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Early risers: become the early bird who catches the worm!

04 November, 2016
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They say the early bird catches the worm, and recent research suggests there might be some truth to the old adage. This research concluded that early risers have the potential to earn 7% more than their later-rising counterparts! 

Many powerful CEO’s and business leaders extoll the benefits of rising early.  A few extra hours in the morning lets you prepare for the day and read the headlines, exercise, make the most of time zone differences and have a quiet time for creative thinking.

What powerful people recognise is that our working lives naturally cater to early risers. Those who groove into their day before a night owl’s had their first cup of coffee are: 

Less distracted

A typical day can get crazy - fast. You have family obligations, friends, your career, your expanding inbox, the need to exercise, a to-do list that’s a mile long, that program your friend said you should watch, and that book on your countertop you’ve been dying to read. As a result, the more personal things tend to get dropped, with “work” things taking priority. This is where waking up early comes in; it allows you to schedule in time for yourself, before your working day begins. 

More energised

When you take the time out for an early morning workout or jog, you get your blood pumping and your body ready to tackle the day ahead. This energetic feeling stays with you throughout the day, making you more productive. A simple 30-minute cardio session pumps extra blood to your brain, delivering the oxygen and nutrients it needs to perform at maximum efficiency. Cardio also floods the brain with chemicals that enhance functions such as memory, problem solving, and decision making.

Well fed

It is not recommended to skip breakfast, with extensive research finding that missing the most important meal leads to weight gain and diminished mental performance. Rising early gives you extra time to sit down for a bowl of breakfast. A healthy breakfast kick starts your day with energy, essential vitamins and minerals you need and the power to get through the morning. Here are some simple, healthy breakfast ideas to get started! 

Generally happier

Research suggests that making the time to exercise and start your day with a good breakfast can be the ideal foundation for a happier day. When you feel energised and good about yourself, you naturally feel happier, and this is reflected in every part of your day. The happier you are at the start of the day, the happier you’ll be at the end of it! 

How to become an early riser

The fact that most early risers are happier, healthier and more productive at work would not surprise many. Nor would it surprise many that early risers earn more money, stay in better shape, and report more satisfied lives.

early-riser-CBHSHealthFundMost people can rationally accept that rising early in the morning is a good lifetime habit. They just can’t muster up the emotional or physical energy to actually do it!

For some, the “late to bed and late to rise” habit is a natural and ingrained part of their routine. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to change - the benefits of rising early are simply too great and too numerous to ignore. With your mind convinced, it’s now just a matter of persuading your body to fall into line. Here are some tips to help you reset your body clock. 

Reduce light

In order to wake feeling fresh, it’s crucial you get a good night’s sleep. The less light there is, the more melatonin your body naturally produces, and the better you’ll sleep. Keep light at a minimum around the house come evening, and you’ll find yourself naturally wanting to crawl into bed earlier. Block out as much light as possible in your bedroom.

Get fresh air

Fresh air encourages deep sleep and will increase your wakefulness come morning. Sleep with your windows open when possible, and if you must keep them closed, make a point of stepping outside for some fresh air immediately after you climb out of bed. 

Have an early dinner

Your last meal or snack should be three hours before bedtime for an optimal sleep. Eating meat or other protein-rich foods can inhibit sleep by blocking the production of serotonin - a calming neurotransmitter that induces relaxation and sleep onset. 

Consume less caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that’s commonly used as a morning wake-up call; just avoid consuming it after lunch, as it can dramatically affect your sleep. Recommendations from sleep experts suggest refraining from substantial caffeine intake for a minimum of six hours prior to bedtime.

Take baby steps

Suddenly changing your wake-up time from 6:45am to 5am is going to come as a shock to your body. When your wake-up time alters that dramatically, it’s unlikely to excite and motivate you in the way you were hoping. Instead, aim to gradually adjust the time. Set your alarm for five-minutes earlier each day - before you know it, you’ll be waking up at your desired time with only the slightest, teeniest temptation to hit the snooze button. 

 

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Disclaimer

All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified medical practitioner. CBHS endeavours to provide independent and complete information, and content may include information regarding services, products and procedures not covered by CBHS Health Cover policies. For full terms, click here.

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