We've all been there: Your alarm starts beeping and all you can think about is hitting the snooze button. Your pillow feels unbelievably soft, the tangle of sheets is calling your name, and the light streaming in from your windows has become your absolute worst nightmare.
What makes mornings so rough sometimes? It's usually something that happened long before you crawled into bed.
1. Caffeine is not your friend at night
Your body can be extremely sensitive to caffeine when it's close to bedtime. Try to stop drinking coffee at least six hours before you hit the sack. Really need some energy to get through the evening? Opt for green tea. It’s not as caffeinated as black tea, coffee or soda, but will still perk you up a little.
2. Pick up a book
Choose a lighter read, something that will not stress you out or make you stay up even later than you intended. Reading can be like meditation, helping to calm your body down. Not a huge book person? Pick up a magazine. You might also avoid reading on a tablet, Kindle, or laptop right before bed. The LED screen has been shown to interfere with sleep, as its light can trick your brain into thinking it is daytime.
3. Bedtime snacks are a no-no
Your body will spend the next couple hours digesting, which is not exactly the most serene state. Try to eat no later than 4 to 5 hours before you go to bed.
4. Your bed is not your office
Even if you work from home, there is no excuse for working in bed. It's important to keep your work space separate from your relaxation space, or your body will begin to associate your bed with work.
5. Consistency goes a long way
We’re all tempted to sleep in on the weekends, but try not to go too crazy. If you normally get up at 7 a.m., set your alarm for 8 a.m. on Saturday. Fine—8:30 a.m. will work too. Sleeping in excessively can wreck your sleep patterns.
6. Move your body during the day
Exercise wears you out just enough for a restful night's sleep. Try walking for 45 minutes each day. If you want a challenge, do an hour of cardio and a half hour of weight-lifting. By the time it’s 9 p.m., you’ll be ready to hit the hay.
7. Once you're awake, get up
It seems relaxing to linger in bed while sorting out your day in your head. But it's actually not the healthiest habit. Get up, make coffee or tea, eat some breakfast, and get going. You will feel more energetic and less lethargic that way.
Photo credit: Parachute Home