Ben Franklin famously said: “Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
I tend to agree with him.
The most direct correlation can be seen with your health, which is what I’ll focus on in this post. But good health generally precedes wealth and wisdom, so it’s a good place to start.
After all, if you aren’t healthy, you’ll have less physical and mental stamina to work toward wealth. And you won’t have the energy for ongoing education, which puts wisdom out of the picture.
Those are two pretty good reasons right there to become a morning person. But there are more!
Mornings Are Best For Consistency
Work starts between 8 and 9 am for most people. So if you wake up at 7, you’ll always have a set amount of time to exercise, eat breakfast, shower, and so forth.
One of the problems with exercising at night is that it’s tough to get into a routine. You might be doing great for a few days, and then you’ll get invited to a dinner somewhere.
That’s okay, I’ll pick it up tomorrow.
And maybe you will. But then you’ll have to stay late at work to finish a project. Or celebrate a friend’s birthday. Or something. Something always come up.
But you know what doesn’t happen? Getting invited to events at 7am.
That means that time is yours. Every day. That’s time to get a quick workout in, or write out your goals for the day, or eat a healthy breakfast. Or all of the above.
You don’t necessarily have to get up at 4am. But being a morning person is one of the best ways to harness your time, practice discipline, and give your body the activity that it needs.
Some Obstacles for Night Owls
If you’re not a natural morning person, you’re probably groaning as you read this. But if you decide to make the effort, you can transform into a morning person before you know it.
- Don’t hit snooze. Every time you hit the snooze button, it further throws off your body’s sleep cycle. You’ll end up more groggy than if you were to pull yourself up the first time it went off. Not to mention that you’re starting the day with procrastination, which is a bad habit to teach your brain…
- Be consistent. Set your alarm for the same time every day, including weekends. This helps your body create a rhythm and will make it easier to get up in the morning.
- Go to bed earlier. Remember the first part of the Ben Franklin quote? You still need to make sure you get enough sleep. You can’t go to bed late and wake up early or you’ll just be sleep deprived (less healthy). If you need to, set a daily alarm on your phone to tell you to go to bed.
- Let the light in. Sunlight used to wake people up each morning, but now we are often cocooned behind dark curtains, tricking our brains into thinking it’s still night. If your bedroom window doesn’t have a street light right outside, try leaving the shades cracked open to let in more light in the morning. It will give you a more gentle, gradual wake-up call than your alarm.
- Avoid carbs at night. If you eat carbs at night, of course you’ll be awake! Carbs are for burning, so you should taper down your carb intake towards the end of the day.
- Find a wake-up buddy. Ideally this should be someone besides a significant other; pick a friend that will agree to meet for a run or workout. Agree to call each other if you’re not there by a certain time.
- Transition slowly. It might be tough to go cold-turkey on the whole sleeping-in thing. Try moving your alarm up by 15 minutes every couple of days until you get to your desired wake-up time.
- Move your alarm. Don’t keep your alarm right by your bed. If possible, set it to keep beeping until you turn it off. Force yourself to get up and go across the room to stop it. Make it harder to snooze.
Benefits Of Being A Morning Person
- Work uninterrupted. Isn’t it frustrating when you’re trying to get something down and people keep interrupting you? Think of how much you could get done if you had an hour or two all to yourself…
- Feel energized. Once your body adjusts to the new routine (after a few days), you’ll have more sustained energy throughout the day. Especially if you do a quick workout and eat a healthy breakfast. You won’t miss the afternoon slump, I promise.
- Reach your goals. Studies have shown that “morning people” get better grades, and are more successful in business.
- Prepare effectively. How often have you rushed out the door in a whirlwind, only to realize (too late) that you forgot your badge? (or report, or tripod, or lunch…) Getting up early gives you time to plan out your day and anticipate issues before they become issues.
- Be positive. Studies have also shown that morning people are more optimistic, positive, and agreeable. Night owls may often be more creative, but they’re also more often depressed and pessimistic.
- Lose weight. A consistent morning routine with exercise can jump-start your metabolism and get you burning calories before you even go to work.
- Family time. By getting a head start on the day, you should be able to keep the evenings free to spend with your family.
- Watch the sunrise. When was the last time you saw the sunrise? Starting the day with a majestic and inspiring sight is priceless.
- Faster Commute. If you get on the road before everyone else, you’ll get to work faster. This saves time and stress.
It’s Worth It To Make the Switch
Ask yourself what you really care about. What are you passionate about? What do you keep saying you want to accomplish, but never do?
Your mornings are the perfect opportunity to make those dreams a reality.
It’s much easier once you make the habit. All you need to do is use the tips from this post and you’ll be waking up early and ready to greet the day as it dawns.
You’ll feel more healthy — which is a benefit in itself, and also a pre-requisite for wealth and wisdom (according to Franklin).
Give it a shot for a month. If you have responsibilities piling up, use this as a way to get ahead. When all is said and done, you might just find that you like getting up early.
I can tell you from experience: it’s definitely worth it!