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Sleep Tips, Tips & tricks
How to become an early riser.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? If you’re a morning person, carry on. However, if you usually stumble into bed at 3am then stumble out again at 11am, you might like to read this article. There are quite a few reasons why it’s a good idea to hit ‘off’ instead of ‘snooze’ so you can make the most of your morning.
According to a study by biologist Christoph Randler, morning people are better positioned for career success, because they’re more proactive than people who are at their best in the evening1.
The same study reported that morning people were more likely to agree with statements that show they’re proactive. This included topics such as setting long-range goals and feeling like they can make things happen1.
These days, it seems everyone agrees that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. By getting up early, you actually have time to prepare and eat a nourishing breakfast. If you have kids, it means you have time to prepare a healthy breakfast for them too.
By getting up early and leaving for work before the peak, you can usually beat rush hour on the trains and congested highways if you drive. And, of course, if you get into work early, you have an extra hour or two to get your work done.
According to a study by Northwestern University in Illinois, people who sleep in late consume 248 more calories a day and more fast food, and eat less fruit and vegetables than people who get up early. Night owls were also more likely to have a higher average Body Mass Index (BMI)2.
LIKE TO WAKE UP EARLIER AND BECOME A MORNING PERSON?
Perhaps there is something in the famous Ben Franklin quote, Early to bed and early to rise makes a man (and woman!) healthy, wealthy and wise. If you like the idea of the benefits of getting up early but you’re forever hitting snooze on your alarm, try these helpful hints on how to become an early riser.
Instead of setting your alarm for 5am or 6am (or whatever early hour you’d like to get out of bed), try waking up 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Then increase it by another 15-30 minutes next week. Continue in this way until you’ve hit your ideal wake up time and getting out of bed is easy and, dare we say it, enjoyable.
If you’d like to get up earlier, it makes sense to go to bed earlier. Try reading in bed or listening to some chilled-out music to help you relax into a wonderful, restful sleep. Of course, make sure you have a great mattress as an old one or one that isn’t right for your needs probably won’t help you catch those precious zzzs.
By moving your alarm clock to the floor or hallway, you won’t be able to reach out and hit the snooze button. You’ll have to get up, walk to wherever you've placed the clock and turn the alarm off. By then, you’ll be half way to the bathroom or kitchen so you may as well keep walking!
Set yourself a goal for each morning so you get up for a reason. This could be a walk, a jog or a visit to the gym. Or it could be time to read the newspaper or work papers. Or you might like to organise the kids’ lunchboxes – or your own. You might bake, iron, write, clean or take your dog for a walk. It doesn’t matter what it is. As long as it’s something you enjoy doing, you’re more likely to wake up eager and excited to achieve it.
#5. REWARD YOURSELF
Yes, just like a star chart for a child, tick off the days you get up early and do something productive. When you reach 5 or 10 ticks, or whatever number you choose, reward yourself. This could be a massage at the health centre or a Sunday breakfast at your favourite café. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it motivates you to become a regular early riser!
Hopefully it won’t be long before you’re an early bird who catches that worm. Or the news headlines. Or that class at the gym. Or the early morning sunrise as you eat a healthy breakfast and drink a freshly squeezed juice!
1. Harvard Business Review
2. Northwestern University, Illinois
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