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Why Being An Early Riser Made Me A Changed Person

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

by Leyasheena Panicker. |

It’s 3:45AM. Soggy, leftover half-finished Maggi cup, an empty coffee cup across your desk, being used as a paperweight for all the notes and papers covering whatever surface left. Your eyes are too tired from the strain of replying to that array of Whatsapp messages, and yet your proposal or assignment still stays unfinished.

Another night, another sleep cycle ruined.After pulling several all-nighters and utterly destroying my perception of a body clock, I decided that enough was enough. No longer would I close my eyes the moment the sun rises, but rather would greet it with glee. The world is my oyster and this time, I will wake up in time to seize it!

What I didn’t expect though, was for something so simple to have such a profound effect on my life:

1. The Importance of Discipline

Sticking to the habit of waking up at 5:30AM daily was probably the toughest part of the entire ordeal. I remember taking my complaints to Instagram, asking my followers how on Earth do they willingly do this to themselves? Almost everyone replied that getting enough sleep in itself plays a very important part, but so is sticking to your word. You have to do it consistently.

Image: Twenty Once

Two to three weeks in, my body was finally adapting to the change. I found myself putting my phone away and limiting my screen time, in order to sleep well latest by 10:30pm. By doing this, I also found a way to curb my unhealthy need to endlessly scroll through Twitter and Instagram for hours— which, that’s right, led to me staying up so late in the first place!

2. Time Management that leads to productivity

You’d be surprised by how much time there is in a day when you don’t wake up at past 12PM. I found that my new routine had me doing a light exercise, making breakfast, showering, getting dressed, putting the laundry on, and attempting that unfinished essay… all by 8AM. Instead of forcing myself to finish it with a tired (and frankly, useless) brain, why not just tackle it after a good night’s sleep?

And it is precisely because of all of the extra hours that I find myself basking in the pleasure of the little things. No longer is there a need to scarf down my breakfast and throw the dirty dish into the sink, while doing my makeup in the backseat of a Grab to my class that I already was 10 minutes late for; I was beyond that now.

The new and improved version of me had enough time to make an Instagrammable aesthetic breakfasts and a cut crease— all while being one of the first few to make it to class.

3. Enjoying the littlest things that happen throughout the day

It can be hard to feel like life has meaning sometimes, especially when you’re laden with proposals, assignments, chores, and budget worries. I realised by waking up early and watching the sunrise, just slowly basking in the first few rays… it made all the difference in the world.

Having time to ourselves in a world that constantly demands us to be checking our screens can be quite tough. However those first few hours in the morning, when the air is still crisp from the night before… I find myself being able to achieve peace of somewhat. Watching the sunrise and the way the skies slowly lighten themselves while drinking a cup of coffee makes me believe in the promise of a good day. And it is because of this belief that I find myself more motivated to live better and enjoy my days. No longer are we existing for tomorrow, friends, we are living!

4. Feeling better about yourself

While I am using the term rather loosely here, but I realised how I felt far more content with myself once I stuck to this schedule. Perhaps it’s the natural feeling of satisfaction settling in from all that productivity, or the dopamine from the morning exercising— nevertheless, I liked it!

According to Health Line (2019), exposure to sunlight actually releases more serotonin— the main hormone that controls our moods and happiness! By waking up early to catch the sunrise or squeezing in a quick workout, I felt a little more joy than usual when I could soak up those morning rays while watering my plants. Your body also naturally produces more serotonin when you’re up and active in the day, which is why we feel more focused waking up early instead of sleeping in. Pretty amazing, huh?

Being an early riser taught me how much extra winks of sleep were costing me in the long run. After seeing how much more time I have in a day, I realised how my lack of self-discipline affected me in so many different areas of my life. While my daily life still not drama-free or assignment-less... I’m just glad that at least now, there is time to handle all of this.

You may find out more about Leyasheena on her Instagram.

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