Early bird gets the worm

While it may seem nice to skip those early morning classes and sleep in, waking up early may have benefits you can’t get from waking up later in the day. Even if your classes are only available in the afternoon, you should still start your day early. It is not only better for you physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. Here are some benefits of waking up early.

 

More productivity

Waking up early has often been linked back to greater productivity because when you rise earlier, you have more hours in the day to get your work done. 

 

Better sleep quality

Waking up early means you should go to bed early as well. As your body’s internal clock adjusts to going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier, it translates to better sleep quality as you establish a new routine. 

 

Better test scores

A study conducted at the University of Texas found that students who rose earlier received better test scores than those who rose later, thus having better GPAs. The researchers linked this back to more productivity and quality of sleep. 

 

More positivity

With all the benefits that come from getting up early, it also instills you with more positivity.  A 2012 study conducted by two psychologists from the University of Toronto assessing the chronotypes of young and older adults found that those who woke up earlier had higher positive effects than those who rose later. 

 

If waking up early is something you wish you’d do but haven’t mustered up the strength to, here are some tips to help you in becoming an early riser.

 

Go to sleep early

It’s important to get the necessary amount of sleep hours for our bodies in order to be at our fullest capacity. Therefore if you go to sleep late, it might be extremely difficult for you to get up early in the morning. If you find yourself not tired at bedtime, try reading a book or completing a crossword puzzle instead of being on your phone as the screen light reduces your want to sleep, making you stay up longer. 

 

Start slow

If you normally wake up late, it might not be the best idea to drastically change the time you wake up. If you’re used to waking up at 10:00 a.m. for your 11:00 a.m. class, don’t suddenly decide to begin waking up at 5:00 a.m. without adjusting your sleep schedule. If you still find yourself getting to bed late, try waking up 15 minutes earlier than you’re accustomed to instead of hours earlier and make your way there. 

 

Set an alarm

Unless you can naturally wake up at your goal time, setting an alarm is crucial. If you’re one to easily press the snooze button, try placing your alarm at a further distance so you have to get up to snooze or turn it off. It also helps to have a pleasant-sounding alarm that makes you want to get up rather than be in a panic. 

 

Leave the bedroom

Sometimes, even if the alarm is far from us, we’ll get out of bed, hit snooze — or turn off the alarm completely — and get back into bed. Leaving the bedroom, whether it’s to use the bathroom or make yourself a cup of tea or coffee in the kitchen, will increase your amount of motion. As Isaac Newton taught, an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion. 

 

Make the firm decision to get up

It is important to be firm with yourself in the decision to get up early. Breaking habits can be difficult, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can achieve becoming an early riser.

Photo: D. Zawila

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