What do your mornings look like? Do they usually begin with somebody poking you in the eye? Do you wake when your babies whimpers turn into loud, angry wails? Does your day start with you hearing the word “MOM” played on a loop?
How does that make you feel?
If you’re anything like me, that gets you started in total crankypants mode. If I hear my kids whining at each other or asking for food, for juice, for a toy, or what day it is at my bedside before 6:30 am, my anxiety immediately kicks in, and my day doesn’t start very peacefully.
I was always an early riser, but it’s hard. Even though I know I feel AHHHHMAZING when I wake up before the kids and get a full 30-60 minutes to myself before hearing the chaos of the day, it is hard to convince myself of that when I’m enveloped in my cozy comforter and snuggling with my many pillows at 5am.
And I’ve found that once people have kids, even if they used to be a night owl, they now wish they could wake up before their children.
I’ve written about waking early as the key to waking up happy. And here are some more scientific reasons to wake up early. Maybe these will sway you into setting your alarm a little earlier tomorrow so that you don’t wake up with a kick to the face.
- Are more successful – Studies show that students who wake up earlier have GPAs that were a whole point higher than their peers who slept in.
- See the bigger picture – People who wake up early are more likely to set long-term goals for themselves.
- Are in control – Do you wake up with the sun? Like other people who do, you probably feel more in charge of your life.
- Have fewer problems – A Harvard researcher found that early risers better foresee problems and curtail them effectively.
- Are better planners – Morning people often use that extra time to organize their day, week and month, making them feel less overwhelmed.
- Sleep better – your circadian rhythms cycle better when you’re early to bed and early to rise.
- Are more optimistic – Although night owls may be more creative, they also tend to be more neurotic and depressed.
- Spend more time with their family – Because they have time to get work and exercise done in the mornings, early risers get to relax more in the evenings.
What does this mean for moms? Well, you know how you’re often exhausted, run ragged, and at your wit’s end? Maybe you’d feel better if you woke up early. Maybe your to-do list would be more organized and you wouldn’t be negotiating with time for an extra 3 hours in your day. Maybe you’d have more patience with your kids and they would appreciate the connection time you’d get in the afternoons. Maybe you’d be able to take care of everyone else in your life better because you’d be taking care of yourself first.
I know I feel immensely better when I wake up early. In fact, I’m sitting here writing, my kids are running around next to me, half fighting and half playing, and I know that if I had woken up early to get this done, I’d be playing with them too.