Is Waking Up Earlier Really Better for Us?

For many, waking up earlier seems an almost impossible task. Although some research shows early risers may benefit more throughout their day than late starters, others disagree. Here’s a look at the evidence.

For Early Risers

In an online survey of over 1,068 adults, researchers found that early-risers tend to be healthier, happier and have lower body mass indices than late-risers. This could be as they have more time to plan and to get ready for a hectic modern life and office hours that tend to start early.

A survey of 367 university students also showed that morning people tended to agree more with proactive statements than late risers. These included: “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen.”

The researcher thus suggested that early risers may have more career success than late risers as proactive behaviour has also been associated with better job performance and career success as well as higher salaries.

For Late Risers

A study by Harvard showed that our productivity may be more dependent on the regularity of our sleep patterns than what time we wake up. Monitoring 61 students over 60 days, it found that their academic performance was associated with the regularity of their sleeping patterns rather than how early they woke up.

The researchers did say however that students were better off sleeping during “nighttime” hours: these being between 10pm and 10am. Expert in the field, Dr Charles Czeisler said, “If you go to bed at 2 and get up at 9, that’s fine. You just have to consistently do the same thing.”

Other studies have shown that late-risers tend to be smarter and more creative than early risers. They also tend to have a better sense of humour and tend to be more outgoing. Taken together, these characteristics may point towards success in more creative fields even if chances for success in the corporate world are fewer.

In Sum

Waking up early tends to be a good thing as modern life is largely made around getting up early. But, if waking up early isn’t necessary for your daily life, there may be little reason to make the effort. Instead, making you sure you get regular sleep, preferably during night hours, and giving yourself enough time to organise your day should be enough for you to make the most of your potential.

Medina Kabir

Aspiring journalist at Cal State Long Beach. Journalism Intern at Long Beach Post. Writer for Sutava.