How to wake up refreshed in the morning
A rough night sleep can make the day ahead a long, hard slog. Apart from feeling grumpy, poor sleep will leave you feeling physically fatigued and mentally unprepared for making positive decisions about your health.
Waking up feeling refreshed and energised for the day is all about maximising the quality of your sleep. Try these 4 simple tips to getting better sleep.
- Create a soothing sleep set-up
Creating a room suitable for sleep sets your body up for a restful night. A cool, dark and quiet bedroom is optimal for your body and mind to not only relax into slumber but to get to the valuable ‘deep sleep’ stage. The less disturbance you have during your lighter sleep, the more likely you are to progress to deep sleep. This is considered the most restful and restorative phase of sleep.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good pillow and quality bedding. This can ensure optimal sleep posture, comfort, and keep your body temperature stable throughout the night.
Try adding a light aroma to your bedroom to promote better quality sleep. Lavender oil is said to have a sedative effect where researchers found people wake with ‘higher vigour’ the following day.
- Set up your day for good sleep
Who doesn’t love that peaceful feeling of seeing the sunrise? Even if it’s only momentarily before the kids beckon and the daily grind gets under way, early morning exposure to bright light can help you get better sleep. It’s proven to regulate the hormones cortisol and melatonin, that in turn energise you for the day and set up a positive sleep cycle at night. The bonus to bright sunlight exposure is a heightened amount of serotonin, the good-mood hormone, is released!
As for the rest of your day – get your exercise done early, avoid eating large meals or drinking diuretics (drinks that make you urinate more) like tea and coffee before bed.
- Bedtime routine
Taking the time to wind-down before sleep is an important signal to prepare your mind and body for rest. Our body runs on a circadian rhythm – a 24hr cycle that internally regulates your sleep and waking times. It is directly influenced by light, which is why we humans are designed to rise with the sun and sleep when it sets, ah if only!
Get into a routine that promotes this rhythm – dim lights or use lamps and turn off screens for at least half an hour before bed. Take the same steps at the same time each evening. This could be as simple as shower, teeth cleaning, skin care, gentle stretches, breathing exercises in bed. It may take a little time but working with your body’s rhythm will promote better quality sleep and leave you more energised throughout the day.
- Wake up well
Have you ever noticed how effortless it is to jump out of bed when you have an exciting day ahead? Plan an exciting morning activity that you can look forward to. Try blasting your favourite tunes while eating a healthy breakfast or meeting a friend for a workout.
And, whatever you do, don’t hit snooze! The time between ‘snooze’ alarms is generally not restful and can trick your body into thinking it has been deprived of deep sleep. The easiest solution is to put your alarm out of reach.
Do you wake feeling energised or eternally tired?
If you feel like you’re not getting enough quality sleep, the best thing to do is to monitor your sleep habits. Keep a sleep journal for 1 month – include hours you slept, how you feel upon waking, how your day progresses, the foods and drinks you consumed, and the things on your mind. See if you can draw patterns from your daily life and your good/ bad sleep nights to make changes when needed.
Words by Kylie McCorquodale BSc (Biomed) Dip.Ed.
Kylie McCorquodale is a health writer who specializes in medical, fitness, wellbeing and educational content. Her passion for healthy living is balanced by a penchant for wine and chocolate. Kylie trains daily for triathlon and is willing to dive into the deep end of almost any adventure.