Top 4 Benefits of Being An Early Riser
It's the same every morning. Your alarm goes off at 6:30, and you hit the snooze button. Fifteen minutes later, you hit it again, and then again, and again, and again, and at 7:45, you leap out of bed like a bat out of hell with just 30 minutes to go before you have to walk out the door to avoid being late for work. Again.
Getting up early can be tough, especially if you're in the habit of staying up until the birds start stirring, but it gets easier the more you do it. And even though you won't usually spring out of bed at 6:30 a.m. lookin' good and raring to go, that extra hour or more in the morning can make a world of difference for your health, your motivation, and your quality of life. Here's why.
- You'll be more likely to work out. A 2014 study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society revealed that people who wake up early tend to stick with a fitness routine, while people who wake up late are generally more sedentary.
- You'll be in a better mood. A study by the biology department at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany found that people who wake up early feel healthier and enjoy a more positive outlook on life than their lazy, snooze-til-noon counterparts. They tend to get better grades and cushier jobs, and they tend to be more proactive, anticipating problems and working to minimize them, thereby reducing stress and staving off chronic crankiness.
- You'll start the day on a pleasant note. How does it feel when you're freaking out because you have ten minutes to do 45 minutes' worth of hygiene to make yourself presentable enough to keep your job? How do you feel when you fly out of the house five minutes late, improperly caffeinated, empty stomach growling, eyes still droopy, brain still fuzzy, sheet marks still on your face? And how does it feel to shout obscenities at the sweet old grandma in front of you who's driving the speed limit and actually stops when the light turns red? Hey, that's no way to set the tone for your day.
- You'll be healthier. According to a 2011 study conducted by Northwestern University, people who sleep late consume, on average, 248 more calories a day than early risers, their average BMI is higher, and they eat twice as much fast food and just half the fruits and vegetables consumed by early birds. Getting up early with plenty of time to enjoy a healthy breakfast is a good way to keep your weight in check. A healthy breakfast and reduced stress level in the morning help to naturally curb overeating later in the day, and breakfast helps ensure your metabolism kicks into gear to rev up your daily calorie burn.
Tips for Becoming an Early Bird
Shedding your night owl habits and becoming an early bird isn't as impossible as it sounds from where you're sitting, having gone to bed in the wee hours of the morning. But if you make the transition gradually by waking up 15 minutes earlier each week, you'll soon be bounding out of bed with enough time to have a cup of coffee, eat breakfast, read the paper, and sneak in some yoga, all before you need to start thinking about hopping in the shower.
From day one, keep your alarm clock across the room so that you have to get out of bed to shut it off. Resist the temptation to crawl back under the covers for just one snooze cycle. Instead, exit the bedroom immediately. By the time you get to the kitchen and start a pot of coffee, you'll already be feeling more awake and energized, and soon you'll ready to attack your day with a vengeance instead of being beaten up by it first thing in the morning. Or afternoon, as the case may be.
What time do you usually get up?