They say the “early bird gets the worm”, but what about those who aren’t early risers?
We all have days where we feel like being a cocoon and staying in bed all day – and we succumb to it gleefully. Other times, waking up at noon makes us feel like total slobs no matter how good our sleep was, or how pleasant our dream.
“The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.” – Wilson Mizener
Just look at doctors, nurses, or any profession that function on night and graveyard shifts. This doesn’t mean they are less competent.
Whichever sleep routine works for you, go for it. No one’s forcing you convert from being a night owl to an early bird. Just keep in mind that if you ever decide to change your nightly routine, sleeping and waking up early has many benefits, too.
Am I the only one who feels like half my day was wasted if I wake up anytime past 8 am? Being an early bird means fewer alarms, more sunsets and much more time for yourself.
1) Better Grades and Work Performance
“A person who has not done one half his day’s work by ten o’clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.” ― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
A study done by Texas University revealed that students who were early risers were also top performers and got better grades. You can’t just wake up early and hope for an A, though. You have to put in the work, and pair it with perseverance, too.
Those few extra early hours awake can be the defining factor between a failing and passing grade, or a difference of one whole point in one’s GPA.
2) Be an Early Bird – Eat a Healthier Diet
“You’re not healthy, unless your sleep is healthy.” – Dr. William Dement
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so try not to skip it often.
We are fond of squeezing in as much sleep as we can while simultaneously pressing the snooze button. We doze off only to wake up and discover that two to three hours have already passed. So much for being an early bird. This usually means breakfast no longer becomes an option, so you skip it. Or have brunch instead.
Don’t deny your body the chance to absorb healthy nutrients first thing in the morning. Our breakfast usually dictates what the rest of our day’s diet is going to look like. The healthier you eat in the morning, the less likely you are to crave junk food for the rest of the day.
3) Quiet Time and Meditation
“Sleep is the best meditation.”- Dalai Lama
Who doesn’t appreciate a quiet peaceful commute to work? You’ll have the roads to yourself, with no traffic. Plus if you wake up early, you get to catch the sunrise. Witnessing Mother Nature’s no filter daily “painting” for us never gets old.
Turn those late night thoughts into morning ponderings. The perfect time to do all the heavy thinking is while you’re wide awake. Better decisions are made this way.
4) Physical Perks
“Your life is a reflection of how you sleep, and how you sleep is a reflection of your life.”- Dr. Rafael Pelayo
Those who’ve already had a long and stressful day at work would much rather indulge in some Netflix and chill at the end of the day. Sometimes, plans and emergencies arise after work, forcing you to cancel workouts.
So do them in the morning instead, when nothing is bound to get in the way. Early morning exercises jumpstart our metabolic rate, making it easier to burn dietary fats and calories.
When we’re sleep deprived, our reaction times are slower and blood pressure levels start to soar. There’s also a greater tendency to overeat when we’re stressed. If you become an early bird, you get these perks – and more.
5) Positive Mindset and Improved Mental Health
“Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.”
The less stressed you are (because you’re finally getting enough sleep), the lesser chances you have of developing insomnia, depression, anxiety, etc.
Plus, not having to rush in the morning means more time to get ready. You get to take your sweet time picking outfits that are sure to make you feel daring and dauntless. Personal style appreciation and confidence often go hand in hand.
Thank yourselves for that extra hour. After all, if we look good, we feel good, right?
Tips To Wake Up Earlier
To wake up earlier, of course you’d have to change your bedtime routine.
Ease into it gradually. Try waking up even 10-15 minutes earlier each morning. After a week, you’ll find yourself an early bird in no time.
Keep your curtains and blinds open. Those who are light sleepers will find it easier to allow the natural light of sunrise to stir you awake instead. I‘d choose this over the sudden blaring of my alarm clock any day.
If you do prefer using a traditional alarm or clock, place it more than a body length away so you’re forced to get up and turn it off. Set your ringtone to a song you’ll want to sing to so you wake up in a good mood.
Get yourself up and dancing first thing in the morning by making a playlist that contains your favorite upbeat songs; this is the perfect energizer. Formulate a daily routine or action to perform immediately after waking up, like jumping jacks, stretching or drinking a glass of water.
Refrain from using electronic gadgets within an hour of sleep. If you want to tire your eyes out so you fall asleep faster, grab a paperback and read that instead. Listening to nature sounds, instrumentals, or even white noise can speed up your sleepiness.
*Side note: if you’re really desperate about becoming an early bird, let others at home know. They’d be more than happy to help wake you up. Expect their methods to range from super gentle, like soft taps on the back, to roughhousing and rapid raps on your bedroom door.
“Life is waking up an hour early to live an hour more.”