EachNight may earn commissions for products you purchase through links on our site. Our articles include affiliate links and advertisements, including Amerisleep, LLC advertising. Learn more Updated May 18, 2021Rising early is the secret to productivity for many successful people. From athletes to doctors, people who get things done recommend waking up early because it gives you a headstart to your day and more time to complete errands or work.Waking up early may seem difficult, especially for night owls, but it has great benefits, including improving sleep quality, mental health, and productivity. In our article, we take a look at the various benefits of early rising and offer advice on how you can begin waking up early so you start your days off right.1. Improved Cognitive FunctionEarly risers tend to concentrate better and be more alert and energized throughout the day.There is a possible link between waking up early and success. A 2010 study found morning people are more proactive and goal-oriented, have strong problem-solving skills, and do well in school, eventually going to good colleges and landing high-paying jobs.A 2008 study found college students who were self-proclaimed “morning people” earned a full grade point higher than those who stayed up late. Sleeping poorly is related to worsened cognitive performance including poor memory, trouble concentrating and thinking, and mood swings.2. Better Sleep QualityAdequate and consistent sleep improves blood pressure, the immune system, basic brain functions, mood, and gives your body time to repair itself. Waking up early makes going to bed early easier, and keeping consistent sleep and wake times regulates your circadian rhythm and leads to deeper sleep at night.People who have a consistent sleep schedule are less tired during the day. On the other hand, individuals who stay up late and wake up late are more likely to develop sleep disorders and be regularly fatigued.3. Extra Time to Eat BreakfastIf you wake up late and have to rush out the door, you’re more likely to grab a quick and unhealthy snack or skip breakfast entirely. Late sleepers and risers eat 248 more calories per day, half as many fruits, and veggies, and twice as much soda and fast food compared to people who sleep and rise early.When you wake up early, you have time to make a well-rounded and healthy breakfast. With a satiating first meal, you’re more likely to make healthier snacking choices later on in the day, potentially minimizing your risk of weight gain and obesity.4. Time for Morning WorkoutsFor busy individuals, early mornings might be the only time to fit exercise in. After long school or workdays, getting to the gym can be difficult and you might feel unmotivated. It can be easy to skip a workout after a long day, but it’s not so easy to do so in the mornings.Getting a workout in the morning, when you’re feeling the most energized, not only starts your day on the right foot but is important for your physical and mental health. Exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, improves your mood, regulates blood sugar, controls your weight, improves your cognitive function, among many other benefits.Health and wellness coach Shawna Robins suggests, “Keep your water bottle, shoes, or exercise mat next to your bed so you can just roll out and into your exercise routine. Keep it simple and easy so that you can make it happen every day. Some of my clients even wear their workout clothes to bed so they are ready to go. Exercise with a friend or take a class to help you cultivate a consistent routine.”5. Better Mood and Mental HealthIndividuals who wake up early have more positive thoughts compared to night owls. They’re found to be more optimistic, agreeable, conscientious, and satisfied with life. Female early risers are also much less likely to develop mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety.People who wake up early typically go to bed earlier, as well. When you sleep the recommended 7 to 9 hours, your body and mind have enough time to restore themselves, resulting in a healthier body and mind.6. Reduces StressBy waking up early, you can minimize stress and finish work without an added time crunch or any pressure. There’s no need to rush places since there’s little traffic to make you late, so you can take your time. Being well-rested also improves your ability to problem-solve.7. Increases Organization and ProductivityMany early risers take advantage of their mornings by setting goals and planning for the day. Planning is linked to improved productivity as you have extra time in the day to complete tasks early or try new things. It minimizes forgetfulness, especially if you’ve written your daily plan down.Also, people tend to be alert in the mornings, and quiet mornings give you uninterrupted time to complete your work.8. Peaceful MorningsWaking up early isn’t always about being more productive. If you have children or live with others, you can use early mornings to enjoy time to yourself and have a relaxing, quiet morning routine.For people who work in the mornings, you can skip the aggravating commute to work and get there before peak traffic by waking up a little earlier. Getting to work sooner also gives you time to complete tasks before others arrive and potentially distract you.How to Start Waking Up EarlyBecoming a natural early riser won’t happen overnight and it might be difficult at first, but you can train your body and mind to wake up more easily. With the benefits of early-rising in mind, here are some ways to start getting up and at ’em early.Find A MotivatorGive yourself a reason to wake up early and spend your mornings doing something valuable to you, whether it be morning running, gardening, or prepping a slow-cooker meal. Without a good reason to wake up early, your groggy brain might rationalize sleeping in.Make Small ChangesWhen starting to wake up early, don’t make huge changes at once as it can be overwhelming (mentally and physically) and lead to crashing. For example, don’t