The alarm clock goes off and you think, “No, no, NO!” For many of us, getting out of bed is a Herculean task. Early mornings are getting darker as we head into winter. In some parts of the country, cold temperatures make leaving those warm covers nearly impossible. Or you’re just Plain. Old. Tired.
But sleeping in might not be the answer. In one interesting study, researchers found that seven hours of sleep is the right target for optimal cognitive functioning later in life.
Is it possible to make morning more pleasant, even if you’re not a morning person? Yes, but much of the morning payoff actually starts with how you end your night. Follow these healthy sleep and wake-up tips for an easier morning:
1. Make a bedtime routine
The National Sleep Foundation recommends practicing a relaxing ritual before bed, staying consistent with bedtime and awakening. Try a soothing essential oil, a guided meditation, or a head-to-toe muscle relaxation exercise.
2. Decrease sleep-disrupting habits
Nicotine and caffeine have stimulating effects that might be affecting your sleep, especially if used later in the day. Both alcohol and ingesting a heavy meal before bed also can disrupt your sleep quality.
3. Embrace nighttime darkness
Limiting exposure to light for several hours before bed, particularly blue lights that come from LED lights and electronic devices, can help influence melatonin secretion and encourage natural circadian rhythm.
4. Expose yourself to light in the morning
This study looked at a small sample, eight participants, who reported trouble waking in the morning. Those in the intervention group experienced dawn simulated light for their last 30 minutes of sleep. Subjective ratings of alertness by participants was significantly higher for those exposed to light. Cognitive performance and reaction times were also improved.
We can’t forget the night shift!
Do you work the night shift and struggle with getting quality daytime sleep? Follow our Quick Tips for making the most of your rest time while the sun is up.