Normal people hate the sound of their alarm going off in the morning. They hate it even more when it’s going off at any time before noon. But, alas, because we all know that time is of the essence, we groggily hit the snooze button 1-2 times before we actually commit to waking up; and even then, we lay in bed staring at the ceiling asking ourselves, “Why God, why?”
Okay. That might be a tad bit dramatic, but let’s face it—we like our sleep, and for a lot of us, the words “morning person” are an oxymoron. But there are plenty of benefits of being the early bird that gets the worm, especially when it comes to studying for the CPA Exam. Such benefits include:
1. More up and at ‘em at work
According to a study done at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany, researchers found that people who hopped out of bed in the early morning without hitting the snooze button 18 times were more active and awake at work. They were also deemed to be better problem solvers and could minimize a situation before it escalated or got worse.
This keen sense of awareness is just what CPA Exam candidates need when it comes to cracking down on concepts and understanding the material.
2. More Reliability
Studies done by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have found that people who sleep early and wake up early are much more reliable, happy, and positive. Late night sleepers and those who wake up later in the day can be much more stressed, moody, and prone to addictions.
When you’re studying for the CPA Exam, you need all of the positivity you can get. Whether you’re waking up early to study for the exam or coming home after work or school, you rely on your mind and body to do a lot of the work for you. So why not reinforce that reliability by waking up to go for a walk, to cook some breakfast, or get a head start on the day?
3. More Alertness
Scientists at the University of Alberta have discovered that a morning person’s brain peaks at 9:00am while those who have had late night excursions reach their brain peak at 9:00pm. And the University of Toronto found that people who get more sleep generally have a better outlook on life, in their day-to-day routines, and an overall healthier immune system.
If you’re a working professional or college student going to those early morning classes, chances are that you’re already going to bed at an appropriate time to experience that optimal 9am brain peaking hour as well as all the other benefits. These health advantages are essential to retaining information and having a better study experience which can lead to a better passing rate.
4. Less Stress
It’s a no brainer here. The later you wake up, the less time you have in the day. The less time you have in the day, the less you’ll be able to accomplish. And when you don’t get things done in the time frame that you need to, this is a huge stress causing agent. And we all know that stress is a big enemy mentally, physically, and emotionally. So, in order to avoid this stressful stressy-ness, wake up early! A study at the University of London found that people who woke up at 7:00am were less stressed, depressed, and not overweight. The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine discovered that people who exercised in the morning had a lower BMI than those who exercised later. Exercising in the early hours speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day.
So if you ever feel like there’s not enough time in the day to study, go to work/school, spend time with your family, or run those errands, the solution could be simpler than you think. Wake up earlier to accomplish your daily goals and you might find that you’ll have an hour or two to spare for yourself. Plus, less stress, depression, and better weight benefits are probably on your high priority list too, even if you don’t realize it!
How to Become a Morning Person
So if you’re not already a morning person, here are a couple things you can try to become one:
1. Increase your sleep regimen in increments
As with any process, transformation takes time. So if you’re not used to sleeping early or getting up early, condition your body slowly until you are. Go to bed about 10 minutes earlier than you normally would and set your alarm to wake you up about 10 minutes earlier than you normally would. Do this for about 1 week.
Afterward, continue to increase your sleep regimen by 10 minutes every week until you wake up at the time you want to (so for week 2, go to bed 20 minutes earlier and wake up 20 minutes earlier; for week 3, sleep 30 minutes earlier and wake up 30 minutes earlier, etc). This will help your body adjust and not shock it into a routine you’re not used to.
2. Create a sleep sanctuary and morning routine
If you find it difficult to fall asleep, creating a sleep sanctuary is your best bet to getting those earlier Z’s to fit into a new schedule. Get relaxed about an hour before laying in bed. Make sure there are no distractions, noise, or harsh lights and create the ideal environment for your body to drift off into.
When you wake up in the morning, have a planned routine. Many people aren’t able to follow through with becoming a morning person in large part because they don’t have an established to-do list that they’ve prepared. Without this, it will be easy for you to fall back asleep and into your old habits. Make a list the night before of what you’d like to do the next morning, whether that’s make breakfast, study, exercise, or run some errands. Then stick to it!
We hope we’re able to change you into a morning person (if you aren’t already) and that you reap all the health and life benefits the sunrise offers!