"The early bird gets the worm!" You may have heard this phrase a hundred times (and grumbled "yeah, right..." every time), but like so many adages -- it's true. Studies show people who practice waking up early tend to lead happier, more productive lives than those who hit snooze or sleep late. There are a whole host of benefits to getting up early, from the physical to the mental and, in some cases, even spiritual.

No Feeling of Being Rushed

The worst thing about sleeping in late is having to shoot out of bed and get right to work. It creates a feeling of stress that lasts the entire day. Waking up early, though, gives you a chance to do everything calmly, and to allot ample time to each task. If you feel less rushed in the morning, you will most likely feel less harassed and grumpy during the day, so it is a win-win!

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Helps You to Get More Sleep

Let's face it: no one who gets up at the crack of dawn is going to want to stay out late partying until one in the morning. Waking up early pretty much guarantees you will be in bed and asleep by a reasonable hour. It also guarantees that you will be tired enough to sleep at bedtime, which leads to a fuller, more restful slumber. Better sleep means better productivity and a better attitude all around.

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Better Work Performance and Grades

Sources say those who wake up early tend to be better analyzers, time managers, and critical thinkers. People with these traits tend to be the most successful at work and in school. That's a pretty clear sign that getting into the habit of waking up early can improve your performance.

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Less Stress

Waking up late can lead to stress. You get the sense you are running behind in the morning and playing catch up all day. Waking up early gives you more time to take it easy and go about your business in a slower, calmer, less anxious way. This can help you feel more relaxed and at ease -- and not like you are rushing to get everything started or finished.

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Healthier Diet and Habits

According to some studies, waking up early can encourage you to make healthier choices about food and take better care of yourself in general. Early risers have been shown to have a better, more balanced diet. They are more prone to sticking with exercise routines than those who wake up late. It seems waking up early is a good habit that inspires even more good habits.

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More Time for Getting in Touch with Yourself

Many yogis and people who meditate on a regular basis will tell you that the best time to really connect with yourself is in the morning. Morning meditation helps you center and prepare yourself for the new day. Taking some time to relax and be alone before work or school can help you feel calmer and more at peace.

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Shorter To-Do List

Waking up early obviously gives you more time in the day, and that means that you have more time to complete that to-do list you've been adding to for weeks. Whether you need more time to work on household projects or to get ahead on your homework, morning is the perfect time to do these things. The quiet peacefulness of the house at this time can help you concentrate on your tasks without feeling rushed.

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Better Concentration

Just as studies show that early risers are more productive, they also indicate that these folks have better concentration. Waking up early gives your brain more time to get alert and focused before work or school. This leads to feeling sharper and more present than late sleepers once you sit down at your desk. This is not to say you should skip sleeping though: a full night's sleep before you wake is necessary to experience this benefit!

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More Physically Active

People who wake up early tend to also spend more time being physically active. Many early risers use their extra morning time to work out on the treadmill or go for a run. These things keep you energized during the day, which leads to a desire to keep working out as a part of a routine. A cycle develops because exercise leads to better sleep and a better, healthier outlook on life.

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More Time to Spend with the Family

Some people's jobs require them to work late in the evening, or to miss picking their child up from school. Waking up early in the morning, before your children go to school, gives you a bit of extra time to spend with them that you may not otherwise have. The entire family could eat breakfast together or just sit around and chat. Any excuse for quality time is a good one, and even if everyone's hair is mussed from sleeping, waking up early is a great way to slip in some extra family time.

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