Fun fact about Yours Truly…Even though my day starts before sunrise Monday through Saturday, I am NOT a morning person!
Not even close!
But, let’s be real here…Is anyone ReAlLy a morning person? I meant, who actually enjoys being awakened front their restful slumber by an annoying alarm, only to have to evacuate the warm comfort of their bed into the cold realities of daily life and responsibility?
Not me!…That’s for damn sure!
I do it!…SIX mornings a week, Monday-Saturday (on Sundays, I sleep in, SHAMELESSLY!).
On those days, my alarm goes off at 5:25 a.m. faithfully, and that’s it!…BAM!…Sleepy time over! Just. Like. That.
There’s no snooze button…There’s no rolling over for “just five more minutes”…There’s no “Not today, Satan!”….There’s just Classic Rock blaring in my ear, 20oz of water on the nightstand, and the day ahead.
After more than two years of the same wake schedule…it’s still not easy…But, I maintain (begrudgingly), and so can you!
If you find it hard to stick to your goal of early morning productivity, these simple steps can make things a whole lot easier when that dreaded alarm sounds, and it’s time to go forth and carpe the damn diem…
1.Don’t just set your alarm, set your bedtime: Healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night for optimal health an functioning. Sadly, many of us fall shot. Aside from making it harder to get up in the morning, a lack of sleep can lead to decreased cognitive functioning, decreased immune functioning, increased signs of aging, and weight gain…Gasp!…So, if becoming a morning person is a priority, turning in early should be one as well. Instead of staying up to watch your favorite late night TV shows, set the DVR, and go to bed! I promise The Walking Dead is just as good later in the week as it was Sunday night.
2.”Unplug” at least one hour prior to bedtime:..I know, I know, says the chick writing a blog to be read on an electronic device, but hear me out!…Using TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices before bed delays the body’s internal clock (i.e. the circadian rhythm), suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. In short, aimlessly scrolling Facebook before bed promotes excessive alertness during a time when you should be winding down and getting sleepy, thus delaying that very important bedtime that you’ve already set for yourself. So, instead of setting yourself up for failure before you’ve even hit the sheets, try putting your phone away and turning off the TV at least one hour before you turn in. Use that time to relax and reflect on your day, read a book (the old-fashioned kind with paper pages and printed words…Yes, they still exist!), stretch or meditate, or enjoy some quality time with your family. You’d be amazed at the connections that can be made with others when there are no technological distractions in the way. Plus, when it’s time to go to sleep, your body, and your brain, will be ready.
3.Make sure you have everything you’ll need the following morning ready the night before: Set the coffee pot to brew automatically, so your coffee will be ready when you go into the kitchen. Prepare as much as you can for breakfasts and lunches, so all you’ll have to do is pack them. Have your supplements set out and ready. Fill water bottles for supplements and workouts. Lay out your clothes and shoes for the next day. If you go to the gym after work, pack your gym bag and sit it by the door, or leave it in your car, so that you don’t forget it. Have your workouts planned and ready. Make sure homework is finished and backpacks are packed. Do the same for important projects for work. Make sure you have everything you need for your day to be a success ready to go when your alarm goes off the next morning. If you cover all your bases the night before, you’ll have less to worry about in the a.m., and you’ll be much more likely to get up and get at it.
4.Do NOT hit snooze!: This one’s hard, and it took me a long time to be able to do it…BUT…Hitting the snooze button, even once, will throw off your whole day. For one thing, snoozing in between alarms is not adequate sleep, as your body doesn’t have time to fall back into a restorative deep sleep during that short amount of time, thus it does not count toward your total sleep hours, and it has actually been shown to make you MORE drowsy, forgetful, irritable, and less productive throughout the day. So, set your alarm for when you need to get up, rather than setting it early enough to snooze. Also, consider putting your alarm clock out of arm’s reach, so you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. You’ll already be out of bed, therefore you can go ahead a start your day.
5.Drink a glass of water first thing: When you wake up in the morning, your body tends to be slightly dehydrated…You’ve been asleep for 7+ hours. What do you expect?…Drinking at least 16oz of water when you first wake up will help rehydrate your body, control your appetite, allow for good digestion, boost your metabolism, increase your energy, and just get you going for the day. As a general rule, I drink a 20oz BlenderBottle of water EVERY morning before my feet even hit the floor, no exception. It’s just one of my morning rituals, as second nature to me as brushing my teeth.
6.Get moving!: If you’re like me, working out first thing in the morning is just what you do, so this one goes without saying…BUT…not everyone is inclined to get their full sweat on in the a.m., and that’s ok! Afternoon and evening workouts are just as badass, and no less effective than those that occur at dawn, however it is important, and helpful, to start your day with a little bit of movement. As little as 5-10 minuets is sufficient enough to boost your metabolism (Do you see a reoccurring pattern here?), improve your physical and mental energy, improve your mood, boost cognition, increase productivity, and just get your day started off right. Do some simple bodyweight exercises to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Try things like Jumping Jacks, Mountain Climbers, High Knees, Butt Kicks, Push-ups, Jump Squats, Alternating Lunges, various stretches, etc. There are a ton of exercises that can be performed quickly, right beside your bed.
Well, there you have it fellow deadheads, 6 simple steps that will help you get your day going in the right direction…even when the only direction you’re really interested in going is back under the covers.