You’re not a morning person. Mornings leave you bleary and tired, with a haze over the rest of your day. The alarm goes off and it’s always too early. Does this sound familiar? The good news is, there are a number of things you can do to boost your energy in the morning without trying to be a morning person.
Get enough sleep. It may sound like common sense, but chances are when you have to get up early, you’re not sleeping early enough. You should get at minimum six hours of sleep a night. Eight is better, but you might not need quite so much. No more 3 a.m. evenings and 7 a.m. mornings.
Fix your schedule. Sleeping from midnight to 7 a.m. one night and 3 a.m. to noon the next is erratic and will throw off your body’s natural rhythm. If you’re going to be getting up in the mornings for an extended period of time, try to always go to sleep and get up within the same hour period every day. Eventually you’ll be trained to be more awake in the mornings.
Cut back on dinner the night before, and eat it earlier. The last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night to nature’s call. Not to mention the act of digestion breaks down food into energy for your body, making it harder to fall asleep and causing the sleep you do get to be restless.
Sleep in the dark. No night lights, no computer screens, nothing. Draw your curtains or close your shades if the moon is too bright. Light disrupts your internal cycles and makes your sleep less restful. If you must sleep when the sun is up, invest in light-canceling blinds.
Stay away from the caffeine. While a cup of coffee or a soda can help perk you up in the morning, too much will stress the body with constant adrenaline production. Needless to say, don’t drink anything with caffeine in it before bed. Try to limit the amount you drink during the day – no more than a couple of cups of coffee. Cutting back may cause withdrawals at first, but once you’re past them, you’ll feel much better.
Don’t drink alcohol, or at the very least, stop drinking four hours before you go to bed. Not only will you have to go to the bathroom if you’re full of liquid, but alcohol tends to make you awakened only a few short hours after you finish drinking.
Drink something in the morning. If you put a glass of water next to your bed each night, and drink it in the morning, you’ll feel much more awake. Water gets your circulation going, cures the mild dehydration of a night of sleep, and gives you the energy to start the day.
In a similar vein, eat something. Breakfast is essential for children and adults alike. Just like your body needs water in the morning, it needs food to supply you with energy for the day. Not eating will leave you feeling fatigued, even if you got enough sleep the night before.
Watch the sun rise. If you’re not up quite that early, step out on the porch for a few minutes. Natural light, as opposed to artificial light, helps to stop the production of sleep chemicals and wakes you up. If you have to get up earlier than the sun, look into investing in a simulated light source.
Exercise. If you have the chance in the morning, go for a walk. This can not only get you the sunlight you need, but exercise will wake you up, fresh air will clear your head, and the relaxing quiet of an early morning goes a long way to reducing stress. Alternatively, do some yoga or tai chi indoors or in the yard. A little exercise goes a long way to encouraging morning energy.
Following even a few of these tips can have a drastic effect on your morning energy levels. Try them out and see what works for you.