Our mornings often set the tone for the day - Especially the way we start them. Sometimes we're sleepy, other times cranky. Sometimes we wonder if we have the energy to get through the day, or have so much it is impossible to sleep well. So let me give you 14 tips that may change your day for the better, starting from the time you wake up.
1. Don't sleep in.
Choosing and maintaining a wake-up time is one of the best things you can do for your sleep cycle. Having a fixed wake-up time will set your circadian rhythm (your body's sleep/wake schedule) and bring about a good feeling when waking up. If you sleep past that point, you'll feel a bit 'jet-lagged' - sleepy even though you slept more than before.
2. Consistency, Consistency and... Consistency.
No less important than when you wake up is when you go to sleep. If you go to sleep at more or less the same time every day, say 11pm, and then suddenly you go to sleep at 2am, you won't sleep well and you will feel a lot more tired. The body craves habit and routine.
3. Meditate a bit before bed
Just 20-30 minutes of meditation can wash away all the stress of a long, hard day. Forgetting your trouble and focusing on your well-being will rejuvenate your sleep and will help prevent bad dreams and stressful sleeping.
4. Make preparations to sleep.
This may sound weird but one reason we stay up at night is that the switch was too sudden from being fully awake to trying and fall asleep. If you want to fall asleep easily, spend the hour before bed getting slowly ready. Turn your phone off, brush your teeth, read a chapter from a book, and in the name of all that is holy - turn off the tv!
5. Cut out all background noise
According to the New Scientist Magazine, background noise such as from the television and outside is taking years off our lives. Take control of the noise level in your home. Turn off the television and any other sound-making device.
6. Find the right room temperature for you
Being too hot causes night sweats, bad dreams and restless sleeping, if you manage to fall asleep at all. Being too cold causes many awakenings during the night, even if you don't remember them. Find the right temperature for you that feels good when you are trying to fall asleep.
7. Don't eat right before bed
Your body needs time to digest the food you just ate. So eating right before bed can cause stomach issues and a pressure on your bowels that may keep you from sliding into deep sleep, where you recharge your batteries.
8. Give Yoga 5 minutes of your time in the morning
Yoga can do wonders. It is known to reduce blood pressure, decrease inflammation and release tensed up muscles and joints. What a better way to start your day!
9. Invest in the right pillow
Few investments are as worth it as investing in the right pillow. You can follow the rest of the 13 points and still not get enough sleep because your pillow doesn't support your spine, moves it out of line and causes neck and cervical pain.
10. Mellow out your alarm clock
Besides having a loud, annoying alarm wake you up in the morning, studies performed by the University of Pennsylvania, show that sleep inertia feels much worse when we are woken up abruptly. Pick a softer alarm clock or one that starts with a weak alarm and then goes louder and louder, allowing you to turn it off before it gets to the really annoying volumes.
11. Drink a whole glass of water before eating breakfast
It's only a glass of water, but it kick jumps your metabolism for the day, while refreshing you and waking you up.
12. Leave the blinds/window open
Our body is configured to perk up with the sun. Even when your eyes are still closed, the light coming into the room will signal your body that it is time to wake up and do things.
13. Cut down on coffee consumption
Many of us drink coffee every morning. However, drinking every morning will get your body hooked on the caffeine, requiring more and more to get the same effect and making you feel miserable when you wake up. In addition, the sudden boost the coffee gives will run out around mid-day, leaving you sleepy and annoyed.
14. A stretch and a jog
So yoga is great, but you may not be into that. That's ok, but at least do a little warm up for your body, get out the kinks and loosen up muscles. You'll feel a lot more comfortable during the day.