Waking up early offers numerous benefits, which is why many successful people prefer early morning routines over sleeping in.
There are many reasons to adjust your schedule to wake up earlier in the morning.
Read on to learn more about the ways it's beneficial to become an early riser and exercise regularly, eat better, keep stress levels low, improve your mood, and become more productive throughout the day!
You should eat dinner earlier, too. Find out why!
What Are the Benefits of Waking Up Early?
Some of the main benefits you can expect when you wake up early include:
Waking up early is often associated with increased productivity, as you likely have the most energy after waking up and eating breakfast (assuming you've gotten at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep during the night).
Early risers often experience optimal concentration in the morning, especially after a cup of coffee.
If you work from home, you may be able to accomplish the most productive work tasks right after waking up, after your morning coffee, or after you exercise.
Higher Energy Levels
After your body has had many hours to rest during the night, it's not surprising that your overall energy levels are usually higher first thing in the morning.
You may have better, longer-lasting workouts in the morning vs later in the afternoon or evening when fatigue may set in.
Improvements in Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Going to bed early and being an early riser benefit your lifestyle habits and overall health.
Studies found that going to bed late and sleeping in late is associated with more screen time, less physical activity, and a higher body mass index (BMI) vs going to bed early and waking up early — despite getting similar amounts of sleep.
A Better Mood
After waking up early and exercising soon afterward, you probably notice the effects of increased endorphins, which are associated with mood improvements and may motivate you to have a productive, fulfilling day.
The Best Ways to Wake Up Earlier
It can be challenging to get in the habit of waking up early, but it's entirely possible with an effective plan in place!
Consider the following strategies to increase your ability to become an early riser:
Head to Bed Early
Set a regular bedtime and stick with it as best you can.
Allow yourself 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
For example, if your goal is to wake up at 5:00 am, head to bed at 9:00-10:00 pm the night before.
Set Bedtime and Sleep Goals
Set sleep goals and track your progress over time.
Make a goal of waking up at a desirable time each morning and getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Track your progress in a sleep journal and reward yourself each week or month for meeting your sleep targets!
Avoid Doing Certain Things before Bed
To ensure a better night's sleep, it's essential to avoid doing certain things right before bed or late into the evening.
For example, avoid strenuous exercise late at night, eating large meals, drinking caffeine or alcohol, smoking, or being hungry before you head to bed.
Avoiding these activities increases your chance of getting a good night's sleep, which makes waking up early an easier task.
Allow Yourself Time to Snooze
If you find it difficult to wake up early, set an alarm for 10-30 minutes earlier than you'd like to wake up, allowing you to hit snooze a few times.
While not ideal, hitting snooze helps you ease into an early morning schedule.
Make Gradual Changes in Wake Times
Make gradual changes to your wake times to help you become an early riser.
For example, if you usually wake up at 9:00 am but desire to get up at 5:00 am, don't make dramatic changes to your sleep schedule all at once.
To increase your chance of long-term success, gradually wake up earlier and earlier until you reach your goal wake time.
You might wake up 30 minutes earlier than the day or week before until you're able to achieve your target wake time with ease.
What to Do After Waking Up Early
After waking up early, make the most of your morning by considering the following activities that often enhance productivity:
Drink Water and/or Coffee
After sleeping for 7 or 8 hours during the night, you might be dehydrated.
Drink water soon after you wake up, especially if your goal is better health or weight loss.
Hydrate your body to get each day started off right.
Aim to drink at least 2 cups of water when you first wake up!
If you're a coffee drinker, you might also consume coffee to wake you up and give you the energy needed to exercise and complete a list of early morning goals.
Make a To-Do List
Make a to-do list each morning.
Setting goals and making lists increase your chance of being productive throughout the day.
Prioritize each of your tasks according to the most important, and make sure to include exercise or active daily chores in each list to keep your body moving.
Eat a Light Snack or Breakfast
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, giving you the physical and mental energy needed for workouts, daily chores, and work-related tasks you must complete for your job.
If you don't want to eat a full meal before your morning workout, have a protein shake or light snack to give you extra energy without weighing you down.
Exercising early in the morning is beneficial for many reasons.
It boosts your metabolism, energizes you, and can motivate you to eat healthily and accomplish more throughout the day.
Morning exercise makes it easier for you to sit still and concentrate at work, especially if you have a desk job.
After drinking water and eating a light meal or snack, get in a quick workout to start your day off right.
Aim to exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
Do Chores or Work
After exercising, you might have a few minutes to spare to do house chores or work-related tasks before the rest of your family wakes up.
If so, fold laundry, mop the floors, do yard work, walk your dog, send work emails, complete a work project, or tidy up the kitchen so you don't have to stress about cleaning later in the day when you may be tired.
Make Breakfast for Your Family
The next thing on your agenda after waking up early might be to make breakfast for your family.
After a workout and other morning activities you've completed, you may be hungry again.
Have a light snack or a protein shake to help your muscles recover and keep energy levels high all morning.
Get the Kids to Daily Activities
After everybody eats and packs a lunch, backpack, or sports bag to get ready for school, practice, or fun summer adventures, it may be time to take the kids to their daily activities.
You, your spouse, or an older child might be in charge of rides.
If it's an option, carpool with family or friends to save time and money.
Start the Rest of Your Day!
It's time to officially start the rest of your day!
After all that you've accomplished because of waking up early, you might head to work, grocery shop, do house chores, or simply relax — you've earned it!
Depending on which day of the week it is and what your schedule entails, you might do something fun with your family or friends for the day.
Examples include swimming, hiking, cycling, or going golfing.
You might shop together, go to a park, head to the beach, go horseback riding, or try kayaking or paddle boarding.
Additional Ways to Stay Healthy
In addition to waking up early, adopt a few additional tricks to maintain superior health and keep energy levels high.
- Drink more water throughout the day (aim for at least 12 cups of fluids)
- Set aside time each day to relax and reduce stress
- Do at least 45 minutes of activities of daily living daily
- Use the Perfect Plate method when planning your meals
- Don't smoke
- Limit or avoid drinking alcohol
- See your doctor for yearly checkups
- Stick with your sleep schedule as much as possible, even during vacations
- Sign up for the Fit Mother Project!
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on waking up early.