Every culture seems to have a proverb for waking up early. As Ben Franklin put it, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” But – not to question the brilliance of a truly brilliant man – I have to wonder if there really are health benefits of waking up early.
As I read article to article, I actually didn’t find any compelling evidence that there are actually direct health benefits. Despite that, there are other benefits with waking up early. Perhaps, depending on the person, there may be other corollary health benefits.
So, what are the benefits to waking up early?
Number 1. See the Sunrise
If you’re looking for a gateway to mental balance, try watching the sunrise. To me, this is a great way to spiritually greet the day. A personal favorite of mine is sitting on the beach and letting the sunshine wash over you. It’s hard to state just how relaxing this is!
Number 2. A Perfect Time for Meditation
We’ve been talking quite a bit about meditation for the past few days on Organic Soul, and one requirement discussed for successful mediation is a calm environment. In the early morning, most people are still asleep – providing you with an opportunity to focus on yourself and your mind.
Number 3. Give yourself Time
One benefit that might have specific health overtones is that waking up early gives you time to shower, eat breakfast, and perform exercise like yoga. Each thing – cleanliness, consumption, and exercise – have specific health benefit. Waking up early to fit these things in, then, are positive contributions to health.
Number 4. Save time on the Road, Benefit at Work
Waking up early also helps us avoid stressors we may otherwise face. One prime example: traffic. Getting on the road early helps you avoid rush hour and the headaches associated with it. This will help you get to work on time, which helps promote the productivity you can carry with you all day.
Number 5. Orient Your Day
Next, waking up early allows you time to focus and orient your day. Take time in the morning, maybe while you enjoy the beach, to plan out your goals and how you will reach them. Having a strong sense of direction in the morning will help you carry out your plans throughout the day.
Wake up Early!
Given these benefits, it definitely looks like waking up early promotes a healthy day. Whether if it’s by giving yourself enough time to exercise and eat or helping you avoid stressors at work (and on the way to work), getting up an hour or so earlier than usual will help you work through the day.
Experience any of these benefits yourself? Share with us below!
Dr. Berkas Comment
I agree in full that we should follow the natural circadian rhythms of our body in relationship to Nature. Our biological clocks are programmed to be awake during the day and sleep at night. This is basic physiology. Cortisol (stress hormone) begins to increase int he morning as the Sun rises and decreases through the evening until we fall asleep. Melatonin (sleep hormone) has an inverse relationship with Cortisol. As Cortisol drops in the evening, Melatonin begins to rise. Disruption in this cycle can affect other hormones which can lead to issues with maintaining and sustaining optimal function. As for you “night owls” out there…you may think that you do better with this type of schedule, but I can assure you that it puts stress on the body, and with stress, there must be ample recovery. Study after study has supported this.
Follow the rhythms of Nature. Your body, mind and spirit will be more at peace and you will live a healthier life.