“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Have you ever wondered if there is any truth to this well-known proverb coined by Ben Franklin? It seems there are indeed a number of benefits to rising early. Consider these good reasons:
- Accomplish more – Setting the alarm clock earlier allows you to get a jump on your “to do” list for the day. In the morning, you’re likely to be more productive and work more efficiently after a good night’s rest. Accomplishing all of your goals for the day will leave you with a feeling of happiness and satisfaction.
- Increased alertness – Your mind will be fresh earlier in the day, helping you to focus and concentrate better, whether it’s on the job or in class. You are less likely to make mistakes when you are not tired.
- Eat a healthy breakfast – Instead of skipping breakfast or picking up doughnuts on the way to work, getting up earlier will allow time to prepare and enjoy something healthy to eat. Sitting down at the kitchen table with your family is a much more pleasant way to begin the day than scarfing down a bagel while fighting morning traffic.
- Exercise – Waking up an extra thirty minutes early to exercise will provide lifelong benefits to your health. Taking a walk, jog, swim, or bike ride first thing in the morning will help you wake up and keep you feeling energized throughout the day.
- Time for yourself – The peaceful early morning hours can give you some much needed time to yourself before the rest of the household awakes. Sip coffee on the back porch while the sun rises. Take time to read, pray, or meditate. Write your thoughts in a journal.
- Reduced stress – Rising earlier will help you avoid the usual stress of the morning rush. You’ll have more time to get ready, prepare lunches for the kids, and have extra time for the commute so you are not in a panicked frenzy when you arrive at work.
- More leisure time in the evening – Starting your day early allows you to get your work done and then have time for fun activities in the evening. You’ll have more quality time to spend with your children before their bedtime. You can work on hobbies or even take an evening art or dance class.
Even if you consider yourself more of a night owl, you can change your sleep habits to become an early riser. Go to bed earlier so you will get adequate sleep before the alarm sounds at dawn. Go to sleep and rise at the same time each day, even on weekends, so that your internal biological clock will not be disrupted. Have a reason for rising early to make it easier to get out of bed. Your body will adjust to the new sleep pattern you establish and allow you to wake naturally at an earlier hour.
With the hours of daylight now becoming progressively longer, it’s a great time to awake earlier. So tomorrow, as the sound of birds singing announces the approaching sunrise, throw off the bed covers, and go savor the stillness of the morning and the dew drops on the flowers. Rising early will surely have benefits to your health, fitness, and overall sense of well-being!