As millennial hustle culture gives way to the ‘quiet quit’. Perhaps we can finally agree that rising at 4am for a spot of goal-setting in an ice bath isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be. But there’s a middle ground between a militant morning routine. Dragging yourself out from under the covers after hitting snooze a second time. And research suggests early birds really do catch the benefits.
According to a study in the journal Obesity, self-identifying ‘morning people’ naturally select healthier foods throughout the day. Making their weight-loss and health-boosting efforts easier. Late starters, on the other hand, are predisposed to eating more sugar and less protein.
Not only that, a separate study of 840,000-plus people from the University of Colorado Boulder and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard found a link between early rising and a lower risk of depressive symptoms – even if the total number of hours slept was the same. In fact, shifting your sleep/wake times earlier by just one hour may reduce the risk of developing depression by almost a quarter, an effect that could be linked to accompanying positive lifestyle changes.
For some, rising at dawn will always be a flex. But think less in terms of hustle culture, and more about getting a head start on your to-do list so you can log off and power down far sooner. No wonder early starters seem so smug.
A Good Start
Really not a morning person? Nudge that alarm back in 15-minute intervals while working in these alertness-lifting habits.
Let The Light In
Exposure to morning light is crucial in helping you wake up properly. Sleep with the curtains open if your room is free from ambient street light. Or try a wake-up lamp such as the Philips SmartSleep.
Your digestive system is linked to your sleep cycle, so fire it up. One study by the University of California, Berkeley, found a meal high in wholegrain carbs and low in sugar reduced grogginess best.
Or walk to the gym. As well as exposing you to fresh air and sunlight, training in the morning can help to shift your natural body clock, according to The Journal Of Physiology.
**Article written by Scarlett Wrench
Originally appeared on Men’s Health UK