How to wake up earlier, easier | Living North

How to wake up when the clocks go back

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As the clocks go back and our mornings get darker, we discover tips and tricks for transforming yourself into a morning person

According to a recent study, the worldwide sleep industry is worth £30.5 billion and has grown by more than eight percent this year alone. The stats show we’re all obsessed with getting our Zzzs, and you’ve probably already read about the benefits related to a quality night’s sleep combined with early rising which include being more productive and even more successful. But what if you don’t naturally fall into the morning lark crowd? As the clocks go back this weekend, and mornings get darker as autumn and winter arrive, it can make it even harder to wake up early. By now, we’re all aware of the advice like ‘don’t use electronics late at night’ and ‘get up at the same time every day’. These points are important, but so too are some lesser known tips that’ll help you wake up earlier, easier… 

Set a goal 
If you’re a night owl, then swapping your lie-ins for earlier starts is hard. If you want it to be sustainable you will need a good reason to make it last. Think about what you want to get out of that extra morning time. Do you want to use it to hit professional goals? To go for an early morning run? To get household chores out of the way? If you don’t come up with a good reason, you’ll automatically find yourself hitting the snooze button so make sure to set yourself some achievable goals. 
 
Realign your body clock 
Consider buying a wake-up light to help ease that morning struggle, especially during the darker winter months. They give out gentle light which simulates the sun rising, so your body’s wake-up hormones reach their optimum level by the time your alarm sounds. Many of these lamps also come with soft sounds to help you wake up, like bird song, as well as sunset settings to get you falling asleep quicker and get quality rest by boosting your levels of the sleep hormone melatonin. 
 
Wake up during REM sleep 
REM sleep is the lightest stage of sleep and during it, your brain is just as active as if you are awake. Being woken during this stage of your sleep cycle is proven to make people feel less drowsy and more alert. So why not give it a go? If you’ve always felt groggy when your alarm goes off, this might be because you’re in too deep a sleep, so experiment with different times and go from there. Eventually, you’ll find your sweet spot, where you’ll rise most easily in the mornings. Then you can begin gradually moving your alarm back. 
 
Get up one minute earlier  
If you’ve found a time where it feels easiest to wake but you want to make it earlier, start by setting your alarm back by one extra minute each day. It will take longer for you to save a significant amount of time in the mornings, but by slowly lowering your alarm time, it will make it easier for your body to adjust. 
 
Eat apples for breakfast 
An apple a day doesn’t just keep the doctor away. They also contain around 13 grams of natural sugar and according to studies, this has a similar effect on the body as coffee. Natural glucose from the apple is slowly digested, which makes you feel more awake. Not only this but unlike caffeine, there are no jolts or energy slumps once it has been eaten. Porridge and leafy greens will help you feel more alert in those early morning hours, once you’ve got out of bed.  
 
Add dog-walking to your agenda 
Pets are real sticklers for routine and if your dog knows it’s ‘walkies’ at 7 am, it will make sure you’re up at that time every morning without fail. The best alarm clock going. A light bit of exercise to kick-start your day will also make you feel more awake and energised too, ready to achieve whatever you need to. 
 
 

Published in: October 2020

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