A lack of sleep will lead to you feeling tired, lethargic, irritable, and will leave you having a short attention span. When we don’t get adequate rest our hormones are negatively affected too! Ghrelin and Leptin are two hormones that play a part in the feeling of fullness and hunger, these hormones don’t work properly when you are poorly-rested and will often lead to overeating and cravings for the foods we want to have sparingly (think high sugar, highly processed, super fatty treats). Waking up early can be a healthy lifestyle change that can impact your whole day in the best way possible!
Sleep training as adults can be an effective way to increase the amount of restful sleep we get to allow us to function throughout our days properly and live a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips on how to go to bed earlier and feel more rested during the day!
Go to bed earlier. Little progress is made after dinner time. We are often tired from our days and lack motivation to complete a lot of tasks, etc. Going to bed 30 minutes earlier and waking up 30 minutes earlier can lead to a smoother transition into waking up earlier.
No electronics! Set a pre-bedtime ritual of no electronics for 30-60 minutes prior to bed. It strains your eyes, perks your brain up when we want it to wind down, and often leads us to distractions from social media, websites, games, etc. Smart phones at night end up being a black hole into poor sleep! (Trust me, I know from experience, thank you Instagram.)
Sleep in a dark, cool room. Invest in blackout curtains to have a nice dark room. An optimal sleeping temperature of <65° will help to not overheat the body and promotes a more sanitary sleep environment. As fall approaches, embrace sleeping at night with the windows open!
Go to bed and wake up at a consistent time. Even on the weekends, try not to allow yourself to sleep until 10-11am if your goal is to be up at 5am on Monday morning. Consistency is important to allow your body to adjust to new changes and routine.
Avoid naps if possible. If you need to nap-keep it short (about 15-20 minutes).
Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, pre-workout (containing caffeine), energy drinks, and soda after 4pm. Stimulants are made to keep you awake and alert!
Keep your bed for sleep only (and hanky panky 😉). Avoid reading, homework, eating, watching tv, etc. while in bed to allow your body and mind to know it’s time to rest when you’re in bed.
Just get up! When that alarm goes off, (see below for alarm systems) think about your why. Why is it important for you to wake up early? Waking up early can be for productivity at home/work, it can be to accommodate a fitness routine, increase self-love in the form of “me time”, etc. Everyone has a different “why”.
**Find your own method of alarm that works best for you! SpinMe and Alarmy are both apps that are fun/annoying to help give you that extra push to WAKE UP! Setting an old school alarm or your cell phone on the opposite side of the room forcing you to get out of bed to turn it off may be the trick to success! Also, maybe give wake up lights a try, they mimic natural sunlight to help getting up easier (these can be found online).
Becoming an early riser will increase your productivity and allow for less stress and pressure to fit things in during the later part of the day/evening hours. I feel like my grandma getting ready for bed at 9pm but I feel like a Rockstar when my workout is complete, my breakfast is made, and I’ve had a cup of tea with no small children crawling on me all before 7 am.
-Be healthy, live well.