Monday, February 25, 2013

love.this.research. -- the early bird gets the worm

Though it is often suggested not to make too many changes in your life at once, one thing that I have changed over the course of the past year or so is how early I wake up.  I have realized that the earlier I wake up in the morning, the more productive I am and the happier I am.  I suppose part of this also has to do with sunlight... early to bed, early to rise, there is less darkness and though I used to be a night owl, sunlight does bring me more happiness than darkness.

I'm the girl who used to schedule her courses around waking up around ten o'clock.  Now, I am usually awake between 4am and 6:30am (crazy, I know) and I am usually cleaning or getting work done by 7am.  The thing is, I am not waking up by alarm.  I still set an alarm on my phone just in case I have one of those days where I am completely out, but lately, it's quite normal for me to wake up at 4:30 in the morning.  I figure if I am up, I might as well be useful.  Dishes get done, laundry gets done, I knock a few things off my to-do list, have breakfast and plan my day.  This sets the stage for a good, productive day.

I came across this Psychology Today article: Early Risers are Happier, Healthier and More Productive Than Night Owls.  Last year, in the APA journal Emotions, a study reported that early risers are more happy than night owls, in general.  The sample consisted of over 700 individuals ranging from 17 to 79 years old.  They were surveyed and asked questions concerning their health, emotions, and preferred time of day.  Morning people reported feeling happier and healthier than night people and researchers thought this might have something to do with the 8-5 work day that caters more to morning people.

Other researchers have found that morning people tend to be more proactive and are successful in business.

This is not to say that if you are a night person, you are screwed.  According to one researcher, there are advantages to being a night owl, such as the tendency to be smarter, more creative, funnier, and more outgoing.  The article delves into more and you can look up the actual journal article as well.

Just from personal experience, I do agree with the findings of this study.  Granted, I have not read the actual study (that has too much to do with what I do for a living... let's keep this light, people).  I am sure there are limitations to the study, as there always is, but I think there is something to this.  I have noticed a difference in how I operate my life when I am the early riser opposed to the night owl.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you find any challenges or benefits in your life either way?  I'm curious.

1 comment:

  1. Well I may not like it, but it is scripturally sound, anyway ;) signed...night owl ;)