Science explains how getting up earlier can improve your life

It might be difficult to train yourself to get out of bed as the sun comes up, but there are so many benefits if you choose to become a morning person! For a lark, 6:30 am is prime time when they spring out of bed ready to take on the world! For a night owl, getting up at such an hour is unheard of. However, while nocturnals are still in snooze land, the early risers of the world are taking the day by storm. Here are 12 reasons to ditch the late nights and become a morning person.

1. You’ll Be Happier

Recent studies illustrate that your body-clock has a massive impact on your life. Morning people are much more likely to have a positive outlook compared to night owls. The same study also found morning people to feel healthier and more alert throughout the day!

2. You’ll Be More Successful

In 2010, biologist Christoph Randler, performed a study linking early risers to increased productivity and success. He commented that “they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities.”Morning people have been proven to be more proactive in their careers, which leads to more success and higher wages. A great reason to become a morning person!

3. You’ll Eat Breakfast

Waking up early gives you plenty of time to get up and eat a good breakfast. Breakfast helps to restore glucose levels, which help the brain to function. This leads to better cognitive function throughout the day, better memory and even lower stress levels! Sleeping in and missing breakfast can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, weight gain, poor academic performance, a heightened risk of diabetes, and poor bone health. Keep in mind that if you start your morning with Bulletproof coffee and add fat to your coffee, you can then be satiated for intermittent fasting. Try to incorporate protein to your breakie rather than sugar.

4. You’ll Exercise More

If you become a morning person and get up early, you’ll have more time to exercise before the world wakes up. In The 5 AM Miracle, author Jeff Sanders claims, “the trend is that the kind of people who wake up early are also the kind of people who exercise. People who exercise are the kind of people who eat healthier. People who eat healthier tend to lose weight, and people who lose weight tend to have more self-confidence and feel sexier.” So waking up earlier could make you sexier too!

5. You’ll Sleep Better

Dr. Monica Aggarwal, co-author of Finding Balance, warns of the dangers of not getting enough sleep saying, “If our body doesn’t sleep, it isn’t repairing.” Waking up early is the best way to ensure a consistently good night’s sleep that repairs the body. In her book, she discusses the need to balance melatonin (the sleep hormone) levels and cortisol (the wake up hormone) levels to ensure a better night’s sleep. This comes with a combination of waking up with the sunlight in the morning, and not staying up all night on your phone or laptop! The light produced by these electronic devices blocks melatonin production as it mimics sunlight, fooling our bodies into thinking it is still daylight. So if you do stare at a screen for a long time, consider wearing glasses that block the blue light that impairs melatonin production. We suggest Swannies!

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6. You’ll Be Persistent And Cooperative

Waking up early has been scientifically linked to positively improving traits such as being more persistent, cooperative, agreeable, and conscientious. This 2011 study arranged students into a ‘Composite Scale of Morningness’, where “morning oriented adolescents scored higher on persistence (PS) and cooperation (C), while evening oriented pupils scored higher in novelty seeking (NS)”.

7. You Won’t Fall Into Sleep Debt

Sleep debt occurs when our sleeping patterns are disrupted, or when you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. Sleep debt causes distress to our bodies and our immune system, in the same way that chronic stress does. Waking up early (even on the weekends) helps us to settle into a normal and natural sleep cycle that will help us sleep better and avoid sleep debt. Natalie Doutovich of the National Sleep Foundation, has stressed the importance of routine in getting the best nights sleep. So if you become a morning person, you may even get more rest!

8. Your Immune System Will Work Better

Sleep deprivation can have adverse effects on the immune system. Dr. Monica Aggarwal, co-author of Finding Balance, states that “it creates even higher oxidative stress which in turn contributes to even more metabolic imbalances.” In stark contrast, sleep is both restorative and can serve as an antioxidant, which have been known to help boost the immune system and combat heart and skin conditions.

9. You’ll Procrastinate Less

Getting up early helps you get on with your day and avoid procrastination. This 1997 study linked procrastination to those who consider themselves “night owls”, whilst this 2007 study, from the Journal of General Psychology, confirmed that this is true of all adults; not just of college age students. Whatever your age, you are much less likely to procrastinate and put off doing daily tasks if you get up early and get on with your day!

10. You’ll Be Better At Sports

Well, maybe not all sports, but definitely baseball. In 2011, a study was conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which tested the batting average of players who were defined as “morning types” compared to those who were defined as “evening types”. The study showed that whilst “evening types” performed much better in the evening, they displayed a significantly larger drop in standard during “non-peak” times. So if you want to perform consistently, get yourself out of bed!

11. You’ll Have Time For Yourself

It feels incredibly serene to get up before the world is awake. Depending on the time you set your alarm for, you could have the time to enjoy a coffee and read the paper, do the daily chores, or even do some meditation. Time to yourself is essential for positive mental health and could provide a stress relieving solution that can fit easily into your schedule.

12. You’ll Smoke And Drink Less

There have been a number of studies that support the connection between late sleepers and substance abuse. One analysis of 676 adults found that “evening types” were much more likely to be current or lifelong smokers, much less likely to stop smoking, and at much higher risk of nicotine dependence, compared with morning folks. Whilst another study found that those who sleep later generally consume more alcohol than early risers. Getting up early could give your liver and your lungs a well-deserved break!

If you become a morning person and get into a new morning wake-up routine, you can reap the rewards of better health and quality of life. What are you waiting for?

Josh Hamilton is an aspiring journalist from Belfast, Northern Ireland, living in London, Ontario. Lover of music, politics, tech and life.

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