Does getting out of bed the hardest part of your day? Most people aren’t naturally what you’d call a “morning person” – the types who are bright eyed and bushy tailed upon rising at the sound of their alarm clock. Just because it doesn’t come naturally doesn’t mean it can’t happen, however. By following a few simple tips, you can train your body and up your A.M. productivity – and, in doing so, increase your health by sleeping more and starting your day without the stress of running late.
- Set a sleep routine – Don’t underestimate the importance of your circadian rhythm. This regulates how your body runs, and it craves routine. Ideally, you should wake up from a light phase of sleep, not a deeper stage. It’s that deeper stage that leads to a foggy head and lower functioning. If you set a bedtime and stick to it (within 30 minutes) and get up around the same time each morning, your body will reset to the routine. The hope is that eventually you will be able to wake yourself up sans alarm.
- Get active – Working out first thing in the morning may not sound tempting, but the effects pay off. Even if it’s as simple as taking a half-hour stroll, kickstarting your morning with cardio will boost your energy levels throughout the day AND help you wind down at night, leading to a deeper night’s sleep.
- Provide the right fuel – While a donut and a cup of Joe may be an easy way to get your blood sugar rising, it can also lead to a sugar crash a few hours into your day. Reach instead for some quality fuel – oatmeal, fresh fruit, or a veggie omelet. Always on the go? Make hard-boiled eggs that you can grab on the run for a protein-packed breakfast.
- See the light – Light has a huge effect on the body’s triggers to sleep or wake up. Switch on a bright light or open your blinds right when you wake up. Conversely, avoid bright lights – yes, including electronics – for that last hour before you plan to hit the hay. This will help your body begin to wind down from the busy day and slip into that deep sleep you need for rejuvenation.