Getting up early: is it good for you?

"The early bird gets the worm." Can we really hope to live better or longer by getting up at dawn?

Early bird or night owl?

Are you an early riser or someone who likes to start their day as late as possible? While some people like to get up to the sound of singing birds, others savour every extra minute of sleep by lounging in the cozy comfort of their blankets. While the night owl slowly awakens from a foggy sleep, often not without difficulty, the early riser has often already undertaken many activities.

People who have the "early bird profile" certainly gain in productivity by getting to work early in the morning, but does this have any real benefits on health? Now, there's an interesting question! Let's try to shed some light on the subject.

Some scientific data

Current available research results relating to this question are insufficient and too contradictory in order to draw any firm conclusions. That said however, it seems quite clear that sleep deprivation is harmful to health, well-being, and quality of life. Thus, without adequate sleep, getting up early loses its benefits.

In keeping with this perspective, some studies suggest, among other things, that early risers:

  • obtain better grades if they are students
  • are more productive, proactive, and creative
  • maintain a lower stress level
  • are less prone to mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, and
  • are less likely to be overweight

Biological clock: is set to daylight

It is well-known: the sun's rays have a very beneficial impact on the mind and stimulate vitality. Light is the most significant element to adjust the internal clock, which regulates circadian rhythm. According to natural laws, the body functions at its best during sunlight hours and should rest at nightfall. Staying awake or working during the night can create an imbalance to the biological clock and endanger your health.

To start the day out right, it is important to be exposed to light quickly (natural sunlight if possible). If you find it difficult to wake up, open the curtains wide and go outside if the sun is up. This will send a signal to your brain indicating that it is time to be active. At night, do the opposite: avoid too much exposure to light, particularly computer screens, tablets or telephones, as this can compromise the quality of your sleep.

Getting sufficient sleep

When the body doesn't get enough sleep, it is both difficult and harmful to get up early. In fact, insomnia or lack of sleep are some of the obstacles to good physical and mental health. Therefore, follow this advice:

  • Try going to bed and waking up at about the same time every day. Avoid straying too far from this routine on the weekend.
  • Respect your sleep needs, which can greatly vary from one person to another.
  • Avoid stimulants before going to bed: caffeine, alcohol, heavy meals, work, etc.
  • Ensure optimal sleep conditions.

You will know that you have had enough sleep if you have a sense of well-being when you awaken and if you don't feel sleepy or uncomfortable during the day.

Wake up early and invest in your health

Many people who adopt an early morning routine also have the good habit of starting off the day with a healthy activity, such as:

  • preparing a healthy breakfast in the form of or accompanied with a delicious shake or smoothie containing fruit and protein-rich foods
  • going out for a walk, run, going cycling or training
  • meditating, doing yoga or breathing or relaxation exercises

If you kick off the day on the right foot, there's no doubt that you will notice the benefits on your physical and mental health, in addition to feeling a sense of pride and satisfaction. Now, that's a winning investment guaranteed! Set aside professional or household activities for later. The pressure of performance is often a source of stress, so do things a little at a time, especially in the morning!

Your lifestyle has a significant impact on your health, and it is wise to raise certain questions once in a while. This includes sleep hygiene and the pace at which we live, starting with the pace dictated by your alarm clock!


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Getting up early: is it good for you?

"The early bird gets the worm." Can we really hope to live better or longer by getting up at dawn?
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