The Advantages of a Morning Routine: A Student Perspective
By: Priya Lad, BBA 2020
The debate over the early bird versus the night owl has been a long-standing one. As a university student, it would be safe to say that there is an increasing number of people who are night owls. As night owls, they do most of their work during the night hours because that is when they feel most productive and alert. On the other hand, there are those fewer number of people who work best during the morning or during the day and as a result they tend to wake up early to study. The long-standing question is: which routine is better?
Even though there is no specific right or wrong answer to this question, there are several points to acknowledge when considering this question. The morning routine (or being an early bird) does have its advantages in comparison to the night routine (or being a night owl).
The morning routine can help students accomplish more work, or a greater number of tasks during the day. This is because generally people tend to feel more alert and aware in the morning (assuming they get the right amount of sleep) and as a result are able to concentrate on work related tasks well. This sense of awareness can help students not only accomplish more during the day, but also allow them to give their full effort to ensure that the quality of work is also good.
The night routine as opposed to the morning routine can result in less productivity because people generally tend to feel more tired, fatigued, and exhausted as the day goes on. As a result of both physical and mental exhaustion during the day, it becomes more difficult to focus on tasks in the evening and during the night. This negatively affects both the quantity and quality of work or tasks that students complete during these hours.
Morning routines obviously require students to wake up early, which also means to sleep early. When this routine becomes habitual, people are able to easily get their 6-8 hours of sleep daily. Sleep is an important factor in academic performance and is necessary for good health.
Night routines indicate students spend most of the late evening or night working. This may make it more difficult for them to get the average 6-8 hours of sleep, resulting in a lack of sleep. Students can also adapt to their routine, and just wake up later on in the day. However, sleeping in can be problematic because it can develop bad habits such as skipping classes if one has morning classes. Night owls may also feel the need for a coffee or energy drinks to make up for the lack of energy, as a result of the lack of sleep which can also be problematic in terms of health effects.
Morning routines allow for efficient time allocation, and time management. Students who accomplish their tasks in the morning or during the day know that they need to plan their time. This “planning” aspect helps them avoid the relatable tendency to procrastinate. These individuals know they do not want to end up staying late or pulling an “all nighter” to complete an assignment, and as result will manage their time to prevent themselves from falling into that situation. In a sense, they know their time is limited during the day and that they need to take action.
Night routines may instill an illusion of time which translates into poor time management. Students who work during the night may feel or perceive that they still have time to complete an assignment or study for a quiz. Obviously this is not true, as they do not have more time than the average morning person if they will only be working towards their goal during the night. This false concept of time can lead to procrastination, which eventually leads to anxiety upon the realization of completing tasks last minute.
The morning routine can help one feel refreshed, and healthy compared to those with night routines. In addition, morning routines are generally associated with good health and good habits whereas night routines are to the contrary. If morning people do feel this way about themselves and their habits, it can make them have a positive view and lead to satisfaction with their habits. Meanwhile, those with night routines may have a negative view of their health due to their habits, which can have an effect on their way of thinking. Overall, how one may feel about themselves, their habits, and actions plays a role in their overall well-being.
So, The Verdict?
Although many university students like ourselves prefer to work late into the wee hours of the night, fueled by RedBull and coffee, it is healthy to have a good balance. Of course, the occasional one-nighter cannot be helped, but having a regular sleep schedule as well as waking up earlier can increase productivity, allow for better and more sound sleep, help to control your time, and give you that refreshed feeling. Of course, changing something like routine is never easy, but taking small steps like progressively setting your alarm clock earlier can make a world of difference! So close the billions of tabs open on your laptop, log out of Netflix, and catch some Z’s…We promise, you won’t be hitting snooze in the morning!