- LIFE | MARCH 1, 2020 -
EARLY MORNING HACKS FOR WHEN YOU'RE NOT AN EARLY BIRD
I never slept past 9.30am as a teenager, and even though I didn’t particularly enjoy getting up at 6am for school, I didn’t find it that hard. However, now I’m in my early 20s, I’ve suddenly started to struggle waking up in the morning – which is so backwards and not something I want! I suppose I was going to have my “sleeping in” phase at some point, but even though I still don’t lie in that much, I can’t deny the drag I feel when waking up pre-7am to get to work. From watery and puffy eyes to constantly yawning and not wanting to move from my snuggly duvet (I literally manage to wrap myself up like I’m in a cacoon), I’ve had to develop some tricks to jolt myself after my alarm goes off and immediately hitting the snooze button. Hopefully these simple hacks might be able to help you too if you definitely don’t identify yourself as an “early bird”.
"STRESS IS PROBABLY THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD AND UNDERESTIMATED HEALTH FACTOR, AND BELIEVE ME, IT'S A HORRIFIC CYCLE THAT CAN CAUSE MAJOR HAVOC WITH YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH."
SET YOUR ALARM AS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG
Hearing one of your favourite songs first thing in the morning is a great way of stopping you from getting irritated by the sound of a typical alarm bell (almost rudely) interrupting your peaceful sleep. Or, if you’re unlucky, you’ll end up hating the song – let’s hope that doesn’t happen! I definitely prefer listening to a song I like or can sing along to (in my head, of course) than a boring old pre-set sound. What’s even better, if you regularly change the song you’re waking up to, you won’t get bored and hopefully the benefit of being woken by a tune that’s meant to wake you in a good mood won’t wear off.
PUT A LOW-LEVEL LIGHT ON IMMEDIATELY
Putting on a bright bed-side lamp is the LAST thing I want to do as soon as I wake up, so I have a battery powered candle on my unit which I can quickly pick up and switch on. It stimulates my eyes without it being painfully bright. Plus, it’s a lot healthier to gently bring light into your eyes than going full throttle.
LISTEN TO MUSIC OR WATCH A YOUTUBE VIDEO
I actually find this hack the most beneficial of them all as it is a perfect way of stimulating another sense with something you correspond with a positive emotion (if you like listening to music or watching YouTube that is). I find watching one of my favourite beauty YouTubers such as Allie Glines, who happens to have a very calming way about her, allows me to get consistent light into my eyes as well as stimulating my sense of sound but in a way that isn’t too energic. Also, even though blue light isn’t said to be good for you, it has been proven to be a stimulant which can keep you feeling awake, so getting some of that into your eyes as soon as you wake up can actually be very effective.
SIT UP AND DRINK SOME WATER
One of the biggest culprits when it comes to struggling with early mornings has to undeniably be the snuggliness of a duvet and pillows. So that makes it essential that, as soon as you possibly can, you prop yourself up so you jolt yourself out of the sleeping position and “sleeping mode”. Drinking some water is refreshing and helps to stimulate your sense of taste as well as introducing some motions to enable that feeling of being awake.
GO TO BED EARLY
As obvious as this sounds, and it is a fact we all know, it also happens to be the easiest hack yet the one we all ignore and helplessly hope doesn’t have any impact the following morning – and more often than not, it always does. Every hour asleep before midnight is worth double of those after 12am (I don’t know why, but I definitely feel as though this is true). Having plenty of sleep is essential for a healthy body, contributes to effective healing and helps to maintain an efficiently working mind so you can react to any stimulates effortlessly. A lack of sleep can cause significant stress to the body and can contribute to health issues which otherwise wouldn’t be so bad.
GET TESTED FOR VITAMIN AND MINERAL DEFICIENCIES
Vitamins and minerals are treated like they’re not medical since anybody and everybody can go into a store and select a packet off the shelves. What isn’t appreciated is that for many people vitamins and minerals are a medication that they have to take every day. I understand more than most the importance of making sure your vitamin and mineral levels are not too high and definitely not too low. The balance is essential for healthy wellbeing and when they’re out of joint they can cause major disturbances to everyday processes, such as feeling awake and having a good night sleep. Magnesium has been exceptionally beneficial for both my Dad and I in developing a better sleeping pattern and sleeping deeply.
SET YOUR PHONE TO “NIGHT MODE” EVERY EVENING
Even though it doesn’t affect how I sleep personally, blue light from our phones, computers and other electrical devices have been proven to interfere with our body clocks – specifically, preventing us from falling asleep. Switching your phone and devices to night-mode is super quick and easy and may be the key to help you have a good night sleep and feel more energetic in the morning.
IF YOU FIND YOUR PHONE STRESSFUL, TURN IT OFF
Stress is possibly the most misunderstood and underestimated health factor, and believe me, it’s a horrific cycle that can cause major havoc with your physical health. Even though I don’t find social media like Instagram stressful, I am aware that a lot of people find it difficult and upsetting. Besides the fact that I believe if you feel this distressed by social media you should delete it altogether, at least switch your phone off and put it away in a cupboard or drawer until the next morning. Stress and/or anxiety are huge factors in why people suffer from insomnia, have a restless sleep or feel chronically tired, so it’s essential you minimise it as much as possible, whether you have fatigue or sleeping problems or not.