It has become common knowledge that successful people are early risers. Although, no one can guarantee that getting up early will necessarily make you successful, there are some sound reasons why successful people choose to wake up before the sunrise.
Benefits of becoming an early riser:
1. Mindful start of the day. The first 15 minutes after you wake up set the mood and the pace for the whole day. If you jump out of bed thinking, “OMG! I’m late!” or immediately start mulling over all the problems that you have to solve today, it probably means that you are not starting your day on the right foot. Waking up early actually gives you time to become conscious of your surroundings, stretch your body, smile to yourself, listen to some great music, and truly feel how blessed you are, because you have been given the opportunity to live another day and make it wonderful.
2. More free time. It is as simple as that – if you wake up 2-3 hours earlier, you get majority of the tasks on your to-do list done by noon. It means that you do not have to stay late after work to finish your projects. You can get home earlier and spend quality time with your family. Or if you do not feel like starting your day with work, you can still use those 2 precious extra hours to meditate, work out, pursue a hobby, cook yourself a delicious breakfast or plan out your day. In any case you expand your free time!
3. Important health benefits. Besides obvious benefits of rising early like having plenty of time to do a quick work out, or eating a healthy balanced breakfast (instead of skipping it), there are other interesting discoveries made in this area. A study conducted of college students conducted by Wilse B. Webb, Ph.D., and Michael H. Bonnet, Ph.D., of the University of Florida demonstrated that “larks (or early risers) reported waking up feeling more rested”, having “fewer worries” and getting more “adequate sleep”. They also awakened feeling physically better than “owls” (late risers).
4. High happiness level. I have a personal theory that the majority of people who love to sleep till noon simply cannot think of any exciting activities that they want to do. Their priority is to stay in bed just a few hours longer, before reality hits them hard with its traffic jams, urgent deadlines, bills. When you are happy to greet the coming day, enthusiastic about something or motivated to succeed, you do not need to snooze your alarm clock twice. Therefore, if you are not a morning person, ask yourself why? Maybe you simply cannot think of anything that you would like to do with an extra 2 or 3 hours?
5. Opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. The author of the best-selling book “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” Robin Sharma calls the time right before the sunrise “Holy Hour”. In Ayurveda the time between 4 and 6 a.m. is known as Brahma Muhurta or “Time of God”. It is believed that during this period the mind can easily concentrate on meditation, prayers, life goals or any other activities linked to your personal growth. Fascinatingly enough, the latest studies seem to endorse this ancient Vedic knowledge. It has been discovered that the Earth sets up extremely low frequency (ELF) waves in the atmosphere shortly before sunrise, of the same frequency (10 Hz) as the brain in a meditation state. If you still have doubts, try it for yourself!
6. Better opportunities. There is a common stereotype that people who go to bed late are leading exhilarating, intense and sometimes crazy social life. They can relax at late night parties, go to dancing clubs, stay up late with friends all night watching movies and eating pizza while “larks” are already in bed sound asleep. This may be true. Early risers might be missing out on late-night entertainment, but they compensate for it by having a distinct advantage in most of the important daytime activities like business meetings, job interviews, classes, seminars, and work appointments.
7. Best time to get great ideas. You rarely get brilliant ideas in the middle of a busy working day. Quite the opposite, psychological studies report that our creativity is the highest when our mind is relaxed and we are not forcing ourselves to come up with the right solutions. In my case, I get my best creative ideas when I am taking a shower, strolling with no purpose in mind, doing yoga or meditating. And I am not the only one. Many famous writers, designers, inventors and entrepreneurs find the early hours of the day the best time for hatching new ideas and unexpected solutions.
8. Increased productivity. If you have ever woken up at 5 a.m. (or gone to bed at this time) you know what I mean when I say “peace and quiet”. This distraction free atmosphere is the main reason why more and more people prefer to work early in the mornings or late at night ( i.e. when the rest of civilization is sleeping).
For me 6 to 9 a.m. is my most productive time. This is the time I set aside for writing, brainstorming or working on my most important projects. Up until 2 years ago I would have told you that I am at my productive best when I work late. Inspiration would usually hit after everyone else in my family was sleeping and I would be working furiously through the night, demonstrating miracles of productivity. Now looking back I can tell you that while I could easily enter into the state of “flow” at 11 p.m. I had to pay for my productivity with insomnia, strained eyes, neck ache and low energy levels the following day. Think about it… If you wake up feeling drowsy and tired, because you stayed up till 4 a.m. maybe you should consider adjusting your work schedule?
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” ~Richard Whately