When people talk about getting a good night’s sleep, they typically focus on what they do before bedtime to get in the right mindset to sleep soundly and recharge their batteries. Interestingly, they often neglect to think about what they do when they get out of bed in the morning and the impact it can have on sleep.
It can be challenging to wind down before bedtime if you know that, in just a matter of hours, you’ll be springing out of bed and starting to go about your day at a million miles per hour.
Anticipating stress from work and family life can impede your ability to calm your brain, fall asleep and stay asleep. Conversely, knowing that you have a quiet and orderly morning ahead of you may help your brain more easily switch off at night. Consider trying the following activities to improve sleep by making your mornings seem more serene and less hectic.
Put off turning on your phone for as long as possible.
Mobile phones are one of sleep’s archenemies. Their light can keep you awake at night and, if you check your phone first thing in the morning, you’re not giving your brain any time off. Thoughts of all those emails you have to answer, social media posts to address, and to-do lists as long as your arm will start chasing themselves around in your head as soon as you wake up.
Set your phone on airplane mode or turn it off entirely when you go to sleep. Then buy a real alarm clock for your bedside. Plan to do other activities in the morning before checking messages and engaging with
the virtual world.
Wake up before the rest of the house.
If you’re feeling frantic in the mornings, it may be because you’re not allowing enough time to get everything done before you have to leave your home. Moreover, you may be robbing yourself of important "you" time that can help set the course of the day.
If you’re in charge of getting a family out of the door in the mornings, make sure you have some time for yourself before everyone else gets up. Just 15 minutes to yourself to engage in a calming activity and wipe the sleep dust out of your eyes can be extremely beneficial.
Start off your day with 15 minutes or more of exercise to clear your mind and get a healthy start to your day. Choose the exercise you enjoy most – whether it be an aggressive run or a serene yoga session. There are all kinds of videos online with great morning
workouts to get you ready to take on a new day.
Meditation, affirmations, morning pages
Take a few moments when you awaken for activities that focus on your mind and spirit. Whether it’s meditating on your breath for 10 minutes, saying affirmations in front of the mirror, or writing morning pages (three pages of free-flow writing on which you unload all the thoughts swirling in your head), this helps keep you calm and stress-free. If you’re pushed for time, even five minutes of meditation is better than nothing.
Make your bed
It might seem insignificant but making your bed is important. When you come home at the end of the day, your bedroom will seem more ordered, tranquil and welcoming. Making your bed also draws a line under the previous night’s sleep, psychologically preparing you to take on the day in a calm and logical fashion. Make sure you get those comfortable pillows straight and the duvet smooth so you look forward to getting back into your bed when nighttime rolls around again.
The old adage holds true: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make time for it, rather than skipping the mealtime in favor of a coffee on the way to work. Make sure you treat yourself to some healthy, delicious breakfast foods so you enjoy the meal. Eat mindfully and be conscious of every bite.
Cultivating one or more of these habits will make your mornings more enjoyable and relaxing. In turn, your brain may be far more able to switch off at night so you can get the quality sleep you need. Note: If you experience ongoing issues with sleep, consult your healthcare provider.
This article was written by Katie Uniacke of sleephealthenergy.com.
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