The struggle to get out the bed most mornings can be pretty serious. It’s warm, cozy, and asks nothing of you (how fantastic, right?). Some days I wish mybed catapulted me right onto my feet because I think the abrupt wake up call might do my body some good. On a serious note, if you’re anything like me, you set four (minimum) alarms and hit snooze MULTIPLE times on each of them as you doze back in and out of sleep.
1. Start an evening routine.
Something as simple as a cup of bedtime tea, a shower, or relaxing yoga can help to ease your body and mind; while signaling that it’s time to start slowing down.
2. Lay out your clothes for the new morning.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Am I in grade school?” Laugh all you want, but the truth is, laying out your outfit the night before will eliminate unneeded stress from your morning routine and save you time. In addition, it makes it easier to get up and out of the house when you’re supposed to.
3. Put your devices down.
Whether it’s your laptop, cellphone, or tablet, most of us are constantly I selling our devices. However, the blue light from tech devices actually tricks your mind into thinking it’s day time. In addition, light in general will keep you awake. Set it down, turn the lights off, and allow your mind to relax.
4. Meal Prep for breakfast and lunch.
Setting aside some breakfast items, putting the coffee grounds and water into the maker, and preparing lunch for the next day before going to sleep will help you feel more refreshed the following morning. How? By crossing these simple items off your normal morning to-do list prior to bed, you are relieving
5. Take a warm shower or bath.
The heat not only relieves your body and mind from the stresses of your day, but also soothes your muscles. Studies show, 4 in 10 Americans say a relaxing shower or bath before bed helps them sleep. Also, who doesn’t love feeling clean when they crawl into bed at night?
6. Don’t drink and dream.
That glass of wine or beer before bed may taste good and help you de-stress at the end of a long day but it also causes restless sleep patterns. Skip the nightcap and try a glass of milk, hot tea, or water instead. In retrospect, alcohol, chocolate, sugar, and spicy foods all have been linked to insomnia-stay away from these close to bedtime my friends, stay away.
7. Namaste your way to dream land.
Yoga before bed (yet again) helps to stretch out and ease any tension in your muscles while simultaneously calming your mind.
8. Use scents.
Certain smells have the ability to not only capture your attention, but affect your actions.
- Lavender-This calming fragrance has been proven to relieve stress and anxiety. Studies also show that it might slow down the nervous system.
- Vanilla-It’s not just for cooking! For quite some time now, vanilla has been known to reduce symptoms of depression, promote feelings of well-being, and lower blood pressure; while providing a tranquil environment.
- Valerian-In addition to providing anxiety relief, it’s been shown that valerian also can serve as a sleeping aid.
- Jasmine-This delicate flower scent will help ensure you fall asleep and stay asleep, with little movement during the night.
- Chamomile-This daisy flower can be found in teas, fired sachets, and essential oils. It will help you ease the tension of your day while helping the mind and body relax.
9. Clear your mind.
Do you ever find yourself lying in bed thinking about everything you didn’t accomplish that day and what you need to do the following day? If you answered yes, stop it. Transition all of those thoughts and tasks onto paper by jotting down any things that are causing you stress or anxiety; or are simply things you need to get done.
10. Not too hungry, not too full.
Your body is constantly using energy to pump blood, contract and relax muscles, produce hormones, and to repair tissues (among many other things). With that being said, t’s very important that you don’t go to bed hungry. However, you also shouldn’t go to sleep extremely full. Late meals and full stomachs can sometimes lead to heartburn or digestive issues. It’s best if you consume dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime. 11. Create a cool environment.
A cooler bedroom is the key to better sleep, with 69% of Americans stating their bedroom temperature strongly impacts their ability to sleep well. Why? It’s pretty simple. When you go to sleep your body temperature drops (almost like an interval thermostat) which induces sleep. The best temperature for most people is between 68-72 degrees.
12. Get regular exercise, but don’t exercise before bed.
People who are more active feel less sleepy during the day and rest better at night. The more you exercise, the more sleep benefits it has on your mind and body. Working out improves symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea while increasing the amount of time you spend in deep, restorative sleep stages.
It’s recommended that you get a MINIMUM of 20-30 minutes of exercise a day. However, if you are working out in the evening hours, try to leave a cushion of at least 3 hours prior to your bedtime. Exercising too close to when you plan on sleeping will keep you up.
13. Try progressive muscle relaxation.
Progressive muscle relaxation includes a two step process. It involved systematically tenses particular muscle groups in your body and then releasing the tension while consciously being aware of how your muscles feel when you relax them. Studies recommend you begin with your toes and work your way up your body to your shoulders, arms, and hands.
