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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.