If you’ve ever tried getting up an hour earlier in the morning and ended up hitting snooze instead, don’t be too hard on yourself. At first glance, this advice might seem counterintuitive; it’s true that early risers certainly seem to get more done in the day. Plus, all the most successful people in the world do it, right?
Not so fast. According to a growing body of research, getting a consistent amount of zzz’s is the only requirement for a boost in your productivity. Here are a few ways to be effortlessly more productive—no morning alarm necessary.
The importance of a regular sleep schedule
How do we know? Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, tracked the sleep patterns of 61 full-time students at Harvard College for 30 days. Although all of the students slept for about the same amount of time, those who went to bed and woke up at different times during the week tended to perform worse in their classes than those who stuck to the same sleep routine.
The results indicate that going to sleep and waking up at approximately the same time is positively linked with good academic performance, write the study authors.
Other research backs up a regular sleep schedule. In 2018, researchers at Baylor University conducted a similar study of bedtime habits of interior design students. What they found was no surprise: The more irregular the students’ sleep schedule, the worse they performed throughout the week.
So if “rising and shining” sounds like torture to you, take a cue from your body and set your alarm clock to a time that’s more manageable — and stick to that schedule all week.