Urgh, forget about Monday blues, every early morning can be depressing as you have to literally drag yourself out of hibernation and dreamland and deal with the daily break-up with your bed.
Nothing, I repeat, nothing, feels better than falling back to slee…Hold up! Don’t do it! It’s a trap! We know mornings are hard for you (at least most of you), so remember these 15 things when you’re encountering one of those tough mornings.
#1. Use a sleep calculator
Did you know that our sleep involves various cycles? No doubt getting enough sleep is essential, but waking up at the right time also helps you feel less tired in the morning. The secret is to wake up in between 90-minute sleep cycles — after getting 5-6 complete sleep cycles. This means you should get an average of 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep a day. To help you figure out the best time to wake up based on when you sleep, use this sleep calculator.
#2. Draw the curtains before you sleep
Let the sunlight in! It doesn’t matter if you’re a night owl or a morning person, the human body is conditioned to wake up when the sun comes up. During the daytime, light from the sun suppresses your sleep hormone (melatonin) which keeps you awake throughout the day. So, leaving your curtains open before you go to bed can help you wake up naturally when the light peeks in.
#3. Use ascending alarm ringtones
Although blasting alarm ringtones can do a better job of waking you up, it’s more likely that you’ll get a headache from it for the rest of the day.
According to Dr James Giordano, Professor in the Department of Neurology at Georgetown University Medical Centre, Washington DC, setting your alarm sound to gradually get louder tricks your brain into waking up peacefully.
Doing this actually sets your brain up for being active and eases you into an awakened state, leaving you feeling refreshed — not rushed.
#4. Drink a big glass of water once you get up
Imagine not drinking water for 8 hours straight. Well, that’s essentially what’s happening when you sleep. Your body gets dehydrated when you’re sleeping. Hence, it is extremely important to hydrate and wake your cells up by drinking lots of water in the morning.
#5. Prepare an exciting breakfast the night before
The thought of having to wake up earlier to prepare breakfast will not help with your morning struggle to get out of bed. What will help is knowing that you already have a delicious breakfast waiting for you as soon as you’re up. So avoid the hassle by preparing a quick and healthy breakfast the night before, which you can look forward to the next day.
#6. Take a cold shower
Scientific evidence has shown that cold showers promote alertness as it increases our heart rate and sends a natural dose of energy throughout our body. We know, we know. Cold showers will most probably send you jumping in the shower. But you don’t have to go through this torturous routine of icy baths instantly. Start off with warm water first, then slowly progress into cooler temperatures. You’ll feel so awake you’ll be saying goodbye to your morning coffee soon!
#7. Blast your favourite wake-up songs
Everyone has their favourite go-to song(s) that will help pump up their day. Studies have shown that music can put you in a feel-good mood and can also act as a distractor for unpleasurable activities such as the dreadful task of getting ready in the morning. Be it pop, rock, metal, classical or jazz, music will surely turn your groggy mood to an energetic high!
Scientific much? Pandiculate means to contract a set of muscles, slowly lengthen them then contract them again to a rest position. In fact, you (and cats) do this almost every day. It’s that movement of yawning with your arms over your head — a response that helps the body wake up as it sends a signal to your brain to prepare for movement. Something like a body reboot.
So when you wake up from that (hopefully) comfortable sleep the next morning, remember to do that feel-good stretch while yawning. In other words, pandiculate!
#9. Drink lemon water
Lemon water to the rescue! Lemon with water can be considered the best natural energy booster for our dehydrated body when we wake up because it helps our body remove toxins while rejuvenating cells. Squeeze some lemon juice into your water bottle the night before (you can also add slices of lemon in) so you’ll have it ready to go the next day!
#10. Place your alarm clock far away
Can’t seem to stop hitting that ‘snooze’ button on your alarm clock? The good ol’ trick of forcing yourself to get out of bed to turn off that annoying alarm ringtone is a gruesome one but it definitely works (unless you’re dead asleep). Place your alarm clock or phone across the room, so that by the time you zombie over to turn it off, you’re already awake!
#11. Consume caffeine (no, not coffee)
No, coffee is not the only way to get your daily dose of caffeine. Chocolate (surprise!) is also among one of the caffeine sources. Chocolate boosts the brain’s blood supply and improves cognitive function, so it’s perfect to combat drowsiness in the morning. Now you have an excuse to indulge in hot cocoa and chocolate desserts for breakfast!
#12. Pump yourself up with motivational quotes
Place your favourite motivational quotes near your bed to get you fired up in the morning. If you’ve gotten immune to them after a while, switch them up! You can check out these motivational quotes, which will help combat those dreaded schooling mornings.
#13. Change your alarm ringtone every month
Getting immune to that same tune every morning? Switch things up (your alarm ringtone) every now and then so that your brain doesn’t learn to recognise your ringtone and ignore it. You should do this especially if you find yourself waking up late because you didn’t hear your alarm.
Forget about your croaky morning voice, those who love to sing (or even if you don’t), this is for you.
Blasting your favourite songs in the morning no doubt puts you in a good mood, but singing along does not fall short of its benefits. Singing releases endorphins into your system and makes you feel energized and uplifted. Furthermore, singing makes us breathe more deeply than many forms of exercise. What a gain to sing in the morning!
#15. Eat fewer carbs
Eating high-carb foods during the day is a bad idea unless you plan to fall asleep in class or at work. Carbohydrates like rice, pasta and potatoes promote sleepiness so don’t have them in the morning. If you’re feeling sluggish, try these must-eat brain foods for an energised mind!
Now that you’re aware of what to do to feel awake in the morning, it’s time to apply them to your daily routine so that you can feel more energised throughout your day — and never be late to class!