10 Reasons Early Risers Win the Day

What do Michelle Obama, Richard Branson and the CEOs of Disney, Apple and PepsiCo have in common? They all wake up before 6 a.m. to work out, answer emails and read the news. They’re all also wildly successful in their respective fields.

We know. It's tough to get out of bed when you're all warm and cozy - especially when you're in an Endy - but the facts speak for themselves. Here are 10 ways morning people win at life.

1. Morning people are more proactive.

It makes sense that some of the world’s most successful people wake up early, since studies show that early risers are actually more proactive than late sleepers. They tend to anticipate and minimize problems and are more likely to agree with statements like “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself,” and “I feel responsible for my own life.”

2. Early birds have an easier time sticking to a sleep schedule.

Getting a good night’s rest is key to productivity, and several strategies — like finding a comfortable mattress, limiting caffeine intake and cutting down on screen time before bed — can improve sleep quality. One of the most important factors, however, is a consistent sleep schedule that involves going to bed and waking at the same time every day, and with the average nine-to-five workday, waking up certainly makes more sense than sleeping in. A steady sleep routine will not only result in better quality sleep, but is also linked to lower body fat in women and higher grades for students.

3. Morning is the best time to exercise.

Sure, there are plenty of perks to early exercise, like a quiet gym and lack of scheduling conflicts, but there’s a scientific bonus, too. A 2010 Belgian study found that exercising on an empty stomach is better for maintaining a healthy weight than exercising when full.

4. You’ll escape sleep inertia before work.

Feel groggy when you first wake? That’s due to a little thing called sleep inertia, and it can actually impair your alertness and cognitive functions for two to four hours after you open your eyes. By hopping out of bed early, you’re more likely to be raring to go by the time you clock in at the office.

5. Early risers have better cardiovascular health.

Exercise, a healthy diet and cigarette-free lifestyle are all correlated with good heart health. Sadly for late sleepers, a study out of the University of Delaware found that night owls tend to be more prone to negative habits such as smoking, eating fewer fruits and vegetables, and watching more TV than those who go to sleep and rise early.


6. You’ll have time to eat a healthy breakfast.

You know what they say: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? Because it increases energy levels, prevents overeating later in the day and decreases frequency of unhealthy food choices based on convenience. Eating breakfast also happens to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in men.

7. Early commutes are less stressful.

Beat rush hour by starting and ending your day on the earlier side. You’ll skip crowded roads, buses and trains, and lower your heart rate by steering clear of stressed drivers and stop-and-go traffic.

8. Parking is often cheaper earlier in the day.

Pull into your parking spot before 8 a.m. and take advantage of the early-bird rates that many parking lots and garages offer. Use the money you save for your morning latte, or bank it and splurge on a spa treatment or concert ticket once a month. It’s a win-win.

9. Morning people are happier.

According to a 2012 study, adults who wake up early report greater levels of positive emotion than their counterparts who sleep late. The main reason for increased happiness may be that the work world caters to people who wake early, and individuals who stay up late develop a kind of “social jet lag,” meaning they foster sleep patterns that don’t fit in with the social requirements of modern society.

10. You’ll have more time for yourself.

If you live in a household full of kids, or find that your evenings are packed with activities, early morning may be the only time of day to catch up on the news, practice self-care (hot bath and face mask, anyone?) or work on your side project, like that book you’ve always wanted to write.