Are you on intimate terms with your snooze button, hitting it several times until you finally roll out of bed 20, 30, or even 40 minutes after the first alarm goes off? If the answer is yes, you're missing out on a great opportunity to improve your health. By ignoring the snooze button and actually getting up when your alarm rings, you'll reap a host of benefits that will carry through your day and make you feel better in general. No longer will you dread your rude awakening-instead, you'll face the day fresh and ready to roll. Here's a sampling of how just 15 extra minutes in the morning can make a difference in your life:

  • You'll have time for breakfast. No joke-eating breakfast may be the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. The American Dietetic Association reports that breakfast eaters feel better about work, are more productive, and do better on tasks that require memory. Plus, experts say that eating in the morning helps you keep your weight under control by preventing you from becoming ravenous later in the day. Some simple breakfast ideas that can be whipped up and consumed in 15 minutes include a bowl of instant oatmeal sweetened with blueberries or strawberries, microwaved egg whites (try it!) with two slices of whole-grain toast, or Greek yogurt topped with fiber-rich cold cereal and banana slices.
  • You can start your day with exercise. Just because your goal is to get 30-45 minutes of exercise a day doesn't mean you need to do it all at once. Break up your workout by doing 15 minutes when you get up and the rest when you get home from work. Hop on the treadmill, do yoga, or strength train your arms, chest, and back while watching the morning news. You'll give yourself an energy boost that will last far beyond your final rep.
  • You'll feel less stressed all day. How many times have you run around the house looking for your car keys/presentation/dry cleaning before leaving for work? If you wake up 15 minutes early and sort yourself out, you'll walk out the door feeling relaxed and ready to face the world. And you'll probably be a more careful driver who won't feel compelled to make up for lost time by returning phone calls and text messages while speeding down the highway. If you find it only takes you five or 10 minutes to get organized in the morning, enjoy the extra minutes by nursing a cup of tea and reading the newspaper.



Sources: American Dietetic Association,, Mayo Clinic,, McKinley Health Center, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign,