Many people find it difficult to wake up early, while others find it easy. However, what are the benefits of waking up early – if any? Some people ask themselves “What time should I wake up” but that depends on your daily timetable! It always seems best to make a good start to anything you do, but does this really work for waking up? We shall explain below some of the proven benefits of being an early bird, and provide some tips that should help you become one. Most early-bird benefits are gained by those in business who want to improve their performance.
There are many sayings that suggest waking up early is beneficial to you, either to your health
- Thomas Jefferson said, “The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years.”
- Much earlier, Aristotle wrote that ”It is well to be up before daybreak for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”
- British Prime Minister William Pitt Chatham (William Pitt the Elder) wrote that “If you do not rise early you can make progress in nothing.”
- Benjamin Franklin was the one who stated that “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
- American writer Robert Brault wrote that “One key to success is to have lunch at the time of day most people have breakfast.”
You can likely think of many more. Such sayings and quotes, expressing the benefits of waking up early, usually have more than just a modicum of truth in them. “The early bird gets the worm” is one way of expressing the benefits of rising early and beating the rest at what you do. You have no need to eat a worm to be victorious, but being first certainly helps. Waking up early and developing a good early morning routine, can certainly help you perform better at what you do and be ready when others are still sleepy-eyed.
After a full day at work, you will be less able to tackle difficult issues, particularly if they are personal or critical to your business. Early risers tend to be able to handle these problems easier than those who head for work after 8.30 am. Here are some benefits of waking up early.
Table of Contents
- Some Benefits of Waking up Early
- How to Wake up Early
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Benefits of Waking up Early: Conclusion
Some Benefits of Waking up Early
There are many benefits of waking up early, and before discussing how to wake up early you should ask yourself ‘When should I wake up?’ The answer to that depends on why you are waking up early and when your working day begins. Here are some benefits of waking up early.
Healthy Morning Exercise
How often have you promised yourself to exercise regularly and it never happened? How many promises did you make to spend time in the gym after work but were too tired after work to bother? Learn how to get up early and you will have plenty of time to exercise before work! Many gyms are opening early in the morning to cater for people like you: you need to exercise but have neither the time nor the inclination to do so after work or college. Why not have your workout early morning?
Just 10 minutes on a treadmill, or a few stretching and bending exercises, will get the blood rushing through your body. Exercising before bed can result in you finding it difficult to sleep. This is because exercise increases your core body temperature. In fact, there are several benefits of early morning exercise including burning calories after a night of inactivity. The production of ‘feel-good’ hormones known as endorphins is one! Starting your day feeling good can’t be a bad thing, can it! It has also been found to improve the quality of your sleep during the night.
Melatonin is a hormone realized by the brain that promotes sleep. In order for your brain to do this, your core body temperature has to drop – and this takes time. That’s why many people who exercise before bed find it difficult to sleep and wake up later in the morning than they planned to. It is much healthier to exercise in the morning than at night. This will also have a better effect on your brain.
Personal Attention and Hygiene
If you don’t rise early, you might also skip some personal attention such as cleansing and moisturizing your skin. You might even skip using the toothbrush or skip the shower if you are in too much of a hurry to get dressed and get to work or to make your first class. By waking up early you can avoid all this. You may also be able to leave earlier than usual and miss a lot of the traffic that might hold you up.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Waking up early enables you to eat a healthy breakfast without rushing it. If you skip breakfast because you are in a hurry to leave for work or be in time for your first class or lecture, then your day is on a downhill struggle before it hardly begins. You might also feel hungry and snack too much before lunch – with some of the many issues that such snacking can lead to.
Miss the Traffic
Getting up early gives you one significant advantage of those who rise later: traffic! Heading for work early means you miss the traffic rush hour so you are more relaxed when you get to work. You have not had to curse and get your blood boiling by slow drivers holding you up! You avoid the stop-go that makes you worry about getting late to work or college. By learning how to wake up early, you are on the road ahead of all that and arrive at work cool and calm rather than hot and bothered.
Be in Work Early
Waking up early and getting to work early gives you a good start to your working day. Not only will you impress the boss and improve your chances of promotion, but you will also get more work done. While others are trying to get to work just on time, and maybe leave a bit early, you are there already, and might still be there when you leave! You will also be able to deal with any emails or telephone messages sent overnight sooner. Remember, not all your clients or suppliers will be in your time zone, and this is another way you can impress.
