Rise And Shine – And Feeling Fine

morningDo you hit and re-hit the snooze button, until eventually dragging yourself out of bed, then shuffling off to the coffee machine, perhaps grumbling a few monosyllables to anyone who dares try speak you that early in the morning?

Some people are just more predisposed to being morning people. If your genes weren’t generous in this area, however, don’t worry there are still ways you can maximise your potential for waking up feeling ready and willing to face whatever the day might bring.

Tips to get you out of bed with a spring in your step:

Implement a regular sleeping pattern. This is more important than people think. Making sure you consistently go to bed and wake up at a specific time every day ensures you have a sound, restful sleep, and makes waking up an easy, natural task. This takes some discipline, and you might have to miss out on a late night show or two, but it’s worth it.

Waking up mid-cycle leaves you feeling tired and groggy, so you should try wake up when your sleep cycle ends. This takes some trial and error, but isn’t that difficult to do. Once you’re in a regular sleeping pattern, experiment waking up ten minutes earlier each day, until you find a waking up time where you can hop out of bed and feel refreshed.

This is the most obvious tip, but bears mentioning anyway. Get your full night’s sleep – no more, but also no less. Sleeping for longer than you need to can also cause you to feel groggy. Thing is, not everyone actually needs eight hours of sleep, that’s just a working average. Experiment on weekends and holidays to find out how much your body specifically needs so switch off the alarm and keep track of the hours. The number will vary depending on whether or not your body is “catching up” on lost sleep. So find a good average that seems to be what your body is looking for.

Cut out the foods that mess with your system, in particular, alcohol, coffee and sugar. These foods can make you tired not just in the morning but throughout the day. Even though coffee is thought of as the get-up-and-go drink, drunken in excess it makes you more tired over the long run. Rather keep that cup of java for special days when you really feel like that extra kick for a short time.

Make sure you’re hydrated. If you’ve had a full night’s sleep but still wake up feeling fatigued – the problem could simply be that you’re dehydrated. Drink a glass of water or two and see what a difference it makes.

Finally, change your attitude about waking up. This might sound easier said than done, but you could dedicate the first few minutes of your morning schedule to something that energises you and makes you reel refreshed. Open those curtains wide and bask in the sunlight. Play a few of your favourite tunes and dance in your underwear. Go for a walk. Whatever gets you feeling more alive than dead.

Queenie Bates is an avid researcher and writer, currently based in Cape Town, South Africa.