Why being an early bird could improve your life
Studies show that early birds – people who wake up early in the morning, are more likely to be healthier, happier and more successful than their night owl counterparts.
If you are the type of person who springs out of bed at the first hint of sunlight in the morning, then you’re in luck. In 2008 a Texas University study found that students who identified themselves as morning people scored (on average) a full grade higher in their exams than those who preferred to stay up late and lie-in.
For most people, the idea of leaping out of bed when it’s still dark, going for a quick jog and getting an hour of work done before breakfast is too exhausting to even think about. Surely people who do this are ready to slump and go home by midday? According to one study by a biology professor at the University of Education (Heidelberg), people who woke up early were more likely to feel energetic and willing to ‘make things happen’ in life than those who enjoyed a lie-in.
While studies show night owls to be more intelligent and creative than their early rising peers, they are also more likely to display traits such as depression, pessimism and neurotic behaviour. Early birds on the other hand tend to exhibit optimism, satisfaction and conscientiousness.
Of course, it makes sense that early risers tend to be happier, healthier and more successful because, while everyone else is busy dribbling into their pillows, those people are out there exercising, working, or simply preparing themselves mentally for the day ahead.
Rising early can take a lot of self-discipline, especially when it’s cold and dark outside and you’re dreading the day ahead. However, with practice getting up early can become second nature. Here are the golden rules for getting yourself up in the morning:
1. Get to bed at a reasonable time – Only you know how much sleep you need to feel energised the next day. Plan a ‘bed time’ and half an hour before that time, switch off all electronic devices, get into your pyjamas, pick up a book, or simply close your eyes and visualise a place or scenario that makes you happy.
2. Never hit snooze – Hitting snooze on your alarm clock is just asking for trouble. That extra 10 minutes in bed isn’t really going to benefit you in any way and it’s never good to start the day in a rush. Looking bedraggled, forgetting your lunch and turning up late for work are all sure-fire ways to taint what could have been a great day.
3. Make your bed the moment you leave it – That way you can’t get back into it!
4. Do five minutes of exercise – Make a habit of doing five star jumps, five sit ups, five press ups and two minutes of stretching before you jump into the shower. It’s a small amount of exercise but it’ll wake your brain up and help you stay fit over time.
5. Drink a glass of water and always make time for breakfast – This will rehydrate you, kick start your metabolism and fuel your body for the next four or five hours until lunch.
If you need to reshuffle your life or daily routine in order to meet your goals and aspirations, hiring a life coach could give you the confidence and structure to do that. Find out more by visiting our Motivation page.
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