The Benefits of Waking Up Earlier: A College Student’s Perspective

As some of us get back into the routine of daily classes after the much needed holiday break, we have to start thinking about and planning out when we will wake up to start our days of studying and going to class. It is very easy to form a nocturnal habit over winter break; you want to stay out late with friends from your hometown in order to catch up. Nevertheless, this action usually funks with people’s circadian rhythms, so when they return to school and face the dreaded eight am classes, they go into the day with negative predispositions. However, as you get back into the swing of things, take into consideration these benefits of adjusting to waking up early:

1. Our society is structured around a 9-5 system. We head to work or classes early in the morning and sometimes do not get back until around dinner time. So learning to become more of a morning person puts your daily routine in sync with this construct, leaving you with time to get enough sleep to feel happy and healthy for the day ahead.

2. Working out is a tough feat for most people today, especially college students. Between school, possible jobs, and the unlimited freedom over choosing your own dietary habits it is easy to forget diet and exercise. Waking up a few hours earlier on a day that you might have slightly later classes allows you the time to get in necessary exercise and also to prepare for your day. In a study by SLEEP 2014, they actually found that night owls found it more difficult to squeeze exercise into their daily routine, leaving them more sedentary than their counterparts.

3. Lastly, two studies found very important skills held by early risers: proactivity and more of an immunity to depression. In the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, scientists found that early risers tended to agree with statements that encouraged action and confidence (i.e. “I spend time identifying long range goals for myself”). Tie that in with the 2013 German study that found a link between late sleeping and depression, and you can make the argument that adjusting their sleeping schedules to wake earlier can lead to a happier and more productive lifestyle.

Regardless of whether you wake up at six in the morning or ten, adjusting yourself to being awake more during the day rather than at night can prove to be extremely beneficial to your health and productivity in school and work.

Image: Flickr