We’ve all had those mornings when we just can’t shake a feeling of sluggishness, even when we know we’ve gotten enough sleep. A lot of people I know, head right to Starbuck’s and get their coffee fix and then they are ready for the day. I am not a coffee person, so I use natural techniques to get my mornings going. Below are a few tips I have to fight that morning fatigue:
Don’t hit the snooze button 1000 times
I am guilty of this and press the snooze button maybe 1-2 times when I really feel like I cannot get up. I’ve read that waking up to hit the snooze button, laying back down and getting back up to hit it again – may not be good for you. Spending the last half hour or so of nighttime rest in what researchers call “fragmented sleep” has consequences for your ability to function throughout the day.
Drink a glass of water when you wake up
Fatigue is a classic symptom of dehydration, and even a mild case can trigger feelings of sleepiness, changes in cognitive ability, and mood disruptions.
Do some quick yoga stretches in the morning
There’s a reason it feels so good to stretch when you wake up. Overnight, during REM sleep, your muscles are literally paralyzed (atonia), and reactivating them releases energy-stimulating endorphins.
The jury is still out on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But research does say that skipping this first meal can negatively affect your energy and ability to pay attention throughout the day. Food is fuel. Give your body some calories to put it into action at the start of the day. But if you’re working out in the morning, remember to eat after, not before. This will (a) burn more calories, (b) boost your metabolism, and (c) help you avoid an unsettled stomach.
Pro tip: Build a fatigue-fighting breakfast instead.Since what you eat at breakfast can affect how you feel for hours, making the right choice is critical for your morning.
Reach for a combination of fatigue fighting foods like lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, and lower-sugar fruits.
Go outside in the morning
Sunlight bumps up your body’s serotonin levels, leading to improved sleep — and, therefore, increased daytime energy. And, according to a series of studies at the University of Rochester, spending time in nature “makes people feel more alive.” Sounds like a very good reason to carve out a portion of your morning in the great outdoors.
Pro-tip: If going outside is a chore in the early morning, adjust your curtain so that the sunlight seeps in when you’re getting ready to wake up.
Address your stress
Is it possible that negative feelings about your job or stressors at home are draining you of morning energy and motivation? You may not be able to fix certain situations overnight, but once you’ve identified them as a source of mental and physical exhaustion, you can often take some action to alleviate them. Pro-tip: Streamline harried mornings at home by making school lunches the night before, or make time for morning meditations and create calm before your day begins. I always pack AnnDrew’s lunch the night before, so my mornings are so much easier.
Give yourself something to look forward to
Sometimes all we need for an energy boost is a little excitement on the horizon. Something simple as drinks after work with a friend or dinner plans at your favorite restaurant.
Pro-tip: Let another schedule determine yours. Make an earlier morning podcast or radio show part of your wake-up routine.
Dig deeper into your mental health
If morning fatigue becomes a chronic problem, it could be caused by depression or anxiety. People with depression can feel worse in the morning or only feel depressed in the morning. The only way to know, however, is to track your mood or see a professional. Pro-tip: Dig a little deeper. Asking some key questions about your mental health state may reveal an underlying condition that needs professional attention.
Practice good sleep hygiene
If your bedtime habits can have so profound an effect on your rest, so too could your waking routine. You’ve probably heard of sleep hygiene — the handful of best practices that help you fall asleep at night. These include:
-turning off screens an hour before bed
-turning in at the same time each night
-creating a comfortable sleeping environment
Getting up at the same time each morning helps maintain circadian rhythm, the internal biological clock that’s responsible for feelings of sleepiness. Make an effort to rise at the same time every day — even on weekends — to see if you can banish the midmorning slump.
I hope these help you beat that morning slump!!