Apart from my younger years, I’ve pretty much always been an early-to-bed, early-to-rise person. It’s a choice I make, but more than that I think I’m just wired that way; my body clock routinely nudges me towards bed around 9pm every night, and wakes me up every morning before 5am. I’m also at my happiest and most energetic in the early hours of the morning. For many people though, getting to bed early and rising at the crack of dawn feels neither natural nor pleasant. If that’s you, there are a couple of reasons why developing a good sleep routine and waking up earlier is something you may want to try.
First, it may be comforting to know that getting to bed late isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The general consensus is that eight hours of sleep a night is optimal, but most people will be fine with six or seven hours of sleep and some can manage just fine on five. What’s important, says Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Hill, is maintaining a fairly regulated sleep routine so that the brain is able to transition well through all the phases of sleep; that is the key to brain power. When a person’s sleep patterns are erratic, brain power is negatively affected, and physical, emotional, and intellectual ability is hindered. Additionally, negative health implications such as inflammation, weight gain, depression, and aging, are likely to occur.
The takeaway from Dr. Hill’s message, is that even if you are a night owl, or your night-time hours are inconsistent, then you should at least try to wake up every day at the same time. Keeping your circadium rhythm synchronized with the earth’s photo period helps your brain to function at it’s best, and the practice of waking up daily at the same time should re-regulate your sleep pattern and help you to achieve that.
Second, you may want to consider becoming an early riser if you wish to be more successful. Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, says that he was never a morning person, but in a bid to improve his life he went on a quest to discover what some of the world’s most successful people had in common; he discovered that they were all “morning people.” Specifically, they were people who woke up earlier than they needed to and invested time working on themselves.
Productivity Coach, Ciara Conlon, explains in a Lifehack article, that early risers are often successful for the simple reason that “beating the inner voice” – the voice that tells you to go back to sleep – is a small but powerful victory. It puts you in charge (instead of your inner voice), right from the get-go and that sets the tone for a more productive and controlled day. As Hal Elrod likes to say, “If you win the morning, you win the day!”