18 Jan 2017
Do you hate waking up early? Love the snooze button? You’re not alone. Improve your early morning habits, with these top 7 tips to transform you from a morning moaner to a daybreak warrior!
Embrace the serenity
Creeping out of bed before the sun comes up may seem like torture, but consider the benefits of a calm and quiet house. How often can you sit down with a cup of tea for 15 minutes without partners, children, grandchildren and phone calls taking your attention in a dozen different directions? Re-train your brain to think of the early morning hours as YOUR time to do with as you please. Maybe you want to get the washing done before it gets too hot to hang it out. Maybe you feel like watching the episode of Suits you recorded last week. Or maybe you just want to take a long shower without interruption.
Go to bed earlier
Its pretty obvious: go to bed an hour or two earlier and wake up fresh as a daisy the next morning. However, like most things that seem too good to be true, it’s easier said than done. Habits are hard to shake, and even if you've had an extra stressful day at the office, or a hectic afternoon looking after the grandkids, your body fights the urge to sleep earlier out of habit. Rather than shocking your system with a dramatic change, try a gradual approach (15-minute increments are ideal) until you reach your desired bedtime.
Set yourself up for a productive day with a breakfast rich in whole grains, fresh fruit and protein. Take the time to fix yourself something delicious and nutritious, rather than the hurried piece of toast slathered in peanut butter you usually grab on your way out the door. Not only will you notice a difference in the morning, but a full and balanced breakfast will keep you fighting fit all day and snoozing like sleeping beauty all night.
Its tricky finding time to exercise, and early mornings offer the perfect solution. Enjoy a brisk walk, a vigorous spinning class or even half an hour of relaxing yoga to ensure your energy levels remain constant throughout the day and lead to a restful night’s sleep.
Some studies suggest that morning exercise is more effective at burning calories and stored fat than at any other time of the day. Plus, we’re more inclined to eat healthily after a workout, giving our metabolism a boost.
It might sound cheesy, but encouraging affirmations and positive thinking can be extremely helpful when combating bleary eyes and fuzzy heads. Tell yourself you’ll have a great day or remind yourself how lucky you are – whatever works for you.
Avoid taking naps during the day
Unless you absolutely need to, avoid napping throughout the day. Napping can lead to interrupted night time sleep and create an unhealthy cycle of napping every afternoon to battle the problem.
When you hit the proverbial wall at around 3pm, distract yourself with a walk around the block or a quick snack. This will help you have a more fulfilled sleep during the night and wake up fresh in the morning.
Time to turn-off
Some experts suggest switching off all screens at least an hour before you go to sleep. Set a reminder half an hour before you sleep to put your phone away, log-off the computer and turn off the TV. Take this time to enjoy a bath or a long shower, read a few chapters of the book that’s been gathering dust on your bedside table, or pack your lunch and prepare your clothes for the following morning. Shutting off prior to going sleep will assist with clearing thoughts from the mind and allowing your body to fall asleep faster, and we don’t need an expert to tell us that a restful sleep leads to a happier person when the sun rises.