Sleep

10 Tips to Help You Rise and Shine…Earlier

Not many of us awake in the morning bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to tackle the day ahead.

In fact, most of us are more prone to hitting snooze a few times on the alarm clock, only to drag ourselves sluggishly and grumpily into the day. However, if it’s important to you to make the most of each day, these ten tips may help you rise and shine with more ease and energy…

1. Good Morning Stretch

There’s a reason why the body naturally feels good after a good morning stretch—you know arms extended over the head with a slight back bend. Start each day with a few gentle stretches, like spinal twists, to get the blood flowing to those muscles and extremities and banish the cobwebs.

2. Drink a BIG Glass of Water

I start each day with a big glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon. This helps to replenish any lost hydration during sleep, and it wakes up the organs, nervous system, and digestive system for the day ahead.

3. Always Eat Breakfast

Mom was right—you should always start each day with a healthy breakfast, particularly after fasting for 6 to 8 hours while sleeping. In order to function normally the body requires a boost in energy stores. Even if your stomach can’t handle a big breakfast, try a light meal of fruit and yogurt to start your day.

4. Energize with a Shower

There’s nothing like a cool stream of water to the face and down your back to wake you up. Keep your showers warm, but not too hot in order to revive you from slumber and initiate the central nervous system for the day’s activities.

5. Don’t Overdo the Coffee

You may be tempted to slurp back a whole pot of coffee to get your body and brain going in the mornings. However, excess caffeine (more than two 8-ounce cups of regular coffee) will cause an energy crash somewhere around 10:30am. Try one cup, and if you really need it, drink another, but keep coffee intake to 2 per morning at most.

6. Choose a Soothing Alarm

The high-pitched beep of your alarm clock may cause you to hit the ceiling in the morning, but a gradual and soothing rise from slumber is much less stressful on the body. For example, the shock of a jarring alarm accelerates the heart rate and instantly puts you in a state of stress (or fight or flight), which isn’t a good way to start the day.

7. Breathe in the Day

One of the reasons rising suddenly is stressful and difficult on the body is because we don’t take the time to re-oxygenate. Like, hydration, the body’s oxygen supplies can be depleted if we wake up anxious and focused on all the things we need to do throughout the day. So take a few moments to breathe deeply, fill the body with vital oxygen, and the go tackle the day.

8.  Stick to a Sleep Schedule

I know you’re busy, we all are, and it’s difficult to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, including weekends when the temptation is to sleep in. However, the body’s circadian rhythm (the internal clock that maintains healthy sleep cycles) is impacted by the external environment. Thus, the consistency of maintaining a regular sleep and waking schedule will eventually train your body to awake earlier and more energized in the mornings.

9. Stay Active

Physical activity, along with a few energizing stretches, is also a great way to flush the body with fresh blood. Some people like to do yoga (i.e., Sun Salutations); others enjoy a brisk morning walk with the dog, or a run around the block. However, you can choose your own favored form of exercise to get the blood flowing and energize for the day ahead.

10. Relax Before Bed

Many of us bring work home, or worse, into the bedroom. Electronic devices like tablets, smart phones, laptops, and televisions disrupt the calming nature of your bedroom and keep your brain spinning like a hamster wheel as long as 1 to 2 hours after you turn them off before bed.  So banish the electronic devices from the bedroom and unplug a few hours pre-slumber to prepare the body for a deeper, more relaxing night’s sleep.

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Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.

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