Being a boss may leave you awake 'till past 12 am, but did you know that tapping into the power of mornings may give you – and your business – better, healthier results?
Starbucks’ Howard Schultz wakes up as early as 4:30 am, presumably, with his favourite cup of coffee. Apple's Tim Cook already checks his emails by that time. Internet specialist Sarah Morgan welcomes slow morning routines to get into the right headspace. TV Host Isa Adney preps breakfast and makes tea while reading something inspirational before heading off for work.
For some of us, mornings are as tough as Mondays; when the alarm goes off, there's an instant growl: “But I didn't have enough rest!” However, for the fortunate some, mornings are their friend. The early risers, as we call them, has their day planned even before the sun beams through their windows.
Social media guru Neil Patel wrote in a Forbes post, “Successful entrepreneurs know the power of mornings, and have arranged their life to harness its potential.” Whether it's to proceed to their quick yoga session (like Stacey Bendet of Alice and Olivia), write journal entries (like Pfizer's Sally Susman), or drop off kids to school (like Fox News’ Audrey Puente), making way for mornings is a discipline helpful for any entrepreneur and leader.
According to this Entrepreneur post, science has already proven its benefits.
- You're more emotionally fit to deal with negativity. in 2014, a study was held to gauge whether people who go to bed later are more inclined to negative thoughts. According to this research headed by Jacob Nota and Meredith Coles, higher levels of repetitive negative thinking (RNT) are linked to less sleep. Those with shorter sleep periods and delayed sleep timing also showed signs of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Stressing out on pessimistic thoughts? It's time to hit the sack in your cosy pyjamas and catch on some snoozes.
- You'll have better willpower. Management expert Laura Vanderkam reveals you make better decisions early in the day. In her book What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, she reveals that willpower is like a muscle that gets worn out with overuse; over the course of the day, that positively-charged emotion becomes depleted. When left with a decision with no concrete resolve, it's better to sleep on it before making that big leap.
- Apparently, you also become more agreeable, conscientious and proactive. Early-risers, according to a study, have better temperaments. 346 German pupils where checked for their morningness-eveningness Temperament Character Inventory. The results, while larks may not be as deeply focused as late-sleepers (who get their act together at the latter type of the day), they rank highly in cooperation and persistence. That's why morning people are the best team mates; they're disciplined, congenial and teachable.
- You also become healthier. This comes as no surprise. Sleep has a direct effect to your immune system, which is crucial to warding off those infections going around the atmosphere. Another reason: sleep holistically heals your body and keeps your energized for the next day, prepping your mental and physical functions in pursuing varieties of tasks. There's a reason why those who get less sleep tends to be less productive and has greater possibilities to be involved in an accident.
- You look better. Why, aren’t you glowing? Morning people maximizes the sun’s Vitamin D, which boosts essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and phosphate. Those early walks down the street isn’t only beneficial to your insides; you also get to flex those leg muscles and ultimately exercising. A study from the University of Stockholm added another insight: people who sleep normally are more attractive. 23 sleep-deprived adults were submitted for either a normal night's sleep or sleep deprivation. The next day, their photographs were taken and were presented to random observers. Those who had less sleep were rated less healthy and less attractive compared to those who were well-rested. Yes, that means the term beauty sleep is backed with scientific facts.
I’m not a morning person. How do I become one?
If you look forward to flipping your upside-down routine, here are some tips to build anew habit.
- Track your sleep with a time journal. One of the obvious reasons why one regards mornings with dislike is because they step up late. Keeping in track with your night time productivity, however, gives you a better picture. While spending time watching your favourite shows, blogging or responding to social media can be satisfying, you'll find better options of using your evening hours when you track it down. Start at 7 pm onwards. If you're not doing anything productive or healthy, it's time to switch up things.
- Plan the next day. One motivation to sleep early is by anticipating what's to come tomorrow. Using the same journal, decide what you'll do first thing when you wake up - maybe it's jogging down the road or do some reading. You may even organize your clothes beforehand or write down your menu for breakfast!
- You know the drill – hands off that coffee / wine! Eating a healthy dinner – plus some light snacking, if necessary – preps your body for a better sleep routine.
- Be intentional in building the habit. As soon as your clock hits ten, close those curtains, dim those lights, and put on those sleep masks. With your room easy-breezy and there’s a peaceful, lingering quiet, sleeping won’t be a hassle.
Now, as you lay your head to slumber, look forward to mornings, and the miracles that may come along with it.