By Allison Ford, DivineCaroline
I may not have been an early bird since birth, but after years of training myself to jump-start my day, my body naturally wants to get a move on as soon as it’s light outside. In fact, I’m now almost incapable of sleeping past 8 a.m.
Some people may consider that a tragic flaw, but I enjoy getting up early. I like not being rushed as I prepare for work, and I enjoy the morning hour when I’m alone in the office. For some people, waking up early isn’t the easiest lifestyle to sustain, but for those who can stick it out, it offers a bevy of benefits.
1. More “Me” Time
While my fiance is hitting the snooze button repeatedly, I’m taking a leisurely shower, tidying up around the house, and catching up on last night’s Daily Show. When you wake up early, without phone calls, emails, or pestering family members, the time is yours to spend as you please, whether you meditate, exercise, read, or simply watch that television show your spouse hates. Many parents of young children find that the early-morning hours provide their only chance to enjoy a cup of coffee or relax alone before the day begins.
2. Regular Workouts
People’s motivation to exercise is high first thing in the morning. Many report that they are more likely to stick to a morning workout routine than to an afternoon or evening one, since distractions have a way of derailing later plans to get to the gym. Also, although it hasn’t been proven, some exercise physiologists believe that exercising in the morning on an empty stomach forces the body to burn stored fat, instead of other calories.
A study published in the November 2006 issue of the journal SLEEP found that exercising in the morning led to better sleep at night. The researchers theorized that the morning activity helped to properly align the body’s circadian rhythms. Test subjects who postponed exercise until the evening actually had a more difficult time falling asleep.