Set Your Alarm: Benefits of Early Risers

Set Your Alarm: Benefits of Early Risers

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” – Ben Franklin

Ben was really onto something there in the 1700s, and now there’s a growing body of science that correlates waking up early with success.

If you can’t drag yourself out of bed in the morning, don’t beat yourself up. It’s possible that you’re a natural night owl. But here’s what you may be missing by rising with the sun:

More proactive. Harvard biologist Christoph Randler discovered that early risers are more proactive. They were more likely to agree with statements like, “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen.”

Problem solver. Randler’s research also revealed that “morning people” are more likely to anticipate problems and minimize them efficiently, which leads to more success in the career world.

Better planners. There are fewer distractions in the morning, early risers report using their morning quiet time for organization, goal-setting and planning out their days and weeks ahead.

Time to Exercise. Many successful people get up with the sun to exercise (before the family is awake and their official work day begins). Regular exercise has many health benefits, but also boosts mood and provides energy on the job and helps create deeper sleep cycles.

Get Better Zzzzs. Sleep experts say that if you go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, your body will be more in tune with the earth’s circadian rhythms, which offers more restorative sleep.

Randler adds that evening people do have some advantages—other studies reveal they tend to be smarter and more creative than morning types, have a better sense of humor, and are more outgoing.

People can be trained to alter what is called their “chronotypes”, but only somewhat. A person’s chronotype is the propensity for the individual to sleep at a particular time during a 24-hour period. In one study, about half of school pupils were able to shift their daily sleep-wake schedules by one hour. But significant change can be a challenge. Randly says about 50% of a person’s chronotype is due to genetics.

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