Hey, you. How’s your day going?
I’ll bet you’ve had a coffee. Maybe two. Chances are, if it’s post-lunchtime, you’re also yawning.
The good news is that, with our helpful advice, you can turn your sleepy workdays around into a high energy ball of sunshine. The bad news? You’re going to have to ditch a few bad morning habits.
Heck, you’ll have enough good vibes going that you might even make it to 5pm without considering spiking your own coffee with the mini bottle of Bailey’s in your desk draw.
1. Step away from the snooze button.
Yes, we’re serious. While most of us – one third, in fact – hit the snooze button up to three times before rolling out of bed, sleep experts have given this a big thumbs down.
“Your brain is actively healing and resetting during deep sleep stages and unnecessary disruption to those processes is not going to help your energy and mood in the long run.”
Ain’t that the truth.
“The disruptions by multiple alarms repeatedly arouse the brain then settle, and it’s these repetitive awakenings that disrupt the continuity of the sleep. It’s not an efficient way of getting the extra sleep.”
Our hot tip? Set your phone up to charge overnight somewhere just out of arm’s reach. It will force you to get up to switch it off in the morning, and hopefully steer you clear of the Snooze Loop Of Doom.
2. Don’t be tempted to snuggle back into your partner.
My battle against getting out of bed on a cold winter morning has become so profound that my boyfriend has started calling it, ‘Snuggle or Struggle’. It’s like, five more minutes of snuggling down, or the epic battle to struggle out of bed. Needless to say, I most regularly fall into the latter category.
But now I have my solution: get rid of the ‘snuggle’ option.
Some partners will have different body clocks, or different work schedules that mean waking and sleeping at different times. Sleep expert Dr. Eugene Babenko reckons that you need to separate out your sleep times, while maintaining bedtime ‘routines’.
“Try to still have a bedtime conversation when the first partner goes to bed. Then the night owl can leave the room and come back when it’s time for him/her to hit the hay,” says Dr Babenko.
“Just be careful about leaving on too many lamps, since exposure to light around bedtime can mess up our sleep quality. That way the couple can still bond, but no one gets cranky from staying up too late or getting up too early.”
3. Steer clear of your phone.
We sleep with our phones. Fact. It’s generally the last thing we look at in the evening, and the first thing we grab when we wake up. But our ever-tethered connection with the phone is likely holding you back when it comes to a fresh start in the morning.
Julie Morgenstern, author of the book “Never Check Email in the Morning,” has warned that if you start your morning this way, “you’ll never recover.”
“Those requests and those interruptions and those unexpected surprises and those reminders and problems are endless,” she says. “There is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes.”
You will start your day with stress and a busy mind before you even roll out of bed! Wait until you’re seated on the bus, or better still, at your office desk, before switching your mind into ‘work’ mode.
4. Don’t drink coffee first thing.
Hang on, stop throwing things at our head. We would never ask you to give up coffee. We’re not monsters.
But rather than picking up your morning latte en route to work, try ducking out for it mid-morning instead.
Apparently, downing a coffee between the hours of 8am to 9.30am – um so, when we need it most – is a big no-no.
According to YouTube science channel ASAP Science, we have high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies early in the morning. Adding caffeine onto that can make you shaky, anxious, and send your system into a crazy ‘flight or fight’ mode. Whoa, Nelly. Be cool.
“The other effect of drinking coffee in the morning is well-known to habitual morning drinkers,” says TIME magazine. “It increases the person’s tolerance to caffeine because it replaces the natural cortisol-induced boost instead of adding to it.”
Yep, sounds about right. #addict
Foods that help you sleep. (Post continues after gallery)
5. Do not leave your bed unmade.
You know how sometimes you write yourself a list of things you’ve already done, just so you can cross them off? And you get that buzz that’s like, ‘damn girl! I am winning at life! Someone give me a promotion!”? I think this is kind of like that.
According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit” and “Smarter Faster Better”, making your bed will make you a more productive person – because you will feel like more of a productive person.
Making your bed doesn’t necessarily cause you to get more done at work, Duhigg writes, but it’s a “keystone habit” that can spark “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.”
In addition to being more productive, people who consistently make their beds also tend to have “a greater sense of wellbeing and stronger skills at sticking with a budget,” Duhigg writes.
Additionally, “bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested,” Psychology Today reports.
6. Avoid getting ready in the dark.
If you wake up and get ready in the dark, your body will struggle to boot itself into awake mode. Make the first thing you do after rising, opening your bedroom curtains, and let that sunshine do it’s job.
Natalie Dautovich, the National Sleep Foundation’s environmental scholar, told HuffPost that sunlight is one of the best ways to wake up in the morning, “because your body’s internal clock is sensitive to light and darkness.”
She recommends opening the curtains or eating breakfast outside. “Exercising outside could also be an exhilarating way to cue your brain that it’s time to start the day,” she says.
And if it’s the dead of winter and the sun is ~out of office~ just switch on your bedroom light. It’s almost as good.
7. Do not skip your breakfast.
Skipping breakfast is a bad idea if you want to kick-start your day properly. Worship thy breakfast as a hungover person worships a hash brown.
Make time in your morning – either at home, or at work – to ingest a protein-rich meal that will keep you truckin’. An egg on wholegrain toast or a bowl of porridge are great options.
Oh, and another thing? Eating breakfast will help you lose weight. In a recent study, those who ate a solid brekky showed “…greater weight loss and waist circumference reduction.” So there.