People on average need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep, and women especially need to get all their hours in. We need rest to rejuvenate our systems and the average person will get better rest if they sleep when it’s dark outside. That’s why it’s so important to make the most out of all the daylight hours, so we aren’t working into the night. From night owl to early bird, here are our best tips and tricks to get you waking up every morning refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
Why do we wake?
The short answer? Circadian rhythm. This is the official name for your body clock (not the one telling you to get pregnant, though). This is your internal body clock that regulates your energy levels throughout the day, usually following the sun’s progress over a twenty-four-hour period. It is typical to feel most awake when it’s light outside and sleepy in the dark, but this varies from person to person. From school to work, important activities are often scheduled for the morning, when night owls are still sleepy and experience lower cognitive and physical performance as a result.
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise. This keen insight is as true now as it ever was. If you want to get up early, you’re going to need to go to sleep early. Over a period of three weeks, try making this massive lifestyle changes: wake up and go to bed two hours earlier than normal. Try to maintain this sleep schedule as closely as possible, even on days off. This can be difficult, as almost all the good TV is on later in the evening, but you’ll be making so much time back in the mornings you won’t even miss it. Refrain from napping after 4 p.m., even though the dark winter nights might make this a struggle.
Morning people eat right
Timing is (almost) everything. Try to adjust your meals so breakfast is eaten immediately after waking up. Always eat lunch at the same time, and try to eat dinner before 7pm. Avoid caffeine and nicotine, especially after 2pm, and alcohol, especially before bed. Ideally you would eat lighter meals in the evening. So your metabolism isn’t having to power through a carb-heavy meal overnight.
Morning and Night routine
The benefits of a proper routine cannot be overstated. For tips on how to improve yours, check out this post on tips for a cosy winter night routine. You could consider rescheduling any exercise for the morning instead of the afternoon or evening. This might be big change to both routines, but can be extremely beneficial.
The importance of light
Do you want to get the most out of your day? Get as much outdoor light as you possibly can in the morning. Then, try to minimise your exposure to light in the evenings and at night. So-called ‘light hygiene’ has been clearly linked to sleep hygiene, as studies have shown bright light in the evenings makes it harder to sleep, as your body thinks you should be awake and working.
If you struggle to wake up in the darker hours of a winter morning. You might be interested in finding a way to wake up more naturally. To this end, we would suggest the Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150. It shines a natural sunrise-like light, gradually getting brighter so you wake up feeling extra refreshed.