How To Wake Up Rested When You’re Not A Morning Person
Good Morning, Sleepless Beauty! Struggling to get some shut-eye? You are not alone when it comes to trying to figure out how to wake up rested. Nothing to beat yourself up about; the path to restful slumber, although strenuous, is attainable.
We grow so accustomed to our healthy habits that we lose sight of the fact that they are interfering with our health, happiness, and personal success. There is no upside to extreme grogginess; the more sleep you lose, the more you’ll wear yourself down.
Why You Don’t Feel Rested When You Wake Up
Researchers have indicated a variety of factors that contribute to unhealthy sleep habits. Whether you’re struggling with sleep inertia or jet lag, combatting a sleepless night might be easier than you think.
Our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for. Being exhausted is your body’s way of communicating that an adjustment must be made. When it comes to sleep, something as simple as changing your medication or eliminating a specific food from your diet can be the answer to your problems.
Still, if you feel your lack of energy is seriously impacting your health, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor. When in doubt, trust the experts.
The reason you feel like you could pass out in the middle of the day is likely because you’re spreading yourself too thin. Your lack of energy is not a necessary evil, but a vicious cycle. But vicious cycles, like contracts, are not impossible to break. Feeling trapped just means that you’ve yet to find your escape.
How to Wake Up Rested
Here are just a few ways to start your morning off right.
1. Reduce your caffeine intake.
Caffeine is a stimulant. Stimulants keep you awake. Start your mid-afternoon with a morning cup of joe, and you’ll be kept up all throughout the night. All that caffeine can interfere with the timing of your body clock— and your well-being!
Do you find yourself knocking back cup after cup after cup after cup of coffee throughout the day? When running low on sleep, a shot of espresso can come to our aid like a knight and shining armor. Saving us from falling asleep in the middle of an 8 am seminar, we remain forever indebted to the mystical, magical powers that coffee beans have to offer.
Too often, however, what we assume will come to our rescue, results in our detriment. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages (like black tea or sugary sodas) are a quick fix to the problem, but not the ultimate solution. Too much caffeine can actually disrupt your sleep schedule.
If you can’t fall asleep at night, it might be beneficial to your sleep hygiene to reduce your daily caffeine intake.
Be sure to stop drinking caffeinated beverages approximately four to six hours before bed. Swap your bed-time Earl Grey tea for chamomile and a spoonful of honey. Eat a serving of your favorite dark chocolate bar before your lunch break, not after.
Quitting coffee cold turkey isn’t an adjustment everyone has the capacity to make. Some people do not solely drink coffee because they need to stay awake, but because they love the ritual. If you are one of those people, have no fear. After hours, brew a pot of decaf instead.
2. Put your alarm on the other side of the room.
You snooze, you lose.
Refusing to hit the snooze button is easier said than done. Five more minutes won’t do much much for the dull, sluggish daze you awake into. Five more minutes leads to ten more minutes, and ten more minutes leads to fifteen. Why set an alarm if you’re not going to listen to it?
At night, it’s easy to tell yourself that you will jump out of bed, ready to go. But the anti-morning person version of yourself might feel differently. Putting your alarm on the other side of the room might be of assistance to you, especially if you find yourself unable to follow through on the first step.
The farther the phone, alarm clock, rooster, or whatever it is that wakes you up in the morning, the better. If you can reach for your phone from your bed, you’ll probably just stay there. Once you get out of bed, it will be less of a challenge to start your day.
If you are using your cell phone, I recommend picking the most obnoxious ringtone. The more disturbing, the higher the chance that you’ll actually get out of bed. Half the battle of becoming a morning person is getting out of bed.
Whatever you do, do not crawl back into bed! Crawl back in, and call yourself Captain Destined-for-failure, Dr. Doomed.
If the snooze button was an effective method to get you out of bed and ready to go, it would have worked by now. If your own well-being isn’t enough incentive, do it to keep peace with your roommates. Think of your roommates, your partner, or whoever it is that you share a bed and living space with. Walls, like their patience for you, are thin.
It’s a pain to wake up to someone else’s compulsive habit of hitting the snooze button every five minutes. It’s not just negatively impacting your morning serenity. It’s effecting theirs too. Be kind to your roommates and to yourself.
3. Wind down with a soothing a bed-time routine.
Stressful activities, such as writing under a tight deadline or having an intense heart-to-heart, can be physically and psychologically draining. When you’re anxious, your body secretes the stress hormone cortisol, which can mess up your natural circadian rhythm.
Rather than pulling an all-nighter, save important conversations and special projects for the next morning whenever possible. Develop a nighttime routine that prepares you for the night of rest and relaxation you deserve. Step into a warm, hot shower, or soak yourself in a bubble bath, and scrub away the distress of your day. The fall in body temperature will make you drowsy.
If you feel showering is strictly reserved for the crack of dawn, do thirty minutes of yoga to relax your muscles. Cozy up with a cup of lemon ginger tea, and devour yet another chapter of your favorite novel. Go for a pre-midnight stroll.
Avoid drinking alcohol and scrolling through your phone before bed. A glass of wine coupled with the glow of the computer screen is the perfect recipe for tossing and turning all night. Instead of texting with your best friends, debrief with a journal. Keep your routine of unloading about your day, but replace it with something less digital.
These behaviors might be hard to adjust to initially, but over time, your body (and your body clock) will be eternally grateful.
Developing a relaxing morning routine can also be of assistance to you and your sleep hygiene, especially if your work schedule requires you to wake up hours before your body clock intends.
Diving into mentally challenging projects right after you wake up can be difficult, especially when you have reached peak exhaustion. Before you start your work conference call, enjoy a well-balanced meal, or get some sunshine and walk around the block. You are not a monster, you are sleep-deprived. It takes a little time to emerge out of the cocoon of crankiness.
4. Maintain consistency.
Waking up well-rested is like performing a solid stand-up comedy routine — timing is everything. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night and day. Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is the most efficient way to get your body clock on track.
If you’re waking up and falling asleep at inconsistent times throughout the week, your energy will keep depleting.
Inconsistent patterns lead to inconsistent results. A strict schedule might be a tricky thing to adjust to, but as the weeks go by your body clock will adjust and be super thankful. Waking up at 8:57 am one day, and then 9:46 the next, is likely the reason you wake up on the wrong side of the bed every morning.
Depending on how determined you are to get the right amount of sleep, you can align your body with your sleep cycles. Sleep cycles are difficult to predict, but you can use a sleep calculator to figure out the most beneficial sleep and wake up times.
Turns out there’s no “wrong side of the bed” after all. Just the absence of a schedule.