How to morning-proof yourself and wake up feeling refreshed
Most people have experienced their fair share of difficult mornings, ones where being under the duvet seems so marshmallowy, warm and safe. Sometimes it's a sign of SADs (seasonal affective disorder), but it is also just a common thing that we have to endure as humans – our affection for beds.
I love a catnap (I'm quite the expert, in fact), but this is probably because getting a good night of rest doesn't come easy for me. If you also fail to get up with gusto in the mornings, I feel your struggle; hopefully, you'll benefit from me sharing some of the ways I've made early mornings more tolerable.
Do your prep
You're more likely to wake up feeling refreshed if you've given your mind and body the chance to have a good sleep. Make sure to do a form of physical exercise every day so that you will feel tired come bedtime. Also, for at least an hour or two before bed, switch off or dim your smartphone, quit whatever video game you're playing and turn off all TV screens and laptops. The blue light emitted from these devices can disrupt your sleep cycle.
The things you eat, drink and do in the afternoon can affect your sleep, too. Curb caffeine after 6pm – I opt for lemon and hot water or Pukka's caffeine-free vanilla chai. Having a diet that includes lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains makes it easier for your body to regulate itself, and eating natural foods containing tryptophan, such as nuts, tofu and oats, will help to calm restlessness.
Let the light in
Here's something I learnt from having a pair curtains that didn't quite cover the window: it's easier to wake up if the sun is creeping into the room. You can try leaving the curtains open an inch or two to try it yourself.
Every morning for the last month or so, I've used a wake-up light (the Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750D sunrise alarm clock, to be precise), and it's been a gamechanger! I've set it to gradually get brighter for 15 minutes before its alarm goes off, mimicking the way light floods into the room during a summer sunrise. The built-in alarm sounds are pleasing and gentle; I've stuck with the sound of blackbirds, but you can also choose from things like rainfall, chirping crickets and white noise, DAB radio or your own music. There's a gradually dimming, low blue-light bedtime light too which my partner likes, though it's not so great if you're a late-night reader like I am. If sunlight is as much of a help for you as it is for me, it's worth considering one of these emulators.
Embrace the day
Rather than thinking, 'urgh, I 've got to get up for work', give yourself something positive to start the day on. You can feel glad to be at the start of another day, with lots of potential as to what you can do and what may happen. If it helps, take a big breath in and out or sit up and have a really good stretch. Then, get up and about. Things will be easier when you set off on a positive foot.
You snooze, you lose
Pressing 'snooze' sucks. I bet nobody has ever felt great after repeatedly snoozing. It gives a false sense of hope; those five minutes of sleep actually make you feel worse, not better. If you want to put 'snooze' to good use, let your five minutes of snooze time be your five minutes of stirring before properly getting up. Read the news, grab a drink or check your schedule, then get up and on with your day once the snooze alarm rings again.
Know of any other ways to wake up well? Share them in the comments section or tweet us!