All through college, it seemed that it was almost always a constant competition to sleep in the latest. If you scheduled your classes so you didn’t have to be out of bed before 10AM, you won. If you scheduled your classes so you didn’t have class on Fridays, so you could sleep in, you won. If you scheduled night classes once a week instead of morning classes twice, you won.
Then I graduated. And at the very beginning, work was exciting, and I jumped out of bed every morning ready and eager to start the day. However, as the routine set in, and the part-time internship turned into a full-time job, I was finding myself snoozing and snoozing through the morning, eventually finding myself in bed and having to be on the train at the same time.
This went on for a few months until a realization came over me. This was literally the beginning of the rest of my life. And I was beginning the rest of my life by dreading the start of every day. So I did some research, and made a decision.
I was going to become a morning person.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. I’m not a morning person, I never have been, and I never will be. I’m just not wired to function that way. In which case I’m just going to tell you, I never thought I would be either, but I guess the difference was that I wanted to become one. I no longer wanted to be sucked into the belief that having to wake up every morning was a chore, and instead of setting an alarm for the last possible minute and rushing through my morning ‘routine,’ I wanted to start every day with a relaxed, serene experience, and ease my way into civilization.
So over the past few weeks I’ve fought and fought to get to bed earlier, wake up earlier, and not to royally mess everything up on the weekends (that’s still the hardest part). And so now, I’m going to share with you the reasons I’ve discovered it’s awesome to wake up early.
This was the first thing that came to my mind when I was deciding what to do with my time. And after some very quick Googling, I found that exercising first thing in the morning jump starts your metabolism, meaning you’re burning more calories doing normal things for the rest of the day, it stimulates brain activity for up to 10 hours after you’re done (why waste that boost in your sleep!?), plus all the energy you usually feel after a good workout can go towards starting your day on the right foot. On top of that, if you’re like me, aka, a normal human being, sometimes things come up and suddenly the workout you had planned for after work takes a back seat. But if you exercise before work, you can literally do nothing all day and still feel uber accomplished! Even just a 20 minute stretch, or a brisk walk around the neighborhood is usually enough to feel the effects, and then it’s all out of your way for the rest of the day!
Getting to Sleep Faster, and Sleeping Better
This one is a pretty self-explanatory answer, but it really does make a difference. If you’re waking up at 5AM every day, by the time you’ve gotten home from the office, run your errands, and cooked dinner, you’re ready to lull yourself to sleep with a good book or some relaxing music. And because you’re so tired, you’ll fall asleep faster, and sleep better. Plus, if you maintain a regular sleep pattern (going to bed and waking up at the same time every day), your circadian rhythm will be happy, and that means (basically) you’ll be happy!
More Time (plus atmosphere) for Activities!
I love living in Los Angeles. But let me tell you one thing I genuinely miss about the Midwest. Silence. Even as I sit here writing this, at 6AM, it’s not actually quiet, but most of the noise is the distant hum of the 405, which, literally, never stops. So I’ll take it. No one in my apartment complex is awake before 7AM, meaning that it’s almost dead silent inside, cars and other disturbances outside are at a minimum, and my living room smells like coffee. If you look up heaven in the dictionary, I think you’ll see a similar scene. Waking up at 5AM literally gives me 2 hours a day of peace and quiet, to ease into my thoughts, get important things (like blogging, duh) out of the way, and genuinely enjoy my own company, and my coffee.
Breakfast is just my favorite meal of the day, and now that I’ve been up at a reasonable time every day, I’ve had time to either make and enjoy a breakfast in the comfort of my own home, stop and pick up some breakfast on the way to work, or pack a real hearty and delicious breakfast to have once I arrive at the office. All wonderful and viable options when you’re a breakfast fanatic like I am. (BONUS: If you’re early to your office, you’re the first one to find out about office breakfast treats, and usually get first dibs! Leave those other suckers with the plain bagels and plain cream cheese, you got there early and earned your asiago with garden vegetable, dammit!).
And last but not least…
Because even if you do none of the things I mentioned above with your time, you still get to experience a sunrise like the one pictured every morning.