According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, yet a CDC study found that 40 million workers get fewer than six hours of sleep per night. Research has shown that a lack of sleep may be associated with decreased productivity, an inability to remember information, an increased risk of accidents, diabetes, heart problems and weight gain. Setting a routine sleep schedule may be the answer to assuring an appropriate amount of sleep is reached on a regular basis.
In celebration of National Sleep Awareness Week, consider getting into a routine of going to sleep and waking up earlier for better health and productivity. Here are some of the benefits of becoming an early riser:
Quiet Time: As working adults, it is often challenging to find time to do nothing. Waking up before family members and the interruption of phone calls and emails is the perfect time to focus on you. Finding a spot outside of the bedroom to quietly enjoy a cup of coffee while observing the beautiful morning scenery is an opportunity to relax and reflect. This allows you to arrive at work with a positive mindset. Additional time in the morning can also be spent exercising, which along with an optimum amount of sleep may produce long-term health benefits.
Breakfast: March is National Nutrition Month. Start it off right by making time in the morning to eat a well-balanced breakfast. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast provides greater nutrition while improving concentration and performance, and enhancing energy and strength for physical activities. Rather than settling for a quick breakfast that may not be ideal as your rush out the door, take time in the morning to eat a breakfast full of the nutrients necessary for a healthy lifestyle and productive day.
Plan Ahead: A study by Harvard biologist Christoph Randler found that early risers tend to more proactive, agreeing with statements such as, “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen.” Randler also found that those who wake up early better anticipate and solve problems. Waking up early allows time in the morning for planning, organizing and setting goals, which ultimately leads to success in the workplace and life in general.
Easier Commute: Choosing to wake up and arrive to work before rush hour makes for a smooth and easy commute. This route will have you arriving to the office early without even trying. As stated in a blog by training and development expert, Peter Mclees, “studies show that being on time is one thing that good leaders master.” The opportunity to become a better leader by consistently being on time is another added benefit of waking up early.
Family Time: An early start to the day leaves more time in the evening for quality time with loved ones. Leave the stresses from work behind, and take this time to unwind and strengthen the relationships with those who are most important to you. Arriving at home in the early evening will also encourage you to get to bed early to repeat this process the following day.
For tips on how to get in the routine of waking up early and more, read Peter Mclees blog 10 Reasons to Wake Up Early Everyday, and Surefire Techniques for Doing So.
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