June 22, 2018

Does the Early Bird Really Get the Worm?

As a mom of four little kids, I have no need to set a morning alarm…. one of them is ALWAYS up early.  It has only taken me until the fourth kid to discover that I actually LIKE to get up early. In fact, with this many kids I HAVE NO CHOICE but to get up early.  Every. Single. Day. For best results, I set my alarm for about thirty minutes prior to when I expect my youngest to wake up. I love and need the thirty minutes of peace and quiet.  

I make a cup of coffee, chow down a bowl of the sugariest cereal I can find, throw in a load of laundry, and start the dishwasher.  It feels good to start the day out with the house in order and, maybe, I actually get the chance to throw on a coat of mascara before the chaos begins.  Being productive before the kids even get up makes me feel like I can conquer anything for the day. Besides the fact that now I enjoy getting up early, I have also discovered that there are actual health benefits for the other “early birds” in the world.

​Improves Physical Health

​Training your body to get up early allows you time in the morning to eat a healthy balanced breakfast to start your day.  Breakfast is especially important because your body has been fasting all night. Having additional time in the morning also means that you can exercise before you find excuses throughout the day to not go to the gym.  Earlier risers also tend to have better sleeping habits and a more scheduled sleep routine. For me, this is all very true. I do not have any trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

​Enhances Mental Health

​Waking up early helps promote a peaceful start to your day.  The beginning of the day is so important because it sets the tone for the rest of it.  If I wake up late and am not able to get that peaceful start to the day, I feel frazzled and am less patient with my kiddos for the rest of it.  “Morning people” are also known to be more optimistic and less likely to experience depression.

​Promotes Productivity

​Waking up early really can help you become more productive.  While I mainly use this time to get household chores done, I also create a to-do list for the day.  By having a plan in mind you are more likely to complete all of the tasks on the list. Also, commute times are typically less in the early morning hours.  This means you can free up time that you would spend driving in traffic.

For all of you who have a busy life, getting up early truly makes you feel more in control of your day.  

Not a morning person but want to try?

Remember it’s easiest to start with small changes.  Set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier than you normally do.  Make this a consistent change for a few weeks. Then make adjustments from there.  Do I ever sleep in? Yes, but rarely. If you are looking to experience the benefits from being an “early riser” I totally recommend it.  

Added bonus?

If you are heading to work early, you can stop at the local coffee shop and enjoy the freshest made bakery items and brewed coffee before anyone else has the chance to. So, go ahead, get that worm.

​About the Author

​Jessica is a mom to four kids under the age of nine.  She has worked ​as an ICU nurse for ​a decade and also teaches nursing students.  ​She loves to be outside, especially in the summer when she can spend time swimming and gardening​. Always an avid reader and writer, Jessica enjoys embracing her creative side, a welcome reprieve from way too much medical terminology. 

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