9 secrets to being a morning person
Say goodbye to groggy mornings and hello world!
If you're a morning person you're probably the envy of all your friends. But for the rest of us mornings are an ever-present obstacle standing in the way of us and who we want to be. Because don't we all wish we could jump out of bed before the alarm goes off and greet the day with joy and enthusiasm? But instead we find ourselves hitting the snooze button until the last possible moment and then rushing to get out of the house on time, running to catch the train whilst eating breakfast, finishing make-up and buttoning up shirts?
I know I certainly fall into the second category - mornings are one long uphill struggle for me. My mum however, is a full on morning person, which doesn't lend itself to porridge and harmony when she comes to stay. I want to brood over my breakfast whilst she wants to chit chat about the banana tree in her garden.
So I thought, can I break this cycle and join mum on the early bird express? It turns out I can, because jumping out of bed with a smile on your face is not something reserved for the few, it's something we can all achieve by implementing a few simple things into our morning routine (and just having a routine is something else that can help!):
1. Get a good night's sleep.
It's so obvious but how many of us get a good 8-9 hours a night? And it's not all about quantity either; our adrenals do most of their recharging between 11pm - 2am so to get a good quality night's sleep you should be in dreamland before 11pm, at the latest.
2. Beware of sleep cycles.
The normal sleep cycle for us humans is 90 minutes, so you want to try and sleep for a multiple of said 90 minutes; 6 hours, 7.5 hours, 9 hours and so on. If you can do this you should wake up feeling more refreshed.
3. Set the tone.
Get the right alarm clock for you. Some of us just need a gentle nudge, others something altogether more 'alarming' (see what we did there?), what's important is that your alarm works for you. If you use your phone as an alarm why not make your favourite song your alarm tone? That way you can wake up to something that makes you smile every day. Whatever you go for just make sure your alarm clock doesn't wake you up and then leave you feeling shell-shocked.
(Something to be aware of if you do use your mobile phone as an alarm is you shouldn't keep it too close to your head unless you can turn it off. The research on mobile phones and our health is still limited but we say better safe than sorry on this one).
4. You snooze you lose.
Pressing the snooze button just delays the inevitable and makes it even harder to get up later. Sometimes we try to be clever and set the alarm early with the intention of hitting snooze, but do you feel any more like getting up when it goes off again? No. In fact you may even feel more drowsy than you did before. So once your alarm goes off it's time to wake up. End of.
(If you're a serial snoozer then you may need to break the cycle - try putting your alarm out of reach so you have to get up to turn it off. Or buy an alarm that runs away if you press snooze so you have to get up and chase it round the room to turn it off, and now you're up - job done! And if you happen to wake up before your alarm goes off, get up! Don't go back to sleep, you will just find it harder to get up when the alarm does eventually go off).
5. Stretch and smile.
After waking up reach your arms over your head and point your toes, smile and stretch as far as you can. This will help to wake your body up and smiling releases endorphins, which will help to set the tone for the rest of the day. This is true. Try it!
6. Let the light in.
Once you're up, open the curtains and let the light of the day in. Natural sunlight helps the body to wake up so you want as much as possible as soon as possible. If you live somewhere where there is lots of natural light in the morning you might consider leaving the curtains open and letting the sunlight help to wake you up naturally. You can actually buy special light-boxes that do this for you, but why spend the money when the sun is free?! (Just be aware of what time sunrise is where you are - you don't want to be woken at 5am if you don't need to be up until 7am!
7. Do some yoga.
As soon as you're awake jump out of bed and do some yoga. Stretching on the floor feels nice and isn't a million miles away from being in bed so it's a nice transition to being fully up and it will help to wake you up too. Good postures for first thing in the morning are Tadasana & Utkatasana and Uttanasana.
Before you have anything else, drink a large glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon in it. This will help to wake you up and get your digestion working so you don't feel so sluggish.
9. Have a good breakfast.
It's so important and will set you up for the rest of the day. If you're used to grabbing some toast on your way out of the door because you're always in a hurry, getting up earlier will allow you to spend a bit more time making your most important meal of the day. Nuts and seeds, apples, bananas, watermelon, eggs, natural yoghurt, blueberries and kale are all good energy boosters or why not try one of our Three Simple But Hearty Breakfasts, or Tom's Power Breakfast Smoothie.
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