The alarm just went off, and it’s still dark out. You drag yourself out of bed and stumble into the kitchen for that desperately needed cup of coffee. And while you should be getting yourself mentally prepped for your busy work day ahead, you can’t seem to shake that “mental fog” that’s hanging around you.
Sound like you?
Well, even if you’re not a morning person, you can still get off to a better start – and feel more alert, sooner – with these tips:
End Each Day Right
Avoid sleep-robbers. Caffeine, red wine and chocolate may offer certain health benefits in moderation. But when it comes to promoting restful sleep, these three things are of no help whatsoever. Scientists say that coffee, chocolate and red wine all have similar irritating effects on the intestinal lining – meaning that, if you consume them late-day, you’re likely to sleep more lightly and wake up more frequently.
Set the stage. Does your idea of “winding down” include thumbing through your phone or watching your favorite TV show? Research shows that the blue light from screens makes it harder for your brain to transition to sleep. Swap your screen-time for a few smarter bedtime routines. First, write down To Dos to clear your mind. Then, take a few minutes to stretch and breathe deeply – a brief yoga or meditation session will help your brain and body unwind. Finally, make sure your room is quiet, dark and cool (three essential elements in promoting sound sleep).
Stick to a schedule. If getting 8 hours of rack time seems like a pipe dream to you, take heart. According to some researchers, it’s more important to sleep consistently. Even if you find that you realistically can only get 6 hours per night, sticking to a schedule allows your body to take full advantage of the rest time it gets. So set that bedtime and stick to it! You’ll sleep more deeply and wake up more alert.
Adopt Healthy Morning Habits
Put your feet on the floor. We know, we know…the snooze button is so tempting. But if you want to hasten alertness, take a few deep breaths and get out of bed immediately. Those first few seconds may be tough, but getting up immediately shortens your body’s wakening process. It also gives you a few more minutes to spend as you choose each morning – enjoying a more leisurely shower, talking to your family or even taking a brisk walk.
Opt for water first. We won’t tell you to skip the coffee, but researchers do recommend drinking a glass of water first. It kick-starts your metabolism and restores the fluids you lost overnight, both of which help you wake up faster.
Exercise early. Morning exercise gives your body and brain more energy to thrive throughout the rest of the day. In fact, many successful professionals and leaders – including doctors, lawyers and CEOs – go for a morning run before they do anything else.
Looking for more tips to help you hit your day in full stride?
Read this earlier post on making your mornings more productive.
Or, just give our Cool Springs staffing firm a call! With a full complement of solutions for a wide range of industries, we can provide the talented, reliable people you need to get every day off to a better start.