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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

How to Wake up Immediately in the Morning

How to Wake up Immediately in the Morning

Waking up in the morning can be a real effort and it is a struggle for many people to get out of bed. The temptation to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock just to capture another ten minutes of time in bed can be overwhelmingly tempting. Having difficulty waking in the morning can cause further problems if it also affects work or college, especially if you are regularly turning up late or flustered from rushing around to arrive in time. The struggle to wake up and get out of bed in the mornings can have a negative impact on your whole day and if the problem persists can start getting you down. There are changes you can make that will help resolve the difficulties you have rising in the morning and make getting up easier.

Move the Alarm Clock

If you have your alarm beside your bed within easy reach, the temptation will be to stretch out and either switch it off or hit the snooze button. By placing it on the other side of the room, you will have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you are out of bed, it’s easy to stay up and get going with your day. When choosing an alarm clock, select one that will wake you up effectively but not put you into a bad mood. Some people prefer a traditional sounding alarm; others prefer a favorite radio station coming on. Whatever the option, choose one that you won’t find so irritating that you are annoyed by it every morning!

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Develop a regular sleeping pattern

Your body will find it easier to the habit of waking at the same time if you establish a regular sleeping pattern. Try to go to bed at roughly the same time each night and keep the alarm set for the same time, even at weekends. Your body will then have a chance to get used to this pattern.

Practice

It’s much easier to get up when you can do it on auto-pilot rather than having to put conscious effort into it. Even if you have the best intentions the night before about getting up at a certain time, it often won’t seem as appealing the next morning, when you are warm and comfortable in bed. The trick is continued practice. Push yourself to get up immediately on waking and in time it will become a habitual routine with no conscious thought required.

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Harness natural light

If it’s very dark inside, consider adjusting the blinds so that natural light can come into the room in the morning and help wake you more naturally. The light will stimulate your body to stop the release of the sleep hormone melatonin and you will naturally be more ready to wake when its time to get up.

Try a natural light alarm clock

Sometimes it’s not possible to rely on light from outside to wake you up. This can be a particular problem during dark winter months when many people find it more difficult getting up in the mornings. If you have this particular problem there are alarm clocks designed to mimic daylight. These natural light alarm clocks gradually increase in brightness over a pre-set time prior to their alarm going off, simulating the breaking of dawn and the sun rising.

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Plan your sleep in cycles

Sleep cycles last approximately ninety minutes so aim for a length of sleep that is multiples of this to prevent trying to wake up mid cycle. If you wake up shortly before your alarm is set to go off, get up anyway as it will likely be due to you reaching the end of a sleep cycle. This will be much easier for your body, than falling back to sleep, only to be jarred awake again by the alarm, during the next cycle.

Get Moving

Get moving as soon as you get up. This stimulates your brain and body, and shrug off the sleep. Going for a run, or a yoga session will do wonders for you. Exercise can also be a good motivating factor for getting up straight away if you have to fit it in before work. If this all sounds too strenuous, even a few stretches will help your body loosen up and start moving.

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Freshen Up

Having a refreshing shower can be a great way of ‘rinsing’ off the sleepiness. Alternate the temperature between hot and cold to stimulate the lymphatic system and use shower gels with revitalizing mint or citrus fruit scents.

Have an incentive

Plan something you enjoy for first thing in the morning. This could be something as simple as a favorite breakfast choice ; making getting up more appealing as a result.

Try to get quality sleep

Having a good, quality sleep will help you feel refreshed and re-energized and more ready to get up. As mush as possible try to minimize any noise or light pollution; make sure your bed is comfortable and the bedroom is warm without being too hot (ideally a few degrees less than the temperature set in the living areas). Avoid stimulants later in the day (for example, caffeine) which can stay active in your body for up to six hours. Limit alcohol and avoid eating heavy meals late in the day, as the body will be busy trying to process them rather than resting.

Avoid using technology late at night. Modern TVs, tablets and laptops use LED lighting that is similar to daylight which prevents melatonin being released and triggering tiredness, this keeps you awake for longer and can disrupt your sleeping pattern. This will reduce the amount of hour’s sleep you require and result in difficulty getting up the next morning. Getting into the practice of having a good quality and quantity of sleep will help you to wake up immediately in the morning.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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