Do you seem to go through virtual hell, everyday, trying to get up in the morning and move through the morning routine, like taking a shower, having breakfast and getting work started? Well, that was me a few years ago.
When I looked at others who started their day briskly and looked so full of energy early in the morning, I wondered how they do it? What is their secret? And I believe, over the years I have cracked the code. My mornings now are no longer what they used to be. I get up earlier, I go through my routines with enthusiasm, look forward to the day and find myself full of energy to tackle what the day has up for me.
I am going to share with you what helped me become a morning person and here they are..
1.) Eat Early, Eat Healthy And Mind The Portions
I have come to believe that the most common reason why people wake up sluggish or tired in the morning is because of heavy eating at night, or late eating.
Digestion is an energy intensive process and if you go to bed on a full stomach, guess what? Your stomach is going to spend most of the night digesting the food, leading to improper sleeping patterns and less deep sleep. There is little wonder you feel drained in the morning.
The remedy is simple. Try to eat a healthy dinner, and make sure that you don’t over eat. Allow a gap of at least 2 hours before your last meal and the time you go to bed.
It’s never good to go to sleep immediately after eating a big meal.
You can also try changing your diet at night, and eat more raw veggies, salads or whole grain foods, which are easier to digest and provide essential minerals and vitamins.
Making this change alone made a whole lot of difference to my lazy mornings.
2.) Avoid Stressful Activities Before Sleep
It’s best to avoid doing things that can strain the mind or body just before you go to sleep.
Watching stimulating TV programs, listening to loud music, playing engrossing video games or having an argument, are activities you should avoid before going to sleep. These activities stimulate your mind, leaving you feeling restless in the bed. An over-active mind will take more time to hit deep sleep, thus feeling tired in the morning.
What I found immensely helpful was to spend 30 minutes reading some soothing books or listening to some soft music before going to sleep. This is a good practice as it helps calm the mind and body allowing deep sleep to arise faster. Meditation helps too.
3.) Follow a Regular Sleeping Pattern
It’s best to be disciplined when it comes to following a sleeping pattern. If you are in the habit of changing your sleeping times frequently, sleep at 10 p.m., 12 a.m., 1 a.m. on different days, then it’s going to inhibit your body from developing a sleeping cycle or rhythm.
Most people who wake up brisk and active are the ones who are strict about their sleeping time, they make sure they get to bed at the same time everyday and wake up at the same time.
For example, go to bed at 10 pm and wake up at 6 am, follow this routine with discipline so that your body can formulate sleeping rhythm also known as the circadian rhythm.
If you have difficulty falling asleep early, then here’s a simple tip. Dim the lights in your room in the evenings. This will signal the body that it is time to sleep, the sleep hormone melatonin in your blood stream will increase and you will start feeling sleepy early.
4.) Help your body relax before sleeping
Here is a simple technique you can follow to relax you body and mind before sleeping.
Simply sit on your bed, preferably resting your back against the headboard. Consciously start to breath in deeply, hold your breath for a few seconds and then breath out. While doing this, let go of focusing on your thoughts and instead focus all your attention on your breathing.
Do this for a few minutes, or even better, do this for as long as you start feeling sleepy.
Do this tonight and I guarantee you that you will wake up feeling a lot fresher.
If you have an over-active mind and find it difficult to focus on your breathing, consider listening to ‘delta wave’ binuaral beats while doing this exercise.
Why delta waves? Here’s why: Your brain operates at different frequncies at different times of the day. While active, the frequency is predominently alpha (8 – 12 Hertz), and when you are in a deep restful state, the frequency drops down to delta (0.2 – 3 Hertz).
When you listen to delta wave binaural beats, your brain tries to match these frequencies by lowering its own frequency. Before long, the brain starts to relax and you start falling into a deep restful state. This phenomenon is scientifically proven.
There are a host of free binaural beats available on the internet, but if you are looking for something formal, check out sleep saloon. Sleep saloon is a professionally made program that will train your brain to have deep restful sleep within a few days of usage.
5.) Avoid Going to Sleep After Midnight if You Want an Active Morning
There are people who go to bed at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. and wonder why they feel so sluggish in the morning. I was one of them!
