The Benefits Of An Early Start

9 November 2016
Read Time: 2.9 mins

There never seem to be enough hours in the day, especially when your nine-to-five is filled with meetings, appointments and lunch dates. It’s easy to slip into a pattern of working late, getting to bed somewhere around midnight, and rising the next day at the last possible moment to rush into the office.

While some declare that they work best at night, there are many strong advocates of early mornings, including Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, Tim Cook from Apple, and Richard Branson. From science to common sense, here are ways that an early start can benefit you, and a few tips for setting yourself up as a morning person.

Man in robe with coffee cup observes sunrise early in the morning

Scientific benefits

Your body clock is a real thing, and it encourages your body to sleep at certain times in a 24 hour cycle, which is strongly influenced by the eye’s perception of light. In the history of mankind, daylight hours have been the prime period for productivity, so you are naturally wired to be more alert when the sun is out. Getting in sync with your body’s natural tendency to sleep when it’s dark and rise with the sun (or close to it) is a no brainer when you’re aiming to enhance your performance.

The Value Of Time

After work hours are generally spent winding down, whether through socialising, watching TV or scrolling through your phone. If you had an extra hour in the evening, it is likely that you’d spend it on one of the activities above. On the other hand, it’s incredible the difference a head start can make in the office. Whether you’re getting ahead on emails from yesterday before a new day fills your inbox, or nabbing that 9am meeting room, an early start is almost guaranteed to have you feeling more prepared for the day ahead.

Woman lacing sneakers with alarm clock showing 6:14 in background

Early Bird Exercise

The health benefits of exercise need no introduction! In addition to the regular pros, a workout in the morning can dial up your mental alertness as well as giving you a nice kick of endorphins as you face the day ahead. Willpower is at its strongest in the early hours, and while you may be able to work out with more intensity during the evening, a workout too late in the day may affect how easily you fall asleep.

More Tips For Peak Performance:

Staying Fit On The Road: Meditation

Make Your To-Do List Work For You

Tips For Transforming Into An Early Riser

Go to bed early

Easy, straightforward and non negotiable: more sleep and early mornings start with a reasonable bed time. The Sleep Foundation recommend seven to nine hours of shuteye for adults, so choose a bed time accordingly and be firm about it. 

Let there be light

As soon as you get up, pull back the curtains, switch on the overheads and let the light do its work on your body clock.

Woman opens blinds in morning

Don’t snooze

Snoozing can become a habit whether you’ve had sufficient sleep or not, so break the cycle by getting yourself up as soon as those beeps start bleeping. As soon as you’ve programmed your body to treat the sound of your alarm as a motivation to get up rather than hit snooze, it will become second nature.

Be prepared

You’re making this transformation for a reason, so set yourself up for success. If you want that extra time in the morning for exercise, layout your workout gear and gym bag. If you’re looking forward to an early start in the office, plan your breakfast and an efficient departure from home. The more benefits you reap, the more motivated you’ll be to continue your new pattern.

Get hydrated

After seven plus hours of sleep, it’s natural to be a little dehydrated, and nothing says ‘rise and shine’ to your system like a big drink of water. Put a glass or bottle next to your bed, and make a point of downing at least 500 millilitres as soon as you wake up, a la Elle Macpherson. 

Emma Lee

Emma is a travel writer and blogger living in Brisbane, Australia. She followed the snow around the world for many years, and still considers Lake Louise Ski Resort her happy place. Emma's other passion is food; a love that has led her down many sketchy looking alleys in Asia, South America and Europe.