I hate waking up early. I hate waking up even earlier. It sucks…yep I said it.
I embraced my dreaded early bird future just a few months ago knowing that it was the right thing to do and wishing that I could go back to my late-night lifestyle.
The evenings have always been my prime time for telling myself about all the things that I need to accomplish. At the end of a busy working day, I would get on the couch with my laptop and a glass of wine that made my heart and soul happy! I would always tell myself that I would be productive tonight, get somethings done like working on the blog, working on my doctorate, finish some emails, but then I would get distracted (hello social media!) and end up losing all that time by getting tired and going to bed.
I reached the point where I was waking up TO ONLY getting ready and running around, making sure that I was ‘on time’ for my commute feeling just a little bit tired and occasionally cranky (!). My husband is an amazing help in the morning with our toddler, but I still always felt that I was rushed and still thinking about what I didn’t end up doing the night before. I decided that it was time to suck it up and make some changes in my life to make me feel better and get things done. If I really wanted to accomplish my goals, I was going to have to make TIME for it. So, the only way I could make time would be to get up earlier in the morning, much to my dismay that this was the only option.
I woke up at 5:00 am the next morning, I forced myself to do it as much as I wanted to hit the sleep function on my cell phone to get a few more minutes. I forced myself to get out of bed (to get my beeping phone alarm across the room) and NOT get back into bed to hit the snooze function. Instead, I ran into the kitchen, made some coffee and realized that I had a few quiet moments that I could focus on just what I needed to do. I got my laptop out and I started writing.
I was pretty productive. A little bit of coffee and a laser-like focus on working on and completing one post before getting ready for work was all I needed to realize that this was the time that I was looking for. The time I needed to get things done and focus my busy mind.
I saw how the mornings could go unnoticed and that I was way more alert and ready to be productive early in the day, unlike at night, when I was really just done after a busy day at work, cooking dinner and getting everyone ready for bed…plus I really just wanted to be able to spend some veg out TV time with my hubby before bed.
So to keep this up, I had to focus on not wanting to go back to bed and also set the timer on the coffee pot (think coffee…faster!) to make sure that I had everything I needed to get into my “morning work zone” faster…coffee for me is key! I realized that waking up early is pretty amazing and highly beneficial to wife and motherhood!
I do want to add…there is a time and place to force yourself to do this. When you are feeling sick, pregnant or still have a baby that wakes up in the night–you have to do what is right for you. Some people truly do better and more productive work in the evening. I am just not one of those people. If you can stay up late and get everything done and it works for you…then this post is not meant to sway you. You do You.
It has been a few months and waking up early is now a part of my routine. It has upwardly increased my productivity, happiness, energy levels and general fulfillment in my life.
For the most part though, I wake up early. It’s now a part of my usual routine and it’s increased my productivity, happiness, energy levels, and general fulfillment in my life by a lot.
If you’re the kind of mom that’s in the right season of life and has the desire to wake up early, but kind of sucks at it, this post is for you.
If you’re not convinced, here are some top reasons why waking up early is good for you from Healthy Ambition to make you think.
1. Waking Up Early Correlates With Better Grades
If you’re studying, you should know that research conducted by Texas University found that students who consistently woke up early each day actually scored better test scores and overall grade points, in comparison to those who slept in all the time.
Of course this is not simply a result of waking up early but when you wake up early you’re more likely to take part in a fixed routine, and most importantly – eat a good breakfast.
2. Waking Up Early Helps You to Sustain a Healthier Diet
This brings me to the next benefit. Often late snoozers tend to skip breakfast because they try to get in every last wink of sleep and skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast is a bad idea because your body needs those nutrients in the morning for energy and focus.
Your body has been on a “fast” all night (6 to 8 hours) and you need to “break the fast” with some healthy food. When you decide to skip your A.M. meal, your body goes into starvation mode so the next time you actually eat something, you are more likely to overeat and crave unhealthy foods.
Eating breakfast is also a foundation for building healthy eating habits and makes you less likely to eat junk the rest of the day.
3. Waking Up Early Enhances Your Productivity
Some of the most successful people in the world are early risers. It’s simple, if you wake up early, you get more done.
