Are your mornings lethargic, drowsy or dreadful as you drag yourself out of the bed unwillingly every day? The reason is because most of us are jolted out of sleep by the alarm clock. Waking up naturally is crucial for well-being offering body the required time to come out of the sleepy state to an alert state, otherwise our minds remain foggy.
Reading about people getting up at sunrise to spend time in nature, meditate, enjoy a cup of tea seems a romantic notion. The temptation of not leaving a comfortable bed is tough and impossible if you are a night owl. Hating Mondays or any day morning meetings and not getting up even a minute before it becomes necessary, can become a way of life.
Richard Whately, Anglican archbishop and author, says, “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” Late risers remain short of time throughout the day.
In the introduction of the book Miracle Morning Millionaires: What the Wealthy Do Before 8AM That Will Make You Rich author David Osborn confesses to being a self-proclaimed night owl who slept late on weekends and also through classes on weekdays as a student. Later, he carried these habits to his work life. However, he soon realized that the world wouldn't let him always sleep late, and being productive at night would never compensate stumbling around his business during the day.
From ancient sages to present day neuroscientists everyone tells us getting up early is vital for a healthy life. Starting the day with Yoga and meditation balances physical, mental and emotional aspects. Dr. Joe Dispenza, New York Times bestselling author in his book Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon, mentions the best time to meditate is between 1 AM and 4 AM.
Benefits of Rising Early
Here’s why you should consider waking up early:
Bounce from Sleep Inertia
Scientists believe that waking up should be a natural act and not artificially induced. We experience sleep inertia, affecting attention, alertness and memory. This is the period of transition from sleep to full wakefulness that lasts for 2-4 hours, necessitating time to adjust. An alarm doesn't allow us to make this shift gently.
Biology professor Christopher Randler, from Heidelberg, Germany’s University of Education, shares that waking up early boosts brain function. Early risers have better critical thinking ability and problem-solving skills. They are more creative, have enhanced concentration and memory.
Experience the Peace
By rising before the world starts its business you wake up to peace, quiet and solitude. There is less noise as you bask in silence to reflect and introspect. Spending quiet time increases oxygen levels in the brain, reduces blood pressure and positively impacts mental health.
We chant the 'busyness; mantra all the time to use it as an excuse, reason or as an escapism. The early hours provide time and space for organization. Utilizing time to plan your day can reduce anxiety, increase productivity and guarantee the completion of important tasks.
Early hours provide an opportunity to be in nature. Our ancestors would spend much time outdoors from sunrise to sunset, leading a life close to nature.
Start with simple practices like sitting in your balcony amidst plants or going for a short walk in the neighbourhood park. Proximity with nature reduces physical, mental and emotional overwhelm.
Plan, Cook and Eat
The first calamity of late rising is mostly the breakfast. How many times do you curtail the time required to cook and eat breakfast? With time on your side you can enjoy a nutritious first meal of the day with ease that makes you happier.
Early risers feel more energetic owing to the restorative benefits of deep sleep. Apart from relaxation it helps in lowering the blood pressure, tissue and bone repair and cellular corrections.
Any life style change requires time and patience. Start with small practical steps. The magic lies in consistency. If you are a late riser obviously you can’t aspire to suddenly get up at 5 AM. The process of rising early requires adjusting night routine. Go to sleep early and start by getting up 10 minutes earlier. Slowly, increasing it to 30 minutes will make a huge difference. Divide this time into 10-minute slots to activities like planning the day, meditation, or yoga. If you are unable to get up any given day don’t feel guilty, just continue the next day.
Join the Five O'clock Club to watch the dazzling hues of dawn while listening to bird songs in serenity to experience the joy of unhurried mornings every day.
(Nupur Roopa is a freelance writer, and a life coach for mothers. She writes articles on environment, food, history, parenting and travel.)