14. Forget naps.
You will sleep much better at night if you push yourself to stay awake when the sun is up. If you desperately need to take a nap, keep it to 20 minutes or less in the earlier part of the day. (Note: a short walk, exercise, glass of water, or even a call to a friend can help you overcome that mid-day slump).
15. Save your bed for sleep.
Don’t bring your work or Netflix binge into bed with you as you crawl under the sheets at night, reserve your bedroom oasis simply for resting. By doing so, your mind is able to get into a routine and automatically associates your bed with sleeping. Good Morning:
16. Get up on the first alarm.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, get into a routine. Acclimating your body to a regular wake up time will help your mind and body to associate that time period with the start of your day.
17. Wake up to an upbeat song.
Currently, I’ve been waking up to the gradual build of Rachel Platten’s “Stand by You.” I love this song (well actually all of her music) because it’s not too overwhelming right away in the morning and it has a motivational message. Finding a song or artist you enjoy will help you wake on a positive note and can set your mood for the entire day.
18. Move your alarm clock away from arms reach.
Although many people today utilize their cell phones as alarm clocks, that doesn’t mean it needs to be right at your side while you sleep. Whether you have a traditional alarm clock or use your phone, try placing it out of reach from your bed. This simple action forces you to get up in the morning, turn off that annoying sound, and kick-start your day!
19. Make your bed right away
Completing this simple task allows you to feel somewhat accomplished that you’ve done something already in the morning. Plus, it makes it much harder to crawl back into bed and drift back to sleep after you just went through that work.
19. Stretch it out.
Moving your body (even subtly) right away in the morning helps to relieve any stress you built up while sleeping. After lying in bed all night, tossing and turning, or possibly sleeping “funny” some muscles can become shortened and tight. A simple stretching routine will improve your range of motion for the day and decrease the chance of injury.
20. Drink a cup of coffee
Studies show that people get more antioxidants from coffee compared to any other drink or food. Scientists have identified about 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed beans and even more develop when the coffee is roasted. In addiition, coffee provides a short term memory boost, enhances exercise performance, and has been proven to make people happier. Not too bad of a way to start out the day if you ask me!
21. If you don’t like coffee, enjoy some energizing tea or a glass of water.
22. Exercise right away in the morning.
Knocking out your physical activity for the day in the morning will increase your appetite for a good breakfast, alleviate stress, boost your metabolism, provide your skin with a natural glow, and allow you to start the day in a good mood. Why? When you exercise you
23. Take a shower or bath.
Some have said, morning showers are better than bacon for waking you up. (Yeah, I’ll argue against that statement as well…#TeamBacon)But in all seriousness, a nice cold or hot shower will help relieve your skin of the oily build up that accumulated while you were sleeping while also helping to wake you up and feel good about your appearance.
24. Brush your teeth and wash your face.
Brushing and washing away your morning breath, gritty teeth, and cleansing your face helps tell your brain that you’re up and ready or your day (rather than slumping back into bed).
25. Eat a good breakfast.
A nutritional breakfast helps improve one’s concentration in the classroom or workplace while providing ample strength (mentally, emotionally, and physically) to get through the day.
26. Write your to do list for the day.
Organization is key to getting things accomplished and a very progressive step in making that happen is creating a list; this also allows you to prioritize things in order of importance. Creating a to-do list will increase your productivity and motivation as well. After all, who doesn’t enjoy the satisfying feeling they get upon crossing something off a list?
27. Give yourself enough time to get ready, so you don’t feel rushed.
28. Make morning appointments.
Whether it’s a morning workout class, coffee date, important phones all, or meeting someone for a walk, scheduling things keep you accountable for waking up.
29. Don’t sleep in on the weekends or your days off.
I know what you’re thinking, “What?! Are you crazy woman?” Perhaps I am. However, studies have shown that sleeping in when you typically have an early morning schedule will make you even more tired (almost like a jet lagged feeling). Instead, take that morning time to enjoy some “me time” and do things you wouldn’t be able to do the other days of the week. (Something adventurous, indulging in a good book, etc.)
30. Try an app.
There are so many applications at your fingertips that will help you wake up quicker and easier. For example, Better Me shares your inability to wake up on Facebook every time you hit snooze (public self-shaming). Another app called Sleep Cycle uses motion sensors to monitor your movement and determine when it’s the best time for you to wake up (during your lightest sleep level). Note, there are incredible watches and devices such as Fitbit that will vibrate to help wake you up during light sleep cycles too!
I hope this post helps you rest well and wake up refreshed my friends! Please let me know your tricks to sleeping better and waking up, in addition to your thoughts regarding this post by commenting below.