BY BRITTANY ORIE
So, the sun is peeping through your closed blinds trying to tap your shoulder to wake you up, but you toss and turn and pull the covers over your head. Your alarm blares three times in a row but you keep hitting the “snooze” button…you just don’t want to get out of that bed that holds you so tightly! Here are some ways to fight that urge to oversleep and wake up faster:
- First, check your health. Medical health problems could affect how heavily you sleep and how quickly you get out of bed in the morning. Sleep apnea—which is when one momentarily stops breathing while asleep—can affect how a person rises in the morning because it can disrupt their sleep multiple times during the night. So, if you’ve tried everything you can to wake up faster and nothing is working, consult a doctor.
- Sleep with your blinds open. Natural morning light is good for the soul…and the nervous system! When we wake up to a bright natural light, our brains communicate with our nervous system, telling it to raise our body temperature and to reduce the amount of melatonin in our bloodstream (which can induce sleep). In other words, when that bright light taps on our shoulder, it opens our eyes quickly and our bodies and minds naturally wake up faster.
- Get creative with your alarm clock. Where do you place your alarm clock? Is it right beside you on your nightstand? If so, it is likely that you will oversleep and not feel motivated to wake up, even if it goes off multiple times. Here’s a popular, and useful, tip: place your alarm clock on the other side of your room, so that you will have to get out of bed to silence it. It may seem like an early morning challenge, but this prompts you to get out of your bed and move a bit, thereby waking up faster!
- Wake up with music. Whether you have an alarm clock that plays music, or you enjoy the sounds of music in the morning, relaxing, yet upbeat tunes can help stimulate your mind and help you focus and concentrate. If this sounds appealing, try creating a “wake-up” playlist of your favorite songs that you will love to wake up to daily.
- Take a cold shower. This improves blood circulation making you feel more awake…but probably not the best thing to try in the winter when it’s freezing cold out! Perhaps during summer?
- Eat a fortified breakfast. A nutritious breakfast will combat sleepiness and fuel you with energy. Foods with protein and fiber are among the smartest morning choices. Fruits are also great for energy. Try to avoid too much sugar that will energize you for a couple of hours but will leave you tired for the remainder of the day.
- Don’t drink caffeine the night before. Caffeinated beverages will make it harder for you to fall asleep and will affect the quality of your sleep making it harder for you to get out of bed the next day. So, no coffee guzzling before bed…try relaxing chamomile or lavender tea to induce sleep!
- Stimulate your senses. Smell some coffee beans! It is proven that the aroma of coffee can minimize effects of sleep deprivation and will make you feel more awake. Try breathing in essential oils such as rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary, which can help with mental alertness. A good suggestion is to place fragrance beads or salts next to your nightstand.
- Take a morning walk or morning jog. Getting your blood flowing in the morning produces endorphins (the brain chemical that reduces stress and anxiety) and improves blood circulation. Plus, the morning sunlight will help you feel revitalized.
- Drink water! Always make sure you have water nearby when you wake up. Oftentimes our bodies dehydrate while we sleep, which is why we may feel so low on energy in the morning. Drinking water right after waking up rehydrates your body and “kick-starts” your metabolism.
So, invite the morning sun into your room, hide your alarm clock and hunt it down, and wake up and smell the peppermint salts!