I don’t sleep well in general, and I also work best at night. At the same time, though, I’ve learned that setting my alarm to get up an hour earlier each day has real benefits. Here are 12 of them.
- You can use the morning like Jesus did (Mark 1:35). I don’t think Jesus’ “rising very early in the morning” is a mandate for us, but He obviously spent time with God then.
- The extra hour can be your time alone with God. Many church leaders I know struggle with finding the time to meet with God, often because they’re so busy during the day. The day will go better if you spend the first part of it with God.
- You gain five hours in the week to accomplish something. That’s obvious, of course, but not insignificant. You can get a lot done with five additional hours, whether that time is devoted to work responsibilities, devotions, or exercise.
- Getting up early is just one mark of needed discipline. The Christian life is about discipline in general. My experience is that folks who discipline their sleeping and waking times tend to be more disciplined in other areas of their Christian walk.
- Those hours are often quiet time to focus. I get much more done when I’m the only one up or the only one in the office than I do during the busyness of the day. Completely focused time is good.
- More time in the morning should = less stress. My stress load increases when I’m in a rush. Making myself get up earlier produces brief stress when the alarm sounds, but it reduces stress overall.
- E-mails usually don’t crank up until regular office hours. So, if you can train yourself to do so, you can spend some time without a computer or a phone in front of you.
- Additional morning time might encourage you to eat breakfast. I’m not a big breakfast eater, but I’ve learned that skipping breakfast completely is not good.
- You can meet with other folks who get up early. One of my former pastors held meetings at 6am at Cracker Barrel. He taught me that many “movers and shakers” often start their day quite early.
- If you need to exercise more, the early hour is a good time to do it. I’ve written elsewhere about why believers must take care of their physical bodies. The early morning gives you time to do that.
- Getting up earlier forces you to go to bed earlier. To be frank, I work with a lot of men whose temptations are more intense late at night when everyone else is asleep. Fatigue that forces us to go to bed when everyone else does isn’t a bad thing.
- You might get to see a sunrise. It never hurts us when we see the glory of God in creation.
What reasons would you add to this list?