In last week's blog we talked about how to improve your night routine for better sleep. Improving your sleep is a major component of lowering stress levels, helping with weight loss, and especially in having more energy to start your day. But that's not the entire equation; how you wake up also plays a major role in having a productive day.
If you're like me, you dread getting out of bed most days and it seems like you could always use more sleep. I'm definitely a night owl but utilizing some of the night time routine tricks in conjunction with these morning tips have made a world of a difference in my daily energy levels- and it starts with that moment you wake up.
In an ideal world, we'd all wake up naturally at the same time each day- and if you're one of these people boy am I jealous. I'd say, depending on the prior night's events and whether or not I stayed up until two in the morning binge watching Netflix, I wake up in a the same 1-1.5 hour window every morning. The reality for many of us is that we require an alarm to ensure we get out of bed when we need to so we can start our day early enough so that we have time to have our coffee, get ready, and head into the office- or in today's COVID world go to the kitchen table and open our laptop.
The need for an alarm clock is not inherently bad, but what you choose to utilize an alarm clock can change that. Tip #1: Do not use your phone as an alarm clock. What happens when you use your phone as an alarm is you almost inevitably end up checking your notifications, scrolling through social media, or stressing out about the latest news. This is not the way to start your morning as it likely only hinders you from actually getting yourself out of bed. Plus, what's better- stressing yourself out on your phone or getting MORE sleep?!
Additionally, if you use your phone as an alarm, it's likely you were using it before bed- this has been proven to release cortisol, the stress hormone, in your brain which hinders both your ability to fall asleep and the quality of sleep. The best thing you can do for yourself to improve your morning is move your phone charger to the other side or your room (or a different room altogether!) so that you can ensure you are not tempted to play on it either before bed or when you wake up. There are plenty of alarm clock options on Amazon that'll fit whatever aesthetic you may desire, like this sleek mirrored one with a night mode dimmer!
Tip #2 is never set multiple alarms. Now this is something that I still struggle with as there tends to be two parts of myself battling when I am planning for my next day... One part of me really believes that I will be able to get up super early and leap right out of bed to start my day, while the other just really loves that snooze button. My college roommate had to listen to alarms go off in 10 minute intervals for nearly 2 hours some days (I am so sorry, Kristen!) and not only was it terrible for her, it wasn't good for me either! Setting multiple alarms as a "just in case" is really just subconsciously giving yourself permission to sleep through those first couple alarms. Train your body to wake up after one alarm so that you can wake up and start your day right away, without that stress from playing whack a mole with your alarm every 5 minutes.
On the weekends, it can be especially difficult to get out of bed in the morning. We all look to the weekend as an opportunity to "catch up" on sleep, but the reality is it's just not possible. Sleeping in longer on the weekends will only confuse your body more, and make it more difficult to get to bed on Sunday and wake up at your scheduled time on Monday. Instead,Tip #3 is to wake up at roughly the same time each day. I say roughly because, typically the weekend is a time where you go to bed a bit later after hanging with friends or watching some late night television, but try to stick to somewhat of a routine. Going to bed at 11PM on Thursday and 3PM on Friday is a really good way to put yourself on the fast track to bad sleep and grogginess throughout the following day. Ideally, we'd go to bed and wake up at the same times every day but because we are human and not robots, I'd say try to stay within a 1-1.5 hour window on the weekends, so you don't mess with your body's natural circadian rhythm.
Tip #4 is to have a plan for your morning! I am the first person to admit that I will wake up to my alarm and go, "Well I don't really have to wake up and do XYZ right now..." Then I end up laying in bed until I panic about how much time I've wasted. Not a ideal way to start the day... Instead, utilize your night routine to help yourself plan your morning! While journaling and planning for the following day, think about what you would like to get accomplished- even something as little as 10 minutes of reading is important to jot down! Give yourself some structure and some determination to get out of bed by planning to wake up, meditate, perhaps work out, and make yourself healthy breakfast- whatever the routine or plan for the day is, just make sure you have one! This will make actually getting out of bed 10x easier.
Let us know if you have any additional tips for kickstarting your morning! And tell us if these steps have worked for you in the comments below!