How to Wake Up in the Morning Feeling Refreshed and Alert
They say the early bird gets the worm… But what about those of us who struggle to pull ourselves out of bed in the morning? A survey of over 2,000 people found that roughly 65% of adults rarely wake up feeling well-rested and energized .
The same survey found that feeling sleep deprived when we wake up affects our:
- Mental focus
- Work performance
The truth is, the way we wake up and start our mornings often impacts us the rest of the day.
Of course, getting enough sleep is critical to feeling refreshed in the morning and your morning routine and how you start your day are just as critical.
Even if you’re not a morning person, you can build a morning routine and habits that help you wake up and get energized first thing.
Craving more support for a solid night’s sleep and a successful morning routine?
Explore How Muse’s Digital Sleeping Pill Can Help You
10 Morning Routine Tips To Start Your Day Feeling Fresh and Excited!
#1 Start the Day Doing Something You Love.
It can be hard to pull yourself out of bed when you’re dreading the rest of your day. So as soon as you get out of bed, treat yourself by doing something that energizes you! It could be taking a walk, a 10-minute cuddle session with your pet, journaling, or listening to music. Choose something that makes you feel good, so you have something to look forward to each morning.
#2 Move Your Alarm Clock Out of Reach. (And Don’t Hit Snooze!)
Make it harder on yourself to stay in bed – move your alarm clock so you actually have to get up to turn it off. Often once you’re out of bed, it’s easier to keep that momentum going and to start waking up. Make your bed right away to stop yourself from climbing back in bed.
If you’re constantly hitting the snooze button, you’re actually lessening its potential to wake you up. When that alarm goes off, get out of bed and stay out of bed.
#3 Expect to Feel a Little Groggy.
When we wake up, we experience something called sleep inertia. Sleep inertia is the process of shifting from a state of sleep to wakefulness. It involves reduced awareness and alertness, impaired performance, and a strong desire to go back to sleep. Usually sleep inertia lasts no more than 30 minutes, although it may last longer for people with sleeping problems .
The longer you stay in bed, the easier it is to succumb to sleep inertia. Instead, get out of bed and start your morning with an easy and relaxing activity. This way your body still gets to wake up on its own schedule, without feeling the seductive pull back towards sleep.
#4 Tap into Your Circadian Rhythm.
Use biology to your advantage by tapping into your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that dictates your sleep-wake cycle. For instance, as it gets dark outside, your body begins producing melatonin and preparing you for sleep. When it gets light outside, your body produces signals to help you wake up.
Use your circadian rhythm to your advantage by stepping outside and soaking up some sun first thing in the morning!
#5 Schedule an Early Morning Workout.
We know – this might seem laughable for those of us struggling to simply get out of bed in the morning. However, early morning workouts have the potential to help us wake up. Exercise produces a hormone called cortisol, which increases in the morning with our circadian rhythms.
Morning exercise may also set you up for success when it comes to falling asleep, found one study published in 2014 in Vascular Health and Risk Management. The study found participants who exercised at 7 am experienced higher quality sleep, spent more time in deep sleep, had an easier time falling asleep, and woke up fewer times throughout the night .
Additionally, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2019 found that morning workouts led to improved decision-making, concentration, and visual learning .
#6 Grab a Bite to Eat (or A Sip of Caffeine.)
You may not feel hungry, but eating can give your body the kickstart it needs to get going. Aim for a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast with avocado, or Greek yogurt with some fruit and granola can be great options. For an extra boost, a cup of coffee or tea can help start your day off right.
#7 Go to Sleep at the Same Time Every Night.
Across the board, the average adult needs 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. You may have gotten used to operating with less, but the truth is your body needs between 7-9 hours of sleep to operate at maximal levels. Of course, this is easier said than done. This tip can be tricky, especially for those of us who struggle with falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night.
Because quality sleep is essential to waking up early, we’ve included a few bonus tips to help optimize your bedtime routine as well.
Developing Solid Sleep Hygiene for Successful Bedtime Routines
Sleep hygiene refers to practices that help you sleep. If you’re a night owl or struggle with sleep issues like insomnia or sleep apnea, trying to sleep can be frustratingly difficult. Find tips below to help you create a strong and successful sleep routine.
- No technology at least an hour before bedtime. Most technology emits blue light, which can impair melatonin production and keep us awake. So put down the phone, turn off the tv, and opt for a good book or something less mentally stimulating.
- Skip the alcohol and nicotine. Alcohol may make us feel drowsy, but it actually leads to poorer quality sleep and increased sleep disturbances. Nicotine is a stimulant, so while smoking may feel calming, it can actually keep you up at night.
- Stop drinking caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. Caffeine actually takes around five hours to pass through the body. For this reason, it’s best to drink caffeine at least six hours in advance, so it doesn’t keep you up once you hit the hay.
- Only use your bed for sleep and intimacy. Our brains develop habits easily, so avoid doing mentally stimulating activities (like work, eating, or watching tv) while in bed. You want your mind to exclusively associate your bed with sleep.
- Leverage your circadian rhythms. As we mentioned above, you can use your circadian rhythms to your advantage. Make your room as dark as possible to support a good night’s sleep.
Create a Relaxing Evening Routine
Last but certainly not least, one of the most impactful steps you can take for getting quality sleep is to create a relaxing evening routine.
What makes a successful evening routine is entirely dependent on you. What makes you feel relaxed? What helps clear the mental chatter from your mind?
Below are a few activities that many have found beneficial in helping them relax for a good night’s sleep. Give them a try to see what works best for you!
- Listening to calming music
- Drawing or creating art
- Mindfulness practices
- Taking a warm bath or shower
- Drinking warm milk or non-caffeinated tea
- Essential oils
- Meditation for sleep
Guided Meditations to Prepare You for Your Best Rest
The guided meditations in the Sleep collection are designed to help you gently prepare for sleep so that you get the rest your mind and body need, and you enjoy a more peaceful night’s sleep. The meditations use breath, body, and visualizations to quiet the mind in preparation for a night of deep and tranquil sleep.