You may have heard the saying that the early bird gets the worm. There is the old axiom that, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” The 19th century philosopher Richard Whately said, “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” Politician, statesman and United States founding father Thomas Jefferson was fond of saying, “The sun has not caught me in bed in 50 years.“
Those are wonderful ideas one and all, but is there really any benefit to getting up early?
As it turns out, science supports the fact that getting up early, say 5 AM, before even most “early risers” begin their day, provides you with more energy. It seems that when you get up before everyone else, there are fewer distractions. All of your early-morning energy can be funneled into one task or responsibility. After developing a habit of going to bed early and rising at 5 AM, to ensure you have plenty of rest, it seems this practice somehow translates to more energy throughout the day.
This happens for a number of reasons.
If you wake up late and are rushing to start the day, you often times skip breakfast. When you are up at 5 AM you have plenty of time to eat a nourishing, nutritious, healthy breakfast. Your body has not received nutrition for 10 to 16 hours when you first arise. It is extremely important that you enjoy a filling breakfast.
This way, you don’t have to reach for unhealthy, sugar-filled, coffees, sodas and energy drinks because of a mid-morning energy crash. When you take time to enjoy a healthy breakfast, which is easier when you rise at 5 AM than when you are running late, it promotes healthy eating habits throughout the day. Your body is refreshed and energetic early in the morning, and studies show this leads to smarter eating habits all day long.
The lack of distraction also leads to more energy.
The simple fact that you are up when very few others are means your attention can be focused. When you have multiple information streams begging for your attention, this situation can promote stress and anxiety. Stress can sap energy from even the most energetic person.
Getting up at 5 AM also leads to an earlier bedtime. What do you do for the last few hours of most of your evenings? Most people attempt to find something to do to fill this time void, and engaging in activities late at night makes it harder to go to sleep. Getting up at 5 AM means going to bed earlier, which fosters an earlier wake-up with plenty of energy again the following day.
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Most people admit to being less productive than they would like to be. Then there are those individuals that seem to be able to squeeze 2 or 3 days’ worth of production out of 24 hours. The result is definitely not a difference in willpower or effort. This is not a case where most unproductive people are lazy. On the contrary, many people work very hard at trying to be more productive, but continually fall short of their goals.
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