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.
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.
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.
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.
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.