If there's no spring in your step first thing in the morning, the rest of the day can be an uphill battle. Those who roll instead of jump out of bed will immediately assume a lumpy mattress and flat pillow are to blame. While a decent mattress and comfortable pillow are integral for feeling rested and refreshed, the foods you eat, the amount of exercise you do and the workings of your internal clock can all contribute to a lack of healthy Zs and a permanent bad mood first thing in the morning.
If you are constantly waking up on the wrong side of the bed, the following tips can help you become a happy and healthy morning person.
Sleep on It
Is sleep a priority to you? If you answered no, then don't fret-you're not alone. A large percentage of the population put sleep at the bottom of their nightly to-do list, placing just about every other chore ahead of getting forty winks. Contrary to public opinion, sleep is a necessity and not a luxury. If you aren't getting at least six to eight hours of sleep every night, you run the risk of suffering from depleted energy levels, lack of motivation and concentration, mood swings, anxiety, drowsiness and the list goes on.
Making sleeping a priority is the easiest way to kick-start a healthier lifestyle that will reward you by infusing that little bit of extra energy needed to rise and shine first thing in the morning.
Pack on the Protein
Coffee and a stick of sugar-free gum is not an adequate breakfast to sustain you throughout the day. Turns out the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is 100 pretty accurate. Remember that after waking from an eight-hour slumber, your metabolism and blood sugar levels are going to be at their lowest, so without a hefty helping of beneficial nutrients, such as protein, immediately after waking, your body will run out of fuel very quickly.
Exercise those Endorphins
Adopting a morning exercise routine will reap more benefits than simply getting your daily exercise out of the way. Getting up and active first thing in the morning will kick your metabolism into gear, and keep it working for at least 12 hours following a morning walk run or cycle, which means that your body is working overtime to eliminate those unwanted fat stores.
You might be wondering what this has to do with being a morning person. If you are not used to exercising early in the morning you are likely to find this routine somewhat tedious, but trust us, a few days into this new routine and you'll be benefiting from happy exercise endorphins, and you will have adopted a new-found love of springing out of bed to get going with your morning exercises.
Battle of the Body Clock
If even the incessantly loud bleeping of your alarm doesn't get you up and out of bed in the morning, you may be suffering from sleep inertia. Sleep inertia occurs when the body's deepest sleep cycle is interrupted, usually by the sound of an alarm, resulting in extreme grogginess, often compared to having a hangover.
Most people don't realize that their body's circadian rhythms-the natural sleep/wake cycle-are ultra sensitive, and can be thrown off by the slightest disruption, such as not getting enough sleep every night or having one restless night. Keep your circadian rhythms in check to avoid bleary eyes in the morning by encouraging healthy sleeping patterns. Ways to do this include: cutting out caffeine several hours before bedtime, avoiding an afternoon nap, exercising in the morning instead of the afternoon, and maintaining a diligent sleeping routine.
Being grumpy first thing in the morning is no fun for anyone, and definitely not the makings of a healthy and rewarding lifestyle. There's no time like the present to get your body and mind back on track so you can benefit from restful nights and energy-packed days.
Haylie Pretorius is a lifestyle writer and online editor living in Sydney, Australia. When not managing a host of digital marketing clients, and writing about the dos and don'ts of staying fit and healthy in the modern world, Haylie writes theatre and movie reviews for The Brag. You can connect with Haylie via LinkedIn.