If you want to improve your health, your energy levels and your lifestyle, then waking up a bit earlier and getting out of bed first thing in the morning just might be the solution you're looking for. There are many reasons why being an early riser is the best way to start getting more done and feeling healthier, so let's look at what those are.
You Get More Sleep
If you go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, you will often find that this results in you getting more sleep. The reason for this is that you are better able to control what time you go to bed than you are to control what time you get up due to social factors. If you become a 'night owl' and constantly stay up late, you'll find that there are times when you need to wake up early (such as to go to work) and then you'll be operating on very little sleep.
On the other hand though, if you're an early bird, and you know you're going to have to wake up early, you can simply go to bed a little earlier and you'll be ready. It's rare that anyone forces you to stay awake all night, and when they do, you usually have the next day to recover.
In short, the world wants us to be early risers, and thus if you become an early bird you will more often be in sync with everyone else and less often be playing catch-up.
You Get Better Sleep
As well as getting more sleep, those who go to bed early and wake up early will probably also have a better quality of sleep. The reason for this is it means your sleep/wake cycle will be closer to the rising and setting of the sun. This will then mean that your 'internal pacemaker' (your natural body clock) is closer to the 'external zeitgebers' (the external cues that indicate what time it is).
When the sun is out, our body detects this and produces less melatonin. Even if that doesn't wake you up, it means your sleep won't be as deep. In short then, the most restorative sleep is that which happens when it's darkest. And that's usually from around 10-11pm through to 5-6am.
You Get a Slower Start
If you're constantly rushing in the morning, then you will be getting your day off to about the worst start possible. Rushing like mad first thing in the morning means you're unlikely to get a proper breakfast, it means you're probably going to forget something and it definitely means you're going to feel very stressed out and panicked. How about a huge shot of stress hormones to get you started? And it's not a good idea for your back to rush first thing in the morning either – seeing as it will be softer and more easily injured when you first spring out of bed.
Imagine being able to get up one or two hours before you need to leave. That way you could make yourself a great breakfast, take a long hot shower, do some stretching or meditation and maybe watch the news while you iron. You'll find that as a result, you turn up to work looking much better, feeling much better and performing much better.
But it's not just on weekdays that waking early is a boon. Waking up early can also be highly beneficial on the weekends as it means you get to be up and about during the quieter times of day when there's no one around. Resultingly, you'll have a few quiet hours now to watch your favourite show, to read the paper or to work on a side-business or a novel. Studies actually show that you are more creative when you first wake up because your 'groggy brain' is more likely to make unique connections as it wonders off-topic (1).
The Evening Is Wasted Time
While being groggy in the morning might lead to more creative story writing, trying to do the same thing late at night is often less effective. The reason for this is that you're not just groggy at that point, but physically and mentally exhausted from a tough day in the office. Thus, you won't just gain more creativity from your tiredness – you'll also lose your ability to motivate yourself and this means you'll often spend hours just procrastinating. If you've been watching YouTube videos for the last half hour or watching a countdown of the top 100 sitcoms, then wouldn't you be better off just going to bed now and doing something more useful or fun in the morning?