15 EASY WAYS TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR MORNINGS
1. Download a sleep cycle app on your phone. Some are free, but you can find plenty of options that are a dollar or less. It supposedly tracks the sleep cycles that you’re in and wakes you up in the lightest sleep phase, so that you can wake up feeling rested and relaxed.
2. Sleep Cycle alarm clock is a good app to try (this isn’t sponsored, just a suggestion based on my own experiences). It will monitor your movement during sleep and will wake you up during a 30-minute window that you set yourself. You’ll wake up feeling less groggy or completely out of it, which will save you from hitting the snooze button 17 times. Another bonus is that it provides you with your personalized sleep statistics after every night’s sleep.
3. Speaking of the snooze button, avoid it at all costs. Setting your alarm for an earlier time than when you need to wake up, just so that you can hit Snooze several times, is actually much worse for you Your body goes through crucial REM cycles, especially early in the morning, and setting an alarm to go off in the middle of that will disrupt your cycle and ultimately lead to you feeling more exhausted, brain dead, and anxious throughout the day.
4. Drink a cup of tea before bed. It will soothe you and relax your system. Just make sure it’s caffeine free.
5. Keep your phone/alarm clock somewhere where you’d have to get out of bed to turn it off in the morning. (Unless you download a sleep app, in which case, your phone will have to stay in your bed with you.)
6. The minute your alarm goes off, sit up and swing your legs onto the floor. Then, take your time and sit there for a few minutes if need-be. It’s a way to ensure that you can wake up calmly and peacefully, without worrying that you’re going to fall back to sleep.
7. Don’t look at screens half an hour before bed – tv, computer, iPad, anything. Bright lights confuse your body clock into thinking it’s daytime, and you’ll have a harder time falling asleep. Instead, read a book, write in a journal, flip through a magazine (if you’ve bought one in the last five years) and let your body naturally relax and prepare for sleep.
8. Most studies show that you need at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night. So do what you need to do to make that happen so that you feel rested in the morning.
9. Get a coffee machine with a timer. Set it to start brewing you a cup before your alarm goes off, so that right when you wake up, you have a warm cup of coffee waiting for you.
10. Try taking melatonin if you have trouble falling asleep at night. It’s a hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycles, and is available as a dietary supplement in most pharmacies and vitamin stores, no prescription needed. There are some side effects though, so talk to your doctor if you’re concerned or unsure about trying it. I haven’t personally tried it, but I know multiple people who take it every night and say it’s a lifesaver.
11. If you are sick and need to take cold medicine, such as NyQuil, take it early in the evening. In my experience, I have to take it at least twelve hours before my alarm goes off the next morning, or I’m totally worthless for the better part of the day.
12. Take a walk, if it’s nice out. Seems simple, but nothing makes you feel more awake or alert than some fresh air.
13. Chug a glass of lukewarm water right when you wake up. It’s been shown to help you feel more alert in the morning, and it’s a good way to start of the day feeling hydrated.
14. Try developing something to look forward to in the morning that requires alertness, such as reading, stretching, catching up on your newsfeed, sitting outside, etc. Avoid passive activities like watching tv. It’s easy to get out of bed when you have a regular routine that you enjoy doing in the morning.
15. Don’t check your email immediately. Little problems and requests and issues are going to crop up all day, so why not delay the hassle for at least thirty minutes so that you can enjoy a little peace and quiet time before diving in?