Life provides numerous challenges that complicate our road to happiness. Whether it be job stress, trouble at home, or illness, it can be difficult to remain positive and begin each day with optimism and energy. Yet time and time again, studies reflect that how you begin your day has a significant impact on your productivity and success. Set yourself up for success by learning to begin your day on the right note. You may benefit from consulting these general strategies on how to wake up smoothly.
- Go to bed at a reasonable time- The first step to waking up well in the morning is getting to bed the night before. Experts say adults should aim for between six to eight hours nightly, so organize your evening activities around getting a full night sleep. Additionally, experts also recommend finishing the use of electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to give your brain time to shut down and prepare for sleep.
- Don't sleep with the lights on- Other than making it difficult to attain sleep, research indicates that when we sleep or dream in mild to moderate light, we restless and wake up feeling more depressed than we ordinarily would. This includes sleeping in light generated by TVs, computers, nightlights, and streetlights, which have all have been shown to negatively impact the mood of sleepers. Try a sleeping mask or blackout curtains to block out light while you sleep. Exposure to light interferes with our body's production of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycle. Dimming your lighting as you're preparing for bed and making your room as dark as possible can help keep your melatonin production on track.
- Clear your mind with relaxation techniques- Meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation are ways to help calm anxiety, tension, or troublesome thoughts that might keep you awake. Try incorporating one or more of these practices into your nighttime routine.
- Sleep on your right side. Want to enjoy peaceful dreams and wake up in a good mood? Researchers have discovered that sleeping on your right side increases the chance that you will have positive dreams and also decreases the likelihood of mood dysfunction throughout the day. Having trouble keeping your sleep posture on the right side? Consider purchasing a body pillow. Having it on your left side will shape your sleep posture and prevent you from rolling to the left.
Design your room to be conducive to sleep. Do you live near a busy intersection with lots of noise? Does your bedroom window face the sunrise or street lights? Purchasing light-blocking curtains and getting a white-noise device are only a few of the ways you can create a better environment for deep sleep.
- Install a ceiling fan. These can create white noise and also circulate air in a stuffy room.
- Decorate with soothing colors. Repaint if necessary.
- Use ambient lighting, as opposed to overhead lighting, when possible. Lamps are a good source for this, but recessed lighting inside wall molding is also an option. Dimmer switches can also create the right light level.
- Choose the right alarm clock. To ensure waking without shock or grogginess, consider an alarm specially designed to wake you gradually.
- Install an air purifier. For allergy sufferers, this is essential and will result in vastly improved sleep quality.
- Consider a foam mattress. Especially if you sleep with another person, foam mattresses are great at isolating movement so it doesn't wake the other person.
Remember that beds are for sleeping. Research has shown that using your bed for activities like reading or watching movies can prevent sleep and create an association with stimulation rather than rest.
Let go of your worries. If you find yourself having difficulty sleeping due to worries about your day, consider keeping a journal. Earlier in the day, ask yourself "What keeps me awake at night?" and write down the things that are on your mind.
- Keep a notepad by your bed to record intrusive thoughts that wake you up during the night.
- Take stock of accomplishments. One way of helping gain closure and foster reassurance is to write down what you've accomplished during the day.
- Create a to-do list for the next day. Instead of lying awake, trying to remember what needs to happen tomorrow, create a list before going to bed. This helps you get closure on the current day while dialing back on the pressure to remember everything at once.
- Try preparing for the next day before you go to bed. Lay out your clothes, pack a lunch, and assemble everything you'll need for work or school the next morning. This can help ease stress in the morning, and you'll feel better getting into bed know it's already been done.
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