This post was last updated on August 19th, 2018.
We all deserve a good night’s sleep after a long day. But what’s also important is that one gets up from that sleep feeling all the more refreshed and rejuvenated. There are a lot of things you can deliberately engage in, as well as many things you have to avoid if you’re looking to recover from your sleep feeling good and geared up for the day. In this article, we break down some of the things you must do (and not do) if you want to know how to wake up in the morning and feel fresh!
Sleep In 1.5h Cycles
Studies have repeatedly shown that the length of sleep is not what leads us to be refreshed upon waking. The main factor to be considered is, in fact, how many complete sleep cycles one is enjoying every day. It’s sufficient to say that each sleep cycle lasts an average of 1.5 hours. Each of these cycles consists of different phases – 20 minutes of REM sleep (in which we dream) and 70 minutes of non-REM (rapid eye movement), or normal, sleep. Each of these phases exhibits different brain want patterns. The thing is, it’s important to go through a full cycle of sleep if you’re looking to feel fully rested in the morning. In fact, a person who has slept even 8-10 hours, but without going through any full cycle because they were awakened before it ended, is going to feel less rested in the morning than someone who slept only 6 hours but actually went through 4 sleep cycles without intervention. Bottom line: if you’re looking for a wholesome sleeping experience and want to wake up fresh as a daisy – do not sleep in shoddy and sporadic patterns. In fact, plan out your whole sleep schedule and make sure to stick to it consistently.
Don’t Drink Coffee Right After You Wake Up
If you’re brewing yourself a cup of coffee right after you get up, you might want to reconsider your life decisions. While it’s possible to get addicted to a point that you’re unable to start your day without coffee, an early morning coffee has been shown by several studies to be detrimental in the long run. Moreover, the more you’re drinking coffee, the more your body is getting used to the caffeine signal. The ideal way to have an optimal effect will be to limit how much you consume to around 200-250 mg every day and make sure to not consume more than once or twice a day, at the time you want to be most alert (which is NOT early morning – you’re alert enough then). To put it simply, the less you consume coffee, and the more you’re cognizant of the timing, the better it works!
Don’t Use Your Smartphone
While it might be excruciatingly tempting to check up on your notifications and messages right as you get up, be it from your social media profiles or your email – it’s best to avoid doing so in at least the first 30 minutes after you’ve gotten up. This isn’t just a baseless assertion – it has in fact been proven by multiple studies. And there’s a good reason for it, too. First off, there’s a lot to disengage from in your first hour of consciousness in the day. Unless there’s a war announcement going around, there’s nothing on your phone that can’t wait for a half hour or so. Moreover, the overload of information that you’ll find scrolling through your timeline is not healthy for your brain to handle if it’s just restarted for the day. To clarify, we’re not saying you brain CAN’T handle all that information; we’re just saying it’s best that you don’t make it. Instead of reaching out for your phone right after you get up, spend the same time preferably doing some exercise, just sitting and meditating, or having a quiet stroll outside. Trust us, it’s way more fulfilling and wholesome than going through your depressing Twitter timeline!
Pro tip – to completely avoid using your phone when you are in bed, check out some of the best standalone alarm clocks on the market.
Get Your Morning Energy Needs Met
Energy is all about giving your body something to feed on, be it through some diet or some mild physical activity. If you’re really looking to feel energized in the morning – start off by following a mild workout routine right as you get up. We’re not saying that you have to hop on the treadmill and start lifting weights – we’re just suggesting that you do some stretches and perhaps some other low-intensity exercise. If you do happen to be a fitness freak, you’ll already know that following up these mild exercises with a full-on workout is also a great way to start the day. Either way, you’re doing your body a huge favour by giving it a boost early in the morning with some workout. As for diet, it’s always best to start your day with a healthy, nutritious and wholesome breakfast. The breakfast should incorporate as much protein as possible and must also be rich in other nutrients. As some new research has shown, even carbs are a good ingredient for your breakfast. Oats, eggs, milk, cereal – anything that’s not too fried or too heavy on calories!
Drink Water In The Morning
Water, water, water! Clear skin, good metabolism and a high energy – Water have the key to all. Starting your day with this miraculous liquid is a brilliant way to start the day. Have a few glasses of plain water that is not too cold. If you’re looking to amp it up a little, add a bit of lemon or tea leaves to a cup of warm water. Not only is this a good way to detoxify your body, it’s also known to be extremely effective in burning off abdominal fat. If you’re starting your day with some mild or intense workout, double down on your consumption of water. In fact, carry a bottle of water with you throughout the day in order to stay fully hydrated.