It’s early and dark. The alarm sounds, and you reach over to switch it off. After a short pause, you sit up. You swing your legs off the bed, touch the floor with your feet, and reach for your phone. You sit quietly while your phone’s screen illuminates the dark bedroom.
Sound familiar? Let’s be honest. Mornings don’t come easy to any of us.
Slash an hour from your day
If you want to wake up earlier, trim down those evening obligations, says Dr. Marks. We know what you’re thinking: How can I not overextend myself? We typically overestimate how much available time we have and take on projects that we have no business committing to. For the sake of decompressing your day, assume you have one less hour in the evenings (to be set aside for a wind-down period) and say no to things that infringe on that time.
Waking well-rested starts with getting enough sleep. “Hitting the snooze button a couple times before getting up is a clear sign of sleep deprivation,” says Nathaniel Watson, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “If you are getting enough sleep, you should be able to wake up on time without a morning alarm.” Sounds easier said than done? First, follow these tips for catching the zzz’s you need to wake refreshed.
Implement a routine
Establishing a schedule can help clue our bodies into what’s to come. Maintaining a regular evening routine will help chill you out and let your mind know that it’s nearly time to fall asleep. For example, that could mean drinking a cup of (decaffeinated) tea and reading for 20 minutes each evening before bed.
Eat (and drink) smart
You know the saying: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” So if you’re trying to make mornings more bearable, a cup of coffee and a stick of gum isn’t going to cut it. “After sleeping all night, our metabolism and blood sugar are at their lowest; we need a healthy breakfast to re-energize us,” says Rebecca Scritchfield, R.D., a Washington D.C. based nutrition and exercise expert specializing in weight management. Her recommended breakfast of champions consists of a protein, a colorful fruit or veggie, and a whole grain.
Work out first thing
One productivity guru suggests doing the one thing you dread most right after you wake up. That’s because research shows willpower is strongest in the early a.m., then steadily depletes over the course of a day. This manifests itself in that “ugh, it’s 6 p.m., and I don’t feel like going to the gym” feeling.
Seize the day
Waking up with a groan and thinking about all the things you don’t want to do is a terrible way to motivate yourself to get out of bed. Instead, think ahead to the best things you’ll do all day to fuel your desire to get up and at them.
Do something positive and productive
Getting out of bed on the right foot can impact your mood for the entire day, research shows. That’s why experts suggest planning a healthy and positive activity.
Go to sleep early
Keep the radio and television volumes low in the evenings in order to create an atmosphere that lulls you into sleepy mode. This helps you associate the evening with slowing down so that you can mentally prepare your mind for sleep. It’s hard to do this if at 9 pm. your house is just as loud and bright as it is at 4 pm.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.