If you want an active morning it is imperative that you go to sleep before midnight. 10.00 p.m. or 10.30 p.m. are good times to hit the bed if you want to get up around 6 a.m. in the morning. These times are also in correspondence to the body’s natural sleep cycle regulated by what is known as the ‘Circadian clock’.
Going to sleep at 1 a.m. and trying to get up 6-7 a.m. is not going to work out in most cases, you will end up feeling drained in the morning.
6.) Avoid Over Sleeping
Just like too little sleep, too much sleep can be harmful too. Research indicates that too much sleep can cause headaches and feelings of depression. Try not to sleep beyond the 8 or 9 hour frame.
If you have a habit of taking naps in the afternoons, make sure that these naps are within the one hour time frame so your sleep rhythms are not altered. This way you will get sleepy early in the night and will subsequently wake up early too.
7.) Sleep In The Right Direction
According to Feng Sui and a few other traditions like the Hindu tradition, your sleep may get disturbed if your head points towards the north or south. The reasoning behind this is that the North Pole and South Pole generate a magnetic pull. If you live in the northern hemisphere, it is advised you never sleep with your head pointing towards the north. Similarly, if you are in the southern hemisphere, it is better not to sleep towards the south.
The best positions to sleep are the west, east, south east and south west.
So get yourself a magnetic compass and figure out if you are sleeping in the right direction. Try experimenting with different sleep positions to see what works best.
8.) Write Down Your Goals For the Day, the Previous Night
Before going to sleep, make it a habit to jot down what you intent to do the next day.
A rough plan for the morning, afternoon and evening should be good enough. Initially, you can only write down what you want to do in your mornings. Writing this down the previous night allows your mind to be more focused when you get up. And your body will be ready to take up the tasks ahead.
If you hate what your current daily routine entails then work towards changing these routines.
Like for instance, if you hate your job, work out a plan on how you can quit your job and move on to doing what you love. Use this as a motivation to get up in the morning. Dedicate a few hours of the day working towards your personal goals.
9.) Help Your Body Flush Out Toxins in the Morning
Morning is the time when your body is ready to flush out toxins.
Help your body by drinking plenty of clean water first thing in the morning. I have found it immensely useful to drink plain water in the morning and not eat anything until about 30 minutes after waking up.
I then drink some refreshing lemon and ginger juice and treat myself to some fresh fruits. Any case, that’s besides the point. The main point to remember is to drink plenty of water first thing in the morning.
10.) Practice Sun Gazing
Looking at the sun rise or the early morning sun can be very rejuvenating and has been known to have many associated health benefits.
There are people who sun gaze for many minutes to an hour, but that is not required. All you need to do is stare at the sun early in the morning. Preferably within the 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. window when the ultraviolet radiation is at its lowest. The sun has a lot of energy and sun gazing can help you tap into this energy.
I have found sun gazing for one to five minutes extremely beneficial. Avoid staring at the sun for long after 8 a.m.
11.) Find Ways To Move Your Body
If you don’t feel motivated to exercise first thing in the morning, try moving your body the way you enjoy doing it the most. Go for a jog or a run if that excites you. Early morning jogs can be super rejuvenating.
If that is not your thing, try dancing to your favorite music. This was my personal go to. I used to put on some positive Bob Marley music and just jump around to its tunes for five to ten minutes. Always rejuvenated me to the very core.
In-fact, a fun way to walk up in the morning is to set your favorite music as your alarm tone. This is a great way to train your mind to get up early.
12.) Find Ways to Look Forward to Your Day
One of the reasons why you wake up tired in the morning is because you are not really looking forward to the day. May be you don’t like your job, or college, or your daily morning routine.
Most people feel much more alive in the evening than in the morning because they are not enthused by the things they have to do in the day time.
Try to make your morning fun in the best way possible. You can set up some activities you enjoy once you wake up, like working out, listening to motivating tapes, performing yoga, cycling, swimming or even a outdoor sport, like playing basketball.
Some people enjoy a meditation session first thing the morning, as it helps relax their mind and ready it for the day’s activities.
When you have something to look forward to, your mind will naturally feel a lot more active and interested.
These are some simple tips to stop waking up tired in the morning. They helped me immensely to stop feeling sluggish in the morning, and I hope they help you too.
If you have any of your own tips, please do share in the comments.