There’s an old saying that the “early bird gets the worm”, and my mother and grandmother would tell me that each and every morning as they were quite literally, trying to drag me out of bed.
I am not a morning person, and that hasn’t changed even into my 30s. So, is that saying actually hold water? Which bedtime is better? Does the early bird really get the worm and have all of the fortune in life?
According to an article by Business Insider, there are a large number of extremely talented professionals who wake up at the “crack of dawn”, including Tim Cook (Apple CEO), Michelle Obama, Tim Armstrong (AOL CEO), Ursula Burns (Xerox CEO), Jeff Immelt (GE CEO), and Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo CEO), to name a few.
They credit their success not to their rising talent, but to their ability to have those extra quiet hours in the morning to do what they need to do and get a jump start on the competition.
If you’re an early riser, too, here are some other ways that waking up early can help you in your day:
1.You have enough time to make your bed — Studies have shown that making a bed first thing in the morning can mentally prepare you for getting things done throughout the rest of the day, and the military teaches this technique to all of its enlisted officers, as reported here by Navy Seal Admiral McRaven.
2. You can check e-mail and get simple tasks done without aggravation — Your spouse and kids are likely still asleep, and no one else has come into the office yet.
Take advantage of having a completely empty house or office, and relish your private time, like the Very Important Person that you are.
3. Fitness is possible – You now have extra time for an exercise class or workout, and the good news is that most gyms open around 4am, so those hours are great for waking you up and getting a good start to the rest of your day.
Plus, you beat the rest of the people who usually frequent the gym (and hog the machines) between 7-8am and 5-6pm.
Night Owls Can Be Creative, But It Doesn’t Come Without Challenges
Being a night owl is great for creativity, as some studies have shown. There are also famous (and infamous) people who have been known for being up all night, like Winston Churchill, Charles Manson, Fidel Castro, Gustave Flaubert, & Carl Jung.
However, according to the Huffington Post, staying up late and rising late can affect your brain by depriving it from maximum levels of peak sunlight. This can also make you depressed or affect your mood. Studies have also shown that night owls eat more throughout the night, and overall, especially in women show heavier weights and more amounts of body fat.
Regardless of whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, the one way to ensure you’ll get the proper amount of sleep each night is to do the following:
1. Have a proper mattress — Make sure you have a mattress that’s comfortable for you and not too old. If you need a new mattress you can try some stores or look up online reviews (click here for more info).
You also should make sure you have a pillow that supports your neck in a way that works for you, and comfortable bedding that makes you feel peaceful and happy.
2. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol — We all know that caffeine can keep us awake at night, so you should limit it throughout the day (as well as cut off all caffeine consumed before 3pm), but a lot of people are unaware that drinking before bed can wake you up throughout the night.
3. Try relaxation techniques before bed – Drink a warm glass of milk (or herbal tea) before bed, try yoga or meditation, or a hot bath or shower. Relaxing music, white noise machines, or noise canceling headphones can also help you doze off.
4. Limit electronics before bed — Take a tip from the CEO’s we talked about earlier, and check your e-mail first thing in the morning, and not right before bed. The stress (and the glare from the screens) will keep you awake all night long.
5. Try Lavender — Lavender can be a proven sleep inducer when smelled or inhaled, and it helps the mind relax so that it can shift to a state that’s more susceptible to sleep, according to The Cubicle Chick.
Hopefully with some of these tips you’ll be able to figure out what works best for you. Because, when it’s early to bed and early to rise, it makes a working girl (or guy) healthy, wealthy, and wise!