Albert Einstein once said:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.
So before reading this article, you should know that Einstein thinks I am insane.
A couple of months ago, I discovered that morning routines were not working for me, but I still woke up early. Not because I cannot follow a productive schedule, but because I am inconsistent. Some mornings I feel like I am missing out on hours of sleep even if I sleep 7 to 8 hours per night, so I just don’t wake up.
However, even if my chronotype is not an early bird, I still challenge myself to wake up early sometimes and try to streak as long as possible.
Am I insane? Maybe. But there are many benefits to this insanity.
For me, here are the 7 reasons why I still wake up early, even if miracle mornings are a lie.
Reason #1 — I am (scientifically) more productive.
The first reason why I wake up early is that science tells me to, and my body loves science.
Many studies have proven that our system peaks productivity in the early hours of light. This is because of the cessation of melatonin, the sleep hormone, which makes us rest during the dark hours of the night.
In the morning, instead, when our retina perceives any beam of light, the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus — our internal sleep-wake clock — rapidly interrupts melatonin production, and we wake up.
For this reason, in the early hours, we are more productive because there is no melatonin in our body, while later on, we feel drowsy because the hormone starts getting into our system.
Reason #2 — I gain a winner mentality.
Waking up at 5 a.m. makes me feel more energized and productive due to the chemical reaction inside my body, so I can easily translate into a winner mentality.
First of all, I do not have to rush things. I have plenty of time to prepare for the day, so I feel more secure about not failing. This improves my approach with other people, and overall my confidence.
Also, early mornings make me happier, which I discovered to be scientifically proven.
After a couple of minutes of wakefulness, an enormous amount of energy starts kicking in, which gives me the illusion of infinite possibilities. This is also because at 5 a.m, you do not see many people around, and there is an intriguing silence that covers everything. So you can easily fall into the illusion that you have complete power over the world.
Reason #3 — I have time for daily management.
One of the 7 reasons why I still wake up early even if miracle mornings are a lie is because to-do lists are one of my guilty pleasures.
I make them, break them, change them, and eventually, I need them to face up my days and remember everything I need to do.
Without to-do lists, I would be lost. And waking up so early allows me to study them in the minimum details.
Also, organizing my daily plan allows me to review the state of the projects I am working on and prepare for work meetings if needed. This gives me an early overview of what needs to be done and improves my confidence when discussing my ideas with colleagues.
Reason #4 — I can remain updated.
While I make breakfast, I love to stay updated on the last news, so I have arguments to discuss throughout the day.
Knowledge is power, and having many arguments to discuss gives you an advantage when interacting with others. First of all, you know what they are talking about. And second, you always have something fresh to say, even if the discussion dies over time.
Still, my updates do not come only from the news but also from books, courses, and even youtube videos. I am currently keeping a mini routine of starting the day with a TED Talk or similar format videos. They provide you with many curiosities and arguments to discuss.
Reason #5 — I am more productive and successful.
The real reason why I wake up early is that I can work on my personal projects before everything else. My writing routine is vital, and I consider it one of the most relevant things in my life. But having a job did not allow me to follow it in the past.
So one day, I gave another chance to miracle mornings, and they made me write productively for a while. Then, I failed at waking up early, but I tried again. And from that moment, I keep waking up early on some days and missing on others.
Still, when I do not fail, I also know I will deliver. In fact, a scientific study has proven how early birds are more successful than people who wake up later.
Moreover, having time to work on my projects before working as an employee fills me with positivity and heats me up for the day. Even if I do not necessarily have to deliver, I put my soul and tears into my passion, which gives me the right mood to face up the rest of the day.
Reason #6 — I can remain healthy.
Even if waking up at 5 a.m. makes me struggle, I keep doing it because it allows me to remain healthy. Nowadays, time is the most valuable currency, and having plenty of it permits me to buy wealth.
When I wake up early, I can cook healthy food, exercise, meditate, or make any other routine to shape my body and brain.
With the right meal plan, I can cook for one or two days without losing any more. Also, I can exercise in summers without sweating too much or risking losing my senses due to the sunlight power.
So if you want, you can meditate, do yoga, breathing exercises, or whatever. It may be only an extra half an hour, but it can change lives.
Reason #7 — I have more quality sleep.
And lastly, waking up early also makes me fall asleep faster in the evening. It is not just because I am tired, but my Suprachiasmatic Nucleus also allows melatonin production again.
Furthermore, longer waking hours cause adenosine production, a neurotransmitter that causes sleepiness by inhibiting neuronal activity. So I do not lose time falling asleep at all. I can wake up early without feeling tired, and the whole cycle works just perfectly.
Even if Einstein thinks so, I know I am not insane.
I may be struggling with consistency, and I may continue for some time because my circadian rhythm has not been updated yet. But adaptability is one of the most remarkable advantages of humankind, so eventually, my system will align on the new schedule.
My circadian rhythm will reset, I will be able to wake up consistently at 5 a.m every morning, and Einstein for once will be incorrect. The only challenge is to keep restarting the strike once I have failed. But is it not this what we keep doing in life?
These were the 7 reasons why I still wake up early even if miracle mornings are a lie.
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Article first published on The Ascent, a Medium publication.