The early bird catches the worm

Last week I told you about all of the negative effects I have found from sleeping in in the morning.  Of course not all of those things will relate to you and your current circumstances but there are many things that will.

There are of course many positive results of getting out of bed just a little earlier.

The early bird

Getting up early enough to leave time for a little exercise (this may be as simple as a few stretches or walking the dog around the block) will create energy for the remainder of the day.  This will boost your mood and fitness, create deeper sleep cycles and set you up for a good start for the day.

An earlier start to the day will give you some personal time before all of the family are awake.  Of course for anyone with very young children it may be impossible to get up before them and the mere act of getting up may wake the whole house but it is worth a try.   It is nice to have some mental space at the beginning of the day just to think.

Using the time to plan out your day, if you have not already done that the night before, can mean a much more productive one all round.

Getting out of bed earlier means that you will experience less stress because there is enough time to get yourself ready.  It’s nice to have a buffer of time just in case something does not go exactly to plan.  You may misplace your keys, have a breakfast mishap or encounter unusual traffic delays.  If you are already running late, this can be the last straw and you will probably notice the day go downhill dramatically from there.

Getting up just a little bit earlier means you can make time for your 15 minutes activity.  What is it you need to tackle that can be achieved in short bursts of 15 minutes rather than one long arduous effort?  The morning might just be the best time to tackle that one task that is constantly reminding you it needs to be done but you never seem to have the time to begin, much less complete.

You will have time to eat breakfast.  Many people tell me that they just don’t have time to eat in the morning.  The quote by Adelle Davis, ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’ really has some merit.  Eating breakfast will give you the energy you need to get through your day.  Try to include some protein, vegetables and fruit and avoid the sugary cereals which will only give you a short term energy burst.

Initially you may find it difficult to get up earlier because you are still going to sleep late in the evening.  The old saying ‘An hour before midnight is worth two after’ also has a basis in fact.  The first third of the night is when our sleep is the deepest and the best quality due to the influence of circadian rhythms.  This means that even if you get a good amount of sleep, going to bed late will most likely mean that most of it is inefficient and you will wake up feeling tired.  Make sure that the evenings before bed are spent relaxing, not engaged in brain stimulating tasks and go to bed when the sleep wave hits.  Doing this will give a higher chance of sleeping well and waking up fresh in the morning.

Someone who has made getting up early into an art form is Hal Elrod.  His Miracle morning plan is a little extreme for me but obviously suits many people and there are really good ideas to be found there.

Some strategies to help you get up earlier include:

1) Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day until you have achieved the desired waking time.
2) Make a plan before you go to bed about what you want to do in the morning.
3) Put the alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
4) Go to bed earlier.

If you don’t consider yourself an early riser that’s OK.   I challenge you to try it out for a week and see what difference it makes to your life.