For many of us, waking up early can be extremely difficult whilst for many others it just happens naturally; this is due to us all having different circadian rhythms.
Our circadian rhythm dictates when we feel energetic and when we feel tired. Some of us gravitate towards being an early bird whilst some of us may feel most energetic and alert late at night.
Are You an Early Bird
To identify whether you're an early bird or a night owl, have a look at the bullet points below. Keep in mind that if you identify with both pairs of bullet points, you may be somewhere in the middle of being an early bird and a night owl!
If you're an early bird, you...
- Have no trouble waking up early
- Find yourself being most productive in the morning
- Have the most energy in the morning
- You find it difficult to stay up into the late hours of the night
On the other hand, you're a night owl if you...
- Find it difficult to wake up early
- Find yourself most productive in the evenings or night
- Feel lethargic in the early hours of the day
- Feel most energised later in the day
- Have no trouble staying up into the late hours
It's important to not fall into the trap of trying to force yourself into working at time which you are not suited for. Keep in mind that our circadian rhythm is shaped by factors such as your Ancestors and your DNA. Therefore, despite your best attempts to transform from a night owl to an early bird or vice-versa, it's never going to truly work!
If you're reading this guide on the benefits of being an Early Bird but deep down you know that you're a night owl, don't try and change who you are. Instead, use it to your advantage. If you find yourself to be most productive at 2am then feel free to get your work done at 2am. Simple as that. You're not only going to complete your work quicker but also to a higher quality too due to your alertness.
Having said that, here are the top 5 benefits of being an early riser!
The 5 Benefits of Being an Early Riser
Benefit #1: Happiness
The first and probably the most important advantage of being an Early Riser is it's associated with greater levels of happiness in all age groups.
A study conducted by Exeter University found that not only do Early Birds report high levels of happiness but they're also less likely to suffer from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
Similarly, a study conducted by the University of Toronto found that not only are Early Riser's reporting higher levels of happiness but they also tend to be more satisfied with their lives.
The main explanation for this is that the early riser's body clock is aligned with society's norms such as working a 9 to 5 whilst the night owl's body clock is at odds with society.
Therefore early birds tend to get a good night's sleep whilst night owl's are usually heavily sleep deprived. Factor's such as sleep quality and energy levels play a key role in a persons happiness levels!
Benefit #2: Better Productivity
As previously mentioned, society is mostly catered towards early risers. We're expected to start working early in the morning and then be able to relax in the evenings.
This is a great advantage of being an early bird, they can start working straight away and be incredibly productive at the times that society needs them to be. A study conducted by Texas University best highlighted this as they found that those who are early birds scored better grades than the night owls.
As for those who tend to wake up late, this is of great detriment to night owls. Because they usually struggle to get going early in the mornings, they find it harder to get their work done at the times that society expects them to.
Benefit #3: More Suited to Leadership
As one of the founding fathers of America - Benjamin Franklin said, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Whilst the benefits of being an early riser on your health is evident and it's effects on your iq is up for debate, various scientific studies have found that those who wake up early are more suited for leadership positions and for career paths which pay more.
A renown biology professor at the University of Education in Germany - Christopher Randler states that early risers are associated with characteristics such as being conscientious and agreeable.
The majority of the traits that are associated with being an early riser are also key traits that are associated with being a leader. The trait's of an early riser that Randler describes tends to make them more likeable, popular and persuasive!
Benefit #4: Sufficient Sleep
Various studies have found that those who are night owls are more likely to be sleep deprived and suffer from sleeping disorders such as insomnia. Where as those who wake up early also tend to fall asleep much sooner than their late night counterparts due to their circadian rhythm, thus increasing the likelihood of them getting sufficient sleep.
Some of the advantages of getting sufficient sleep include:
- Improvements in Concentration levels & Lengthens your attention span
- Strengthens your memory
- Helps to maintain a Healthy Weight
- Keeps your Immune System Strong
To read more about the benefits of getting sufficient sleep, click here
Benefit #5: Health Benefits
An incredibly large study on body clock's and the effects of certain body clock's on mental health and a variety of diseases found that early risers tend to be less susceptible to many illnesses and mental health problems.
The study which was funded by the Medical Research Council of the U.K fount that those who wake up early are less likely to suffer from diseases such as Schizophrenia and Depression.
Furthermore, other studies have shown that early risers are less likely to to suffer from obesity or diabetes. Morning people were more likely to make healthier choices throughout the day. Whilst night owls ate less protein overall and more processed food.
Hopefully, for you early birds out there, this article serves as great insight into the advantages of your current routines and deters you from ever thinking about trying to change your body clock.
On the other hand if you're a night owl remember that just because there are certain benefits of being an early risers, it doesn't mean early risers are superior to night owl's! There are also various benefits to being a night owl!