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10 Mistakes You’re Probably Making That Makes Waking Up Early Difficult

10 Mistakes You’re Probably Making That Makes Waking Up Early Difficult

Have you decided that you want to become an early bird but are finding it really difficult to drag yourself out of bed in the morning? Here are some of the most common things that you could be doing wrong.

1. Not Having a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Going to bed at different times every night is one of the worst things you can do to your sleeping body. It’ll also subsequently make waking up early difficult. This is because you’re not letting yourself get into a good routine and you’re probably not getting the correct amount of sleep. Often people will try and make up for a late night with little sleep by going to bed earlier the next night, but this attempt at playing catch up won’t work. The answer? Simply try going to sleep at the same time, it’ll make your sleep better and getting up easier.

2. Sleeping Late on the Weekend

Sleeping in on the weekends is perhaps one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, this little indulgence is just as damaging to your biological clock as a long flight. It’s a form of social jet lag that resets your internal rhythm, thus making your productivity decrease significantly, as well as making it near impossible to get up early during the rest of the week. In addition, it can cause health concerns, such as being overweight.

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The solution is to try and stick to your regular routine on the weekends, even if you stay up later than usual.

3. Having a Drink Before You Sleep

Despite the fact that this is considered to be one of the best sleep aids, it’s actually terrible for a restful nights slumber. This is because it will increase your deep sleep cycle. Although this sounds like a positive thing, it does so by robbing you of REM sleep, which is imperative for learning and memory. Alcohol can delay your first phase of REM sleep, which will leave your feeling less rested in the morning and therefore make it harder to get up early in the morning. So yes, a bit of booze before bed may help you fall asleep faster, but the quality you get won’t be so great.

4. Drinking Coffee Late in the Day

This is probably an obvious but often ignored answer to many potential sleeping problems. You feel sleepy in the afternoon so you have a caffeinated solution. Unfortunately, the half life of coffee and other similar beverages is longer than you might think and will thus prevent you from falling asleep at a timely hour.

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A better solution to the mid-afternoon sleepy blues is a energizing snack or even a bit of outside exercise. An afternoon nap can also be a good solution, so long as you don’t go overboard, because…

5. Taking Naps Can be Bad Too

Taking long naps after 4:00 p.m. will damage your chances at falling asleep at a decent hour later in the evening. If you absolutely have to take a nap, make sure it’s only one a day, under thirty minutes and earlier in the afternoon.

6. Letting Your Pet Share Your Bed

I know I’m definitely guilty of this one. As nice as it can be to cuddle with a furry friend during the night, they can be seriously disruptive to your sleep. Not only are they likely to be up and down during the night, close proximity to their dander can also impend on your sleep, therefore making you feel less rested early in the morning.

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7. Eating Late at Night

There’s a reason that your parents always said not to go to bed on a full stomach. Not only will you feel full and gross, but it will seriously impair a good nights sleep and make waking up early difficult. This is because your body isn’t supposed to be digesting food when you sleep, it takes too much energy and can make falling asleep difficult. If you do happen to drift off, your body will be working so hard that you won’t be properly rested in the morning. It will be even worse if you have a protein heavy dinner, as it’s harder for the body to process.

8. Watching TV in Bed

For a good sleeping environment you should have a a cool and calm room with a distinct absence of light. Unfortunately this also means that your TV should be omitted from your sleepy sanctuary. This is because darkness triggers your built in sleep mechanism and exposing yourself to too much light later in the evening can confuse the process.

9. Hitting Snooze

This one goes without saying, but not only because you’re literally getting up later with every hit of the button. Those extra 5, 10, or 15 minutes of snooze time aren’t benefiting you at all, and they certainly aren’t providing you with extra quality sleep time. Studies show that sleep needs to be in at least 10 minute increments to be beneficial, so dozing off between alarms isn’t helping you rest . So your stolen moments in bed aren’t only preventing you from getting up early, they’re also leaving you all the more tired.

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10. Keeping Your Curtains Closed

One of the best ways to wake your body up in the morning is by exposing yourself to sunlight. Doing so triggers a chemical reaction in your brain which helps you to wake up. If you want to wake up even earlier than sunrise, it may be a good idea to purchase a wake up light or a blue therapy light which mimics the effects of sunlight.

More by this author

Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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