News and Notes from The Johnson Center

Be An Early Riser

JCCHD | Sun, August 17, 2014 | [Healthcare]

From peer-reviewed journals to trendy buzzword articles, the advice to “be an early riser” is all around us. Articles, columns, and blog posts from all corners of the media tout the benefits of waking up early. They tell us that early birds, or “larks,” are happier, more proactive, have more free time, and are more organized. But how exactly does that translate to a healthier life?

Research shows that getting an early start to the day is the first step in making healthy choices all day long. The extra time afforded by rising early allows busy parents to exercise or prepare healthy breakfast and lunches. Professionals who get to work early enjoy an easier commute and some uninterrupted time at the office. This allows them to leave on time or bring less work home so they can spend time in the evening relaxing.


Surveys have shown that early risers are better organized, using the time to set goals and plan out the day or week ahead. This can translate to healthy meal planning, making time for exercise, or planning fun family activities.

On a biological note, studies suggest that people who go to bed and rise early are more in tune with the body’s natural sleep cycles triggered by the daylight cycles. This could be the reason why early risers report better overall sleep quality.

Ultimately, the health benefits of rising early are twofold: both physical and mental. Better sleep and more time for exercise and meal planning make for a healthy body, while organization, reduced stress, and relaxing personal time clears the mind.