By Sarah Wang
Across the world, people of all different ethnicities, beliefs, and cultures go about their daily lives. But for many, resisting the temptation of the snooze button can be the most difficult thing about starting the day. Clambering out of bed late and rushing to get ready may be an experience almost anyone can relate to, but it doesn’t have to be.
Rising early may seem like a superhuman feat, but the benefits of waking up early more than outweigh the initial struggle. There are countless science-backed reasons why setting your alarm clock back will help improve the quality of your life, and here are just a few:
Reduced Stress Level
You would think having to force yourself out of bed earlier each day would make for a grumpy morning, but in reality, the extra time you’re giving yourself to prepare allows you to calm down and relax as you go through your routine. Instead of rushing out the door with your hair askew and wondering if you left anything behind, try giving yourself ample time to fully wake and prepare for the day at a pace that you are comfortable with.
There’s nothing like watching the sunrise to start your day off right. Not only does waking up earlier allow you to catch the first rays of light peeking out from the horizon, but it also helps you achieve a sense of accomplishment. Take that extra time to quiet your thoughts and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the morning so you can seize the day with a little more pep in your step.
Believe it or not, our bodies actually maintain a very sensitive internal clock. When you disrupt your sleeping patterns, your mental sharpness is dulled and your body won’t be able to perform to its maximum potential. Waking up early is a discipline-building habit that requires you to go to sleep earlier, thereby ensuring that your body will be fast asleep during those crucial recovery hours between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. and will be ready to tackle the next day.
Is “eating healthy” one of the ambitions you tack onto the New Year’s resolutions you never get around to accomplishing? Waking up earlier can help you cross that goal off the list. Waking up in the nick of time every morning means that you don’t have time to prepare yourself a good, hearty breakfast. Study after study has demonstrated that eating breakfast is one of the most important parts of your day — after all, who doesn’t want lower rates of heart disease, blood pressure, and cholesterol?
In a world of text message pings and email alerts, it can feel almost impossible to stay focused for long periods of time. The urge to check your notifications every few minutes is just too great, and besides, what if someone contacts you about an urgent matter? In the early hours of the morning, all those problems go away. At 5 or 6 a.m., no one will be lighting up your phone with alerts and no one can possibly expect you to respond to them immediately. Utilize those precious distraction-free hours to make the most out of your time and get your work done before everyone else’s day even starts!
Waking up early is no easy task, but it can be accomplished if tackled strategically. Place your alarm (or phone) close enough to be intolerable when it rings but far enough that you must walk to turn it off. When you do get up, jumping out of bed rather than crawling may help waken your groggy senses. As soon as you get up, make sure to down a glass of water to get your systems up and running and start your day off fresh. This may seem like a lot to accomplish at one time so go ahead and try setting back your alarm 15 minutes at a time to eventually wake up 2 to 3 hours earlier than you used to.
Waking up earlier in the morning has countless benefits, some of which are yet to be discovered. Although your mind my groan at the thought of rising at the crack of dawn, your body will most definitely thank you for your discipline and determination. As the saying goes, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Although Benjamin Franklin popularized this saying in 1732, its merits most certainly still hold true today.