I don’t know about you, but getting up in the morning is not my favourite thing to do. If I could have it my way, I would sleep in every day! Especially in winter. It’s cold, it’s dark and it just doesn’t feel right to be out of bed while the sun is still hiding behind the horizon. But unfortunately, I don’t really have a choice. And my guess is that you don’t have a choice either. We all have to get up and go to work, school or university. But waking up early and getting out of bed before sunrise is not necessarily a bad thing. You can actually use it to your advantage to improve your productivity at work and at home. If you are skeptical about rising early (like me), this blog post is for you. Read on to see the benefits of waking up early!

The benefits of waking up early

A white coffee mug with “begin” written on it on a wooden table

1. It improves your sleep quality

Ironically, waking up early improves your quality of sleep. I know you thing that this is nonsense, but it is the truth! But how can not sleeping improve the quality of your sleep? Here’s the thing. Most early risers have a well established sleeping pattern. In order to gt up early and feel refreshed, you have to go to bed early. Of coarse you can try to get up early every morning after going to bed late, and you can succeed, but in the long run it is bad for your health. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there and it has changed me for the worst.

So in short, getting up early benefits you in that it helps to improve your sleeping habits. With a well established sleep routine, your body can fall asleep quicker and wake up naturally.

2. It improves your overall productivity

That’s right folks. Getting up early just gives you more time to do stuff. Okay sure, it might be detrimental to your night life. But going out at night can’t really be seen as being productive, can it? I mean, if you work at night and going out is part of the job, then sure, that is definitely a part of being productive. But if going out just to have fun is all it’s about..? You will have to answer that one for yourself, but I don’t think that is part of your productivity.

What we are talking about is work, studies, and so on. Think about it. If you get up early and start studying for that upcoming test, you can get in a good couple of hours before you have to go to class. Or if you are stressed out about the upcoming interview, getting up early and practicing in the mirror is a great idea. You can even plan it into your morning to write a little piece of that end of the month report every day, so that when your boss comes knocking at your door for the report, you are ready.

Also, it has been clinically proven that early risers have quicker reaction time and better decision making capabilities than most snoozers.

3. It improves your eating habits

Can you believe that? Is it really possible that waking up early will improve the way you eat? Yup, it is. What normally happens when you sleep in is that you skip breakfast. This is not very healthy! If you go to bed late and you wake up late, there is a very long period where your body does not get any sustenance. So upon waking up, your body will most probably crave food. So what happens next? You stuff your face. First meal of the day, you eat too much. So what happens to the next meal of the day? Your stomach is already stretched, so you overeat again. And so the downward spiral continues.

If, on the other hand, you wake up and get up early, chances are you will eat a light and healthy breakfast. It will get your metabolism going and give you energy for the day, without you having to gorge yourself.  This sets the standard for the rest of the day and if you feed your body regularly throughout the day you won’t ever feel the need to overeat.

PS. If you want to start your morning just right, try having a pineapple and papaya fruit salad for breakfast. It tastes great and is quite beneficial to your intestines.

4. It improves stress levels

If you follow this blog, you would have seen that I like telling people to write to do lists before they go to bed. This is to decrease stress levels before bed and to help you to get rid of those nagging thoughts that keep you awake. So this leads to the question, what better time to do the things on your to do list than early in the morning? There is most likely no-one that wants your attention early in the morning, so there isn’t anything to distract you from doing what you have to do.

The end result is that you end up doing things in less time than it would take during the day, because there are no distractions. The quality of your work will also be better, because you are fresh and your mind can think and act quickly and decisively.

What better way to start your day than to finish up those tasks that had you stressing the day before? Like this, you set the tone for the rest of the day. Stay stress free people!

5. It improves your grades

Sure, not all of us are still in school or at university. But this is definitely worth mentioning! A study done by the University of Texas showed that early risers scores better grades than night owls. And here I was, thinking that staying up late and studying through the night is the way to go. Apparently not!

So if there are any students reading this, you have your job cut out for you. Go to bed early and rise early, so that you can get those grades that your parents want.

6. You can watch the sun rise

Sun peeking through an empty city car park next to buildings in Salt Lake City

There is something magical about watching the sun rise. Just observing how things start to get distinct and colourised. From grey’s and blacks to vibrant reds, yellows and greens. I don’t know about you, but that is really something I enjoy to see. It is as if the sun comes out and washes away the darkness. Giving new light and new hope.

Apart from being beautiful and poetic, watching the sun rise has health benefits as well. For people with sleeping disorders, spending time outside in the early morning might help you to fall asleep at night. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, right? If you spend time in the early morning sun, your body takes in blue light, that tells your brain it is time to wake up. This will lead to your brain telling your body to go to sleep at the end of the day. (If this happens, go to sleep! Don’t wait for that feeling to go away and then try to sleep. Go to bed, directly to bed. Do not pass begin, do not collect R2000).

So if you are having trouble to sleep at night, try to spend some time outside in the early morning. You never know, it might help you to rest easy at night.

7. It benefits your physical health

A person wearing leggings and sneakers walking on a path in London

Getting up early and doing some morning exercise is great for your health! It helps you to burn fat and to kick start your metabolism. If you are not a person for exercise, this paragraph is probably not for you (even though exercising has its benefits, so you might want to read this anyway).

You don’t have to go out and tire yourself out for the rest of the day. But doing a bit of cardio practice in the morning won’t hurt. Go for a quick jog, or jump on your bike to take a couple of laps through the neighborhood. The streets will be fairly empty and quiet, so you can ride without looking over your shoulder all the time. If you don’t like jogging or cycling, no problem! Just do a couple of push ups, sit ups and squats to get the blood flowing and the metabolism going.

Doing a sunrise yoga routine can also be super beneficial, as it helps you to release muscles that might be sore from oversleeping.

What are the cons of getting up early?

Getting up early.

As far as I can tell, getting up early is the only problem with getting up early. If you are not a morning person it is just a terrible thing to go through, but once you get used to it… Trust me, you will definitely see and feel the benefits of rising in your ever increasing good mood and in your body.

So what are you waiting for!? Get up and go conquer your day!