WORKPLACE / JUL. 31, 2015
version 13, draft 13

7 Disadvantages of Getting Up Early

The old saying goes that ’the early bird catches the worm’. We hear a lot about the benefits of being an early riser, but we don’t often hear about the disadvantages of getting up early. Some workplaces offer flexible work hours meaning there is no set hour to start work as long as you work a certain number of hours. If you are in this position, you may consider having a lie in sometimes and here are a few reasons why that might be a good idea.

See Also: 6 Work-Related Stressors That Can Affect Your Health

1. Tiredness

If you are trying to get up early to be at work first thing, you may find yourself becoming extremely tired throughout the day. This is particularly the case if you are not used to getting up early. Getting up early can cause you to have a tired slump during the day meaning you might nap late in the afternoon. This can then make it hard for you to get to sleep later that night. Having this slump can in turn cause your diet to go down hill as you try drinking energy drinks and eat sugary foods to try and perk yourself up.

2. Sleep Deprivation

This may depend on the type of job you have. If your work means you tend to stay up relatively late, and you then try to get up early the next morning to keep working, you might be doing yourself more harm than good. Going to bed late and then getting up early can mean you are not getting your recommended eight hours of sleep a night.

When we are sleep deprived our brain does not function at its full capacity, and we can have trouble absorbing information. This means we are not working at our full potential. Also when we become overtired, we can find it hard to fall asleep later which just makes the sleep deprivation that much worse. If you consistently do this, then your body will become stressed, fatigued and in the worst case scenario lead to premature death. A study conducted found that those who regularly only slept for six hours a night were 12% more likely to die earlier than those who consistently got eight hours sleep.

3. Health Risk

Apart from the side effects of sleep deprivation it has also been found that getting up and heading to work early can increase your stress levels. Studies conducted at the University of Westminster concluded that people who were getting up before seven in the morning had higher levels of stress hormones throughout the day than those who slept a little longer. Those who constantly feel stress can begin to suffer from side effects including migraines, muscle aches and mood swings.

4. Less Socialising

Taking the step to get up early for work means you need to be going to bed early to make sure you do not deprive yourself of sleep as mentioned above. This in itself, however, can have negative consequences. Firstly you are cutting down your spare time. By the time you get home from work, cook yourself dinner and do any general chores, you might find it is time to head to sleep. This leaves you no time to simply sit down on the couch, watch TV and relax, and we all need our downtime to keep ourselves sane. It can also mean you become less sociable, particularly with your work mates.

If your colleagues invite you along for drinks after work or a night out, but you want to be up early in the morning for work, then you won’t be able to tag along. Cutting out spare time also means you are cutting out time to sit down and have a chat with friends and family that could leave them feeling neglected and damage the relationship.

5. Going Against Your Body

Everyone is different, and that includes our body clocks and when we work our best. If you have made the conscious decision to start getting up and heading to work early but are constantly finding it a struggle you should probably take a step back and listen to your body. You may naturally be a night owl. Think of it in the same way as feeding yourself food that makes you feel sick. You don’t feel better or get over it the more you feed yourself those foods you just end up feeling worse.

For those who are naturally programmed to be night owls and consistently try to make themselves get up and head off to work early it is likely you will find it never gets easier. In fact, you are probably just getting more tried as each day passes. This is naturally programmed into our genes. Those who have the gene Adenine are naturally early birds. Those with the gene Guanine are inclined to be night owls. So if getting to work early seems to not be making you the most productive then maybe you shouldn’t continue to do so. If you do, you may end up with some of the health issues mentioned above.

6. People Will Expect To Much From You

Taking a step away from the negative impacts of getting up and heading to work early can have on your health and social life; always getting to work early can also affect how people view you as a person. Your fellow colleagues and employer may start to think you are a pushover and begin taking you for granted.

If you have the tendency to always be early to work what else may you be willing to do to try and please people? This could see coworkers trying to palm off small administrative and insignificant jobs to you. If your employer starts to expect you to always be in early then whenever you run late they may come down harder on you than they would anyone else. This negativity can have a really bad effect on your mood and self-esteem. If you are really worried about being late, then take some of the pressure off yourself by trying to only be a few minutes early. Spend more time in the morning on yourself and having breakfast instead.

7. Give Off A Bad Impression

By always being early, you may give people the wrong impression of you. Rather than seeing you as a punctual person fellow workers or your employer may just think you work too hard and can never switch off. When people think you are always serious, they may feel they cannot invite you along to work events. This means you begin to get alienated. Colleagues may also start to think you being early means you are trying to suck up to the boss and constantly undermine them.

It must always be remembered however that everyone is different. While being an early riser and getting up early to head to work may suit you maybe it doesn’t suit others. Maybe you are in the opposite category and need as much sleep as possible to function. Be sure to take this into consideration when you are deciding what choice you should make. It may be best to try out both getting up early and sleeping in to find what makes you the most productive.

See Also: 3 Reasons Businesses Should Offer Flexible Working Hours

Do you get up early or sleep in?

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