Mind over Mattress

November 12, 2013 |  by  |  Linkedin Blog

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

I’m definitely a night owl and have always found it difficult to sleep early and wake up early.

Now I know why: research by Professor Philippe Peigneux at the European Sleep Research Society shows that our sleep pattern is in our DNA and has its roots in evolution, with early risers in the Stone Age taking the initiative in food gathering, whilst owls stood guard late into the night.

The research shows what matters most is not when you wake up, but what you do with the first two hours of your day, as this sets the tone for the rest of the day and is likely to determine how successful your day will be.

Successful people, be they larks or night owls tend to have a very productive first two hours. Dr Jim Loehr, Chairman of the Human Performance Institute recommends starting your day with:

  1. A few minutes of solitude and being still to calm the mind, become centred and focus on the key activities of the day.
  2. A short period of exercise. Just five minutes of high intensity interval training on an exercise bike is enough to get the endorphins racing and improve your insulin sensitivity by over 35% in only two weeks.
  3. A healthy breakfast with plenty of water for rehydration because the night’s sleep will have dehydrated you.
  4. Learning something new by reading or listening to a book during the commute in to work.

So, it doesn’t matter what time you wake up,
whether its 6 or 10,
just make the most of your first hours,


  1. Grammar: the difference between knowing your sh1t and knowing you’re sh1te.
  2. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened.
  3. The dyslexic devil worshipper sold his soul to Santa.
  4. There was a prison break and I saw a midget climb up the fence. As he jumped down her sneered at me and I thought, well that’s a little condescending.
  5. How do you make Holy water? Boil the hell out of it.
  6. PMS should just be called ovary-acting.
  7. My friend recently got crushed by a pile of books, but he’s only got his shelf to blame.
Sunil Bali

As well as being a recognised authority on personal branding and peak performance, Sunil is a critically acclaimed author and blogger. His corporate experience includes roles as Head of Talent on behalf of Vodafone Group, Santander (UK) and Cable & Wireless Europe. Sunil has also run a multi-million pound recruitment business, and is a Non Executive Director. Sunil’s first degree in Sports Science and Psychology fuelled his passion for the psychology of human achievement and well-being. As well as possessing an MBA, he is a qualified Psychotherapist and Executive Coach. www.sunilbali.com

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