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Last Updated on December 17, 2020

6 Ways To Wake Up Early Without Feeling Tired

6 Ways To Wake Up Early Without Feeling Tired

Whenever the concept of sleep is discussed, there is common perception that we should rest for between six and eight hours every single night. While this is a long-standing belief, however, more recent studies have suggested that this is a generic assertion that has little foundation in fact.

More specifically, the Surrey Sleep Research Centre in the UK are now claiming that it is the quality of sleep that important rather than the quantity. Moreover, the optimal amount of sleep will vary for each individual, with the average length of time between five and nine hours in total.

6 Ways to wake up early and not feel tired

While this insight reveals many things, it particularly highlights the fact that it is possible to be an early riser regardless of the amount of sleep that you had the night before. So long as you enjoy a deep and restful sleep, you should be able to rise in the morning without feeling excessively tired or overly lethargic.

There are also practical steps that you can take to wake up early and not feel tired, both in terms of your preparation for a good nights’ sleep and your morning routine. So without further ado, here are six of the most actionable:

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What preparations make for an prosperous nights’ sleep?

1. Avoid drinking coffee, red wine and consuming chocolate prior to sleep

If you are going to enjoy a deep and restful nights’ sleep, it is important that your cycle is left largely uninterrupted. It apparently takes up to four hours to fall into a really deep and energising sleep, for example, so constant interruptions during this period will detract from the quality of your rest and leave your feeling tired in the morning.

One of the most prominent causes of unrest are dietary, with some food items and beverages scientifically proven to disturb your digestive system and interrupt your sleep. Coffee, red wine and milk chocolate are all prime examples, so refraining from these items for as long as possible prior to sleep. Aim not to consume these products after lunchtime, but if this is not possible at least try to eliminate them from your diet after six o’clock.

2. Go to the toilet just before you aim to sleep

While most of us visit the toilet prior to climbing into bed, many of us will spend time reading, watching television or playing games before we drift into sleep. Our bladders can fill up slowly and largely unnoticed during this time, however, particularly because the kidneys continue to work throughout the night and while we sleep.

This means that rather than your bladder being full when you wake in the morning, you are more likely to be disturbed in the early hours of the morning to go to the toilet again. This will contribute towards a disrupted and fitful sleep, so it is crucial that you strive to visit the toilet right before you intend to sleep. Even if you are not desperate to go, it is important to make this effort for the quality of your sleep and impact that it will have on your outlook in the morning.

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3. Ensure that your room reflects the core principles of Feng Shui

While Feng Shui is not something that everyone has faith in, it is an ancient Chinese art which has a basis in Western values and logic. By following the basic principles of Feng Shui and organising the layout of your room accordingly, you can facilitate a more restful sleep that leaves you refreshed and energised for the morning.

This is why the layout of your bedroom is the most important from a Feng Shui perspective, and there are several steps that you can follow in terms of placing your furniture and positioning the bed. The latter point is most important, as the bed must be placed in a way so that you can see the door from your resting position without being in the direct path of the door when it opens. This delivers a strong sense of security when we sleep, while delivering a more comforting sleep.

On this note, the colours that you use in your bedroom will also have an impact on your mood when settling down to sleep. Nodding off with a positive outlook drastically improve the quality and the restfulness of your sleep, so it is important that you leverage colour psychology to create the ideal ambience within your bedroom. A combination of pastel blue and green shades are to be recommended, as they trigger feelings of serenity, calm and harmony without overwhelming the senses.

What can you do when you wake up?

4. Focus on something happy and exciting when you stir in the morning

Feelings of stress and anxiety always appear worse in the morning, thanks to a combination of our sub-concious thinking patterns that emerge during sleep and a rise in the level of cortisol in our bodies. This can leave us feeling tired and lethargic even after a good night’s sleep, so you will need to try to negate this by actively focusing on something positive relating to the day ahead.

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This will be easier on some days than others, so be proactive and try to plan for future days and make a note in your calendar. Birthdays and anniversaries offer obvious joy and excitement, while you could also identify national and global holidays before planning something special. The 20th June is referred to as Midsummer’s Eve and is the most romantic day of the year in Europe, for example, so it is the ideal time to plan an exciting trip away with a loved one.

Whatever you choose to focus on, starting the day with a burst of excitement will energise your senses and alleviate any sense of fatigue.

5. Create a manageable exercise regime for the morning

While it is possible to wake up early and not feel tired, this sense of alertness can quickly fade if it is not nurtured. This is where a relevant and manageable morning exercise regime can come into play, as this has the potential to instantly enhance your mood and drive higher levels of focus and concentration too.

This is because simple exercises such as jogging cause the brain to release numerous chemicals and endorphins into the bloodstream, which can alleviate the symptoms of stress, lethargy and even pain in some instances. Interestingly, it has also been proven that exercising in the morning also increases your energy levels for the following day too, so long as you focus on achievable disciplines that suit your existing fitness and daily schedule.

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6. Get your hydration right when you first stir

According to various studies, the way in which we hydrate our bodies when we first wake up in the morning is increasingly influential in terms of our mental outlook. Starting your day with a simple glass of water (before you eat breakfast) is known to kick-start your metabolism, for example, helping you to wake-up quickly and feel instantly more alert.

