Keeping a good sleep and waking up fully rested in the morning can be difficult for many. After spending months in quarantine and working remotely from home, many of us lost sight of when the work ends and rest starts, leading to bad sleeping habits and hectic mornings.
When we think about a healthy lifestyle, most of us think about regular exercise and a clean diet. However, sleep quality plays an important role in determining the quality of our days.
Sleeping difficulties can come from various reasons such as bad sleeping habits, lifestyle choices, anxiety or depression, or medical conditions.
Having poor sleep frequently can lead to even more undesirable consequences such as fatigue, depression, and weight gain, an increase of disease risk, upset hormones, and poor concentration.
These poor sleep effects can irrupt our daily life and cause us troubles that will emanate either from having poor mental and physical health, bad job performance, or issues in our personal life, which will of course result in more stress and anxiety.
Fortunately, there are many ways that can help you replace your bad sleeping habits with better ones to improve both your sleep and morning quality.
Good sleep will improve your physical and mental health, help you wake up rested and early, boost your mood, your concentration, and productivity during the day.
These are easy tips that you can integrate into your lifestyle to improve the quality of your sleep and wake up early without feeling tired.
Control your exposure to light
The best way to sleep and wake up early in the morning is to develop a healthy circadian rhythm (natural sleep-wake cycle). That can be established by having a good amount of exposure to light during the day and lower light exposure at night.
When you are exposed to too much light during nighttime or less natural light during the day, you trick your brain into thinking it is night or it is still day, which can suppress hormones likes melatonin that helps you relax and fall asleep.
You can have a good night’s sleep by avoiding bright screen light an hour before your bedtime, block blue light on your Smartphone or laptop, and make sure your room is dark when it is time to sleep.
To have a refreshing morning expose yourself to sunlight in the morning to help you wake up, open up all curtains in your home or room, and spend more time outside during the day.
Choose what and when you eat and drink in the evening
Eating heavy meals before bed can cause heartburn and bloating which can irrupt your sleep and cause discomfort. However, it is also uncomfortable to go to sleep on an empty stomach.
The key is to consume light healthy snacks and food that will actually fulfill your hunger and improve your sleep quality such as food that contains high amounts of melatonin like eggs, milk, nuts, and tart cherries.
It is also important to avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks in the evening as it might stimulate wakefulness and preventing your body from relaxing at night. You can indulge in healthy and tasty herbal caffeine-free teas that will help you loosen up before your sleep.
Have a regular sleep pattern
Setting a regular sleep pattern that lines up with sunrise and sunset and will help you get enough sleep each night and feel rested in the morning.
To build a regular sleeping pattern you should try to sleep and wake up at the same every day and avoid sleeping in, even during the weekends, to not disturb your natural sleep-wake cycle, until you won’t even need an alarm.
A consistent sleeping pattern will have positive effects on your circadian rhythm and level of melatonin that helps your brain fall asleep. It will also help you wake up more refreshed and energized.
Another tip to help you have a good night’s sleep and energetic morning is to avoid naps as much as possible. You can indulge in activities that can keep you awake, alert and distract you from giving in to sleep.
Improve your sleep environment
Your sleeping environment is just as important as developing a healthy circadian rhythm. Sleeping in an uncomfortable mattress, in a cold or a hot temperature, with the lights on and perhaps noise can disturb your sleep quality.
It is advisable to sleep in a dark environment and avoid any light exposure to signal your brain about nighttime. You can use blackout curtains or use an eye mask.
Make sure your sleep environment is also quiet and cool. For example, if there is any inevitable noise you can try earplugs or white noise.
You can set the thermostat to a cool degree that is not too cold or too hot or opt to wear fewer clothes or more depending on the temperature to help you drift off to sleep faster.
Make a bedtime routine
Creating a consistent and relaxing bedtime routine can help your brain recognize that it is time to sleep the moment you start your routine.
You can go through many stress-free activities at night that will help you relax and prepare for your sleep such as taking a quick warm bath, reading, journaling, or any low-key activity that you enjoy and help you unwind.
Yoga or meditation are also great night activities because both are meant to induce relaxation and peace of mind.
You can also use essential oils as aromatherapy to promote better sleep quality. There are many essential oils that can help you relax and fall asleep fast such as lavender, sandalwood, and ones that will help you have a refreshing morning such as rosemary and peppermint.
Other tips you can try:
Set daily goals
Setting daily goals before your bedtime will actually help you organize your thoughts, which will help you fall asleep faster instead of staying up late over-thinking the next day and waking up tired.
Making a to-do list before you sleep for the next day will help you have a good morning and keep you motivated to complete your tasks during the day. It will also help you save time by being more productive.
Make a morning playlist
It is not a secret that everything is a bit better with music on, which is why waking up early will be way easier if we were listening to our favorite music.
Music helps the brain to produce dopamine, the happy hormone, making it a great morning tool to boost our mood, reduces anxiety and depression, and builds endurance.
To improve your mornings, wake up and indulge in some muscle stretches that will help you elevate any pain from sleeping during the night as well as increase your blood flow.
Doing stretches first thing in the morning will help your body prepare for the day and spend it with more energy.