Rate this article and enter to win
In a recent Student Health 101 survey, nearly 40 percent of respondents said they’re naturally “night owls.” At the same time, over 80 percent noted having responsibilities at 9:00 a.m. or earlier on weekdays.

As the proverb goes, “The early bird gets the worm.” But how can you possibly get everything done and still be a morning person?

Early-Bird Perks

Most academic programs and jobs have morning hours. And if you have children, you might find yourself rising before dawn.

There are many reasons to get up early, such as:

  • Peace and quiet
  • Time for breakfast and reflection
  • Increased productivity
  • Time with family members before work or school

A 2009 study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that early risers were more proactive than those who got up later in the day. As a busy student, this may help you solve problems and effectively manage your responsibilities. So how can you reset your clock to reap the benefits of rising early?

Shift Your Schedule

Many people believe you’re either wired to be bright-eyed in the morning or you’re not. In reality, adopting specific habits will make it easier for you to wake early. Here’s how:

Start Gradually: Adjust your schedule in increments.

Become a Morning Person in Only Two Weeks!

Making a shift in sleep habits requires not only a change in thinking, but also a physical adjustment. Your body can’t make a big leap all at once. Instead, set yourself up for success by taking a gradual approach.

Here’s a sample schedule to follow over the course of two weeks. Adjust as necessary based on your commitments. This plan allows you to get up earlier but actually increases the amount of sleep you’ll be getting!

DAY

Bed Time

Wake Time

Hours of Sleep

Usual Weekday Habit

1:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m. 

7

Saturday -
Sunday

12:45 a.m.

9:45 a.m.

9

Sunday -
Monday

12:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m.

8

Monday -
Tuesday

12:15 a.m. 

8:15 a.m.

8

Tuesday -
Wednesday

12:00 a.m. 

8:15 a.m.

8.25

Wednesday -
Thursday

11:45 a.m.

8:15 a.m.

8.5

Thursday -
Friday

11:15 p.m.

8:00 a.m.

8.75

Friday -
Saturday

12:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m.

9

Saturday - Sunday

12:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m.

9

Sunday -
Monday

11:15 p.m.

8:00 a.m.

8.75

Monday -
Tuesday

11:00 p.m.

7:45 a.m.

8.75

Tuesday -
Wednesday

10:45 p.m.

7:30 a.m.

8.75

Wednesday -
Thursday

10:30 p.m.

7:15 a.m.

8.75

Thursday -
Friday

10:15 p.m.

7:00 a.m.

8.75

Continue with this sort of pattern until you reach your goal sleep-wake schedule.

Prepare Ahead: Set out clothing, review your schedule, and make lunch the night before. Caitlin H., a first-year student at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa, says, “I have all my stuff ready the night before so I’m not rushing.”

Exercise: Exercise increases alertness. Kimberly U., a graduate student at Lehman College, The City University of New York, says she feels best when she works out in the morning.

Get Consistent Sleep: Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Dr. Michael Decker, a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, explains, “A regimented schedule, especially on weekends, [is essential].”

Set an Alarm: Try using your favorite song for motivation or setting two alarms to ease yourself out of bed. There are also many smartphone apps that track your sleep cycle. When you get up, open the blinds.

Enjoy Breakfast: A healthy meal will help you energize. Prepare something that combines protein, whole grains, and some fruit.

Making the most of mornings can help you maximize your day and go to bed feeling satisfied.

What are the components of a “full night’s rest?”

Complete Sleep

What are the components of a “full night’s rest?”

There are two kinds of sleep, and each benefits your body in distinct ways. Over the course of a night, a person cycles through both phases. Depriving your body and brain of necessary sleep significantly affects your overall health, mood, and academic performance.

Rapid-Eye-Movement (REM)
REM sleep is lighter and more active, and supports daytime performance. Here’s how:

  • Energy is restored to the brain and body.
  • The brain is active; dreams occur.
  • Muscles are turned off, so the body is relaxed and immobile.

Non-Rapid-Eye-Movement (NREM)
NREM sleep is deeper and heavier. During this phase, energy is restored in the following ways:

  • Tissue grows and is repaired.
  • Muscles relax and the blood supply to them increases.
  • The body releases the growth hormones essential for development.
  • The hormone ghrelin is regulated. It’s directly related to hunger and weight maintenance.

Over the course of a night, 25 percent of sleep is REM and 75 percent is NREM. A full night’s sleep allows you to complete cycles of REM and NREM sleep without interruption.

More Early-Bird Perks

There are lots of reasons to get up early. According to the respondents to a recent Student Health 101 survey, here are some a.m. benefits:

  • Less traffic
  • Time to get errands done
  • A calm, relaxed pace
  • More sunshine
  • Relaxation at night
  • Light and time for physical activity
  • Getting to sleep earlier

Your video is loading

You must enter your name, email, and phone number so we can contact you if you're the winner of this month's drawing.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy.

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

If you could change one thing about , what would it be?

HAVE YOU SEEN AT LEAST ONE THING IN THIS ISSUE THAT...

..you will apply to everyday life?

..caused you to get involved, ask for help,
utilize campus resources, or help a friend?

Tell us More
How can we get more people to read ?
First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail:

Phone Number:

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

If you could change one thing about , what would it be?

HAVE YOU SEEN AT LEAST ONE THING IN THIS ISSUE THAT...

..you will apply to everyday life?

..caused you to get involved, ask for help,
utilize campus resources, or help a friend?

Tell us more.
How can we get more people to read ?
First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail:

Phone Number:



HAVE YOU SEEN AT LEAST ONE THING IN THIS ISSUE THAT...

..you will apply to everyday life?

..caused you to get involved, ask for help,
utilize campus resources, or help a friend?

Tell us more.
How can we get more people to read ?

First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail:

Phone Number:





Get help or find out more