start waking up at 5 a.m. one day if you’re usually sleeping in until 11 a.m.Instead, gradually wake up earlier and earlier (in 15 to 30-minute interval changes) over several days or weeks until you reach your ideal wake-up time. By doing so, your body has more time to adjust to its altered sleep patterns and any adverse effects (fatigue, sleep inertia, sleep deprivation) are minimized.Develop a Sleep ScheduleA consistent sleep schedule improves your circadian rhythm’s timing, and eventually, you will get tired and wake up around the same time every day. Set a sleep schedule where you can get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.Prioritize Good Sleep HygieneSleep hygiene refers to healthy habits and practices to facilitate sleep. Several ways you can promote good sleep hygiene include:Having a cool, dark, and quiet bedroomLimiting electronics at nightAvoiding large and heavy meals before bedFollowing a relaxing bedtime routineAvoid vigorous exercise late at nightEat whole, real foods and drink filtered water during the daytimeLimit blue light electronics 60 minutes before bedBy improving your sleep hygiene, getting quality sleep is easier and so is waking up in the mornings.Move Your Alarm Away From Your BedIf your alarm is at your bedside, it’s easy to hit snooze until you realize you’ve been in bed for an extra two hours. Placing it away from your bed—on a dresser or bookshelf on the other side of the room—forces you to get up to turn it off. Once you’re up, there’s no reason to crawl back into bed, so you can get on with your morning a little easier.Get Out Of Bed ImmediatelyAs soon as you wake up, get out of bed and start your day. While it’s difficult, staying in bed after you wake up only makes it harder to get up and you might accidentally fall back asleep. Laying in bed awake also tricks your brain into thinking your bed is used for more than sleeping, making it harder to sleep in the future.Enjoy The Early MorningsEarly mornings are rather underappreciated. They’re quiet, peaceful, and give you time to enjoy your own company. Open your blinds to let the light in or step outside since the direct sunlight regulates your circadian rhythm, leaving you more energized in the mornings and tired earlier in the evenings. Shawna Robins also recommends keeping a gratitude journal. “Keeping a gratitude journal by your bed and listing 3-5 things you are grateful for each morning will help increase your overall happiness.” She adds, “It can be something simple like feeling grateful for the sunrise, the birds chirping, your sleeping kids, or even the fact that you are alive and healthy are all great things to feel grateful for. It’s like taking a happiness pill each morning before you get up.”Be Kind to YourselfYou might not love being an early riser after just a few days, especially if you’re accustomed to staying up late and sleeping in. Don’t be hard on yourself if you sleep through your alarms and end up waking up way later than expected. It’s also okay to sleep in every once in a while, so long as it doesn’t become overly habitual. If you become too stringent about waking up early, even if you’re feeling unwell or exhausted, you may resent early-rising and find more reasons to avoid it.FAQsHow long does it take to naturally start waking up early?If you’re consistent with your sleep schedule, it can take roughly 4 to 5 days before your circadian rhythm adjusts and begins naturally waking you up.Why am I having such a hard time waking up early?Struggling to wake up early isn’t always about just being groggy, as other factors can impact your energy. Sleep deprivation, parasomnias, certain medications, mental illnesses, chronic pain, and sleep disorders all contribute to difficulty waking up early.How long does sleep inertia last?Sleep inertia is the groggy wake-up period after waking up from sleeping or a long nap. Individuals are more inclined to go back to sleep and have weakened physical and mental performance. Sleep inertia might be as short as 5 to 30 minutes or last 2 to 4 hours. Having a regular sleep schedule reduces sleep inertia symptoms.Should you shower after waking up?Taking a shower after waking up can be helpful if you have a hard time waking up in the mornings. A moderately cold shower minimizes sleep inertia and boosts blood circulation, energy, and alertness.How much sleep do I need according to my age?Different ages have specific sleep guidelines as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:Newborns (0-3 months): 14 to 17 hours per nightInfants (4-12 months): 12 to 16 hours per night.Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours per nightPreschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours per nightChildren (6 to 11 years): 9 to 12 hours per nightTeens (13 to 18 years): 13 to 18 hours per nightAdults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours per nightOlder adults (65 years or older): 7 to 8 hours per nightConclusionThe extra hours in the morning have a lot to offer, particularly if you’re looking to improve your lifestyle. You can spend your mornings at the gym, gardening, or cooking delicious meals. Early rising also boosts your creativity, productivity, and mindset during the day, so no task feels daunting.Even if you’re a habitual late sleeper and riser, you can train yourself to wake up early and reap the benefits of a few extra hours. Small steps and realistic goals are key when altering your sleep schedule and morning routine, and as you improve, you’ll see a difference in your mood, energy, and cognition.About the author Narwan AminiAfter graduating with her Bachelor of Arts degree, Narwan Amini set out to connect with others through writing and narration. She’s often intrigued by sleep’s impact on all aspects of life and aims to assist others in achieving a good night’s sleep. Being multilingual, she’s able to reach a larger audience and hopes to share the importance of restorative sleep and quality bedding. 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