BY JAMIE LOBER
If you find yourself hitting the snooze button more than you would like, you are not alone. Some women jump up at the crack of dawn and are eager to start their day while others do not share those sentiments. The good news is that there are things you can do so you are able to face the morning sunrise with a smile and no longer pull the covers over your eyes. You can start by getting rid of your clock’s (or your phone’s) annoying alarm tones. Download a favorite song or jingle to your phone that you will actually want to hear. It’s even better if you put it out of your reach, which forces you to get up in order to turn it off.
Lifestyle matters. How much sleep you need depends on your age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that school-aged kids from 6 to 12 years-old require 9 to 12 hours; teens require 8 to 10 hours, and adults require 7 to 9. To get the best quality of sleep, you may need to form new healthy habits. The National Sleep Foundation made recommendations that are easy to implement into your routine, such as:
- Stick to a schedule of the same sleep time and wake time, even on weekends
- Create a relaxing bedtime ritual
- Avoid naps in the afternoon
- Exercise daily
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and heavy meals in the evening
- Avoid electronics
- If you cannot sleep, go into another room, or do something calming until you feel tired
- Use your bed only for sleep and sex
Now it is time to take a look at your environment. Sometimes making a small change can make a big difference. Going down this checklist can be helpful.
- Keep the room at a cool temperature
- Keep the room free from noise
- Keep the room free from light
- Sleep on a comfortable and supportive mattress and pillows that are free of allergens
- Remove any objects that can make you slip or fall
Scheduling something that you look forward to will help you rise and shine. Have a routine that puts you in a good mood such as reading the newspaper, doing yoga, or meditating. Create an atmosphere that welcomes the new day by making sure that you have window coverings that allow the light to come in your room. Getting outside to breathe fresh air and take a short walk can be a great way to kick off the day. Being exposed to natural light keeps your body on track. You also want to make sure to have breakfast, which helps you focus throughout the day. Preparing something the night before can make things easier and less stressful in the morning.
If getting a good night’s sleep and waking up bright and early is still not your forte, do not be afraid to consult with your family physician or a sleep medicine doctor in order to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Nobody should allow sleep (or the lack of) to interfere with their work, family, or productivity. It can be beneficial to keep a sleep journal and look for any patterns or issues with your habits. Remember – the early bird catches the worm!