The Benefits of Waking Up Early

The Benefits of Waking Up Early

It’s 6:00 in the morning. My alarm lets out an unfitting happy chirp and I drag myself away from the comforts of my bed and into the shower. The warm water serves as a transition between the laziness of sleep and the activity of the day. Now, the hard part is over, and I can eat breakfast, read the newspaper and relax for nearly two hours before I head to school to take on the day’s classes and workload.

Many of my friends and peers have a different, if not completely opposite sleeping schedule. The usual is to wake up at 7:30 or later, and rush out the door to get to school on time. We should all wake up earlier. This doesn’t mean getting less sleep; it means adjusting your schedule to go to bed earlier.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers need an average of eight to ten hours of sleep. This is still doable (even with a 6:00 AM wake up time) in a majority of situations. I’m able to juggle sports practice, work, music lessons, and homework without turning into an antisocial robot, and still getting a healthy amount of sleep. (I shoot for 8:00, but don’t always manage to get to sleep by then.)

Studies back up the benefits of waking up early as well. According to Forbes, a college student study showed that “morning people” had, on average, a higher GPA than “night owls.” Advantages also included optimism, better planning, and increased proactivity. American Psychological Association Journal also points to studies that show increased happiness in early risers.

I’m aware of the difficulty to get out of bed in the morning. This is an issue for me, despite rearranging my schedule to go to sleep earlier. Just because I’m used to early wake up times, does not mean I have successfully conquered this chore.

I’ve gone through various alarm tunes and wake up times. I used to set five alarms, three of which blared James Bond action music between 5:30 and 6:00 in the morning, and the other two played the patriotic tune of Johnny Comes Marching Home. Even then, I would have issues getting up in the morning. (I did end up attributing this to my routine of listening to music before bed.)

I currently set my alarm as one of the annoying default tunes on just about any device that includes an alarm. It has not failed me yet. I also turn on a light before falling asleep again, just after I’m awakened by my irritating alarm. It helps to get my brain off of a disconnected dreamy mode and onto the thought process of the tasks for the day. I’ve found morning showers work great to help me wake up. Other than that, all I can do, is use my willpower to get me out of bed.

Getting out of bed is worth it for the next hour and a half. I get a chance to eat a healthy breakfast without being rushed, read a few articles in the New York Times, send emails, schedule events, and catch up on social media, usually in that order. I then have enough time to spare to finish getting ready and head out the door, with plenty of minutes to get to school. I have made mistakes being too relaxed and not watching the clock, or spending too much time looking at all of the Donald Trump articles in the New York Times. This usually leads to me running out of time to get to school by 8:00, but for the most part, the daily routine works just fine.

Relaxed mornings are worth the early wake up. It’s worth it every time to get up early in the morning (while still getting a healthy amount of sleep) and go through a lazy morning routine. The time I spend in the morning is some of the most valuable and enjoyable time spent in a day.

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