The human body is like a car – its engine is repaired, and its tank is refilled with gas while you sleep. It’s biology’s way of getting you back up and running the next day. But, you also have a role to play. Assuming you’re a healthy individual, there are different things you can do to run on fresh fuel each morning. And we’re outlining some of them in this space.
If you have a condition that makes waking up a challenge, don’t worry. This article is also for you! However, you may have to seek help and avoid comparing your progress with that of healthy people.
We all probably want the same thing. So we’re here to give you answers on how to wake up feeling refreshed.
Table of Contents
- 1. Let the Light In
- 2. Stop Hitting the Snooze Button
- 3. Put Away Your Phone
- 4. Get Your Groove On
- 5. Keep Your Bedroom Cool
- 6. Fill the Room with Essential Oil Scent
- 7. Wash Your Face With Cold Water
- 8. Exercise Early
- 9. Chug Water Before Caffeine
- 10. Wake Up to a Routine
- 11. Plan/Prep the Night Before
- 12. Have a Hearty Breakfast
- 13. Get Assistance from a Sleep App
- 14. Ban Pets from Bed
- 15. Try an Alarm Clock with a Brain Teaser
Here are 15 hacks you can try to wake up feeling good and energized:
1. Let the Light In
Our blackout curtains or blinds a constant feature in your bedroom? Some people find it easier to drift off in a completely dark room. This environment aligns with humans’ circadian rhythms, as darkness readies the body for bedtime.
Daylight, of course, is a signal to wake up. So if you don’t want to get stuck under the sheets, then jump out of bed quickly. Open the curtains to allow the light into your room. The sight of the sun may even energize you.
Does standing up and walking to the window feel like a chore? If you have more difficulty rising in the morning, you can try a dawn simulator instead. This device will gradually increase the intensity of its light from 30 minutes ahead to your desired wake time.
2. Stop Hitting the Snooze Button
It may already be your habit to adjust your waking time every 5 minutes or so. Smartphones have made it so easy. However, medical experts are advising against hitting the snooze button in the morning. They say the extra 5 or 10 minutes is not restorative sleep. The habit may even indicate that you aren’t getting enough sleep.
During slumber, humans cycle between two categories, the non-REM and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. During the last two stages of NREM, your body repairs tissues, muscles, and bones. Then, REM follows. This stage is where dreaming occurs. You need to go through the entire sleep cycle a few times each night to wake up refreshed the next day.
If you abuse the snooze option, your body has to start all over again. You’re only getting through the first two stages of NREM, in which you are easily awakened or sleeping lightly. And that may not be effective in addressing your sleep needs.
3. Put Away Your Phone
After you stop your alarm, put your phone back on the bedside table. We know it’s easier said than done. It is why we took this hack to the next level. We banned our mobile devices in the bedroom and are using a different kind of alarm instead (more on this later).
The thing is, checking our phones in bed seems harmless. But the issue is staring us in the face: the practice keeps us lethargic even if we think it is the opposite. Reading one news article leads to clicking links for more. Next thing we know, we’re answering emails or scrolling through our social media feed. Looking at one thing is a rabbit-hole entrance, you just keep falling deep.
4. Get Your Groove On
Turn up the volume and dance to some tunes. From Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” to George Ezra’s LSS-inducing songs, there is a vast landscape of choices for every sleepyhead. It’s whatever floats your boat that rules, as long as it pulls you out of bed and gets you busting some moves. Going straight to burning calories isn’t bad either.
Of course, it will only work if you don’t have kids who will be disrupted by the loud tracks. It should also be partner-approved to avoid annoyance.
5. Keep Your Bedroom Cool
This process starts when you hit the sack. Before you sleep, lower the temperature of your room to a comfortable level (not freezing). This technique can quickly bring down your body’s temperature, which is necessary for falling asleep. As the environment cools, your mattress also cools, which provides relief if you’re the type who sleeps hot.
A cool bedroom can also help alleviate sleep issues, such as insomnia. If it can make you sleep better, it can make you wake up feeling better. Won’t it cause you to cuddle in bed? Well, if it’s not in the middle of winter and you let daylight in, it may get you excited to leave the bed.
6. Fill the Room with Essential Oil Scent
Is it lavender? Jasmine? Sandalwood, perhaps? Essential oils aren’t just for making a room smell good. Studies have shown that aromatherapy helps you relax and sleep better. Catching a whiff of one or a blend of them can improve the quality of your slumber. And you’ll carry the positive effects over to the next day.
