Energize your day - rise and shine! -Michael Gusky (2023)

Habit 1: Get up earlyvon Ö "Habits for Wellbeing Series

We all know the phrase "The early bird catches the worm". But why is that? Is there something in the morning air that gives early risers an edge over late risers? It turns out there is. Studies have shown that getting up early can have a positive impact on mental and physical health as well as productivity.

I hear you night owls roll your eyes! "Great, another piece of content about getting up early, as if the 22 million search results on the topic weren't enough!" I see. It was overdone and often sold as a "silver bullet" of sorts.

There is no silver bullet. Starting the day early has many benefits, including improved focus, reduced stress, and better fitness. But before you embark on a new morning routine, it's important to understand the science behind the circadian rhythm — the internal biological clock that signals us when our bodies should be resting and active. This biological rhythm follows a cycle of about 24 hours and can be influenced by various external signals such as light and temperature. Understanding this rhythm is key to positively influencing your health and well-being.

So here's another piece, probably at the end of those 22 million search results, about getting up early (because there are tons of benefits), but more importantly, just making sure you're getting enough good sleep.

Circadian Rhythms: Keeping Up With Your Lifewellbeing

We often hear how important it is to get enough sleep, but what if I told you, it's yourswellbeingit also depends on something else: your circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are our body's internal clocks that determine when we should be awake and when we should be asleep. They are affected by the amount of light, temperature and other environmental factors. When our circadian rhythms are in balance, we feel energized and awake during the day and relaxed and ready for sleep at night. But when they get out of step — whether due to stress or a change in routine — there can be serious physical and mental health consequences. Let's explore how to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm for optimizationwellbeing.

Everyone's internal clock is a little different, so it's important to recognize the times when your body is most responsive in order to get the most restful sleep possible. The first step is to understand what a healthy circadian rhythm looks like to you. If your pace or work schedule is preventing you from sleeping and waking up early, incorporate at least 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep into your routine. Once you've identified your ideal bedtime and wake-up time (which allows for 7-8 hours of good sleep), try to stick to it even on days off or weekends. This will help keep your body on track.

If your schedule eats up 7-8 hours of sleep, you need to reprioritize. You're probably heading for complete burnout. For the twenty-somethings who are letting FOMO or YOLO drive their programming – you may not feel it right now, but lack of sleep takes its toll on your mind and body every day, and you will begin to feel the effects of your thirties, forties and beyond out.

The next step is to avoid behaviors that disrupt our natural rhythms, like eating late or napping during the day—both of which can leave us feeling drained and sluggish the next day. Eating late upsets digestion, while napping during the day prevents us from relaxing at night when we need it most. Instead, try to limit meals after 7pm (or at least 2-3 hours before bed) and give yourself regular breaks throughout the day without going into snooze mode!

Finally, make sure you get enough sunlight each day (at least 30 minutes) as it helps regulate our body's natural production of melatonin — the hormone responsible for promoting healthy sleep cycles. That can be a big challenge in the winter months, especially here in Ohio. I'm currently using a solar lamp to help in this area because that big yellow ball in the sky is hard to find here from December to March.

Also, avoid using electronic devices such as phones or TV screens an hour before bed, as blue light can affect melatonin levels and disrupt our rest periods even more!

Mental and physical benefits of waking up early

I bet most night owls have already checked and closed this post. If it's still there, wait a little longer. You don't necessarily need to completely change your routine, but take some of these benefits seriously (it can literally help your heart health).

  • Mental focus and productivity
    • Waking up before everyone else gives you alone time without distractions or interruptions — think of it as “me time” when you can prepare for a long day without worrying about the Other people's demands or schedule get in the way.
    • By waking up earlier, you'll enjoy more productive hours in the day, giving you more time to get things done and focus on important goals. Also, energy levels are highest in the morning, so utilizing this peak performance time can benefit task completion and a greater sense of achievement for the day.
  • Stress reduction/management
    • Research has found that people who wake up earlier have lower levels of cortisol — the hormone associated with stress — in the morning than those who wake up later in the day. Giving you extra time in the morning to plan your day, meditate, or just enjoy some peace and quiet will put you in better control of your day. In addition, exercise or even a morning walk can help reduce stress by releasing feel-good hormones like endorphins and serotonin.
  • improved physical fitness
    • Early risers tend to be more physically active than night risers. One study found that people who woke up earlier exercised more than those who slept later, making them more likely to meet health guidelines for physical activity. This isn't just good news for your body; This is great news for your brain too! Exercise has been shown to boost memory, improve mood and increase creativity - all important elements when it comes to performance and productivity at work.

Early morning can be a perfect time to relax and enjoy your favorite pastime or to start your day with a new activity. Taking time for yourself to focus on what you love to do instead of focusing on everything you need to do can set you up for more focus and motivation later in the day. Also, starting your day with something different or challenging can give you a sense of accomplishment and give you energy for whatever comes next.

Establish an effective early rise routine

Establishing an effective early-wake routine can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Set a specific wake-up time and stick to it– Choose a time that works for you and try to get up at the same time every day.
    • Start small - don't try to jump to 5am if you don't currently wake up before 7 or 8am.
    • Take one step at a time - experiment with different routines and find what works best for you.
    • Make sure your bedroom is comfortable - think about how you can make your bedroom more conducive to a good night's sleep, such as making sure it's dark and cool enough, or investing in some blackout drapes or an eye mask if needed .
  2. To be consequent– Try to stick with your new habits for at least 30 days so they can become part of your daily routine.
  3. Give yourself enough time in the morning– Plan activities or tasks so that you have enough time each morning to do the things that mean a lot to you without rushing.
  4. Celebrate the small wins- Reward yourself for reaching milestones or completing tasks, even if they seem small or insignificant. This will help you stay motivated and on track.

wrap it

Getting up early may not be for everyone, but the benefits are obvious - better mental and physical health, as well as increased productivity throughout the workday! If you're looking to establish healthier routines or become more productive at work, introducing an earlier bedtime might be just what you need! So grab a page from our feathered friends - try waking up a little earlier every morning - and see how much better you look! With persistence and discipline, waking up to the sun can become second nature - ultimately leading to greater overall well-being!

The problem isn't necessarily the time of day, although most of our natural circadian rhythms follow the morning to night pattern. It's more about getting good sleep and starting your day early enough to use that newfound energy to complete the habits that matter most to your well-being and passion. It's about getting a head start on your day, no matter what time it starts.

Sweet dreams and good morning!

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