Testimonials of how waking up early can magically change lives are flooding the internet. The self-improvement community has been glorifying this “super habit” ever since its inception. If you’ve ever heard of the “5 A.M. club” then you know what we’re talking about here.
Is it for a good enough reason though?
Is waking up early in the morning really a life hack like all the successful entrepreneurs, motivational speakers and gurus out there want us to believe, or did they take it too far?
Safe to say it probably won’t be “the life-changer” for everyone out there, like so many confidently preach. That we can say right off the bat. For every general rule, you can find an exception if you try hard enough. But, not to be annoying for all the early birds out there, let’s show some respect and dwell a bit deeper into their almost cult-like belief of “getting the worm” and see if one can really have an edge in doing so. Perhaps there is more to it than what meets the eye.
There are probably a million reasons one could give as to why you should wake up early in the morning. However, we’ll be a bit selective here and focus on three main points: productivity, fitness, and health. For now, let’s focus on these and see if we can draw any conclusions.
Waking up early spikes your productivity, they say. This could be the strongest argument for waking up early.
Well, waking up early could boost your productivity if you develop the willpower for it. If you start waking up somewhere around dawn (could be earlier) you will most likely find yourself in one of these two scenarios. You will either a) scale the hours you use during the day (wake up earlier, go to bed earlier), or b) extend your day for an hour or two. Both scenarios could result in you working more. A) because you use the time which you would probably waste otherwise and B) because you’ll simply have more time on your hands.
If you manage to get over the painstaking trial period where you struggle just to keep your eyes open… you will notice a couple of things.
You will quickly find out that there aren’t many distractions at 5 A.M. The majority of the people running this world are still asleep. The only thing you are left with is work, be it working on yourself or working on your job, hobby, etc. Use this time to read, make a schedule, prepare food, whatever you needed the time for. This tranquility can also prove itself as a wonderful basis for shorter remote time, self-reflecting, and much more.
The hardest part of getting your productivity up this way is probably habit acquisition. To acquire the habit of continually waking up early always takes its sweet time.
It takes more time for some and less for others, but it is a demanding task (some would even say daunting). There is some good news to this somewhat gloomy fact. You could try going for a walk or a jog first thing in the morning. After only a couple of days, your early morning sleepiness will go away that much quicker. If you can’t, well, you will just have to do things the hard way.
The next major argument for leaving the warmth of your sheets way earlier than you otherwise would is the fact that you might be fitter for it. Now, this is a good one. Unfortunately for all you sleepy heads out there, this is correct.
Waking up early and going for a workout is one of the best fitness strategies you could settle for. Especially if you are trying to lose weight. Reasons for this are several.
Not having a meal and going for a workout right out of your bed will result in some heavy fat burning. The workout itself will feel a bit slower and overall difficult. This is because your body is working without any added fuel (food) and it has to expend your bodily resources, like fat.
Second, many people skip their workouts altogether due to a lack of time or other unpredictable circumstances. Waking up early and doing a workout will make sure this seldom happens. This way you can finish your workout while others are still asleep and then you have the whole day to be a hero or whatever else this world needs you to be.
Waking up early will leave you energized after the initial boom goes away. This feeling will make your day more enjoyable. Not to mention that having a nice, healthy breakfast will significantly balance out your eating patterns and stop you from eating late in the day. All of these are important for weight management.
The health benefits of waking up super early are plentiful. Not because waking up early is itself a health remedy, but rather because it usually results in you going to bed earlier and catching more hours of sleep that night. Back in the day, people would wake up as soon as the sun was out and go about their days. It is no wonder those generations have such incredible longevity.
Being up and awake as soon as the sun rises above the horizon could be a heck of a health booster. Going outside first thing in the morning is even better. You will catch some much-needed fresh air after a long night in a somewhat air-deprived environment. Then, natural light will hit your eyelids and regulate your circadian rhythm. This is crucial if you wish to keep your sleeping pattern in check. Lastly, your metabolism will kickstart too.
Chances of you going to bed early after you’ve woken up early are huge. This is important if you want to squeeze in 8-hours of sleep every night, something everybody should strongly consider. This way your body will be a beneficiary of proper sleep – the single most valuable tool in staying healthy and having a strong immune system.
In the end…
Seems to us like the hype around waking up earlier than usual lived up to its expectations. Some additional clarification has to be made, however.
It should be said that waking up early doesn’t itself guarantee that you will be more productive, happier, or motivated. If you wake up early and don’t work on your goals then what difference does it make? To use early morning to your advantage, you need to do something during that time. Like we’ve said, it is easier to obtain your goals with fewer distractions, razor-sharp focus, and quiet… all of which you find once you start waking up early.
Your levels of motivation for reaching new heights will grow naturally from thereon. If you get a lot done throughout the day you will only want to continue down that path. Pretty simple. You will be in a much better and happier mood too.
Let’s make a quick summary.
Early mornings are a solid foundation for an overall happier, fulfilled, and healthy lifestyle. It is a sufficient, but not a necessary condition. You still need to go through the toughest parts of growth and development. Therefore, waking up early in the morning is not really a ‘hack’. You could call it a piece of good advice or perhaps a hint, but it’s no miracle breakthrough.
Thank you all for reading!