1. Develop a Morning Routine
Start each morning with an activity or regimen that gets you active and into the sunlight, whether that's reading a good booj on the patio while sipping morning coffee or going out for a light jog. Waking up earlier and getting some sun can signal to your body that it's time to stop producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. This means you'll feel more rejuvenated and less groggy in the first few minutes of your morning.
Additionally, sunlight provides your body with vitamin D, a crucial element in boosting mental health, fighting feelings of fatigue, and enhancing quality sleep patterns for better rest. Whatever morning activities you choose, just make sure to open the curtains or get out into the sunshine for a quick supercharge.
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2. Avoid Late Naps
While taking a nap in the afternoon can seem incredibly tempting (especially after a tough day at work), doing so can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. Poor quality rest can then lead to the domino effect — you'll want to wake up later an/or feel groggier throughout the next day.
While naps can be beneficial, studies show that they can have a damaging effect on your sleep cycles if they're too long or taken too late in the day. To mitigate these potential risks, refrain from taking long naps (more than 30 minutes)m and avoid them completely at least six hours before bedtime.
3. Avoid Caffeine in the Afternoon
Another thing you'll want to avoid later in the afternoon is caffeinated beverages and products. Drinking caffeine up to six hours before bedtime can disrupt your sleep and make it harder to drift off when it's time for bed. And if you're highly sensitive to the effects of caffeine, you may consider reducing your intake to early morning or try cutting it out completely.
4. Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
The weekends are your time — we get it! But staying up late or sleeping in on the weekends can seriously throw off your circadian rhythms. Think of circardian rhythms as an internal body clock that indicates when it's time to rest and time to wake in a 24-hour cycle. Remember, going to bed at the same time each night is a good way to help yourself wake up at the same time. Need hekp drifting off? Check out Green Roads Sweet Sleep Oil or Sleepy Zs Gummies.
When your sleep habits vary too often, your circadian rhythms are altered, and your ability to go to sleep or wake up on time can become negatively affected. To combat this, try to keep your body on a consistent schedule. Eventually, early morning waking will feel more like instinct and less like a chore.
5. Introduce Exercise into Your Daily Routine
Keeping a regular exercise routine is proven to help improve sleep quality, and better sleep means more energy. By introducing a workout routine into your daily regimen (preferably in the morning), you can provide your body with a boost of energy that keeps you going throughout the day.
Additionally, exercising outdoors in the morning may also help to reinforce your circadian rhythms. Couple these incentives with the added health benefits of a regular exercise, and you're well on your way to being a mean, green early-rising machine.
6. Keep Dinner Light and Early
Eating heavy dinners right before bed can leave your body struggling to complete the digestive process while you're trying to rest. This makes it harder to adjust to your new wakefulness practice, and it can also desynchronize your body's sleep-wake cycle from your eating cycle. To best benefit your early waking efforts, try to avoid eating dinner at least three hours before bed and ensure that your meals are light and nutritous.
7. Develop and Evening Routine
If you want to reap those early to bed early to rise benefits, develop an evening routine as well. An evening routine that helps you feel relaxed and allows you to unwind at the end of a long day can do wonders for your sleep schedule and, this, your early morning waking.
Start by jotting down a list of things that leave you feeling calm and serene, perhaps a long bath, yoga, or a good book. Then, write out other must-do bedtime activities such as brushing your teeth, tidying up your room, or washing your hair.
Put your preferred items in an organized list, and do them in that same order, at the same time each night. Over time, as you begin to cross each item off your lis of to-dos, your body will recognize that it's time to hit the hay, making it easier to fall asleep.