Whether you want to learn to love mornings or are just looking to reduce your fatigue levels, waking up naturally can lead to a wide range of health benefits. There are several steps you can take to wake yourself up naturally and boost your energy. Continue reading to find out what they are and how they can contribute to increased productivity levels over time.
Resist hitting the snooze button
Hitting the snooze button and getting a few extra minutes of shut-eye is the natural response to hearing your alarm blaring in your ear at 6am. However, resisting the temptation can allow you to wake up earlier. Drockling is a term coined by sleep specialists in the 1970s to describe the process of dipping in and out of sleep. Engaging in drockling on a regular basis can disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to sleep inertia – the feeling of grogginess felt within the first few minutes of being awake – lasting up to four hours. This can severely impact your productivity levels throughout the day and lead to a number of health problems in the long run. By listening to your body, you can find out the best time to wake up.
Make the bed as soon as possible
By prioritising making the bed as the first item on your daily checklist, it can prevent you from crawling back in and going back to sleep. Regardless of how busy your morning routine is, most people can spare a couple of minutes in the morning to tidy up their sleeping space. As well as deterring you from crawling back under the covers, it can also give you a sense of accomplishment that can carry you throughout the day and lead to greater productivity levels over time.
Start your day with a workout
Getting your blood pumping as soon as you jump out of bed can boost deep sleep and improve your sleep schedule. It can also prevent you from waking up during the night so frequently and for so long. Working out is a great way to expend energy at any time during the day. You must, however, refrain from exercising too late at night as it can end up impacting your body’s ability to fall asleep. Engaging in light exercise, or even yoga, early in the morning can help you kickstart your day with increased energy, focus, and optimism.
Eat a good breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides your body with the fuel it needs to carry out a number of daily tasks and handle whatever life decides to throw at you. By treating your body to a healthy, nutritious breakfast, you can ensure your energy levels are maintained from morning until night and increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. By skipping breakfast, you may end up in an energy deficit. This can seriously impact your body’s ability to perform basic tasks at home or at work. If you are pressed for time, a smoothie or cereal bar can tide you over until lunch.
Tap into your natural circadian rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural internal process of regulating your sleep-wake cycle. It determines how and when you fall asleep and the best time to wake up. If you are treating your body to a minimum of nine hours of sleep a night, you are much more likely to wake up early naturally. By forming good sleep habits and repeating this process on a regular basis, you can train your body to wake up at the same time each day. Try tapping into your circadian rhythm by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. Over time, you will wake up feeling refreshed and fully rested.
While a growing number of people treat themselves to a tipple in order to fall asleep, it can also end up keeping you awake. Relying on alcohol to get a good night’s sleep for a prolonged period of time can end up interrupting your sleep schedule over time and increase your chances of waking up in the middle of the night. You are also likely to suffer from a hangover and require a nap just to get you through the day. Alcohol is also a diuretic. This means it is difficult to metabolise and you may need to urinate more frequently to expel the alcohol from your body. This can be a nuisance at any time of the day but even more so whilst you are trying to sleep.
Wake up to natural light
By allowing natural light to flow into your bedroom, you can wake up naturally. This can be done in a number of ways. Sheer curtains can provide a level of privacy whilst still allowing light to filter through. If you are in the process of ditching the traditional alarm clock, it may benefit you to invest in a sunrise alarm clock. Also known as a dawn simulation light, they combine artificial light with a standard digital alarm clock. They are timed to gradually wake you up at a selected time by prompting subtle increases in light intensity. Most models give the user the opportunity to adjust the level of light intensity and even hit the snooze button to ease you into the transition from standard alarm clocks. Shop around to find a sunrise alarm clock to suit your lifestyle and budget.
Meditate before bed
By preparing your body to wind down for the day, you are more likely to sleep better and wake up naturally. Meditation can be a great way to relax your muscles and unwind your brain. Going to bed with the worries and stresses of the day fresh in your mind can prevent you from switching off and drifting off. By incorporating meditation into your nightly routine, your body will become accustomed to the process and will wake you up at the first crack of dawn. Meditating in the morning can also release feel-good endorphins that can set you up for the day and carry you through until bedtime.
Spend time outside
Your circadian rhythm is influenced by the amount of vitamin D your body is exposed to on a daily basis. By going for a walk or spending your lunch break outside, you can indirectly impact your body’s ability to fall asleep and wake up earlier. Irregular work patterns can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. If you walk to work before sunrise or do not clock off until after dark, consider incorporating vitamin D supplements into your daily routine. If you have the time to do so, venturing outside, even for a few minutes, will expose your body to greater levels of sunlight and increase your chances of waking up naturally.
Training your body to wake up naturally is difficult. But it is not impossible. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your sleep schedule and reset your body clock. If you don’t know where to begin, start by resisting the snooze button, making the bed, working out, eating a good breakfast, tapping into your natural circadian rhythm, avoiding alcohol, waking up to natural light, meditating, and spending more time outside.