Even the most cheery morning person can find the dark winter mornings a little more tiring and more difficult to get up. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take so that you feel more ready to face the day.
Wake Up At A Regular Time
Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre says that waking from a deep sleep results in the brain’s higher decision-making centres taking several minutes to switch on. You can avoid confusing your body by maintaining “a fairly constant morning wake-up time.” If you don’t get as much sleep as usual, get up no more than an hour later than you usually would and lie down for a 20-minute nap in the afternoon.
Don’t Hit The Snooze Button
We’re all guilty of it. “Just five minutes more,” we tell ourselves. But experts say that this is one of the worst things you can do. As our natural clock is ticking down to the time we should wake at, our sleep becomes lighter and our body starts preparing itself to wake. If you snooze, you may go back into a deep sleep and it’s likely that you’ll wake up feeling worse.
Brighten Your Morning
First thing in the morning, our body gets a burst of a stress hormone known as cortisol as part of a process called the cortisol awakening response (CAR). Light, it has been found, massively affects this process; that is why it’s much easier to wake up early in summer than it is in winter. You can boost your CAR by using bedside light therapy devices that simulate the dawn. The light starts to emerge shortly before you wake, so it mimics the dawn, and kickstarts the CAR process.
In the winter, it’s very easy to miss the daylight hours. Many people get up when it’s dark, travel to work, spend all day indoors, and then get home when it’s getting darker. To keep your body’s rhythm in check, you should try to get outside. Spending one or two hours outside in daylight is advised.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
The best way to wake up feeling fresh is to get a good night’s sleep under your belt. To get the best rest possible, avoid avoid caffeine after lunch, don’t exercise close to bedtime, and put away the computer and other lit screens an hour before you go to sleep.
Of course, you need to be comfortable to sleep well. Be sure to visit Harvey Norman to browse a wide selection of beds and mattresses.
In Short: Dark winter mornings can make it more difficult to get out of bed with a smile. Here are some tips to help you feel better in the morning.