When We Talk About The Benefits Of Waking Up Early…
We mustn’t forget the most famous “getting up early” quote. There probably isn’t anyone who doesn’t know who said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Now, aren’t those some very important benefits of waking up early?
Of course, it was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin.
He also said, “The morning has gold in its mouth.” This quote was taken from an old German proverb and means the same thing. The “gold” is the health, wealth, and wisdom received by starting the day in the morning.
My Odyssey – Becoming An Early Riser
I used to sleep late every morning. It was rare for me to start my day before 9 or 10.
But, a few years ago, all of that changed.
Because all of a sudden, our garden became huge!
All the tasks in our previous garden of 400 square feet could be accomplished in just 20 or 30 minutes each day. But, our garden has grown enormously and that means a lot more time is needed to do all the things necessary to keep the vegetables healthy.
I estimate that both Jim and I spend between 90 minutes and 2 hours in the garden everyday to satisfy the needs of our plants; sometimes more.
It now seems like an endless struggle as we fight to get rid of weeds, mulch, add fertilizer, make sure the plants get enough water, prune and remove dead or diseased plants and leaves, and on and on. Then when harvest time comes, we have to add more time to picking vegetables and preserving them through freezing, canning, dehydrating, freeze-drying, etc.
Summer Heat Starts Early
I never mind spending a lot of time in the garden. It is a labor of love.
But, what I don’t like is how quickly the temperature rises above 90 oF (32 oC) after 8:00 am in the summer time. Working in the garden is no longer enjoyable when it gets so hot. It becomes an unbearable chore.
Reluctantly, It’s Time To Make A Change
The extreme summer time heat was the trigger I needed to change my wake up time! Grudgingly, I started getting out of bed between 5:00 and 5:30 every morning. Soon after, I realized that there were many benefits to Ben Franklin’s “early to bed and early to rise” philosophy.
6 Benefits Of Rising Early
Number 1: Time To Plan The Day
Waking up early, gives us the extra time needed to efficiently plan our day. Even small things like Veterinarian appointments for pets, or doctor and dentist appointments, or routine trips to the dry cleaners, or shopping, etc., will be much easier to coordinate by having the time to write down and schedule everything.
Being able to list everything we want to accomplish for the day is a great way to establish goals and give our day a sense of purpose. And, with a sense of purpose, we begin looking forward to waking up early. It becomes easier because we are resourcefully prioritizing our daily tasks and getting up early is the only way we can complete our daily list.
Number 2: Eat A Healthy Breakfast
Almost every one of us has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Our bodies have to have something to get us going in the morning. It can’t run on fumes!
And, waking up early means we now have time to eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast. We won’t have to grab some unhealthy junk food later in the day because we won’t have those hunger cravings anymore.
Plus, our new ritual of having a wholesome breakfast will enhance our memory and concentration levels, as well as improve our mood and lower overall stress. Since we’re not eating as much junk food, it will be easier for us to control our weight and have a lot more energy throughout the day.
Number 3: Meal Planning And Preparation
Rising early in the morning can be an amazing time saver giving all of us the extra hours we need to plan menus and prepare meals not just for the day but, for the entire week, or longer!
Say tomorrow’s meal will be baked chicken, boiled potato, and salad. There is time to cut up, season, and marinate the chicken, in addition to chopping up the potatoes and other vegetables, and then refrigerating everything in food containers.
Being able to do this, will save us tons of time tomorrow because, all we have to do when we get home is cook. The preliminary preparation was done yesterday.
This simple organization and advanced preparation drastically will reduce our stress and make the cooking task hassle free.
On a side note, I found out recently, after reading Jim’s article on Growing Carrots, about how bleach is used to preserve cut vegetables. I always wondered why baby carrots always looked so fresh and orange for such a long time and how cut lettuce never gets brown. Now I know!
So, I don’t buy baby carrots, or any cut vegetables including lettuce, anymore. I would rather cut my own vegetables for salads or stir fries or whatever because it doesn’t take that much time and, since I know that the vegetables haven’t been washed in bleach, I feel much safer.
I’m sure if you read Jim’s Growing Carrots article, you will feel the same!
Do you use any food preservation methods beyond refrigeration and freezing?
Some other procedures include canning, dehydrating, and freeze-drying; which are the next steps for longer, more reliable food preservation techniques. With these methods, we can prepare and preserve unlimited quantities of vegetables and meats for meals that are planned ahead not only weeks but also months in advance.
It is an extraordinary convenience to be able to decide at the spur of the moment to make a slow cooker stew and be able to expediently put a stew together with just a group of Mason jars full of exactly the ingredients we need. This takes less than 10 minutes and when we get home from work, we are greeted by a savory smell filling the entire kitchen and a stew that is ready for the dinner table!
A French physician, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, once said, “Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you what you are.”
In other words, you are what you eat. What do you want your future body to be?
Waking up earlier and spending few minutes to organize and prepare food will give you a healthy diet and your body will thank you for it.
Number 4: Always On Time – Never Late
Getting up earlier will increase your ability to be punctual for appointments. You’ll have more time to get ready. You won’t have to rush out the door. You won’t have to take shortcuts in your morning rituals or speed excessively down the road.
Can you imagine how much your stress can be reduced? I know how much less stress I feel. And, I’m sure it will be the same with you!
Additionally, when you show up for work on time, your brain is awake. With a clear mind, you are mentally able to hold your own and work professionally; which will give you the reputation of being dependable and countable; and may allow you to be better regarded by the bosses.
Number 5: More “Me” Time
By “me” time, I mean that we can be using a portion of our newly acquired “early to rise” regimen to get in a little exercise activity. Some walking or jogging, a little weight training, a bit of stretching, etc., will really increase our feelings of well being.
Many of us used to plan on doing some exercises after we got home from work but, after a long hard day we were mostly too physically and emotionally tired. We didn’t have any energy left to burn up. Speaking for myself, this happened more often than naught.
Exercising in the morning eliminates the “too tired” and “no energy” excuses. Plus, you will discover that a morning workout will keep you energized just about all day long!
Giving yourself an increased sense of well being through a series of morning exercises can be a positive part of your daily plan.
Number 6: Focus And Concentration
In the early morning hours, everything is still quiet and peaceful. There are no distracting sounds of a TV, phones ringing, kids playing, dogs barking, cars racing down the street…
It is so much easier to focus; to find our center. We can experience an unconscious meditative state that gives us a sense of calm and permit us to concentrate so much easier on everything.
It will recharge our brain and allow us to push forward and get so much more accomplished. We’re ready to work hard, more efficiently, getting things done quicker and better than before.
It Can Be A Challenge
For those of us who have routinely slept late every day for years and years, it can be a little overwhelming to drastically change your life pattern and instantly become an early morning riser. This was my feeling as well.
I did it by not rushing. Start out slowly and began this lifestyle change by waking up 15 minutes earlier than usual for the first week. The second week, add 15 minutes and wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual. And so on.
This technique is a much easier way to make the adjustment both physically and mentally.
At first, you may be dead set against making such a radical change but, as you are able to get up earlier and earlier, you will begin to see the positive effects on your overall health and performance; including the increased ability to focus on tasks at an earlier hour.
Becoming an early riser is the best thing you will ever do for yourself. Once you realize the benefits, you will never go back!
Here are a few books that can definitely help you to become an early riser. Click on them for a detailed description.
Do you have any experiences about getting up early or sleeping late? I would love to hear them in the comments below!