Instead of waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed, many of us start the day by hitting the snooze button several times with just enough time to throw on a clean pair of pants, grab a protein bar and run out the door.
Whether you tend to function better in the mornings or evenings, everyone struggles with getting up early from time to time. Late nights and dark mornings make throwing off the covers and jumping out of bed much less enticing.
Hectic morning routines can leave you feeling stressed and drained before you even set foot in the office. In order to have productive days and advance in your career while also having enough time for your social life, exercise routine, hobbies and much-needed alone time, the only option is to wake up earlier.
Waking up early sets the tone for your day. Instead of racing the clock and feeling your anxiety levels escalate, you can get ready at a leisurely pace, enjoy the breakfast you prepared and put some effort into your physical appearance before conquering the work day. Plus, getting up earlier in the day translates to being more proactive, happier and agreeable.
Even night owls can become early birds. By following these tips, you’ll adjust your internal body clock and soon have enough energy to contribute during morning meetings, churn out newsletters or cheerfully answer client calls. With some practice and patience, you’ll be able to survive and thrive in the working world.
Keep your schedule consistent
Once the weekend rolls around after a long week of work, it’s tempting to stay up late into the wee hours of the morning and sleep in until the afternoon. But, shifting your sleep schedule during the weekends can throw off your internal clock and make it harder to jump on the early morning bandwagon during the week. The anxiety you often feel and the insomnia you tend to experience on Sunday nights is mostly due to the drastic change in your sleep schedule that occurs over the weekend. Our bodies thrive off of routine, so waking up at the same time all seven days of the week will keep your energy levels in check and circadian rhythm functioning properly. When you stick to your sleep schedule, your early morning wakeup time will soon become your new normal, so you won’t think twice about it.
Establish a routine
Having a nighttime and morning routine will teach your body when it should begin winding down at night and waking up in the morning. An hour or so before you turn off the lights, do a relaxing activity that will calm your body down. Drink a warm cup of tea, read a few chapters of a good book or listen to soothing music. Your body will become accustomed to this ritual and will know when it’s time to slow down and rest.
Following a morning routine will make getting out of bed much easier. Have something enjoyable to look forward to so that you’re more motivated to leave the comfort of your cushy mattress and get your day started. Listen to a podcast, write in your journal, practice gratitude, pour a cup of coffee or do any activity that puts you in the right headspace to kick off your day.
Resist the urge to snooze
When it’s time for your early morning wakeup call, hitting the snooze button is often an automatic and appealing response. But, drifting back to sleep after your alarm goes off interrupts your body’s sleep cycle and makes you feel groggier during the day. To avoid snoozing your alarm, put your phone across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn off your alarm, or set your alarm to your favorite song, which will make waking up more fun.
Sometimes, your alarm goes off when you’re in a deep sleep, which disturbs your REM cycle and messes with your cognition. It’s best to wake up at the beginning of a REM cycle when you’re in a light sleep stage. Use an app that detects when you’re sleep is lighter, so you’ll wake up more refreshed and alert.
Soak up the sun
Exposing yourself to natural light in the morning tells your brain that it’s time to wake up and start the day. Light sends signals to the body to stop making melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates sleep. Morning light is correlated with wakefulness because our circadian rhythm aligns closely with light. To wake up more naturally, use a sunrise alarm clock, buy a sun lamp, sit by the window for 15 minutes or brush your teeth outside.
Get moving first thing
Breaking a sweat and getting in some movement early in the morning helps the body wake up, provides you with an energy boost and improves your mood for the next 12 hours, so you’ll be more productive and efficient at work. Beginning your day with some physical activity has long-term health effects too. Exercising in the morning releases bad toxins that often disrupt sleep, reduces blood pressure and lowers stress levels. Plus, getting in some physical activity early means it’ll be easier to make healthier decisions throughout the day. If you schedule your sweat session for later in the day, once the time comes, you’ll probably be too tired to work out, so you’ll skip it and miss out on all of the health benefits. For a healthy, happy and productive day, lace up your sneakers, put on an upbeat playlist and get moving with the Online Studio.
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