The early bird catches the worm: how to rise early and why

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” this American saying promises a lot of benefits for early birds. And in fact research shows it seems to be right.

Rise and shine! (pic by marcuso)

A survey of successful CEOs from i.e. Pepsi, Motorola, Avaya, and Xerox in 2007 found out that all of these people had one thing in common:

They all were awake before 6 am, says Mel from care2, and therefore their productivity was higher. Also you start your day less stressed.

When the sun rises over the horizon you can hear nothing but the odd bird you get the feeling that everything is fresh, new and peaceful.

Nothing tops the moment when you wake up, have a look at a watch and realise that you still have time to snooze.

This peaceful moment when you realise that you don’t have to push yourself, that you still have time to breathe, to bring your thoughts in order, is invaluable.

Other benefits

Leo Babauta suggests that getting up early also helps to make it for early appointments or to plan in some exercise.

He also points out that rising early will give you time to have breakfast, enjoy some quietude or have a long shower – all things that can motivate and prepare you for the day.

According to a study of the University of Texas the brain is most active in the morning hours, therefore you are able to get a grip on the day and be one step ahead.

One other benefit for me is that I find it much easier to talk to people in other time zones. Of course you could do that at night, too, but your mind might be more awake and the connection better.

How to become an early bird

If you are a night owl – that’s fine. It is really important to find your own biorhythm and stick to that in order to be most efficient.

If you want to give rising early a go, try some of these tips:

Leo Babauta suggests putting the alarm clock far from your bed to make sure you actually get up or rewarding yourself with a coffee or a good breakfast for getting up.

Allowing you to get to bed early (despite of possible social pressure not to) helps enormously.

Cat Li Stevenson suggests that you set yourself a bedtime and start disconnecting yourself from everything and everyone about an hour before that to sooths your mind.

Read more about this topic on ‘Happiness and Success’ or ‘Looking for my life’.

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