A recent study done in the UK (Fitness Magazine sourced) says that waking up earlier causes people to be happier, thinner and less likely to suffer from depression than those who wake up later. Now, while I'm sure you've all heard that waking up earlier is better for you, have you really looking into it? No? Lucky you then. Keep reading, or check out this article that outlines 15 additional benefits for waking up early!
1. You'll Have A Better Attitude at Work
While it can be proven that those who stay up late tend to be more creative, those who wake up early are said to have "advanced problem-solving skills." Also, getting up early and going to bed early can prove to give you this "better attitude." If you were to get up just one hour earlier each morning, you would gain 15 days in a year. That's crazy! It should be noted, as well, that there are less distractions in the early hours of the day, giving you less interruptions throughout your morning, meaning more work can get done, meaning you can finish your work earlier, you get the point. It's a domino effect. Early risers are noted for being better at making decisions, planning and setting goals as well.
2. Reliability Will Increase
According to a study done by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, students are more reliable, more stable and less likely to have addictions (this could be any addiction, not just seemingly bad ones). The study done at the University of North Texas shows that students who stay up late tend to have lower GPAs. This may be due to memory being improved by sleep, but even then, these students are the ones finishing assignments on time...
3. Breakfast and Physical Health
This is a really big one. Often times, college students find themselves rolling out of bed and rushing to class. This should not be the case. An article from Zen Habits states that getting out of bed even just a few minutes earlier will allow you time to eat breakfast, whether that's a granola bar or an entire plate of food at the dining hall. Plus, eating breakfast allows your metabolism to get started for the day - you could actually lose weight by eating breakfast!
It should also be noted that those who woke up earlier tended to feel healthier than those who stayed up later. Researchers have said this is due to the impact on the immune system from not getting enough sleep or eating and odd times throughout the day for not getting breakfast and overcompensating during other meals. The same researchers said that this healthy feeling not being received by night owls could be due to something called "social jet-lag," which means their biological clock is out of sync with their social clock. In easier words, it means that organization skills and time management go out the window, so it feels like there's less time in the day. Not a good thing.
4. Your Mental Health will Improve
The first hour of your day often dictates how the rest of your day will go. An article by Health Ambition states that waking up early and starting your day slow and the way you want (not in class, but rather, eating, running, taking a shower, etc.) will often decrease your stress and leave you with better mental health. Live Science reported on a study that looked at adults of all ages, not just those in college. The findings? Older adults have more positive attitudes than younger adults. Not only did the study show this, but it also shows that older adults were more likely to be early risers as opposed to young adults, who were "night owls." The data also showed that those young adults who did wake up earlier tended to be more happy, so the positivity doesn't just have to do with age, it has to do with sleep as well. Another study done in 2012 by Emotion states that morning people are also happier and more positive, just to jump on the bandwagon.
5. The Quality of Your Sleep Will Go Up
If you're an early riser, you usually have a sleep routine already in place. For the late risers, this one's for you. By waking up earlier, you sort of set yourself to go to bed earlier, which means that you'll eventually get into a habit and keep that schedule. According to multiple experts, by having a set sleep schedule, your body's internal clock will become adjusted and allow for a better sleep each night.
6. Better Grades
This was kind of mentioned above, but this is a real thing! An article from Forbes describes how a 2008 study from Texas University shows that those who wake up earlier earn a full point higher on their GPA. This means that you not sleeping enough could be the difference between a 2.5 and a 3.5 GPA!
There's a podcast series by Jeff Sanders called the 5 AM Miracle Podcast. This podcast series highlights that an easy proponent to being more productive is getting an earlier start on your day. He also states that early mornings can be used as a catalyst for being more enthusiastic and positive throughout the day. To back this up, researcher Christopher Randler found that people who wake up early tend to be more proactive and goal oriented (hence, good grades). It was noted that after surveying around 350 students, that those who identified as morning people agreed with proactive statements, such as "I feel in charge of making things happen."
7. All the Cool Kids Do It
The Business Insider published an article listing 24 successful people who wake up early, some of the times may even surprise you. General Motors CEO Mary Barra gets into the office around six every morning. Xerox CEO Ursula Burns gets up at 5:15 AM. Square CEO Jack Dorsey (also the cofounder of Twitter) wakes up at 5:30 every morning to meditate and go for a jog. New Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 a.m. He says, "...when you love what you do, you don't really think of it as work. It's what you do. And that's the good fortune of where I find myself." Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30. Michelle Obama (Yes, Michelle Obama) starts her day at 4:30 with a workout before her kids wake up. She states, "If I don't exercise, I won't feel good. I'll get depressed." The list goes on and on and on. The point is, all of these people are successful. And they got to where they are by having good time management, good sleep schedules, staying on track and overall being positive people.
Overall, where is the bad when it comes to waking up? Of course, you have to remember that a college schedule can sometimes make it hard. It's important to develop good time management while you have the chance so you can get some shut-eye by 10 or 11 at night. Just look at all the positives that come with waking up early! You'll be hitting the pillow in no time.