How to Be An Early Bird – Does It Help?

EVERYDAY HOME  | 4.13.17  |  by Gia Dolney

Sometimes we think that perhaps if we just got up earlier we could get more done.  It’s especially hard if you’re a working mom.  You have very little time for yourself after working all day and helping the kids get through dinner and homework.  This post is about how to be an early bird.  However, maybe it’s not all you think it is.  At least that’s what we learned.

 Read on for more info on how to be an early bird  

This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission if you make a purchase using one of our links.  Thank you!

Why become an early bird?

Most people think that if they get up earlier, then they can get more done.  For moms, it becomes especially enticing.  It’s a time —  if you can do it — when there is silence and no interruptions.  Two things hard to come by when you have a house full of kids — or even one child, sometimes.

You also hear about how morning people are more successful and productive.  There’s also some evidence to suggest early birds’ are better problem solvers; perhaps because they have some reflection time, almost like the stroke of genius you get when you step in the shower.

Shannon Makekau of Kaiser Permanente’s Sleep Lab in Hawaii says —

Morning people have been shown to be more proactive, which is linked to better job performance, career success, and higher wages, as well as more goal-oriented.  These people tend to be more in sync with the typical workday schedule, versus night owls who may be still be waking up at around lunchtime.

Now, in doing this post we came upon research that says ‘early-bird-gets-the-worm’ people may not be as smart as morning folks.  Sorry.  In fact, London’s Birbeck College Researcher Satoshi Kanazawa learned that night owls tend to be more intelligent, not morning people.

But IQ isn’t everything.  It’s more about how you apply yourself.  And making the most of a morning are where’s it’s at, no matter your IQ.

How to make it happen

If you’re not naturally an early bird, like a lot of people (yay, we all have high IQs and are forcing ourselves to be better apply our time!), then you have to learn how to do it.  Retrain yourself.

Joe Apfelbaum wrote in Forbes about how he changed to become an early bird.  He claims that morning people are made through effort.   Here’s what he learned —

Commit to doing do this the night before. Get in bed at a reasonable hour. Try saying and thinking before you go to sleep that you will be refreshed when you wake up.

You need to want to get up. If you don’t have a reason and purpose to jump out of bed, it will be hard to do. Get psyched the night before and your body will dump you out of bed the next morning.

He also recommended drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up, turn on the lights and let in the sunshine as soon as possible, and exercise early.  All of these tips, he said, would help to wake up your body and get you going.  Make it a routine so that your body gets used to this new schedule every day.

Avoid pitfalls

  • Don’t burn the candle at both ends.  It won’t work for you to get up at 5 a.m. and go to bed at 11 p.m.  Most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep.  For example, if you’re getting up at 4:30 a.m., then you need to go to bed at 8:30 p.m.
  • If other family members are staying up late, like older children for example, it might be harder for you to be on this early bird schedule.  Consider the reality of your household, and, again, avoid burning the candle at both ends.
  • Don’t waste the time you’ve set aside in the morning.  Meditation and reading isn’t wasting your time, if that’s how you choose to use it; but be intentional about what you’re doing to make the most of this wonderful block of time.
  • Don’t decide tomorrow to wake up 3 hours earlier.  You’ll feel like you have jet lag all throughout the day.  Instead, make a gradual shift, maybe 10 minutes earlier every couple of days.  Our bodies have a circadian rhythm that you have to honor.

FIND MORE: mental healthexercise