We have all been there. Laying in bed. Our pillow is calling us, calling to us that it is just the right temperature for once, and it wants to show its love for us with the perfect amount of softness. And sure, the alarm is blaring, but it can be snoozed for just twenty more minutes.
If you haven’t ever felt like this, lucky you. Most people, however, tend to feel pretty crappy in the morning. Even with a good night’s sleep (and that itself can be hard to come by), sometimes you cannot avoid feeling downright sleepy. Here are some tips to help you feel refreshed no matter when you want to wake up.
Drink Water: Dehydration makes you sleepy, and chances are when you wake up your body is a dehydrated after 7+ hours without water. So, before you reach for the coffee, milk, or juice, drink an 8oz glass of water to wet your whistle. You will be surprised at the difference this makes.
Oil it Up: Some alarm clocks now have sophisticated aromatherapy mechanisms, but really all you need is a bright citrus, jasmine, or peppermint smells, which can be gotten through essential oils. Place a bottle of essential oil by your bed. The next morning, when you wake up put some on your hands, temples, or right underneath your nose. If you think the smell might disturb your neighbors, consider making tea with these flavors and scents.
Relocate Your Alarm Clock: The least effective spot for your alarm clock is next to your bed. Instead, move your alarm clock across the room from where you sleep so that to turn it off you have to get up. Even better, get a rolling alarm clock so you have to chase it around. The Tocky alarm clock will jump and roll around the room, and can be personalized with your own music. It’s a great alarm clock for ditching your snooze button addiction.
Set Multiple Alarm Clocks: Sometimes one is not enough. If one alarm just isn’t enough, set two. If that isn’t enough bring out the big guns: set them apart both in time and location.
Create and Follow a Schedule: Create a daily awakening ritual. Your alarm clock can only do so much of the work. Since your body’s clock follows a circadian rhythm, if your rhythm is off your sleep cycle will follow it. Make yourself go to sleep and wake-up on schedule and stick to it. Once you wake up, follow a set agenda of things you do to get ready. For the first week or so you may find yourself in bed and over energized, and drowsy when you wake up, but the dividends pay off. Once you orient your body to a natural activity schedule, and you may find yourself relying less and less on caffeine, alarm clocks, and other forms of external stimulation.
Place a huge bird feeder outside your window: Neighborhood birds and squirrels will flock there in the morning, like a natural alarm clock. You could also get a rooster, but your entire block will hate you.
Take a Shower: A quick shower as soon as you get out of bed will cause your body to encounter variable temperature conditions, which will increase circulation throughout your body and wake it up. Alternatively, splash cold water on your face, as that does essentially the same thing.
Exercise: Get your blood moving in the morning through exercise.You do not need a full gym regime (though that is probably the most effective). Even doing a few jumping jacks right after your turn off your alarm will wake your body up and get those muscles out of their stupor.
Stimulate your Brain: If physical exercise isn’t your thing, exercise your brain. Play Sudoku, try the crossword, or read a newspaper to get your brain awake. While morning talk shows might entertain you, they won’t wake you up as well as more active engagements.
Direct Sunlight: Natural light is nature’s most effective wake up call. Sunlight causes the body to release wake-up hormones that are very effective for telling your body to wake up. Brighten your bedroom and allow in natural light in each morning. Or, soak in the Vitamin D outside a coffee or a tea cafe, and you should be jumping with liveliness by the time you get the office.
Have Breakfast: They do not call it the most important meal of the day for nothing. Mastication and digestion force the body to wake-up, making it harder to fall back asleep. Moreover, try to wake up your senses by eating stimulating foods like citrus fruits and caffeinated tea or coffee.
Ditch the extra layers: The bed is a warm, comfortable, and soothing place. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes we need that chill factor to shake off that comfy feeling. It you can, try leaving some layers off (within reason) until you are fully awake.
Finally… Make Mornings A Time to Look Forward To: The above suggestions will make it easier for you to wake up in the morning, but the root cause of most morning drowsiness is dread of waking up. For most of us, getting up means that time before going to work, school, or other daily chores. If your morning is something you do not look forward too, make it worth looking forward to. Make it the time you get to check your emails, play the crossword, read your favorite book, eat a delicious breakfast with your loved ones, listen to music, or exercise. Once you start looking forward to what you get to do after your wake up, not only will you wake up easier, but happier too. This might be the hardest step, but it is worth your while.
Each of these tips will help you wake yourself up, and the more you do the more refreshed you will feel upon awakening. Try them and see!