This blog will explore the benefits of getting up early versus the disadvantages and when is the best time of day to exercise? Do you feel that you are naturally a lark or are you pushing yourself into being one? Is your drive personality pushing you hard and it is moving against the natural rhythm of your body? Or are you regularly sleeping beyond your natural circadian rhythm and sleeping in too much and disrupting your positive pattern? Do you push yourself all week and lounge about all weekend? Making up for your bad sleep habits during the week, the feeling of exhaustion that haunts you during the week, feeling it is okay I can catch up at the weekend.
Perhaps somebody else agenda forces you to constantly have to get up way before you naturally feel you want to.
If you are waking up during the night, perhaps you are simply not getting enough exercise or enough physical stimulation during the day.
Either way finding your own personal rhythm is the key to a good nights sleep and feeling energised and motivated the next day.
Your Personal Circadian Rhythm
You circadian rhythm is your 24 hour biological cycle. The key to it is a bunch of cells that are located in the retina of your eye, they are called the photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. These cells detect the brightness in your surroundings and report back to the brain and informs your brains master clock.
The master clock will slow you down when you are ready for sleep and affect changes in your body for instance:
- Slow your breathing
- Drop your stress hormones
- Suppress bowel movements
Experiments have proven that if you have no light at all during a 24 hour period you will still have a natural circadian rhythm. If you, however, break up your rhythm with artificial light for instance staying up at the weekend beyond your natural rhythm or even more disruptive like a night worker then you are confusing your master clock and causing problems for your health, wellbeing and adding more stress onto your body.
Owl or Lark: Which are you?
I am by nature an Owl, my sons are the same, my daughter like her dad are Larks, and they like to prove this point every morning in a very piercing loud way with the help of Radio 1. I am more of a quieter, do not disturb, don’t even talk to me until I have eaten type of person.
My early morning clients believe me to be a bright cheery person first thing, which I am, but that is at least 2 hours AFTER I have got out of bed.
I used to sleep until the last possible moment, and not put my foot out of bed until the last possible moment and then rush around like a demented mother cleaning, cooking and screaming.
I now get up earlier have some exercise, eat, and then start the process of getting my bed hugging son out of bed. I feel so much BETTER now I get up an hour earlier.
As an owl, I thought I hated mornings, but I am wondering if there is any truth in the owl and lark scenario. I listen to my body and I am sleeping better in my late 40s than I have slept since I was in my teens.
It all started with my workshops, I kept advising clients not to sleep past your alarm, drink coffee, turn on your iPhone, computer and listen to the radio. Instead set your intention for the day, and my intention is calm. By getting up an hour earlier I am able to peacefully approach the beginning of my day. I exercise most days for at least 1 hour and previously I was squeezing into the middle of my day between appointments. Getting up earlier has meant I can relax have a coffee, then exercise, then start my day. I have space to get ready in the morning.
I love being outdoors, I know it is an age thing, it is meditative and good for my health on so many levels so I do this when I can. In the cold and the dark I exercise at home, I use old-fashioned DVDs, streaming online, even as an instructor I can’t motivate myself to ‘free style’ so I use others to support me.
I am in control of my day and I feel like I am my own morning BOSS
Obviously the conversation goes deeper and more personal than that, but setting your intention for the day in the morning will give you a very big win first thing and everything else is so much easier once you have accomplished one big task straight away which calms your mind not only does it improve your mental health it also improves your productivity and your
The other extreme is Hal Elrod the Miracle Morning. He had an awful car crash in his early life and needed to focus on rehabilitating, so he has a very strict and
Whilst I believe you should reach your potential and keep growing in your life, learning new things, experiences
but I am not fully aligned with is the amount of stuff you need to do each day before 8am! It goes something like this 10mins mediation, 10mins read a book, 15mins exercise. Personally, I cannot jump around and do all this. I had to get up at 5am it gave me a pounding headache. I do love his intentions simply not the timings.
Hal Elrod describes his Early Morning Ritual as SAVERS
- Silence – disconnect from the world and self-reflection
- Affirmations – write your affirmations and change your behaviour and habits “I am not rushed”
- Visualisations – visualise where you want to go, or look at real images
- Exercise – get your heart rate up and
- Reading – Mark Twain reading for the mind is what Exercise is for the body
- Scribing – or journaling your thoughts get to know yourself which is crucial, brain dumps and express gratitude
Benefits of early morning
1. You have the quiet time, on your own, greet the day your own way – I love that
2. Getting close to nature, feeling your feet on the earth and watching the rising sun – now that is enough to inspire and earth anyone to their true purpose for the day.
3. Time to eat a well-prepared, nutritious breakfast of proteins and fats and little carbs that will set you up for a great day of eating.
4. Exercise – get your heart pumping, stimulates your metabolism and improves not only your physical but also your mental energy
5. Commute – calmer less stressful commute
6. Sleep better. If you are up early in the morning you are naturally ready for a good nights sleep at the end of your day
I couldn’t do this if I didn’t get to bed early, 10pm latest, computers/iPhones off by 9pm latest. My alarm is set across the room, I have to get up and switch it off and my brain doesn’t have a chance to tell me “another 5 mins”
Negatives of early morning
1. Too tired to get up early and getting up early makes you feel tired for the rest of the day, you simply haven’t had enough sleep
2. Sleep deprivation means you are doing yourself more harm than good
3. Stress levels are raised if you are doing something you don’t want to get up and you are forcing this commitment.
4. Going against your body and working with your own personal body clock is important
5. Exercise in the morning is not great for your body is a mantra I have heard a million times from the fitness industry. Your body is not warm and it is not prepared.
However, a 2012* review found that:
“adaptations to training are greater at the time of day at which training is regularly performed than at other times.”
In other words, pick an exercise time and stick to it – your amazing body is smart and will be able to adjust accordingly.
Getting up in the morning is a state of mind, if you are getting up to improve your life and you are doing something that you enjoy then it will work for you. If you are forcing yourself out of bed as I was to read, meditate and think over my day Hal Elrod sytleeee it didn’t work for me.
Yet if I get up and go running outside it presses ALL my YES buttons. I don’t run fast, I run slow and I meditate on my run, I feel FANTASTIC. Annonyingly so 🙂
If you would like some help finding your inner mojo and want to talk over your health issues and what you want to do about some of your existing bad habits, I would be delighted to support your transformation Book sometime out for yourself click here
Here is a quick video I put together for those who are joining me to chat, it explains exactly what you and I will chat about
I am looking forward to speaking with you.
Get Gorgeous is a journey together – yours and mine.
PS. Don’t forget the gorgeous book – your insight into great health and vitality Gorgeous! how to look and feel fantastic every day. Click here to find out about your Gorgeous book
“Gorgeous! The psychology of this book has opened my eyes into realising that things have to change and can change. For the better. The other topics on eating and the misconceptions of what to eat have blown my mind and understanding the importance of fitness from both a physical and mental perspective. I’m so pleased I trusted my gut and bought this book“
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[…] caffeine to push you through to waking up too early you could be damaging your health. My blog Getting up too early is not good for you! explains that changes in your rhythm are not advisable. It could be that you are […]