In terms of consuming a hot drink with your breakfast, try to avoid consuming coffee on a daily basis. While this has historically been considered as the ultimate way to stimulate the senses, science has proven that our body gradually becomes accustomed to the effects of caffeine over time meaning that it takes more to achieve the desired results. With this in mind, coffee should be used occasionally and in instances where you feel particularly tired, with alternatives such as fruit and regular tea consumed intermittently.

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Last Updated on January 22, 2021

5 Simple Stretches to Boost Your Energy at Your Office Desk

5 Simple Stretches to Boost Your Energy at Your Office Desk

Everyone knows that sitting for long periods of time is bad for your body and your mind. Getting the blood flowing helps you stay fresh with creativity, boosts energy, and helps your body work more efficiently. Many of us don’t have the opportunity to get up and move around as often as we should, but simple stretches added in during the day can help.

Studies have found that prolonged sitting can lead to increased risk in obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep-vein thrombosis, and metabolic syndrome. Sitting is also known to increase pain by tightening the hip flexor and hamstring muscle, as well as stiffening the joints. This can cause problems with balance and gait in addition to the obvious discomfort.[1]

One study found that “greater total sedentary time” and “longer sedentary bout duration” were both associated with a higher risk of death. Basically, those who moved around less were more likely to die from any cause[2].

While many of us have busy schedules that limit the amount of time we can exercise each day, doing simple stretches throughout the day at your desk can be a great option to encourage movement, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Here are 5 simple stretches you can do while sitting to improve your mind and body.

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1. Seated Twist

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    Sitting in your chair while keeping a long, tall spine, place your right hand on the outside of your left knee. Use that hand as leverage to twist to your left, and place your left hand as far to the right as possible to have something to hang onto while you twist. Now join it with your breath.

    Exhale as you move into your twist, and inhale as you ease off. Repeat on the other side. Repeat for each side 2-3 times.

    This simple stretch is great to offer a release for your back, neck, and shoulders. The twist will also help rinse out your internal organs, giving you a little boost of energy.

    2. Chest/Shoulder Opener

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      Sitting on the edge of your chair, clasp your hands behind your back, opening up your chest and shoulders. Inhale/exhale several times, noticing that when you inhale your stretch increases. Release and repeat 2-3 times.

      This stretch, while aimed at the chest muscles, can also alleviate some upper back pain, as we often feel pain in this area when our chest muscles are tight. This will also open up your lungs, allowing you to take some deep breaths, which can help reduce stress.

      3. Seated Pigeon

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        I call this one Seated Pigeon as it is a cousin to the yoga pose called Pigeon, which is performed lying on the floor. Clearly this isn’t an option at work. This Seated Pigeon version might not work if you are wearing a short skirt or dress unless you have an office to yourself!

        Sit on the edge of your chair and place your right ankle over your left knee. Be sure that your left foot is directly under your left knee and flat on the floor. Sit nice and tall, imagining a string is pulling the crown of your head up towards the ceiling.

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        This one is great for releasing your gluteus medius and minimus muscles, as well as your piriformis muscles. These are your hip abductors. These are usually what aches when you sit so much! Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, and repeat on each side 2-3 times.

        This will offer a great release in the hips, as well as create stability in the knee joint. Both of these will help you avoid pain once you get up to leave work for the day.

        4. Hip Flexor Stretch

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          Sitting truly shortens and tightens your little hip flexor. This sits at the front in the crease of your hip. It runs through your pelvis to your back, so when it is tight, it often presents with an achy back.

          To lengthen this muscle while at your desk, sit at the edge of your chair, but shift to face to your left. Take your right leg and extend it behind you with as straight a knee as you can. Sit tall, and lift your sternum while trying to tuck your tailbone under, as this will deepen the stretch.

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          Repeat on the other side. Repeat for both sides 2-3 times.

          5. Hamstring Stretch

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            This is an easy one to do either just before you sit down or just after getting up. While standing, soften your right knee and extend your left leg in front of you with your heel on the floor. On your left leg, draw your toes upwards, keep your knee slightly bent so you don’t strain your ligaments behind your knee.

            You want to feel the stretch in the belly of the muscle (that is, your mid-thigh, at the back of your leg) rather than behind the knee. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and switch to the other side. Repeat each side 2-3 times.

            Stretching out your hamstring can help relieve knee and lower back pain. It can also help increase your balance and range of motion. If you like to spend your free time running or jogging, your hamstrings will be grateful you took a moment to stretch them out at work as these muscles are notorious for tightening up quickly.

            The Bottom Line

            It isn’t necessary to do all of the stretches all at once. Take a stretch break every 45 minutes or so and choose a couple of different stretches. Next time, choose a different set of simple stretches. Ultimately, your brain and body will thank you for it!

            More Stretches for Your Day

            Featured photo credit: Keren Levand via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Harvard Health Publishing: The dangers of sitting
            [2] Annals of Internal Medicine: Patterns of Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in U.S. Middle-Aged and Older Adults

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