The Benefits of Becoming a Morning Person

morning person

Rise and shine! It is no secret that being an early riser has many benefits. Studies show that people who wake up early are more energized, organized and efficient. In fact, Harvard biologist Christoph Randler discovered in 2008 that early risers are more proactive. Of course getting out of bed early is no easy task when the snooze button is calling your name.

But after reading several articles and blogs about the benefits of waking up early, I decided to give it a try. This was hard for me considering I used to wake up minutes before I needed to leave for work. I would rush to get ready and run out the door just in time. My mornings were hectic. From the moment I got out of bed I was forced to be in hurry. This left me feeling anxious and on edge, even once I arrived at work. Then I would work all day and in the evening force myself to go to the gym or on a run, even though I was exhausted.

In making a change to my morning routine, I switch my runs to before work. I set my alarm for an hour earlier, before the sun was even up. At first this was a challenge. Hearing my alarm go off at 5a.m. was a struggle. However, once I hit the pavement, turned up my music and started feeling those endorphins, it became a lot more bearable.

Arriving to work having watching the sunrise on my run and feeling accomplished left me feeling energized. After a few weeks this became an engrained habit. Getting up at 5a.m became natural. Most nights I don’t even have to set an alarm. Getting some early morning vitamin D has change my routine.

So if you too are a night owl, I highly suggest shifting your routine to become an early riser.

Here are a few tips for doing so:
  • Go to bed early — This one is pretty obvious. If you have to get up early, it is probably a good idea to go to bed earlier. Studies have shown that the optimal amount of sleep is between 7 to 9 hours. Of course that varies from person to person. I personally need 10 hours, but my co-worker only needs six. Play around with it until you find out how much sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Start small — If you normally get up a 7a.m., don’t just jump right to a 5a.m. wake up call. Start by adding 15 minutes each morning, first waking up a 6:45 then 6:30, working you way up to the desired time.
  • Stop pressing snooze — Have you ever had your alarm go off in the middle of a dream? You wake up with a jolt and it takes significantly more time to feel energized. This is most likely because you woke up in the middle of a REM cycle. Our deepest sleep usually last between 70 and 90 minutes, and this is the point in the cycle where we dream. It is best to wake up at the beginning stages of a REM cycle. Try using an app like Sleep Time. The app will pick up on your frequency waves of sleep and sound your alarm when you are no longer in a deep REM cycle.
  • Get sun — Exposure to vitamin D first thing in the morning is a game changer. Whether you choose to go on a run like me, or simply go for a walk around the block, get outside.
  • Break a sweat — This is a method I swear by. Waking up and squeezing in a workout first thing in the morning can change your outlook on the entire day. Not only do you get a burst of endorphins, but you will also be more likely to eat healthier throughout the day.
Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

1 Comment

  1. Jessie

    July 7, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Very helpful article. I will take this advice and give it a try. Way to go Emily. Kudos to you for changing your ways. Keep up the good work.

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