Until recently I have always been a “night owl”; I would stay up until 2-3 a.m. on weekends and weekdays alike. Heck, I would refuse to wake up until 10-11 a.m. unless I had an obligation to class, an appointment, or work.
But, for the past few months I have been waking up at 6:50 am on weekdays and 5:50 am on weekends. Why might you ask? Why would I succumb myself to crawling out of bed so early when I do not need to? Well instead of giving you one broad answer, I have picked the top five benefits of being an “early riser.”
1. The sunrise.
It is as simple as that. Watching the first rays of dawn peek over the hills is magical; the beautiful orange, yellow and red rays that illuminate everything in sight can take your breath away. Sure, you might have looked at the sunrise once or twice from getting a glass of water at 5:30 a.m. or waking up to get an early start on a long trip, but have you actually seen the sunrise? Truly appreciated the array of colors and beginning of the day?
Before the summer of 2016 I would say “no.” Like the night owl I was, I could count how many sunrises I have seen on one hand. Now, as I have transitioned into an early riser I have had the pleasure of seeing the sunrise every morning. I am lucky enough to have my window face exactly where the sun comes up; so I get to experience the rays of sunlight bouncing off my walls when I open my eyes.
2. You will be more productive.
I cannot emphasize this one enough.
It is 8 a.m. as I begin typing this and I have already made myself a wonderful breakfast, had a delicious cup of coffee, watched four episodes of The Office, tidied up my room, worked out, and now writing this blog. Back when I woke up at 10-11 a.m. I would not do anything productive until at least 4 p.m. Why? Because I was not motivated; I figured I slept my day away already, so why try to be productive? Now I do not waste a single day with waking up at 5:50 a.m. and instantly being productive.
The key is to set the tone early. Do not lay in bed for 45 minutes scrolling through social media, instead get a jump start on any work you have, errands you need to complete, or tasks you want done.
3. You have more time in your day. (This one ties into reason 2.)
Its so obvious that people do not realize it. People always complain that there is just not enough hours in the day to finish all that they need to do, and the reason for that may be how many hours is in their day. You do not need a math degree to know that a 6 am.- 9 p.m. day is longer than a 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. day. That four extra hours can make all the difference in the world; you can get through that mile-long list of errands you have or simply relax with all the extra time you gain from not sleeping in.
Either way, your days truly will seem longer than they actually are.
4. Have the ability to get ready and look presentable.
Have you ever planned out how you were going to dress tomorrow, but to only wake up a little later than usual and not have time. Once again, time to “bum” it in sweats and a t-shirt. By waking up earlier, you can counter this “bum-y” style that everyone knows you by! Now, I’m not saying that people cannot achieve a well-dressed look in 20 minutes. In fact, I applaud you people and congratulate you on being able to do so.
This may not be relevant to everyone, but it definitely is for me. To elaborate, I enjoy dressing rather well in a business casual (I dress very similar to the fellow below: “rule_of_thumbs” on Instagram) or casual style. Some of my favorite looks is navy chinos, monk straps, and a nice collared, button-down. In addition, I like when I am freshly showered, teeth brushed, nails clipped and cleaned, etcetera. In order to do all this each and every day, I must take the 30-40 minutes to get ready. Sometimes, morning commitments will limit my time if I wake up later (8 a.m./9 a.m.), so getting up at 6 a.m. gives me more than enough time to get ready.
This also pertains to a lot of female friends I have; they enjoy looking nice with their hair done, makeup, and nice clothing. Although, they take about twice as long to get ready. I always tell them that if they wake up just an hour or so earlier, then they can easily have the time to get ready.
And look at all the benefits, people! They saying always goes: “look good, feel good.” This is absolutely true. You will mentally feel more confident in how you look and be in a better mood from it. In addition, if you dress rather nicely and clean up, other people will notice and start reacting positively to you. My freshman year of college was pure sweatpants and sweatshirts… no one really took notice to me. But, my sophomore year I started dressing a lot nicer and looking better. This resulted in compliments upon compliments every single day. People loved how nicely I looked and they made a point to admire it. Also, people got used to me looking nice, and I did not hear the old “Why do you look so nice?” because they knew this was my style. That saying was always something I despised hearing.
5. Will not need an alarm.
What I mean here is that after so long of waking up early, you can train your body to do it automatically. For example, on weekends I tell myself I am going to wake up at 6 a.m. I do not even have to set an alarm, and low and behold my body wakes me up at 6 a.m. on the dot. The body gets used to routine, so if you wake up at a certain time everyday and tell your body you want to get up you can. Yes, this could work with anytime whether midmorning or midday, but you also run the chance of sleeping right through the time because your body is in stage 4 sleep cycle from too much sleep. From personal experience, if I tell myself I want to get up at 9:30 a.m., I sleep until 11 a.m. If I say I want to wake up at 6 a.m., then I wake up at 6 a.m. It is weird how it works, but somehow it always goes this way.
I’m not saying that these five benefits pertain to everyone, or that these are the only five. Everyone is different; we all will find different benefits and reasons of becoming an “early riser.” So, the best thing to do is give it a shot for a few weeks and learn from experience.