Lavender is the go-to essential oil of many sleepers, thanks to its sedative and anxiety-reducing benefits. Jasmine can taper restlessness in sleep and enhance alertness during the day. Sandalwood is said to increase non-REM sleep, so you get longer stages of deep and restorative sleep. There is more to check out on this list.
7. Wash Your Face With Cold Water
Ice cold, actually. There are benefits to dunking your face into a bowl of water filled with ice cubes. But the one you should know about is how the first plunge can instantly wake you up. The rest of the reasons concern the skin. For instance, it should make you look awake, tighten your pores, and reduce the puffiness around your eyes.
If you dread the thought of doing this to yourself every day, you can opt to use cold water. Ditch the ice, but make sure the water isn’t warm or it’s colder than the room temperature.
8. Exercise Early
Again, it’s one of those things that are easier said than done. But to inspire you, more and more people are succeeding in getting it done. An early morning routine can kick off your entire day. By increasing your endorphin supply, working out can energize you and improve your mood.
Plus, it can set you up to achieve a good night’s sleep later in the day. And having a good night’s sleep can mean waking up fresh and bright.
9. Chug Water Before Caffeine
Drinking four glasses of water on an empty stomach is a life hack we can get behind. You won’t lose anything if you try it. So, right after waking up, chug a glass (approximately 160 ml) of water. Make sure to do it before eating. The team at Lifehack suggests you wait for 45 minutes before having your breakfast.
Benefits include boosted metabolism, radiant skin, and a strengthened immune system. Water is refreshing in itself, so drinking it before coffee or anything else should help jumpstart your day.
10. Wake Up to a Routine
Humans thrive by seeing and using patterns. A routine is simply one of these patterns we establish, so we can manage the number of uncertainties we face daily. When you wake up to a morning routine, you won’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about what to do. You can automatically shift your attention to the step that follows your getting out of bed.
It’s not that you become a robot to be efficient at this. You just need to build muscle memory. A routine can help you improve over time, adjusting here and there. But the end goal is to know which tasks you will distribute your energy to on that particular day. So you won’t tap out your reserves at once.
11. Plan/Prep the Night Before
Writing your priorities the night before can ease anxiety and help you sleep better. If you’re the type who likes routine, you may find it relaxing to retire while getting tomorrow’s to-do out of the way. While not everything on your list may excite you, you should look forward to ticking these items off when you wake up.
12. Have a Hearty Breakfast
Here’s a gentle reminder to not skip breaking the fast. Once your body has broken down the needed nutrients from yesterday’s meal, it will crave fresh fuel. Prepping a high-fiber, protein-rich meal is only proper.
Consider breakfast at home a me-time as well. Later in the day, you’ll be busy with social commitments and may not find time to recoup until bedtime. So don’t miss this chance by eating out.
13. Get Assistance from a Sleep App
Digital sleep aids are becoming popular supplements or alternatives to pills. To get started, simply download a sleep app. Some of these virtual assistants have built-in algorithms to monitor sounds and movements you make throughout your slumber.
Pick one that can learn your sleep cycle, so it can set off the alarm when you’re in the lightest sleep phase within your preferred time frame. Being roused from deep sleep may take you an hour to fully awaken.
14. Ban Pets from Bed
There’s no deep, scientific reason behind this tip. It’s just that sleeping with your fur babies may make you want to sleep in and cuddle with them. You may keep your pets outside the living room if you’re also a light sleeper. For instance, cats are dawn and dusk creatures. Getting interrupted in your sleep may reduce its quality over time.
You probably have heard of the alarm clock that won’t stop until you solve a puzzle. Some users report how effective this solution is in dragging them out of bed. Depending on the app or device, you can only turn the alarm off after working through one or more brain teasers.
No matter the difficulty level, the tests are effective enough to catch your attention. They require focus and some brainpower, so you can’t be half-dozing when you’re trying to finish the tasks.
Whatever tip you wish to try, here’s a reminder to be gentle to yourself. Everyone has different starting points. Make adjustments as you see fit. For instance, you may not be ready to drink four glasses of water on an empty stomach. One glass is okay. Or you can’t perform strenuous activities yet. A few stretching poses or rounds of sun salutations should be fine.
Don’t stress it out. Just enjoy what you can and build on from there.
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