For many of us, early mornings are really rough, getting up early is a struggle and even if we do manage to get out of bed at 6am, we never really feel our best until much later in the day. The latest research actually suggests there are real biological differences between those early larks who get up early every morning feeling full of energy, and those night owls who don’t really come alive until the sun goes down. It turns out that there are advantages to being an early bird, those who wake up earlier generally feel more optimistic and tend to be harder working than night owls.
A study of university undergraduates has also found those who said they function better in the morning get higher grades than those who prefer the evening, there is research that suggests memory may improve during sleep, so getting to bed earlier may improve exam performance. But most surprising of all – being a morning person may actually be good for our health, night owls are more likely to be stressed, overweight, and depressed – being less inclined to workout and more likely to be overweight than early risers!
The science is pretty clear, being a morning person is more advantageous for most people, but what if you are not naturally an early riser, how can you reset your body clock? Well the first and most obvious thing to do, is to simply get enough sleep by going to bed earlier, if you have had the recommended seven to nine hours this will make getting up earlier easier. However, this will not happen in just one night, you will need to stay consistent and set the alarm clock for the same time every morning— including weekends and days when you are not at work. over time this consistent routine will make it progressively easier to get out of bed earlier.
You can jump straight in and begin setting the alarm clock with your desired time, or you can pick your new wakeup time and gradually work towards it by setting the alarm earlier and earlier. Avoid using the snooze function on your alarm if it has one during this time, as this may disturb your sleep REM cycle. if you are worried about sleeping in, use two alarms, the second set slightly later as a backup. In fact skipping the traditional alarm altogether may be the best way to wake up earlier with more energy, the screeching alarm tone can be very disruptive and ruin your entire day by shocking your body awake.
Research has shown that a little light may be all we need to wake up early and to reset the body block. if you are getting up at dawn, then you can simply leave the blinds open during the night and the gradually increasing daylight will wake you up gently and naturally in the morning. A more practical alternative would be to use one of the new sunrise or dawn simulator alarm clocks available, which can be programmed to create a sunrise in your bedroom at a time of your choosing.