Wake Up Early: Why and How to Do it Every Day

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A recent study reveals that waking up early in the morning helps us stay healthy and also prevents weight gain. Find out why – plus the the routine to follow for a good day. Every day.

Getting up early in the morning is often a challenge. Especially for those of us with the bad habit of going to bed late. But waking up early in the morning is good for you – not only because it helps with time management, but it’s also a way to stay fit and healthy for several reasons. The first rule for waking up early? Going to bed at a decent time so you get enough rest. This little habit helps sets a whole series of good practices into effect that help preserve not only your figure, but your health, too! People who wake up early in the morning compared to night owls usually maintain a more regular meal routine. For example, early risers tend to eat breakfast everyday. Waking up early can also help distribute food portions better throughout the day, thus managing those annoying sudden attacks of hunger in a better way. This habit helps you eat less and you start to naturally prefer healthier foods.

Experts confirm: “Having the habit of going to bed late or eating at night has the great disadvantage of misaligning the metabolic balance dictated by the circadian rhythm,” explains Luca Piretta, gastroenterologist and nutritionist at the University Campus Biomedico in Rome. “Our body’s biological clock synchronizes our metabolic systems to make them efficient and functional during the day and to let us rest at night. If we reverse our activities, we create the so-called ‘chronodisruption,’ a phenomenon directly related to metabolic disorders, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.”

The advantages of waking up early

Waking up early and getting a good night’s sleep is a great strategy to keep those extra pounds and health problems at bay. This is also confirmed by a recent study carried out by Nestlé Research in collaboration with a number of prestigious international universities including Northumbria University in Newcastle and the University of Surrey in the UK. Research findings published in the scientific journal titled Advances in Nutrition found that early risers, compared to those who have a habit of going to bed late, have a lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes as they tend to have healthier nutritional patterns. People who go to bed later than those who are early risers tend to follow a less healthy diet. For example, they consume more sugary and caffeinated drinks. But there is more; people who tend to go to bed late, compared to those who get up early, are more likely to follow irregular meal patterns.

The best routine to follow

To be able to sleep earlier in the evening and get up early in the morning, the first thing to do is to set your alarm clock for the same time everyday. This helps synchronize your circadian rhythm. During the day, it is also useful to stay outdoors more. Sunlight stimulates the production of hormones that regulate the circardian rhythm. Physical activity can also help – as long as you don’t do it before bedtime. The risk? Difficulty sleeping due to the production of adrenaline, a hormone that keeps the nervous system active. And finally, no smartphones and devices before bedtime. Light from electronic devices before going to sleep can delay falling asleep and make waking up more difficult.

Helpful foods

To get a good night’s rest and to wake up early in the morning, you should also pay attention to what you eat – especially in the evening. Some foods may disturb sleep and as a result, hinder waking up in the morning. “Foods that provide tryptophan and melanin are good allies. These are hormones that promote sleep. They are present in whole grains, almonds, legumes and many other foods. Milk is also an excellent food that supports rest thanks to the conversion of casein into casomorphins by the intestinal microbiota,” explains nutritionist Luca Piretta. Meat, aged cheese and spinach should be avoided at dinner. “They are rich in tyramine, an essential amino acid that is a precursor of adrenaline, a hormone that promotes wakefulness.” Among the vegetables, watch out for cabbage. “It contains sulphur compounds that are also precursors of stimulatory molecules.” In short, concludes Luca Piretta: “We must moderate the consumption of any drinks that contain nervous substance  that have an stimulating effect such as tea and coffee.”