Are you a “morning person?”
You know, the type who jumps out of bed, bounding with energy and ready to face the day?
Most of us wake up feeling grumpy, grouchy and wishing we could crawl back into bed.
Here are a few tips to make mornings a bit more pleasant by increasing your energy.
Get a good night’s sleep.
You can’t expect to feel great in the morning if you tossed and turned for hours the night before. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night, and the best way to set your body clock is by retiring and rising at the same time for at least a week. If you have trouble dozing off, try meditating for a few minutes before bedtime. Make your bed and your bedroom as comfortable as possible.
Get up early.
Waking up too late and having to rush to get to work can sap your energy by making you feel stressed. You’re not going to be very productive at the job if you’re already exhausted when you get there! As tempting as it can be to turn over and hit the snooze button, allowing yourself time to eat, shower, exercise and generally get going in the morning will make you feel better all day. If you’re addicted to the snooze button, move your clock (or phone) a few feet away so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
Wake up to something you love.
Make the first thing you see in the morning a pleasant vision, something that makes you smile. How about framed photos of family or friends? Put a vase of your favorite flowers next to your bed so you can see (and smell) them when you first wake up?
Let the sun shine in.
Even if the morning sun is the last thing you want to face when you crawl out of bed, roll up the shade and let ol’ Sol shine on you. The early morning sunlight can send a wake-up signal to your brain’s internal clock. Even if it’s not actually early morning when you awake, a shot of sunlight can boost your alertness. Exposure to the sun can also stop your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleepiness. Get the kinks out with a few stretches in the sunlight.
If you wake up feeling like your mouth is as dry as a desert, refresh yourself with a few sips of water. Taking it in gradually will let your kidneys get going and make you feel more alert. Keep drinking water all day to feel your best. Don’t overdo the coffee fix—too much caffeine early in the morning will pick up, then drop you with a thud by lunchtime. If you really have to have your morning java, spread it out over a few hours.
We’ve been hearing for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and even if it’s not totally true, you do need to get something healthy into your tummy to start the day. A breakfast high in protein will get your metabolism going and keep you feeling alert. Avoid the temptation to grab a sugar fix from donuts or other sweets as well as refined carbohydrates. A good breakfast will supply enough energy to carry you through until lunch, so make good choices like whole grain toast or cereal, low-fat dairy, eggs and fresh fruit. On days you just don’t feel like an entire meal, whip up a protein smoothie from a banana or other fruit, low-fat yogurt, protein powder and crushed ice.
I bet you are already feeling more energized. Now it’s time to see how you can boost your energy and start you day off on the right foot. Keep reading for more tips.
Supplement your healthy breakfast with a multivitamin. Be sure you’re getting your daily quota of B vitamins, the ones that convert the food you eat into energy your body can use. A lack of these vitamins can cause fatigue.
No, you don’t need to jump out of bed, then immediately fall on the ground and start doing push-ups. But after eating breakfast, a few minutes of exercise can get your blood pumping and raise your energy level. OK, a workout, even a mini-workout, may sound like the very last thing you want to do first thing in the morning, but it can release feel-good endorphins while suppressing stress-causing hormones. Try to get a little strength training as well as cardio into your morning workout. It will be difficult at first, but once your body gets used to this routine, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.
If you can’t face a strenuous workout in the morning, try yoga. Yoga has a ton of health benefits, including fighting fatigue. Try a few exercises until you find the ones that boost your energy, or help you relax when you’re stressed. Yoga teaches breathing techniques, body control, focus and concentration, all of which can help you get energized and ready for the day.
Power your shower.
Stock your bathroom shelves with scents that will wake up your senses and make you feel energized, like mint, citrus or eucalyptus. An invigorating shower with your favorite gel or soap will get you ready to face the day.
Organize your closet.
If getting dressed in the morning is a hassle, you’re going to feel stressed. This is not good for your energy or your state of mind, so arrange your closet in a way that your weekday outfits are in plain sight, wrinkle-free and ready to put on. To make things extra easy when you’re in a hurry, pick an outfit the night before and hang it on the outside of the closet.
Have a few nuts.
If you get to the office and still can’t get going on all cylinders, pop a few almonds or peanuts. Both are high in magnesium and folate, which are crucial for energy an cell production. Keep a jar of these in your desk for a quick energy boost.
Cut the caffeine after dinner.
Any caffeine you ingest can stay in your system for hours and interfere with sleep, so be careful with what you drink in the afternoon and evening. The later it gets, the less caffeine you should be taking in. That includes drinking ice tea and cola drinks as well as coffee.
Improve your pre-bed routine.
The quality of your morning can depend on what you did the night before, so before hitting the sheets, relax with a warm bath or cup of herb tea. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, because it will cause you to awaken in the middle of the night after the buzz wears off. Coffee, chocolate and red wine are the worst offenders when it comes to irritating your digestive tract, so don’t indulge in these late in the day. Also avoid eating too much before turning in, especially foods high in fat and salt. Allow several hours between your last meal and bedtime.
Any or all of these can help you fight off the early-morning blahs, get your energy level high and feel great all day long!
|Written on 9/6/2013 by Linda Cauthen.|