happy sleeper

RISE AND SHINE!

Doesn’t that sound great?  Or do you hit the snooze button and pull the covers over your head? Ideally, when we’re getting all the good sleep we need, we wake up naturally before the alarm even goes off.  Yet, sometimes it’s a struggle.  If you’d like to start your day with some vim and vigor, Lissa Coffey, Better Sleep Council Spokeswoman, has put together six guidelines to help us become more of a morning person.

GET UP EARLY

“Ikigai” is a Japanese word that means having joy in your life and a reason to get up each day. Getting up early and being tuned-in with nature’s cycle of day and night is a tradition in Japanese culture, and exemplifies “ikigai”.  Light is a natural cue for us to awaken. Open you curtains and raise the blinds once you get up.  Keep mobile devices away from  your bedside and don’t use them right away.  Instead…

HAVE A MORNING RITUAL

When practicing Ikigai, mornings are for mindfulness.  Envision your day as being a happy one. Make your bed when you first get up. You will have an instant feeling of accomplishment.  Make a warm, healthy breakfast. Pay attention to the details and savor every bit of your breakfast.  Don’t read the paper while you eat.  Just eat.  Turn on some happy music to boost your mood while making breakfast.  Focus on the sights, sounds, light and smells of early morning.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Take a walk in the morning sun to get some exercise and vitamin D.  Stretch, meditate and read an inspirational quote.  All these things set the tone for the day ahead.

SIMPLIFY

Anything you can do the night before to get ready for the morning helps you to save time and energy so you don’t feel stressed or rushed.  Choose your outfit the night before and have it ready to go.  The fewer decisions yo have to make in the morning the better.  The idea of a work “uniform” is growing in popularity for this very reason.  Classic black pants, a white shirt or blouse and comfortable shoes, depending on your field of work. Pre-packing your backpack, briefcase or lunch bag so you don’t even have to think about it in the morning means less stress.

GET MOTIVATED

Make appointments for morning to inspire yourself to get up early.  You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish all day when you get started early. Don’t sleep late on the weekends.  Thais will make it harder to get up Monday morning.  Try to stay on the same routine all week long.  Think of all the great things you can accomplish on weekend mornings. Take that hike you’ve been hearing about or write the novel you’ve been dreaming of. Enjoy the sunrise.

CREATE A SLEEP SANCTUARY

Sleeping well during the night is very important.  You can’t be a night owl and and an early bird too.  Practice good sleep habits (there are earlier blog posts on this subject).  Remember an investment in sleep is an investment in health.  Is your mattress in good shape and comfortable?  Are your bed linens soft and cozy? Does your pillow support your neck?  Make your bedroom inviting so you look forward to sleep and sleep sound.  Then you are more likely to wake up refreshed and happy, just like a morning person.

ADVANTAGES

There are many health advantages to being a morning person. According to Science Daily, morning people have a better metabolism and are naturally thinner than night owls.  A research study in Spain showed that morning people tend to be more detail oriented and conscientious, and they are considered to be more proactive in the workplace. The University of Toronto found that people who rise at 7am or earlier reported greater feelings of happiness and alertness. And a study in Germany showed that students who woke up early had a grade point average that was a full point higher, than their night-owl peers.

So it looks like the old adage is true, “early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise”.  Give it a try and see if it works for you!

Source:Sleep Savvy Magazine: Lissa Coffey, Better Sleep Council