I love the mornings, when they go my way. I love being the first to wake, being able to slowly greet the day in quiet. But let’s be honest, in the past couple of years my mornings have become quite the opposite experience. Waking up to the sound of hungry children, having 15 questions thrown at me before I’ve left my bedroom and nappies to change, breakfast to make, bags to pack, dishes to wash, teeth to brush and on and on our morning goes.
The morning is our busiest time in the entire day and by 9am most days I’m ready for a nap – cue the coffee! I’ve always known the benefits of being an early riser, the increase in productivity and better energy throughout the day, but tiredness can be a real killer. And there are nights where going to be early or even on time is just out of the question. So in an effort to become more of a morning person again here’s 5 ways to help you wake up feeling great.
1. Wake up slowly with Sleep Cycle
This little app has become my new best friend. Every time I use it I wake up feeling completely refreshed and energised rather than hung over and cranky. You use it like an alarm, setting what time you are aiming to wake up for. You lay it on your bed near your pillow (not under it) and it analyses your sleep cycles through movement. It will then wake you up during your lightest sleep cycle over a longer period of time. You can adjust how long it gives you to wake up from 15 minutes to an hour. I set mine for 30 minutes. It will quietly and gently wake you up rather than being rudely interrupted by the beeping of your worst nightmare – an alarm clock. Download for iPhone or android for £0.69.
2. No sugar before bed
This I’ve known for a long time, but like to deny it when I’m with friends or wanting to indulge on a Friday night. But eating sugar as the last thing you eat before bed is what causes that horrible hangover feeling. You’ll wake up cranky, moody and with a horrible headache. It always takes me until about 10 am to figure out why I’m feeling so rubbish the morning after chocolate. And this is just another reason I’m ditching sugar in my life. No time for that in the morning!
3. Cleanse & Detox
The first thing we put in our bodies in the morning determines the rest of our day. Our bodies are starved and dehydrated each morning and we need to go gentle on it. Starting the morning with warm lemon water or honey and cinnamon tea both hydrates and cleanses the body of all toxins. It starts your metabolism the right way and doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike or crash. I know we love our coffee and tea first thing but this only dehydrates us more and kickstarts our metabolism in the wrong way making it harder to digest our breakfast. Find something uplifting and cleansing that you’ll enjoy in the morning if you can’t do the lemon or honey and cinnamon. Perppermint, ginger, and even rooibus tea are all great alternatives.
4. Start with the Bible
Easing into our day mentally can have a drastic effect on our mood for the day. I can get so pent up with all the demands of our morning routine that I just want to disappear back into bed. Spending time with God in the Bible is such a crucial part to setting my heart right for the day. It keeps me at peace and reminds me of the strength of my God that I can draw on for the day. If your mornings are out of balance, start in the word. Giving the first of our time is an act of worship and tithing. Keep God first and centre in your day.
5. Exercise or eat breakfast straight away
To jumpstart your metabolism for the day you need to either exercise or eat within an hour of rising, 30 minutes is best but definitely don’t wait longer than an hour. If you’re not a breakfast fan a smoothie is a good way to go. I can’t always fit in my exercise first thing, which is fine, so I’ll eat breakfast and do it later in the day. Eating protein or whole grains like oats is the best start to the day. Cereals, breakfast bars and muffins are all loaded with sugar and just cause our blood sugar to crash later in the morning.
So now you know how to get your morning off to a great start!
Early to bed, early to rise, keeps a man healthy, wealthy and wise. – unknown
What are your tips for a great morning?