Have you already made your New Year resolutions? Is one of them to be more productive in 2016? One way to be your most productive self is to wake up feeling rested, reinvigorated, and energized. Naturally, one way to make this happen is to set yourself up the night before for a higher quality of sleep. However, that's only half of the equation. On the other side of a good night's sleep is how you wake up.
Unless you're one of the few lucky souls who is a natural morning person, waking up is most likely a struggle and the urge to hit snooze is very strong. However, there is hope. Here are five tips to help start your day off on the right foot by optimizing your wake up routine. I'm not saying these tips will help you to naturally become a morning, but it might make the process of rolling out of bed slightly less painful.
1. Know Your Intentions for the Day
Define what's important to you and why you're getting up in the first place. What is your motivation? It could be as simple as wanting to wake up earlier because you're sick of rushing around in the morning. Or maybe you want to squeeze in some exercise or quiet meditation before you jump into your day. It's also helpful to tell people your morning plans so that you're held accountable.
2. Re-organize Your Morning Routine
If you could stand to get 15-20 minutes of sleep in the morning, think about how you spend your time in the morning and if there's anything you can eliminate or cut down. Could you set a timer to make your own coffee in the morning rather than standing in line at a coffee shop? Could you shower at night rather than in the morning? Sometimes just being more organized and prepared for the next morning is all it takes.
3. Brighten Up Your Space
Obviously you don't want a lot of bright light when you're trying to power down at night, but it can really help your body get in “wake up” mode in the morning. Of course natural light is best when you first wake up, but any bright light will do.
4. Exercise, Because Duh
The best way to wake up is to get your blood flowing. It doesn't have to be intense, but fitting in a brisk walk or some power yoga (it's called a sun salutation for a reason) first thing in the AM can help you keep your energy up all day. If you can get into a routine of exercising most mornings, it will improve your quality of sleep greatly in the long term.
5. Get Some Protein in You
You've been told a thousand times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Protein in the morning converts to dopamine which gives you a boost of energy. Lots of carbs in the morning will cause you to crash hard after a couple hours.