If most of your mornings start with hitting the snooze button a few times before you drag yourself out of bed still feeling exhausted from the night before, it’s time to make some changes.
While having good sleep hygiene and getting a good sleep the night before is the best way to start your morning, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. However, there are some simple things you can do to improve your energy level and mood when you get up.
- Follow Your Circadian Rhythm
For most people, there’s a time between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. when the circadian rhythm dips during the sleep drive. According to Harvard University researchers, it’s at this time when you are less deeply asleep and it’s easier to get up.
It’s also easier to wake up during non-REM sleep. During the night, you cycle between REM (dream sleep) and light sleep, with each cycle lasting about 90 minutes. Experiment with setting your alarm between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. for an increment of 90 minutes. For example, if you go to sleep by 11 p.m., set it for 6:30 a.m.
- Wake With Natural Light
A dark room is ideal for good sleep, but waking up with natural light helps the body maintain its circadian rhythm. If you can, leave your blinds open just enough to allow the morning sunlight in. Another option is to use a dawn simulator alarm clock or lamp attachment that simulates the rising sun as it becomes more intense over a period of 30 minutes or more. The light wakes you naturally by stimulating your brain as it hits your closed eyelids. Waking with light is far more pleasant than waking up to hear a blaring loud alarm clock.
- Stretch Before Getting Out of Bed
Spend a few minutes stretching before you get up to help boost your circulation, wake up your muscles, and relieve any sleep-related soreness or stiffness. Here are some easy stretches to do each morning:
Back rock: While lying on your back, pull your knees towards your chest and hug your legs against your body. Gently roll from side to side.
Long stretch: Lie on your back keeping your legs straight and place your arms by your sides. Lengthen your spine by reaching your arms behind your head while you point your toes towards the foot of the bed.
- Make Time for Inspiration to Get In a Good Mood
In the early morning, spend some time preparing your mind for the day’s activities ahead of you. During these moments, don’t focus on all the tasks you need to accomplish during the day, but instead try to find peace and relaxation by doing things such as praying, doing a brief yoga session, or remembering the things you’re thankful for. Starting your day with reflective and positive thoughts helps boost your mood.
- Drink A Large Glass of Water Upon Rising
When you wake up, your body is dehydrated from not getting water for the previous 7 to 9 hours, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Not staying hydrated can lead to mood fluctuations and tiredness. Drinking water as soon as you get up is proven to boost your metabolism by 24% for 90 minutes and helps the body get rid of toxins.
Making a few positive changes to your morning routine can set you up for a day of productivity, energy, and positive vibes.