Thursday, 24 September 2015

10 Steps To Waking Up Well

So, yesterday it was the autumnal equinox in the UK. This signifies the beginning of Autumn.
As the days draw shorter and nights longer many people find it harder to wake up in the morning because the sun rises later in autumn. This is because the sun is our natural cue to be awake but if you have a long commute or due shift work, where you have to be up very early, the autumn/winter period 
can cause difficulties. Here are 10 tips to help you wake up better.
1. Getting a good nights sleep. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, as they say, so it makes sense that a good nights sleep is essential to a good wake up. Making sure that you get to bed with plenty of time to worry about everything you didn't worry about during the day and saved especially for right before you go to bed. I think the 'recommended' amount of sleep is 8 hours, so there is a good start.

2. Make your room your sanctuary. Decorating your room to be a place where you feel at peace or splashing out on nice bed clothes can make you feel like you want to spend time in your room and that it is a safe place, where you can relax and not think about anything else but sleep.

3. Having a regular bedtime ritual.This can be hard but trying to get to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time can get you into a rhythm. Many people's circadian rhythm is out of whack due to our lifestyles but by setting yourself a regular time that you go to sleep and wake up, you can achieve a better flow of sleep. Also by having a ritual that you always do, like meditating, doing some deep yoga stretches or a warm bath can prepare you for bed, this is often the thing that helps babies get into a good sleeping pattern, through ritual and routine.

4. Give yourself a reason to wake up. I like to have really hot shower when I have to wake up early. Personally, I really like being warm and I get very warm when I sleep, so I find the thought of having a nice hot shower really incentivises me to get out of bed. If you are very in to exercise doing yoga or going for a run can also be a great incentive.

5. Hang up the phone and ditch the iPad. Using devices like phones, iPads or laptops can keep you awake for hours longer than you previously planned. These can stimulate light receptors in your brain that make your body think that it needs to be alert, this a perfect storm for a bad wake up. Your bed should be a place of relaxation and peace.

6. Keeping some water by your bed. This is not so that someone can throw it over you to wake you up, although that would be very effective. It has been proven that having a drink of cool water can wake you up as much as coffee, so keeping a bottle of water next to your bed can prevent you from falling back to sleep and wake you up.

7. If you wake up before you alarm do not go back to sleep, under any circumstances. Well, if you wake up less than 90 minutes before your alarm never go back to sleep. You will feel terrible and exhausted if you do. Our sleep cycles are 90 minutes long and waking up in the middle of one can cause something called Inertia, this is when your brain is still tired and is unable to make clear decisions, especially in emergencies.

8. Get physical. Exercising can help you wake up well because it regulates the bodies production of Cortisol. Cortisol is produced within the adrenal gland. It is a stress response hormone. The levels of Cortisol in the bloodstream of most human beings peak at around eight o' clock and regular exercise can regulate the production of this during the time that you are supposed to be waking. This will help your body feel alert when you wake up.

9. Hide your alarm clock, what ever you use as an alarm, hide it in a hard to reach or obscure part of your room, somewhere far away from your bed. This will give you no choice but to get out of bed to switch it off.

10. Investing in a Lumie Bodyclock light. If you find it really difficult to get up in the morning or are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder than this is for you. You set the clock and it gives you a simulated sunrise based on when you need to wake up. This engages the light receptors in your retina and brain to tell the adrenal gland to produce Cortisol, which gives you a spike of energy to help you wake up.

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