Sleeping in during the weekends is something that we always look forward to. After five days of waking up early during the week, we often sleep in on weekends to make up for “sleep debt”.
I have never been a morning person. Waking up as early as 6 am on weekdays was a struggle for me, therefore when it came to weekends, I slept in until my internal clock allowed me. However, I often felt more tired. I lamented the weekends which seemed to whizz past me quickly.
Do you feel the same way too?
When I quit my job to pursue a freelance career, I continued to sleep in during the weekends but quickly realised it was a bad habit. I felt frazzled and rushed to complete my projects, and as time went on, I didn’t have time for family, friends, exercise, and relaxation.
Most people assume that freelancers have more “free time” but the reality is, we work longer hours that stretch over the weekends, working on multiple projects and pitching to several clients.
I don’t mind the long hours because the work was something that I enjoy but realised that if I didn’t change my sleep routine, I would suffer from burnout.
Now I wake up around 7 am on weekends, and I’m seeing the following benefits of early rising:
1. Quiet time
Do you realise how quiet weekend mornings are? Imagine having a cup of coffee and enjoying the quietude. You can use the quiet time to read the news, catch up on social media, play with your dog or read a book.
There is a lot of power in quietude and early risers often talk about relishing this time of the day to spend quiet time to themselves at home.
I get so much work done on weekend mornings that by mid-afternoon, I’m able to catch up with family and friends for coffee, shopping or movies. I have a head start to the day and feel good about myself that I have completed what I needed to do, thus I’m able to spend time with family and friends for a balanced lifestyle.
Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to be a workaholic on your days off. But if you need to finish the house chores or to work on your side projects as well, then you may want to consider rising early on weekends to get a head start.
How many times have you wanted to exercise on weekday evenings but only to cancel because of late evening meetings, dinner plans with colleagues or just simply feeling exhausted after a long day at work? For those who enjoy exercising outdoors, have you noticed that our tropical rains tend to happen in the evenings?
By waking up early on weekends, you’ll be able to find time in the morning for exercise. Starting your day with a workout is healthy, as your body releases endorphins and continues to burn calories post-workout, thus making you feel good. Moreover, it seldom rains in the morning.
4. Improved Quality of Sleep
To wake up early, you must, of course, go to bed early the night before. Most of us generally have this sleep routine on weekdays. According to sleep experts, if we establish this routine over the weekends as well, it helps to improve the quality of our sleep as our body’s internal clock is not disrupted from the routine set on weekdays.
It’s fine to sleep an extra hour on your days off but longer than that is actually doing more harm to your body. With disrupted sleep patterns, you may feel more sluggish and generally less productive in performing your tasks in the long run.
5. Positive outlook
How you spend the first hour of your day often determines the tone for the rest of your day. The quiet time in the morning is generally calm which creates a positive mood state and that positivity is likely to continue as the day progresses. That is why early risers are reported to have a positive outlook on life and are able to manage stress better.
Once you establish the routine of waking up early on weekends, soon you’ll notice a change in your attitude.
Waking up early on weekends may be hard but take baby steps. You can start by waking up thirty minutes earlier than your usual time on weekends. And if you hit snooze and end up sleeping in, it’s okay, don’t give up. Just try again the next morning.
Do you wake up early or would you rather sleep in on weekends? We would love to hear more about your sleeping habits. Let us know in the comments below!