and waking up early can make you. This is not just an old wives’ tale: It has been proven in multiple studies. So, if you are ready to become your best self, start waking up early (and going to bed early to make sure you still get your eight hours a night). You will be amazed at how this one simple change can transform your life.