Well-Rounded Sleep: The Benefits of an Early Night and Early Morning
Not everybody is a morning person. It is much easier said than done waking up at the crack of dawn to start your day just a little earlier, but the benefits that come with doing so could prove worthy to many people. Whether you need to set your alarm earlier or program your coffee maker to do its job at 5:00 a.m., once you’re able to develop a routine of waking up earlier, you may find it hard to go back.
Of course, in order to begin waking up earlier, you must go to bed earlier as well. As trivial as it may seem, establishing a bedtime can help you stick to this. Be sure to properly devote certain tasks throughout the day to a window of time in which you know you can complete them. Inconsistent sleep will not be any help in developing a more beneficial sleep schedule.
Sleep research has indicated time and time again that starting your day earlier can be extremely beneficial to your health. Individuals that make it a habit to wake up earlier tend to be much more motivated. With this, you can complete a morning’s exercise in the free time you have before work, catch up on work you may have missed from the night before, or simply make a well-balanced breakfast (yet another health benefit).
People tend to be much more attentive after spending a few hours awake as well. Upon waking up, your brain experience sleep inertia. This is the grogginess and general lethargy you tend to feel after turning off your alarm clock that prevents you from completing even the simplest of tasks. Surprisingly, the earlier you wake up, the earlier this feeling wears off. Even if an individual can’t shake the feeling of sleep inertia for an hour or so, the extra time available upon getting up earlier allows you to overcome this before your day really begins.
Early mornings can have a significant positive effect on your mental health as well. Your mood can improve drastically earlier you rise, which can translate to reduced levels of stress and anxiety. Sleeping in can actually have adverse effects in regard to this.
Your productivity can increase exponentially as well. Levels of procrastination can decrease in relation to this, and you may be able to get more done in a day’s work than previously thought. Going back to the notion of sleep inertia, the later you wake up, the slower you’ll be in shaking off that morning grogginess. Going into work within an hour of waking up can drastically decrease your motivation, and thus your productiveness.
To give yourself the best chance of developing an earlier morning routine, void yourself of all distractions before bed, i.e. your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. If you are in fact not a morning person, ease your way into this strategy. Wake up just 10 minutes earlier every day until you’ve set yourself back a full hour or so. Once you become accustom to this beneficial lifestyle, the benefits you’ll experience could improve other aspects of your life as well.