I'm not sure what determines whether a person is a night owl or an early bird, but I'm convinced it is out of our control. I have always, ALWAYS been a night owl, for as long as I can remember. There's something about the midnight hour that gets my brain working in overtime, and that is when I become the most productive. That's all find and dandy, but when you have a.) a child that wakes up early, and b.) a job that you have to attend at 8 a.m., those late nights can kill you.
Before settling down and having a kid, I would get jobs that allowed me to work nights, so I never had to worry about early mornings. Now that my significant other has crazy hours, we decided it would be best for our son if I had the stable job during normal business hours. Since I have to get myself and my son ready, fed, and out the door in time to get to work right at the crack of 8, I have to be up around 6 a.m., which is way out of my comfort zone. If I have learned one thing, it is that I feel so much better all-around when I wake up early. There is something about waking up at the crack of dawn and accomplishing things before you have to go-go-go that sets you up for a good day. Not only that, but there are many other benefits to waking up early.
Those who rise earlier are more likely to be healthy physically, as well as more motivated. A good reason for that could be because many people who are active like to get their workout done in the morning hours. Not only is working out good for the body, but it is good for the mind as well. Releasing endorphins right away in the morning is a good way to boost your mood. Sunlight also plays a role in weight loss, studies show. Getting sunlight at the right time can affect your hormone levels, as well as your metabolism.
People who wake up earlier are more likely to eat healthier than those who sleep in. This is probably because night owls wake up too late for breakfast, so they skip it altogether. We know how important breakfast is, especially when it comes to healthy weight loss or maintenance. Not only is it bad to skip breakfast for weight loss, but it turns out that studies have shown that those who don't have breakfast go on to have more calories in a day. People who wake up early are more likely to consume more fruits and veggies than those who sleep in, and are less likely to get fast food throughout the day.
As we already learned how rising early can benefit our bodies, we should talk about how it can also help our minds. Sure, working out and eating better can be helpful for our mental health, but there are other reasons too. People who wake up earlier are less likely to be stressed, because they are a step ahead of everyone else, and they are less likely to be rushed in the morning. Speaking from experience, I know how stressful it can be when you are racing the clock to get things done and be where you need to be. For those of you who are in school, research has found that those who get up earlier are more likely to have better grades than those who don't.
Some people can't change their routines, and some people simply don't want to. I am a part of the small percentage that wants to change their habits, but struggle at it. I know the benefits to waking up early, and I know how much better it makes me feel, but sometimes it takes an extra kick in the ass to get me going. If you are like me, here is your extra kick. Take control of your life by waking up early while improving your physical and mental health. Waking up one hour earlier every day will add 15 days onto your year. What would you be able to accomplish with an extra 15 days?