Feeling well-rested and energized when you wake up can seem next to impossible – especially if you’re a night owl. Do you crave sleep so much it’s the first thing you think about in the morning?
Here are five easy ways to help change that:
Skip the Snooze:
There are few things worse than the sound of your alarm going off in the morning – so don’t subject yourself to that torture multiple times. Hitting the snooze button may allow you to doze for a few extra minutes, but your brain knows that you have precious little time left in bed, so the quality of your sleep won’t be great. In fact, when the alarm goes off again, you’ll feel more tired than you would have if you had gotten up when your alarm first went off. So, set your alarm for when you actually need to be up.
The early-bird catches the energy:
When we wake up, our brain unleashes what is known as the cortisol awakening response (CAR) – that is, it releases a burst of the stress hormone cortisol, which boosts up our energy and our brain functions. Recent research has shown that waking up early increases the intensity of our CAR response, and thus helps us wake up feeling energized.
Drink a Glass of Water:
Far be it from me to come between anyone and their morning coffee – but if you want to feel optimally awake and energized, drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning (yes, even before consuming caffeine). Rehydrating immediately after you wake up will help your body maintain a healthy flow of oxygen – and that will make you feel more energetic and rested.
Rise and literally shine:
Waking up with a dose of sunshine (or a strong light that mimics dawn during winter months) makes all the difference. That is because of light signals to our body’s internal clock that it’s time to wake up. Indeed, taking in some light before waking up actually increases our CAR – which, in turn, gives us more energy.
Champion your breakfast:
After getting a good night’s rest, you’ll need to fuel your body properly to ensure productivity throughout the day. That doesn’t just mean having breakfast – it means having a good breakfast. Fiber and protein are in; unsaturated fat, magnesium, and potassium are out because they stimulate sleep.
No one can guarantee that any of these habits will magically turn you into a morning person. But they will make the mornings less painful and put you on the right track for a productive day – which is just as good, right?