by Elyse Loeb November 18th, 2012
The early bird catches the worm, so the expression goes. But is there really any truth behind this? According to recent studies, there are actual recognizable benefits to waking up early.
1. Becoming an early riser will make you more successful.
It is plain and simple. A 2008 study out of Texas University concluded that those students identifying themselves as morning people earned a full point higher on their GPAs than those who identified themselves as night owls. Who knew waking up early could be the difference between a 4.0 and a 3.0?
2. Studies have shown that morning people are actually happier than night owls.
We are not just referring to being happier for those 15 minutes in the morning, but rather they are happier with life overall. Night owl tendencies tend to fade as people age, and the study says this switch to a morning-focused schedule could be why older adults are happier than younger ones. The study involved two populations: the first was made up of 435 adults ages 17 to 38, and the second of 297 older adults, ages 59 to 79. Both groups answered questions about their emotional state, how healthy they feel and their preferred “time of day.”
“We found that older adults reported greater positive emotion than younger adults, and older adults were more likely to be morning-type people than younger adults,” Biss said. “The ‘morningness’ was associated with greater happiness emotions in both age groups.”
3. Morning people are often in better shape than night owls.
The reasoning behind this is simple. Waking up early allows people extra time to exercise before the family is awake or before their official work day begins. For this reason, many successful businesspeople wake up early. This morning exercise helps to boost mood and provides energy for the rest of the day.
4. Many say that waking up early leads to increased productivity.
Morning people have time in the morning to do work before everyone else is awake to distract them. Whether this is sending some emails from home or going into work early for an hour of quiet, uninterrupted time to focus. A recent study by Christopher Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education at Heidelberg, surveyed 367 university students, asking them when they were the most energetic and willing to change a situation. According to the study:
“It was the morning people who were more likely to agree with statements such as “I feel in charge of making things happen” and “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself.”
5. Various studies have linked waking up early to possessing healthy character traits.
Morning people are more likely to exhibit traits like optimism, satisfaction and conscientiousness. Night owls, those linked with creativity and intelligence, are more likely to exhibit traits such as depression, pessimism and neurotic behavior. So if you tend to stay up late and want to live a better life, should you start waking up early?
If you are already productive and happy, stick to what you know. Mornings aren’t for everybody. But if you are looking for a way to improve the way you live, consider waking up earlier. You never know, it could make a huge difference.
Early risers are more likely to be successful, healthy and happy compared to their night-owl friends. If you want a boost in productivity, health or well being, try waking up early; it may give you the extra edge you need to reach your goals.
Sleep Duration or Bedtime? Exploring the Relationship between Sleep Habits and Weight Status and Activity Patterns. Health and Use of Time (HUT) Group, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia.
Early to Bed, Early to Rise! Sleep habits and academic performance in college students. Scholars Program, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.
Updated by the Inspiyr Team April 30, 2013.