Did you know that I’m a certified night owl? I’d rather stay up until dawn to finish work and law school readings than sleep and rise early. However, ever since I discovered the benefits of sleeping early, I had never thought of going back to my old ways ever again.
5 benefits of sleeping early law students may want to consider
No one is forcing you to change sleeping habits. After all, “you do you” in law school, right? However, if you’re thinking of becoming (or reverting to being) a morning person and seeking more reasons to do so, you came to the right place.
As a newly converted morning person, let me share with you some of the benefits of sleeping early I enjoy up to now:
# 1 – Feel happier and more revitalized
Before, I would feel sluggish and weak during the day. This is so even though I get to complete a 10-hour sleep. Not to mention, I even have to drink more coffee than usual just to give me the needed boost.
However, when I started fixing my sleep-wake cycle by sleeping early, I’d wake up more cheerful. Also, I feel like I’m more well-rested and refreshed. Certainly, I noticed I had a brighter mood during the day and had a burst of energy even with only two cups of coffee.
Well, this should not come as a surprise. As a matter of fact, one research showed that early risers are happier and healthier than their night owl counterparts.
# 2 – Fall asleep easily at night
I had easier time sleeping at night whenever I’d wake up early in the morning. This is so because I have accomplished a lot during the day, which is enough to get me tired and sleepy as the day ends.
I find this as an advantage because it allows me to establish my early-to-bed sleeping pattern. It’s a beneficial cycle your body can adopt when you stick to an early bedtime routine.
# 3 – Enhance focus and memory (my ultimate favorite from my round up of benefits of sleeping early)
Our sleep has a series of 90-minute cycles within which our brain shifts from non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. According to studies, our non-REM sleep is actually more reviving or restorative than our REM sleep.
When we hit the sack late at night, we are more inclined to having more REM sleep. Since REM sleep is not at all restorative, this results to “lower brain power”.
This happened to me when I was a night owl. Back then, I’d usually sleep at about 7:00 a.m. Although I’d get 10 hours of sleep during my “free days”, I’d still feel sluggish and irritable.
But, when I started sleeping early, I felt more alert, focused, and had easier time remembering law concepts and other things. Indeed, this is is one of the benefits of sleeping early that made a big difference in my working law student lifestyle.
# 4 – Accomplish more tasks during the day (another takeaway from the list of benefits of sleeping early)
Did I mention that I used to sleep at 7:00 a.m. before? With this routine, I observed that I have been sleeping more than I should be. As a consequence, I end up doing less number of tasks than what I’ve planned.
One of the most pronounced benefits of sleeping early in my life is an increase in my overall productivity. By sleeping early, I get to wake up early as well. Consequently, I have more time to hustle during the day and can accomplish more things.
# 5 – Improve your immune system
However, cytokine count is low whenever a person is sleep-deprived. This makes sleep-deprived people, like law students, vulnerable to infections.
I observed that I rarely got sick ever since I started sleeping early. Having a healthier immune system is one of the benefits of sleeping early that can help you prevent skipping work or classes.
# 6 – Getting clearer and more glowing skin is one of the wonderful benefits of sleeping early
Being a working law student and night owl is quite a bad combination.
Before, I used to stay up late at night but I also have to wake up early the next day to report for work. Consequently, my sleeping hours are shortened and I become more sleep-deprived and stressed. And we all know what stress and sleep deprivation can do to harm our skin.
When I started fixing my sleep-wake routine, I noticed that my dark circles decreased. My skin glowed and I had lesser break outs too.
Among the benefits of sleeping early, this one allowed me to save more money. Ever since I started sleeping early, I didn’t have to spend a lot on beauty products. I didn’t need to buy make up too just to hide my blemishes and eye bags.
(Note: This is just my personal experience. There are a number of reasons for getting acne and other skin problems. If you experience any of these, it’s still best to see a dermatologist. Don’t just rely solely on sleeping early.)
# 7 – Maintain your ideal weight.
I observed that law students (myself included) tend to gain more weight throughout their years in law school. Meanwhile, some law students turn to stress eating as a way to adapt to law school-induced stress.
While law students may not realize it by now, research had always linked sleep-deprivation with weight gain or obesity. In fact, certain studies already established the connection between the two.
Furthermore, experts found out that sleep deprivation increases a person’s food intake. Hence, a person is likely to eat more when he’s awake. Unfortunately, we, law students, tend to eat a lot during our review / study hours at night. What’s worse is the reality that most of us lack the opportunity to exercise due to our hectic schedule.
Unfortunately, some of us suffer this vicious cycle while in law school. I mean, who can resist pizza or chocolate cake while reading Corporation Law in the wee hours of night?
While we should endeavor to exercise as often as we should (this improves our sleep too), we might as well change our sleeping habits for the better.
When I made the necessary sleeping habit change, I noticed that I felt lighter ever since. I had more time to move around, allowing me to burn some calories throughout the day. I also had more energy to preoccupy myself to doing and accomplishing more tasks and physical activities.
There’s no harm in trying the morning person lifestyle to enjoy the benefits of sleeping early
Ever since I started sleeping and waking up early, not only did I experience all the benefits I mentioned in the foregoing discussion, I also noticed that I’ve been getting more [meaningful] sleep than before.
If a notoriously sleep-deprived night owl, like me, made it, so can you! So, why not give early bedtime a try?
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