How you feel when you first open your eyes in the morning can determine your mood for the rest of day. Wake up feeling refreshed and revitalised and you’ll be ready to face what lies ahead. Stir from your slumber feeling tired, achy and generally jaded and you might struggle to get out of bed, let alone take on the challenges of the day.
So, if you’re not satisfied with your mood first thing in the morning, now’s the time to make some changes. Keep reading for a few simple but effective techniques that should help you to wake up each day feeling your best.
Increase your snooze time
Experts recommend that people get between seven and nine hours’ sleep a night, but many of us fail to clock up this much snooze time. In fact, it’s estimated that around one in three people in the UK regularly gets too little shuteye. This is a worrying figure given the dramatic effect sleeplessness can have on our ability to function. We all know that a shortage of slumber can make us feel irritable, and a recent study revealed it can seriously impair our brain function too. According to research conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health and Oxford University, after 17 hours without sleep, we experience a lack of alertness similar to people with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent.
A whole host of things may be getting in between you and a sound night’s rest, from long working hours, to family commitments, to excessive stress. A tendency to get too much screen time in the evenings could also be encroaching on your slumber. Perhaps you can’t stop yourself from checking up on social media or you find yourself watching TV into the small hours.
If you want to say goodbye to that familiar groggy feeling when you get up in the morning and make sure you’re alert and functioning properly during the day, it’s a good idea to up your levels of sleep. Simply setting an earlier bedtime and sticking to it could work wonders for your mood and energy levels. To increase your chances of nodding off quickly at night, try to fit in some relaxation before lights out. Why not get into the habit of having a warm bubble bath? Or perhaps you’d like to curl up with a good book before bed. Ideally, you should start trying to wind down around 90 minutes before you climb between the sheets.
Give your sleep setup some TLC
Do you regularly wake up feeling sore and achy? Do you find yourself constantly changing your sleeping position during the night in a bid to get comfy? If the answer to these questions is yes, the chances are you could benefit from an upgrade of your sleep setup. The fact is, it’s impossible to get a sound night’s shuteye and wake up the next day raring to go if your bed isn’t up to scratch. Back pain and neck pain are common problems in the UK, and a poor quality bed or mattress can trigger this discomfort or make it worse.
So, if you want to avoid waking up in the morning with a sore back or neck, it could be time to rethink your bed. For example, if your mattress is older than seven years, it’s lumpy or it’s starting to sag, you may want to consider replacing it with a new one. There are no set rules when it comes to what style of mattress is best for your wellbeing. Largely, it’s just a case of personal preference. However, there are some basic guidelines to bear in mind. For example, your mattress should support the weight of your buttocks, shoulders and the rest of your body while keeping your spine in a healthy, straight position. Also, experts recommend using a firm, low pillow to help minimise the stress on your neck. Propping your head up with too many pillows could leave you with a stiff neck the next day.
Meanwhile, your bed and mattress should be big enough to allow you to stretch out into the position you feel most comfortable sleeping in.
Another top tip that should help you to rise and shine with a smile on your face is to plan ahead for the coming day before you fall asleep. By thinking through all the things you want to achieve during the day and working out how and when you will do them, you should ensure that you wake up with a sense of purpose and focus. You might even want to create a written list detailing your priorities. Whether it’s errands you need to run, tasks you have to complete at work or simply social events you’ve got lined up, creating a plan for the next day before you nod off should mean you feel in control from the moment your alarm rings. Making a schedule like this could also help you to reduce feelings of stress and allow you to sleep more soundly.
It’s also worth putting your clothes out ready the night before to avoid any wardrobe meltdowns first thing in the morning, and make sure you have something tasty and healthy in the house for breakfast. A nutritious meal will set you up for the day ahead.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a morning person, following advice like this should help you to wake up feeling rested, rejuvenated and full of energy. It could also bring benefits more generally in terms of your health and your outlook on life, so it’s well worth giving the ideas a go.