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How Waking Up Early Can Improve Your Health

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You’ve heard the saying before: “the early bird catches the worm.” While waking up early certainly offers you the advantage of doing things before anyone else, it also sets the tone for your day, allowing you a stress-free morning in which nothing is left to the last minute. But, there is some evidence that early risers also experience higher productivity and a slew of other health benefits.

A 2008 survey indicates that morning people procrastinate less than night owls. Not too surprisingly, early risers are more proactive and have more time in the morning to get ready, make breakfast, pack lunches, read the news, and prepare for the day in a nonstressful environment.

A 2009 survey published in the journal Sleep and Breathing also found positive aspects to going to bed early. In this survey, researchers found that college students with earlier bedtimes had better academic performance than the students who went to bed later.

Although more research needs to be done in order to determine if waking up early is actually healthier for you than sleeping in, getting proper sleep is essential to your health.

"I think for individuals who struggle to fall asleep, having a relatively early and more importantly consistent wake time is essential,” said W. Christopher Winter, MD, a sleep specialist at Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, in Charlottesville, VA. Having a flexible wake up time can be quite unhealthy, while constant sleep interruption can carry cognitive risks as well, he added.

Whether you’re more of a night owl or just have trouble falling asleep, the tips ahead can help get you on your way to becoming an early riser to make the most of your day. Soon enough, you’ll be jumping out of bed in the mornings instead of snoozing your alarm.

Tips to Become a Morning Person

1. Get enough sleep.

Research can’t pinpoint exactly how much sleep individuals need, but experts agree on a benchmark for each age group. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it’s recommended that people ages 18 to 64 get a total of seven to nine hours of sleep on average.

2. Establish a sleep schedule.

Stick to consistent sleep and wake up time, urged Dr. Winter. If you’re having a difficult time rising early in the morning, train yourself by going to bed a half-hour earlier than you normally do, which will help make rolling out of bed in the mornings a much easier task.

3. Limit electronics at night.

Your smartphone, TV, and other electronics produce blue light that stimulates your brain, so it’s best to limit the use of these bright lights in the evening. Instead of switching on Netflix or scrolling through Instagram, try reading a book before bed.

4. Place your alarm clock out of reach.

When your alarm buzzes in the morning, having it on the other side of your room will force you to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re up, seek bright, natural sunlight, get something to eat, and keep moving to prevent snoozing.

5. Reward yourself with a breakfast treat.

Upon waking up, make yourself a cup of tea or whip up an avocado toast with your favorite healthy toppings. Looking forward to an early morning treat (and having the time to enjoy it) is all the encouragement you need for being an early bird.

6. Put your best foot forward.

Pronamel Strong & Bright toothpaste can start your morning off on a healthy note by helping to rebuild and strengthen your enamel. Brush twice a day to polish away stains for a bright smile that’ll help you feel more confident as you walk out the door.

7. Meet a friend for a morning workout.

Recruit your significant other or best friend to meet you in the morning to go for a run or to sweat it out in your favorite class. Not only will it make you stick to a schedule, but exercise provides great health benefits!

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