Better Problem Solving
If you wake up early you will not only be better organized and prepared to take on challenges, but you will also be able to handle any problems that you have to face at work – or in life. By getting a good night’s rest and waking up early, your brain will be ready to handle any issues that you have to face. Students preparing for a test will find that they are more clear-minded and better prepared if they sleep well and wake up in time to have a leisurely breakfast with no stress to get to college early.
Better College or University Grades
A study reported by CBS News, that was carried out in June 2008 by the Department of Psychology at the University of North Texas in Denton, showed that those who rise early get better grades than those who do not, and have a “higher chance of graduating near the top of their class.” Their average GPA (Grade Point Average) was a point ahead of the night owls who went to bed and arose late (3.5 vs 2.5). This held true irrespective of the academic ability of the students in each group. 824 undergraduates were involved in the study.
Early Risers Have More Energy
The majority of those who are successful in business, or at whatever else they do for a living, rise early – often as early as 5 am – or even earlier than that. The benefits they gain from this include:
- Being able to concentrate on important aspects of their work while others are still asleep in their bed.
- They are also less likely to be interrupted while working on serious issues during the early part of the morning.
- Your brain tends to be more effective early in the morning, and any goals you set will be more likely to be realistic and attainable.
Those who waken up early in the day tend to be more energetic in their work and decision-making than they would be later in the day. Many people have reported this.
All of the above makes sense! If you rise early, you will more able to handle any issues that occur. It always seems easier to handle a problem at 7.30 am than at 3 pm, or even at 5 when you are thinking of getting home. This is more true of personal problems than it is of work-related issues. What seems easy to handle at 8 am might be an unwelcome problem at 4.30 pm.
How to Wake up Early
So what time should I wake up you may think to yourself, and at what time should I go to bed? Well, ‘early to be early to rise’ is the old saying, and such sayings have a lot of truth behind them. It’s not a question easily answered, but around 8 hours seems adequate for most adults while others can be fresh in the morning after 5 hours of sleep. You will certainly find it difficult to wake up at 5 am if you go to bed at 11 pm or midnight.
The secret is to get yourself into a routine. If you aim to wake up at 6 am then going to sleep around 10 pm makes sense. However, you might find that 11 pm is OK for you, or you may have to go to bed earlier. By getting into a routine by habit, you can set your circadian rhythm so you will find it progressively easier to go to bed and wake up at specific times.
You could also try it in small increments. Try getting up 15 minutes earlier each day or even each week. You will soon be waking up at 5 am rather than 7 am, and by achieving this in increments, your body will be trained to wake up at your new preferred time.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of getting up early, then there is no need to sleep less. Here are some tips that should help you improve your decision-making skills, reduce errors or judgment and improve your overall management skills. You need not try all of these at once, and as we recommend in our second suggestion below, don’t try too much too soon. Go gradually, and try them one or two at a time.
A. Avoid Alcohol and Coffee at Night
Alcohol has a diuretic effect and can keep you waking at night to pass urine. While some believe alcohol helps them sleep, it is not a deep sleep and can keep you waking up and missing the beneficial deep REM stages of sleep. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a powerful stimulant that can disrupt your sleep, leaving you tired in the morning. It takes between 8 and 10 hours for your body to metabolize caffeine.
B. Don’t Try Too Much Too Soon
Don’t try to wake up at 5 am if you normally get up at 8 am. It just will not happen, and you will be doomed to failure with a resultant loss of self-respect. It may also change your mind about waking up earlier. Go for small improvements. If athletes want to reduce their 1500m time by 5 seconds or so, they don’t go right away for a 5-second improvement – around 2 secs would suit them, and then work from there. Same with waking earlier: go for 15 – 20-minute improvements daily as suggested above, and in a week you should be waking up at least two hours earlier! It could take 2 weeks, but you will get there!
C. Set Your Alarm
Set your alarm every morning until you are getting up at the time you plan for. Place your alarm out of reach from your bed – even at the other side of the room is need be. This will make you get out of bed to turn it off, and once you are out of bed – job done! You are up! The best types of alarm are loud music or something inspiring to remind you why you are doing this.
