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Becoming a Morning Person Might Be Better for Your Health and Happiness

By , black-rose-bielefeld.de GuideOctober 2, 2012

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Feel like hitting the snooze button? According to some new research, ignoring that urge and getting up earlier instead might actually help you to become happier, healthier, and more productive. In a recent study published in the APA journal Emotion, researchers reported that young people and adults who consider themselves to be morning people were both happier and healthier than those who prefer to sleep in.

Morning person

Why? Psychiatrist Tracey Marks, author of Master Your Sleep, suggests that part of the reason is because our sleep cycles naturally follow the circadian rhythm, or the roughly 24-hour cycle that revolves around environmental cues including sunlight. "It's better for us to be morning people because that's how our bodies were designed," explained Marks in a U.S. News and World Report article. "We are supposed to be awake when it's light outside and asleep when its dark outside."

So what's a night owl to do? Fortunately, there are a few things you can try to reset your internal clock and start waking up earlier each day.

  • Try light therapy. You can use natural cues such as sunlight from an open curtain or a light box that is intended to mimic the effect.

  • Stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Staying up late or having irregular sleep patterns is one of the number one reasons why people sleep in. Try going to bed the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning.

  • Turn off the electronics. From television to texting to posting Facebook status updates from your iPhone, there are plenty of digital distractions that can get in the way of sleep. Try turning off technology an hour before bedtime.

According to experts, you should start to see an effect on your waking routine after about a month of sticking to your new schedule.

Read more: How and Why to Become a Morning Person

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Image by Carin Araujo

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Comments

October 2, 2012 at 4:10 am
(1)lonely mushroomsays:

I wonder how much of the difference in reported happiness is due to night people being unable to sleep well because of some sanctimonious morning person waking them up all the time?.

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