Early risers happier, healthier and more satisfied with life

By Charlotte Summers

According to latest research conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, people who wake up and start their day early are generally more happy, content and healthy in comparison to people who sleep in and start their day later.

Researchers’ surveyed 435 adults aged between 17 and 38 formed the first study group. The other consisted of 300 older participants, aged between 59 and 79. Individuals were asked their preferred time of day, the times they would normally wake up and go to sleep. They were also asked how healthy they felt and about their emotional wellbeing.

The results, which were published in the journal Emotion, reported that early risers or ‘morning larks’ were found to be significantly happier with more positive emotions, reduced stress levels and have a better immune system than their counterpart ‘night owls’.

The scientists argued that people who reported evenings as their preferred time of day were likely to experience social jet lag; this was said to be when an individual’s biological clock does not meet social expectations and schedules. For example, a person who would normally wake up at 11 am would have significantly greater difficulty living within the realms of a 9-5 schedule. The research reported that these people where generally not as happy, more stressed and significantly less alert than individuals who reported waking up at 7am.

The study reported that as people age, they tended to be ‘morning types’ this was correlated with the reports that they were also more satisfied with life and motivated to be productive throughout the day. On the contrary, younger participants of the study reported being ‘evening types’ and subsequently reported coming to the end of the week feeling tired and unhappy.

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to help with relaxation and has been shown to be a non-toxic and effective means of treating insomnia while also improving mental and physical health.

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