Wake up early. Image credit: Luka Skracic
How do you feel about waking up earlier? I guess you don't like the idea since you already struggle to get enough sleep. You probably hit the snooze every now & then to sleep in for an extra 10mins.
But while the idea of waking up earlier can seem painful, once you start doing it consistently and experience its benefits it becomes a no-brainer. Here are 7 reasons why you should wake up early.
1. Healthier Diet. Not feeling hungry on waking up and lack of time are the top reasons for skipping breakfast. Waking up early gives you time to eat breakfast and to prepare your food for your day — 2 keys to eating healthy.
- Eat Breakfast. Eating breakfast helps building healthy eating habits by setting the trend. You'll be less likely to eat junk food during the day if you eat a healthy breakfast on waking up.
- Prepare Food for Day. Cooking your own food gives you total over the ingredients and thus over your results. It also gets rid of stress caused by you not finding something healthy to eat at work.
2. Less Missed Workouts. Training in the morning will prevent missed workouts as long as you wake up early. Unexpected things like long work days will never get in the way: you've trained already. More benefits:
- More Energy. Your body temperature drops when you sleep. Exercising increases it which will make you feel more energized after your morning workout. (Although you might need a 30min nap after a hard session).
- More Motivation. Although exercising after work reduces destress, you need more motivation to go to the gym. Especially if you had a rough day and feel tired. Morning workouts are easier.
By the way, if you exercise in the morning, wait 1h upon waking up before you load your back with exercises like Squats. Your spine hydrates at night which makes it more prone to injuries on waking up. Wait 1 hour and you'll be safe.
3. More Productivity. Most successful people are early risers. Think of Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Edison. One reason is that you get more done if you wake up early. Not just in the morning, but the whole day. Here's why:
- Less Distractions. Most people aren't awake. Nobody can disturb you with phone calls. There isn't much you can do except work. It's quiet.
- More Efficiency. You're less efficient and make more mistakes when you work long and later at night. Read the Power of Full Engagement.
- More Energy. Because your eating habits & sleep quality improve, you have time to exercise in the morning and skip less workouts, ...
4. Less Stress. How you lead your life the 1st hour after you wake up sets the trend. You'll be amazed at how more positive your day will become by waking up early. Here's some stress that you'll avoid:
- No more rushing to get ready for work because you're late again.
- No more arriving late at work, barely awake, because you didn't had the time to shower or have breakfast.
- No more stressing about what excuse you'll come up with this time to explain to your boss why you're late again.
5. Better Quality Sleep. Going to bed at the same time each day doesn't work: sleep needs vary depending on your activity levels, diet, sunlight exposure, ... That's why you have to focus on wake up time, not bedtime.
By waking up early at the same time daily, you'll stabilize your circadian rhythm. This will improve the quality of your sleep and make you feel more energized during the day as a result.
6. More Free Time. Start your workday earlier and you'll end it earlier. But since your productivity & sleep improve by waking up early, you'll also get more done in less time. Couple of examples:
- Save Time. You'll save time commuting by avoiding the rush hour. You'll save time at the gym since it's less crowded in the morning. You'll sleep less hours on average by waking up consistently at the same time.
- Shorter Workdays. You'll do more work in the morning. Start early and by noon you'll have a lot done. By 5PM your work day will be over.
7. Enjoy Sunrise. I tend to party late, and I always thought driving back home while the sun was rising was beautiful. Now that I wake up early I see sunrise daily. Check the picture at the top for an example.
So how do you build the habit of waking up early? In the next post you'll get a definitive guide on how to wake up early based on how I became an early riser. Click here to automatically get the next article by email (or RSS).