Art of Life/Donna Parker

Donna Parker Graphics

Provides you time to actually wake up.  Do you ever get the feeling that you are still half asleep when you arrive at your office? This is sleep inertia — a period between sleep and full wakefulness. According to research, it can last up to four hours. During this time many cognitive tasks, such as memory, reaction speed, attention, and alertness, are impaired.

Enhanced productivity.  Your extra time in the morning can provide more free time to get things done without distractions, such as working out, taking care of chores, or getting a jump start on work. By contrast, if you get out of bed at the last possible second, you are more likely to feel as though you are playing catch up all day.

Improves mental health. Being mentally and emotionally stable is a prerequisite for having good overall health. A recent study suggests that getting up early improves your problem-solving skills and helps you deal with negative thoughts better. All of which leads to less stress, and therefore, minimizes your chances of developing some of the stress-related health problems.

Overall better brain function. According to the research, people who wake up early have better brain function, superior critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Waking up early also improves your concentration and memory power too.

Mornings are the perfect time to exercise. Research indicates that you receive a higher level of benefit from morning exercise. For a start, exercising in the morning lowers the risk of low blood sugar and it also boosts your strength and performance for the rest of your day.

Enough time for breakfast. Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. Your health benefits, include: improving your metabolism to burn calories, provide sufficient energy for the day, lowers your bad cholesterol, reduces the risk of diabetes and heart diseases, limits your chance of becoming overweight and boosts mood and positive thinking.

The good news is that you can train your brain to become an early bird. Here are a few tips to get you started. The best method for changing your wake up time is to do it gradually — 10 to 15 minutes earlier for 2 to 4 days, until you feel used to it, and then repeat. If you get up at 8 a.m. normally, do not suddenly change it to 6 a.m. Try 7:45 a.m. first. That might seem too slow to most people. However, research indicates that the most enjoyable and long-lasting change in sleeping schedules have been slow and gradual.

So you have set your alarm for 10-15 minutes earlier than normal, and maybe got through the first few days, then set it another 10-15 minutes earlier, but now you have the tendency to hit the snooze alarm and stay in bed (sometimes awake) without getting up. You can avoid this with the following:

  • Get excited. The night before, think of one thing you would like to do in the morning that excites you. It could be something you want to write, or a new yoga routine, or meditation, or read. Upon awakening remember that exciting thing and that will help motivate you to get up.
  • Put your alarm across the room. If it is right next to you it increases the possibility that you will hit the snooze button.
  • Next, get into the habit of going straight to the bathroom to urinate, etc. Once you are done, you are much less likely to go back to bed.
  • At this point, remember your exciting thing.

Do not waste this new time doing the same thing you always do. Therefore, these are the things NOT to do with your newfound early-morning time: do NOT check: email, messages, news, social media, blogs. Here are some better alternatives:

  • Drink a glass of water. Your body is dehydrated from not drinking any water all night. Drink a full glass of water if you can, this will also make you feel more awake.
  • Even just for 3 minutes or just doing nothing but sit, and practicing mindful focus.
  • Write or do some other kind of creating.
  • Exercise, even just 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Either one of these makes the morning better.

Finally, you cannot just wake up earlier and not go to sleep earlier. You will eventually crash. Increase your chances for success by: Setting a bedtime of 7 to 8.5 hours before you want to wake up. For example, to get up at 6 a.m., go to bed between 9:30 to 11 p.m. Where you are in that time frame depends on how much sleep you need. Most people need about 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep. NO computers in bed, meaning: no laptop, no tablets, no mobile phones and no TV. Just reading.

Did I mention, waking early makes you look more attractive? According to the research, people who sleep well and wake up early look fresh and beautiful. What more do you need to give it try.

DisplayUnited Way

Can Waking Up Early Really Improve Your Life?

There is no better day than today for us to give up who we’ve been for who we can become, and upgrade the life we’ve been living for the one we really want.”― Hal Elrod

You may be familiar with the phrase “the early bird gets the worm” or heard of the famous CEOs and world leaders who swear by awaking at 5:00 a.m. every day. Is there really something to being an early riser? Some of us are early birds, and some of us are night owls. We should just live and let live, right? Not necessarily. There are many proven benefits of waking up early, including the following:

Increased motivation. Motivation is vital for everything you do, ranging from exercising to your career. An experiment conducted at Harvard University showed that early risers are more proactive than late risers. This affects your success at everything you do, creates positive thinking patterns, and helps you be more confident.