Catch the Worm!
Are you an early bird catches the worm kinda gal or do you come alive in the night time? Does the sound of your alarm buzzer going off in the morning fill you with dread or is the morning your favourite time of day?
Let’s face it there are days we’d all like to hit that snooze button but new research shows you really shouldn’t.
Researchers who looked at over 1,000 people found that the early risers among us (those who rise around 7am) tend to be happier and less stressed. Not only that but they’re slimmer too. Now there’s an incentive for getting up early if ever we heard one! We look at the rewards to being an early bird, and how you too can make early-rising a lifetime habit.
1. Extra Time
The first advantage to getting up at the crack of dawn is the extra time you gain in the day to spend on you. This is especially true if you have children. Even if you start rising just thirty minutes to an hour earlier than you do now, it could add up to up to seven hours more ‘you-time’ a week! With a few extra hours every week you can do something you’re passionate about. This extra hour a day might mean time for you to get fit, cook something, learn a language, read a newspaper or pursue a hobby. And with more time to do what you like, how couldn’t you be happier?
2. Go for Goals
Waking up early means you can work on achieving a goal that you never really have the time or energy for when you come home in the evenings.
For example, many great writers achieved great success by writing in the morning before they went off to their day jobs. By waking up early, you make time for goals which are important to you. Not only that, but you might be able to reward yourself by catching a glimpse of the sunrise, or reading ten minutes of your favourite book. And usually, if your day has a great start, you’ll be in a fit state to deal with any setbacks or frustrations.
3. Breakfast Time
Waking early allows you to have breakfast which is good for your waistline. Research now shows that people who eat breakfast live longer, have healthier hearts, are less prone to stress and depression and are slimmer. It shows that people who skip breakfast, usually due to time constraints, tend to be hungry mid-morning and compensate by eating high fat snacks such as crisps or chocolate – as a result they tend to be more overweight. With more time in the morning, you’re also more likely to have time to prepare something healthier and eat it at a slower pace, leaving your digestive system less stressed.
4. Positive Mental Attitude
Yep, that’s right. Early risers can also enjoy a PMA – that’s a positive mental attitude.
You will find that the earlier you wake up and get a jumpstart on your day, the better your overall attitude will be. Of course, this also depends on what you decide to do once you wake up early. Waking up early is one thing, but waking up early with a purpose to achieve something can really keep you motivated for the rest of your day.
5. Quiet time
Mornings are a great time for work, since they tend to be quiet and most importantly uninterrupted. You’re also less likely to get distracted in the morning as there is less going on around you. During the day, you might not be able to devote all of yourself to a project. You might need to keep an ear open for your phone or your kids might want attention. Waking up early is a great way to enjoy a chunk of productive time. You won’t be exhausted from work or burdened with worries, so it’s easier to get work done faster, too.
How to be an early riser
Many people have written themselves off as night owls and believe that waking early has no real benefit. What they don’t realise is that anyone can wake up early with a little practice. It’s true that the first few days of waking up early are likely to be tough, but once the routine is set, it’s not that hard to stick to. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself doing it naturally!
If waking up before you have to sounds too miserable to even fathom, try tricking your body. The first technique is to set your alarm back by 10 minutes every two days. Setting it back a full hour straight away may be too much for your system to handle and not sustainable since you’ll feel like crashing by mid-afternoon. Don’t stress out about shifting back the time you go to sleep. You’ll naturally adjust to an earlier bedtime after a few days. Being a night owl is often not really that productive, in fact you may end up so tired all you do is zone out in front of the TV!