Most of us know just how important a good restful nights’ sleep is to our feeling of well-being the next day. What many of us don’t know is the impact of when we choose to sleep can be just as important on how we feel.
I want to share with you the powerful impact waking up early can have on our Mental Health.
Now for those of us who aren’t ‘Morning People’ the thought of waking up early can seem horrifying, but with a bit of discipline we can re-organise our day and reap the benefits on both our body and mind.
- Organise your day & be more productive
The first benefit of waking early is that you can use this extra time when few of us are awake to start to plan your day and create a to do list. By creating a plan for your day, you can get yourself in the right mindset to go about and complete your tasks, you will also experience less anxiety and worrying unnecessarily. When you direct your mind towards your goals you start using the Reticular Activating System. This is a built-in part of the brain that filters content that is related to what you want and think about in life, So, if you are in a positive mindset, it will look for all the things that confirms your aspirations. An example would be if you decided you wanted a specific car, you will find that you suddenly notice this car in adverts, on the roads, in car parks etc.
A study that was published in the Journal of General Psychology in 2008 highlighted that “those who woke up early procrastinated less than those who woke up late. Individuals tend to be more disciplined and focused on their goals, thereby improving productivity”. Studies also indicate that individuals that rise early tend to be more agreeable and cooperative, they were more determined to achieve projects and tasks.
2. Time for Quiet, Calm and Silence
Studies indicate that when you wake up earlier than most people, you have time that affords you some quality peace and quiet in a noisy busy world, an invaluable commodity.
During those quiet moments you have time to hear your thoughts. It gives you quality time to relax, read a book, do some exercise or even meditate. These quiet moments have positive effects on the brain, and some of these include:
Reducing blood pressure
Increase oxygen levels in brain
Boost mental health.
3. Time for Breakfast
When you wake up early you give yourself time to eat a good nutritious breakfast. The benefits of eating a nutritious breakfast are numerous and some of these include:
- Provides energy for the day
- Help you focus
- Reduces risk of being overweight
- Lowers negative cholesterol
- Reduces risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes
- Maintains a healthy bodily rhythm
- Improves mood and positive thinking.
4. Improved brain clarity & function
According to a study carried out by Christoph Randler biologist at Germany’s University of Education, if you suffer with a foggy mind throughout the day, starting to change your sleep patterns to waking early can improve your brain function.
Those who wake up early tend to find they are more creative, engage with work more and are funnier. The have improved problem solving and critical thinking skills and have an increase in memory function, all vital skills that improve your effectiveness at work and play.
5. Become more positive and improve mental health
The biggest benefit of waking up early is on your mental health. This is as a result of the collective benefit of all of the above. Those who don’t get up early are at a higher risk of developing depression and other mental disorders.
By waking up later it increases the chances of developing negative thoughts which can overwhelm those who suffer with this, by readjusting your sleep patterns and sticking with it can gradually improve your outlook to a more positive way.
6. Better Sleep & gives you more energy
By shifting your sleeping patterns and going to bed earlier and waking early in the morning, evidence points to deeper sleep patterns. You get a better quality of restorative sleep. Once you have established a set routine of going to bed at a set time and getting up the same time every morning, your natural body clock readjusts so that you can feel sleepy when its time and get up refreshed when its time. It is also important to continue this routine at weekends to maximise the benefits. The importance and benefits of getting a deeper sleep pattern established include:
- Tissue repair
- Bone repair
- Lowered blood pressure
- Relaxes the body
- Increased blood supply
- Releases growth hormones that can build muscle and tissue.
Waking early conclusion While acknowledging getting up early can be difficult for some, including the writer of this blog, with a determined effort and some strategies to maintain your discipline I can add my own experience to confirm the benefits are worth the effort.