“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin,
“Go to bed early and wake up early. The morning hours are good.” – Jeff Bezos
Most of us will have to admit not to be an early riser. That’s a shame according to many successful professionals, but we asked ourselves… is that really true?!
Perhaps you were always a morning person and the thought of waking up early might not seem that difficult. Although perhaps, and yes then I think I can speak for many lovely L V N members, you saw more of the golden evening hours when you were a student, and the thought of waking up early everyday might seem a bit daunting.
We looked up some facts, and to our surprise the answer if waking up early is beneficial for you, wasn’t as clear as it seemed. So don’t freak out too soon. You shouldn’t start putting your alarm at 5am yet. Like with everything in life there are pro’s and cons to it and we are happy to share them with you, so you might improve your sleep routine and be your best self!
Let’s start first with some benefits. There are several reasons why CEO’s, entrepreneurs,… and other successful people that vow for waking up early. The most common reasons are: having more peaceful time before the kids wake up, time to exercise, to meditate, to be creative without any disruptions, etc… But if you think about it, these reasons could be applied for the evening as well. So we wondered if these reasons could be scientifically be backed up. Let’s have a look at some scientific results showing why waking up early might be beneficial for you.
SCIENTIFIC BENEFITS OF WAKING UP EARLY
Your body needs two to four hours to wake up
If you never heard of the term “sleep inertia” then hear us out. A study shows that when waking up in the morning, the brain and the body go through a slow-moving period between sleep-induced brain fog and full wakefulness. This can last between two to four hours! Long right?!
There are different things you can do to speed up this process, like exposing yourself to daylight, taking a shower or going for a run. But if you roll out of bed at 8 am and you start working at 9am, chances are big your body didn’t get the chance to wake up peacefully. So be kind to your body and give yourself the time to wake up.
Early to bed reduces negative thoughts
Sleep disruption is one of the most important causes of having more negative thoughts. Developing a sleep pattern of 7-9 hours of sleep each night will help you a long way to keeping your sanity all day long. But a study in 2014 determined that not only the duration of sleep but also the timing of sleep is very important for resisting those pessimistic thoughts.
Did you ever feel overwhelmed and had your had brain worrying about a million things at night? Then this might be true for you too…
Being an early-risers enhances your chances of success
Biologist Christoph Randler determined that early-risers have many important traits such as being more persistent, cooperative, agreeable, conscientious and being proactive which makes them have an advantage career-wise.
Randler sais that: “When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards. My earlier research showed that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them.”
“Though evening people do have some advantages — other studies reveal they tend to be smarter and more creative than morning types, have a better sense of humor, and are more outgoing — they’re out of sync with the typical corporate schedule.”
So yes, there is some scientific back-up to the benefits of waking up early, but a sleep study, published in the journal Nature Communications, on a group of 700.00 (!!) people showed that there are over 350 genetic factors that could influence whether you are more of a morning person or an evening person.
“It is incredibly complicated,” said Jacqueline Lane, the conductor of the sleep-study. “The genetics about being a night owl is only part of it. It is more about environment, with living out of sync with your internal clock. Trying to change a night owl to a morning lark has serious health consequences.”
So when wanting to become this successful morning person there is more to it then just willpower and discipline. If you don’t naturally feel energetic in the morning and decide to wake up at 5am you might be sabotaging your own successes. Although we have to point out that also this study concluded that people who wake up earlier tend to be happier and mentally healthier…
If it is true that genetics are playing a big role in whether or not you are a morning person, then why does it seem like all successful people are morning persons, if genetically they not necessarily are?! What are the secrets behind this? And what can YOU do to make some small changes in your routine?
HOW AND WHY TO WAKE UP EARLY
Staying up late is something that just kind of… happens. Waking up early in the morning is something that is planned, intentionally and leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment and productivity throughout the day. It will give you the time to plan out your day carefully, have a healthy breakfast & start your day mindfully. There are a million reasons that successful people can give us and probably also as many tips to how to achieve this, but there are only two that stood out to us that we thought were the most useful.
Create a routine and practice your discipline
No matter what you do, and how late you get up, do it intentionally and create a routine. If you want to get up earlier, also be disciplined to go to sleep early enough so that you have 7-9 hours of sleep every night and start by setting your alarm just 15 min earlier.
Waking up at 8am now, and your aim is to get up and 6:30am? Then do this step by step and experiment if this works out for you.
Whether you want to workout in the morning, meditate or work, there is no right or wrong morning routine. Find out what works for you but plan it out, and do it intentionally. This way you get to practice your discipline and your willpower will be trained to give you this successful life.
Find you why
You still can’t find the energy to wake up in the morning? Chances are you just don’t have a good enough reason to do so. Finding this reason might be the first good thing to do. You want to get in shape and be able to run a marathon? Get these important partners on board of your business? Become more mindful and loving to others?
We unfortunately can’t fill this in for you, but finding this reason might be one of the most important things to do. Start by getting up in the morning, write down your thoughts to find some of these reasons. Or read a good book about it, that can get you on the right track.
“Start with why” by Simon Sinek could be a good start.
Don’t get into panic mode if you didn’t find your why yet, and the thought of not finding it might be daunting. The majority of the people around you didn’t probably. Have small goals, try as many things out in life as you can, read, listen to wise people, experience…
Whatever you do, start with taking small steps and eventually you’ll get where you want to be.