Saturday, August 29, 2009

Good News : 5 Things That Become Easier When You Wake Up Early

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a night owl if you’re doing it for all the right reasons, but when you focus on getting better sleep and waking up early you tap into a number of benefits that most people don’t get by staying up late. Busy workdays often lead to weary evenings, and in the rush to keep up important things can fall by the wayside. It’s not easy for anyone to keep it all balanced, but waking up early can give you a definite advantage when it comes to getting more of what you want out of life. Let’s look at 5 things that get easier when you give waking up early a chance.

#1 – It’s Easier To Feel Good About Your Day

Most of us live lives that are pretty damned busy. Sometimes way, way too busy. Because of that, it’s easy to be frazzled, hurried and stressed when you wake up after hitting the snooze button and realize that you have to hit the ground running if you hope to get going in time. That rushed feeling doesn’t go away easily for most of us, and we carry that stress throughout the day (and night). But when you wake up early, you get to start the day on your own terms. You get time to “warm up,” to let your thoughts settle, and relax before it’s time to spring into action. You get to be proactive – rather than reactive, which gives you a greater feeling of control (and cuts your stress during the day).
#2 – It’s Easier To Keep Your Life Balanced

The greatest thing about waking up early is that almost nobody else does. :-) This means you have a chunk of time where you’re likely to be free of interruptions and demands – and you can finally do some things for yourself (for a change!). The things you’ve been putting off – exercise, journaling, reading, relaxing, attending to your personal or spiritual growth – these are all things that you can start making time for “under the radar” of a day that crouches in wait with infinite urgencies and demands. By setting aside a slice of your day for you, a more balanced life becomes something you’re actually working for, rather than hoping for.

#3 – It’s Easier To Sleep Well At Night

When you know that the next morning will give you a chance to meet the day on your own terms, and that you’ll have an opportunity to bring more balance to your life, you’ll feel a lot better when you put your head down on the pillow. You won’t feel so rushed, so overwhelmed, so running behind … and you’ll be able to relax more at the end of the day, knowing progress awaits in the morning. And while that’s not a guaranteed cure for insomnia or other sleep disorders, it certainly can’t hurt.

#4 – It’s Easier to Stay Focused And Productive

This is a given (and that’s why it’s towards the bottom of the list). Tasks tend to expand to meet whatever time limits we set for them, and that can be dangerous late at night, when you’re geared up to “just work a little longer ’till it’s done.” But when you block out time in the morning to do something, the deadline becomes more real. You’ve got to get a task done before the kids get up, or before it’s time to go to work, and you hustle more to get it done. You resist distraction and stay more focused. And that’s a good thing to have going for you.

#5 – It’s Easier to … (you fill in the blank)

The “teaser” post for the Better Sleep series received a lot of great comments from all of you, and I’d love to hear more. If you’re an early riser already, add to the list via the comments below. If you’re an early riser-in-training, comment on what you’re planning to “make easier” when you start meeting the day on your own terms. And if you need some help waking up early, click here to get it.

Waking up early isn’t as grueling as most people think – but there are some very real obstacles, which I’ll discuss in the next post, Why Waking Up Early Can Be So Hard. Sign up for RSS or email updates and don’t miss a post in the Better Sleep series.

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