As the winter rolls in and we wake to cold and dark when the alarm goes off each morning, getting up and starting the day on a positive note can be anywhere from difficult to impossible.
Some of us are naturally early risers, enthusiastically identifying as ‘morning people’ who find their best, most productive hours are early in the day.
For the rest of us, it’s a different story – bleary eyes, missed alarms and stressful, disorganised mornings are something of a way of life.
Better mornings are as simple as a few changes and establishing a new routine that makes waking up easier. If the winter gets the better of your good intentions each morning, these tips are for you…
Go to bed at the same time every evening
There’s a reason new parents monitor their children’s sleep schedule so closely, and it’s no different for adults. Going to bed at roughly the same time each evening and waking up at the same time each morning will help your body establish a routine and make falling asleep and getting up a little easier. This goes for weekends too – while many of us relish the opportunity to stay up late and sleep in on days we aren’t working, veering too far from our sleep schedule can end up making it harder to get to sleep during the week when we rely on our routines.
Use natural light
Sunlight is nature’s alarm clock, and without the help of the sun in the winter months we often feel more like hibernating. If you notice you really need natural light to help get you moving in the mornings, try a natural light alarm clock. They mimic the sunrise, slowly filling your room with light to help wake you up gently. Though more expensive than a simple alarm clock, for many people who need to wake up early, they make all the difference. Find them on Amazon and at John Lewis.
Get organised the night before
Building a few things into your evening routine can make the next morning easier. Try laying out your clothing the night before and packing your lunch or deciding what you’ll have for breakfast and getting what you need ready before you go to sleep. When the morning comes, you won’t have to waste any energy choosing what to eat or discovering your favourite shirt is in the washing basket, helping your mornings run smoother and giving you the positive energy you need to start your day.
Exercise first thing
Doing exercise first thing in the morning helps power up both brain and body. Consider planning your exercise routine to coincide with the start of your day if you like to go running or visit the gym. If the thought of exercising that early makes you want to roll back over and drift back to sleep, try incorporating a ten-minute routine of stretches, yoga or kettlebell exercises instead. Everyone can take ten minutes – commit to trying it for three consecutive weeks and start to notice the difference it makes.
Turn the screen off
Our exposure to blue light emitted from tablets, computers and smartphones is disrupting a generation of sleeping patterns. An hour before bed, commit to turning off all your devices – turn off the TV, power down the computer and leave your smartphone in another room to charge. To help you relax, try taking a bath or shower, or reading in bed for 30 minutes to unwind. Cut out temptation by making your bedroom a technology-free zone – this also helps us resist the urge to check our emails one last time.
Do you have any tips to make getting up easier?