We’ve written before about things you can do in the evening to take some of the load off the next day, as well as the benefits of good sleep hygiene. Hopefully, if you’re putting these tips into practice, you’re waking up rested and refreshed (possibly on your perfectly fitted Regal mattress). Now, what can you do first thing the morning to get your day off to the best possible start?
1. Don’t use your phone as an alarm
If you’re like the majority of Australians, you’re somewhat hooked into your digital devices most of the time. The average person checks their devices a staggering 85 times per day! Given this, why not give your mind a few minutes of peace before you connect?
In all likelihood, waking up to an alarm on your phone means you’re also checking email and social media before you’ve even brushed your teeth, which can leave you feeling rushed and stressed out. Instead, invest in a traditional alarm clock and only check your phone when you feel more awake, focused, and centered.
2. Drink a glass of water
You breathe out water vapour all night without replenishing it. Even if your body isn’t telling you that it’s thirsty in the morning, it probably is. Before you eat anything, drink a cup or two of water to hydrate your cells and fire up your metabolism. You’ll feel refreshed and energetic, and your brain will feel more sharp and clear, which will come in handy with the next step.
3. Write something down
Instead of falling asleep next to your phone, put a notepad and pen next to your bed. When you wake up, give your mind a few minutes to wander. During sleep, your mind is busy consolidating and organizing information from the previous day. If you give yourself the mental space, you may get some great ideas flowing first thing. Whether it’s insight on a problem at work or an interesting dream you want to remember, get something down on paper. Even if it’s not a flash of genius, it’s a great way to center yourself before you tackle the day.
4. Expose yourself to natural light
Your body’s circadian rhythm—the biological clock governing your wake/sleep cycles—responds to environmental cues, the most important of which is light. If you tend to wake up feeling groggy, it will likely help to step outside and spend a few minutes in the sun. Alternatively, opening the blinds and looking out the window should do the trick. Your body will clue into the fact that it’s daytime, which should perk up your mood and energy levels. If you need to get up before the sun comes up, it may be worth investing in a commercial therapy bulb meant to simulate natural light.