1. Wake Up Earlier Many of us try to wake up as late as possible, but losing precious time in the morning puts pressure on our bodies and minds. As a result, time feels tight throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be that way! By waking up early, you can give your body and mind time to unwind and set your routine at an even pace. 2. Drink a Glass of Water as Soon as You Wake Up Your body esse...
I used to hate waking up for work. Three alarms, two cups of coffee, and one commute later, I’d still feel groggy and unproductive a few hours into my day. My solution: Stop waking up for work and start waking up for myself. Now I get up earlier, but to head to the gym — not the office. Rethinking mornings as time for myself made getting up so much easier and, yep, now I count myself firmly in the morning person camp.
Waking up earlier isn’t for everyone, despite the Silicon Valley techies who prescribe “sleep hacking” and subsisting on five hours per night.
“Our sleep needs are biologically determined,” says Pradeep Bollu, M.D., a board-certified sleep specialist and neurologist with MU Health Care. “In order to feel refreshed in the morning, we need to pay off our sleep debt i.e., the biological sleep requirement every night. “Most adults require about 7-8 hours of shuteye per a 24-hour period. Less than 5% need less than 6 hours, and another 5% should actually get more than 8 hours.
In other words, in order to wake up earlier, you’ll have to go to bed earlier too. Short-changing yourself on sleep can affect your judgment, mood, ability to learn, and in the long run can lead to health problems like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, according to Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine.
But if you’re ready to skip your fave late-night shows and join the morning bird crowd, there’s a lot you can do to make the rise-and-grind easier. Here’s where to start:
The key to becoming a morning person is going to bed and waking up at relatively the same time every day — even weekends. “This will help our brain understand when to go to sleep and wake up,” Dr. Bollu says. “By doing this, we are letting our internal or circadian clock run during specific hours during the daytime and letting it be inactive during the nighttime.” Try gradually moving your schedule back 15 or so minutes at a time to help your body to adjust.
Coffee and other stimulants like tea and chocolate can mess with this internal clock when you have them later in the day. Opting for decaf at least 5 hours before bedtime will make following the same schedule easier instead of tossing and turning at night. Stick to about 300-400 mg caffeine (about three 8-ounce cups of coffee) daily if you’re having trouble sleeping, says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute.
Really! These foods have a rep for inducing sleep thanks to nutrients like vitamin B6 and magnesium. They contribute to melatonin production, the hormone that regulates sleep, London says.