D. Get a Timed Coffee Maker
Set your coffee maker to brew a cup before the alarm. Then when you wake up, you smell the coffee – this is a great way to force you out of bed. Put the coffee machine next to the alarm; that is more than enough to keep you from going back to bed! It may also inspire you if you had got your breakfast ready the night before.
E. Turn the Lights On
Once your alarm starts, turn on the lights. You can do this easily in two ways. Either use a lamp attached to a wall socket and fit this socket with a timer you can set to switch off at a preset time or use Alexa or a similar device to switch on the light. While you may be reluctant to get out bed in the dark, you will find it much easier when the lights are on.
F. Get an Incentive
You can automate posting on Facebook and other social media. Your goal would be waking up by a certain time early each morning to stop the app posting – if you don’t cancel the post in time you are showing your weakness. You would have to show that you were awake by a specific time or face the scorn of your friends or followers.
To do this write the post: “If you receive this I have failed to wake up when planned” or any other message. Click ‘Share Now’ – Click on ‘Schedule’ and enter the time it is to be posted. Then make sure you are awake to delete it before the scheduled time!
Frequently Asked Questions: How to Wake Up Early
It is not easy to wake up earlier than you are used to. Here are some questions we have been asked by several people who are interested in improving their business performance by waking up and starting work earlier than normal.
There is no specific time at which you must wake up. We have given 5 am as an example, though many people begin their working day at 6 am. If you take the advice of the medical fraternity, the best time to wake up is at daybreak or sunrise. However, never try to wake up at 5 am if you don’t intend to stick to it. Choose a time that suits you best and keep to that! Nevertheless, waking up is not getting up! Place your alarm across the room, so you have to get out of bed to stop it and not just cancel it and roll over back to sleep again.
A routine is a good idea, particularly if you are not used to waking and getting out of bed early. Once you have a set routine and are happy meeting that every morning, it will become much easier to maintain it. Choose a simple task to carry out each morning, such as make the bed for that night or some other job that you feel accomplished for getting it done first thing in the morning.
Keep getting up early! Don’t use the weekends to break the sequence! This could mean you having to get used to it all over again on Monday! Your sleeping and waking habits should be maintained if at all possible. If you upset your internal clock in any way, you may find it difficult to get back to early rising. Not only may you find yourself unable to sleep at your normal weekday time, but you may also feel too tired on Monday morning to get out of bed. This is a similar feeling to jet lag.
Sleep deprivation, even if only slight, can affect your decision-making in business. Your decisions tend to become more emotional with increasing sleep deprivation, and your reactions and thought processes also become slower. The Harvard Medical School has established that around 33% of US workers lack sufficient sleep to function as they should. However, getting up early does not equate to sleep deprivation.
If you want to wake up at around 6 am, then you should go to bed around 10:16 pm. That gives you 8 hours in which to get to sleep and wake up. You can use our sleep calculator to know when you should go to bed.
Once you are used to this practice, you can try setting your alarms for 5 am. Many people can manage with just 7 hours of sleep, but don’t aim for that until you are easily waking up at 6 am. Many people go to bed earlier but get up at 5 am and in some cases, such as that of PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi, even earlier. She rises at 4 am and starts work at 7 am at the latest.
Yes, there are. There are Smart lights that can be set to simulate sunrise or dawn in your bedroom, so you can wake up at any set time to a lit-up room. This makes it easier to wake up early than if your alarm woke you up before sunrise. Don’t forget that in winter, 6 am is dark, unlike in summer! You will wake up easier and get out of bed if your room is lit up when you awake.
Benefits of Waking up Early: Conclusion
We don’t expect you to emulate Indra Nooyi, although there are many benefits of waking up early after a good night’s sleep. Early to bed and early to rise, Benjamin Franklin said. Try it yourself, say starting at 6 am, and keep it going for at least a week and find out how it benefits you. It should affect your energy levels, your self-confidence, your productivity, and your ability to carry out your job effectively. Even if you regard yourself as an evening or night person, you will be impressed by how much easier you find it to meet your goals than if you got out of bed at 8 or 9 am. Try it and see! Particularly in winter months.