How do you wake up?
Not wanting to get out of bed? Finding it impossible to wake up? Missing your alarms – all 18 of them? Needing two coffees before you’re even feeling anything remotely relating to human? Finding that lethargic feeling lingers for hours on end? Don’t fret, we all have days like that. For it to be your norm however, is pretty inconvenient to say the least. Time to change things up.
We all have that moment in the morning hours where the embrace of our warm cosy bed is hard to let go of. The issue is that our body likes continuity, it wants to keep going as it is because it’s on a roll. There is a scientific term for this biological reaction, and for the life of me I can’t think what it is. I remember learning about it in biology class, but I don’t have those text books anymore. I even asked google “What is it called when our body likes to stay asleep, and once it’s up and going likes to stay in motion.” Could I be thinking of Newton’s Law of Motion? Perhaps.
Train yourself to wake up
My point is, once we’re up and at ’em, it’s easy to keep going. It’s getting the engine to turn over that requires the most effort, and it’s much easier for some people than it is for others. The early bird and the night owl usually have completely different personality types, but you can absolutely train yourself to become either one. It’s just a matter of re-configuring your internal clock, which proves itself to be very apparent in cases of jet-lag.
For those of us who could use some ideas on how to wake up more alert (*cough* *cough* my partner) with a bit more bounce, you know, keep your eyes open and willingly plop yourself out of bed (instead of unwillingly dragging your body behind you.) For those of us who’d prefer a feeling of a refreshing nights sleep versus feeling that your morning alarm is punishment for existence. This one’s for you.
The snooze button is your frenemy
Sure, it seems like it has your back, letting you doze-off blissfully knowing it’ll nudge you awake again when you really need to get up, but don’t be fooled. As convenient as it may seem, it’s actually wreaking havoc on your internal clock. By allowing yourself to drift back off to sleep, a second, third, fourth time, you’re starting your sleep cycle from the beginning again in each instance. So you’re likely to fall into a deeper stage of sleep which is the worst to wake up from. Waking up at a deeper stage of the sleep cycle will be that much harder to come out of, leaving you feeling groggy and tired for longer.
Goal: When that alarm goes off, OpEn YoUr EyEs. Don’t treat it as a warm-up or test run. This is the alarm, this is it. This is when you have to wake up and ready yourself to head into battle. (Cue Pirates of The Caribbean theme-tune.) Turn the alarm off, breathe deeply, stretch it out and sit yourself up in bed to avoid drifting off again. Play some funky music or switch the TV on. Pull up the blinds and go to use the bathroom, but DON’T let yourself fall back asleep. After a few weeks of this you will really notice the benefits (it’ll be hard at first.) If you struggle with going to bed early or falling asleep quickly, this will really help.
Fresh fruit and herbal tea first thing
To kickstart our digestive systems with fresh, sweet-tasting nutrition, opt for some chopped fruit or a smoothie with natural yogurt and honey. When you wake up, eating anything is better than eating nothing, but fried breakfasts are too heavy and can actually slow us down, and bland breakfasts give the tastebuds, stomach and soul no inspiration to feed off of. If you don’t like the idea of a cold smoothie (especially during winter months), try some oatmeal topped with fresh raspberries and banana bits. Always finish off with the herbal tea of your preference. (Green is good as it is packed with antioxidants and gives you a natural caffeine kick, lemon zesty ones are great for alertness and cleansing the pallet from hours of slumber, but my all-time favourite is this cinnamon & star-anise blend from Pukka organic teas. Find it here.
Wake up and sing!
Sing in the shower, sing as you’re dressing, sing in the car, sing as you prepare breakfast, sing until you piss your neighbours off so much that they start banging on the walls or resort to leaving a note on your door. Singing gets our voices warmed up, exercises our lungs and diaphragm, and increases blood circulation. As we sing, our sinuses and respiratory tubes open wider, our facial muscles tone and pain-relieving endorphins start oozing into our brains (in a good way). There’s actual scientific studies showing how regular singing can improve mental alertness and sleeping patterns. It also promotes self-confidence, energises us and is more fun than talking. Use singing to get you motivated and inspired, the perfect medicine for the morning blues.
Sources: Herbal Papaya
It’s all in our heads. That’s a simple phrase, but so fundamentally relevant. Everything that we perceive we are, is a manifestation of our minds. Change our perception, and we can change ourselves. Maintain our focus, and we can achieve our dreams.
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