Being a morning person and waking up early has many benefits on physical and mental health. Early birds are said to be more kind, more conscientious, happier, more efficient or even less prone to depression.
Here are 7 good reasons that will motivate you to get out of bed in the morning
We are all regulated by an internal biological clock whose effects are felt day by day. These internal clocks, called “circadian rhythms”, follow a natural cycle slightly longer than 24 hours. Some people, called nocturnal, are what we all commonly name night owls; others people, who tend to be more of the early type, are what we call « early birds » while a third group, the most widespread, is between the two, and it basically is composed of those people who are neutrals, intermediates or diurnal types. These people get up when the light of day shines and begin to fall asleep when the day darkens. But extremes are also possible. Thus, very early people are called « early birds », while the real late sleepers have earned themselves the nickname « owls ».
With age, our biological clocks evolve slightly. While teenagers are more likely to be tired in the evening, the sleep rate gets shorter as they age, with older people becoming more and more of early birds. The majority of the population is somewhere in the middle, though. Being a morning person has certain benefits that tend to explain why the old adage “the future belongs to those who get up early» has been so famous throughout all these years.
Morning people are happier
As we all know, the sun has a tremendously positive effect on one’s mood. That is why a long exposure to natural light would be beneficial to the mood. Research has also established the link between happiness and getting up early in one’s youth, but this also applies to the elderly.
Here is a bunch of possible explanations to this: night owls would be less happy because the imposed 9 to 5 schedule by the world of work is not adapted to their internal clock.
Early risers get better health diagnoses in this way. So in order to stay fit and stay healthy, it would also be necessary to get up early. Exposure to morning light influences the body mass index (BMI) of patients, regardless of their level of physical activity, caloric intake, sleep time or age. According to the results of this research, morning light plays for 20% in BMI. Light is the most important agent for adjusting the internal clock that regulates one’s circadian rhythm (which has an oscillation of about 24 hours), which in turn regulates one’s energy balance. The conclusion is that you should try to see more light between 8:00 am and noon. Only 20 to 30 minutes can have a sufficient positive effect on your BMI, the study concludes.
Morning people get better grades
On college campuses, early-day students certainly miss a lot of night time activities, but that’s just a beneficial additional time for their class notes, as it allows them to get up early, to show up on time, etc, a habit that also gives them more time to spend on their books. A study done in 2008 found that students considered as early risers had one-point higher scores than the night owls.
They are productive in the morning
While the “night owl” is slowly getting out of the morning fog, the early bird will have had time to be productive, go running, prepare breakfast and check emails as well as their Facebook feed before they even go to work.
They are more conscientious
One study showed that morning people were more meticulous, simply because they are more alert, almost anxious, but in a positive way; More meticulous, but also more proactive, and better organized when it comes to complex situations.
They do not postpone their awakening
No need for the “snooze” function for early risers, they simply do not feel the need to make their alarm ring several times. A morning person wakes up very quickly in general, and with very little fog in their head, without feeling groggy. Early birds tend to always be ready for a high level of activity very early in the morning. In addition to that, morning people have a lot of energy and joy in the morning.
They are less exposed to depression
Late night sleep would be linked to higher rates of depression, according to several studies. People who sleep very late often have a chronic lack of sleep that affects both their physical and mental health. However, no study has concluded that this facet was inherent in “night owls” or that it resulted from the rhythm imposed by society. These are the morning people who have imposed the rules of society – the time you get up, when things are organized, when the shops close. The night owls have never had so many choices, in the end…
On top of that, ever heard of « Night owls, single for life? ». Women with the temperament of “night owls”, used to go to bed late and get up late, are more likely to end up single, but also to experience more break-ups than others, according to a study. High cortisone and testosterone levels, usually correlated with peaks in energy and stress, are associated with risk taking. Late-night late-risers would be more likely to have sex, but less likely to marry, the study said. Their sentimental stories would also be shorter and they would suffer from far more break-ups than early birds would.
A pattern has also been found among men who do not set their alarm clocks to wake them up early. And what has been discovered was that they would have twice as much sex as the ones who would wake up early.
They are (maybe) nicer
The night is often a synonym of fear, mystery, and from time to time immemorial, obscure stories of werewolves, vampires and unpunished acts. In a 2013 study, « early birds » would be less likely, compared to « night owls », to have narcissistic, Machiavellian or psychopathic personality traits.