In 2010, Christoph Randler, a biologist from Harvard found that early risers are more proactive. When presented with statements such as “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself,” an early riser is more likely to agree.
How does waking up early help productivity?
- There are less distractions in the early hours of the day so you can achieve more with minimal interruptions.
- After a good night’s sleep, your brain is charged and ready to work hard. You are at your efficient best and will get things done quicker and better.
- Early risers are also better at making decisions, planning and setting goals.
- Waking up early may find you grumpy in the beginning but once you get used to it, you will have more energy to take on the day.
4. Waking Up Early Gives You a Better Mental Health
Often one of the least spoken about (yet most important) benefits of waking up early is the impact it can have on your mental health. The first hour of your day and how you spend it often sets the tone for the rest of your day and your life.
By waking up earlier, you start to reduce the stress in your life by eliminating the need to rush in the mornings. Believe me when I say this will add an incredible amount of positivity to your life and you will start to notice a change in your attitude.
Studies have shown “morning people” are often more positive, more optimistic and more likely to experience satisfaction in their lives. While several night owls are known for their creativity, they can also pay the price by becoming more likely to succumb to depression and other psychological problems.
5. Waking Up Early Gives You More Time To Exercise
Waking up early has been known to reduce the chances of missed workouts. Of course there is nothing wrong with exercising after work. However, by exercising first thing in the morning, you are not going to let a tiring work day or social plans after work get in the way of your workout.
So if you’re trying to commit to a regular exercise routine – make morning time your exercise time. Also, if you’re really struggling to wake up and snap out of the sleepiness in the morning, exercise is a good way to fix it. By exercising, you are energizing your body and getting it ready to take on the day.
Exercise and waking up early are a great way to combat lethargy.
6. Waking Up Early Improves Your Quality of Sleep
Early risers often have very well established sleep routines. This means going to bed early, and most likely at the same time every day. This makes it easier to establish a habit of waking up earlier, and at the same time every morning. To wake up earlier, you must of course go to bed earlier.
According to many sleep experts, it’s important to establish a proper sleep routine to improve the quality of your sleep as this helps to set your body’s “internal clock” to establish a routine – making it easier for you to sleep and wake naturally.
So while you may think sleeping in on the weekends to catch up on your sleep is helping you, you’re actually doing more harm to your body in the long run.
7. Waking Up Early Helps You Enjoy Quiet Time
There is a lot of power in “quiet time” and early risers often talk about enjoying the quiet time of earlier starts. By waking up early than the rest of the family, you probably have more quiet time to yourself at home. But this quiet time isn’t limited to home alone.
If you commute to work, early starts will see you avoiding the peak hour congestion and enjoying a quiet(er), more peaceful commute to work. Also, speaking from personal experience, I have found that I really enjoy starting work earlier than my other colleagues.
I relish the first couple of hours of my day as it’s distraction-free and it’s a great time to make important decisions as I am the most focused.
And to Sum It All Up…
You know the old saying “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. It’s true. All of these benefits of waking up early fuse together into one great benefit – the benefit is possibly living a longer, healthier life – free of hypertension, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and most any other deadly ailments that you can think of.
Why? Because a healthy diet that contains the nutrients we need being received in the morning until the time we go to sleep help keep us in shape and slim. Exercise helps with exercising your heart and burning fat calories.
A constant barrage of mental stress on the body has often been attributed to a possible cause for cancer. And if not cancer there is depression, anxiety, ADD, and plenty of other problems you just want to keep away from your body by relieving your stress levels. High blood pressure is actually a result of stress as well!
Once your body starts feeling better, your mind will follow suit. Your mind starts to feel better and react differently to various things such as academics and work related problem-solving issues. You end up feeling like a better, healthier person.
So, waking up early may be hard but with baby steps, even if it’s just waking up 15 minutes earlier to start with – you can start improving your quality of life.
Like what you have read, try 5 Ways to Refresh & De-Stress after a Tough Week to help you combat some post work exhaustion or challenge yourself at work with 5 Ways to Create a Kindness Culture at Work.
Do you wake early or stay up late? What have you found works best for your productivity? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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