Early to Rise: Creating a Brighter You


Wake up before sunrise? That’s right. Just when we thought our days couldn’t get any longer, research is encouraging us to hop out of bed before the first sign of daylight and reap the benefits.

Your reaction to a 5 a.m. wake-up call might be to roll over, cover your alarm clock with a pillow and simply scoff at the notion of starting your day hours before the school bus arrives or your daily commute begins.

But what if those couple of hours could give you more time — more energy, more productivity and more peace so that you could accomplish your day with a better attitude and outlook on life … all because you started your day in the dark?

So just what can you accomplish by not hitting the snooze button?

Get fit and stay fit. Early risers are on the move! Busy parents, especially, often find exercise to be the most challenging “activity” to fit into their day. Working mother of three, Carrie Yuli from Bay Shore has discovered that exercising at 5 a.m. has freed her from unwanted weight, lack of energy and diminishing self-esteem.

“I didn’t feel like myself and I wanted to put some time into me before my kids woke up and to fill my own cup before I could take care of everybody else,” says the first grade teacher at West Islip Elementary School who is also a Beachbody Coach. “I actually gained so much more energy because I was fueling my body every way by doing it.”

Work towards a goal. Elizabeth Aiken, AN East Northport mother of three who also works as a school librarian, is training for her seventh New York City Marathon. As her time improves, so does her approach toward life.

“Getting up so early has been a rough adjustment but it has made a huge impact on the success of my day. I get more done; I’m not rushing to the last minute getting us all out the door.”

It has given her more patience with her little ones, too, she says.

Be social. Who knew that you could catch an ice-hockey game so early in the morning? Long Island salesman, and married father of two, Timothy Devine, meets up with 20 of his friends two days per week before the crack of dawn to play ice hockey. No guilt, he says.

“I like getting up at that time and squeezing in an activity that doesn’t interfere with my family life.”

Gain inner peace and wellness. For nearly 50 years, Dr. Alan Sherr, founder and director of the Northport Wellness Center, has woken up before sunrise to accomplish readiness, meditate, heal and give thanks.

“The morning is the best time of day when the body is most at peace and in a more optimal place to support growth and development,” he says.

Get your “me time.” Married, mother of two and pediatric occupational therapist Lori Flynn of Montauk treasures her time alone in the morning. She rarely misses a sunrise.

“I drink coffee and just sit and journal or read. Everyone else but my dog is sleeping,” she says.

Witness Mother Nature’s Magic firsthand. Perhaps catching that first glimpse of sunshine is what inspires us to plow through whatever it is we aim to achieve in the day.

“It’s uplifting and a little magical in a way,” says Aiken. “There really is something about seeing the light first hit the sky or highlight the clouds that gives me something to look forward to.” It has a “renewing effect.”

Tomorrow is a new day. Set your alarm clock just a couple of hours earlier and meet a better you!

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