How to wake up and feel more alert in the morning when it's still dark outside
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Summer 2023 seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye. Wasn't it Easter only last week?
Well, apparently, winter is officially nigh. And along with the falling leaves and chilly evenings, the early mornings are getting darker and darker.
1. Set an Alarm: Use an alarm clock to wake you up at your desired time. Place the alarm across the room from your bed to force yourself to get out of bed to turn it off.
2. Use a Sunrise Alarm Clock: These specialised alarm clocks simulate a natural sunrise by gradually increasing the light in your room before the alarm goes off. This can help you wake up more gently and naturally.
3. Create a Morning Routine: Establish a morning routine that you enjoy and look forward to. This can include activities like stretching, meditation, or enjoying a warm beverage.
4. Use Multiple Alarms: If you're worried about oversleeping, set multiple alarms at staggered intervals to ensure you wake up.
5. Avoid Snoozing: Resist the temptation to hit the snooze button repeatedly. Snoozing can disrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder to wake up.
6. Keep Curtains or Blinds Open: Before going to bed, leave your curtains or blinds slightly open to allow natural light to filter in as the sun rises. This can help your body adjust to the changing light levels.
7. Use Artificial Light: If natural light isn't available, use a bright lamp or overhead light to simulate daylight. Turning on the lights can help signal to your body that it's time to wake up.
8. Stay Hydrated: Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up to help rehydrate your body and boost alertness.
9. Get Moving: Physical activity, even if it's just some light stretching or a short walk, can help wake you up and increase your energy levels.
10. Avoid Electronics: Exposure to the blue light from screens (phones, tablets, computers) can interfere with your circadian rhythm. Try to avoid these devices for at least an hour before bedtime.
11. Maintain a Consistent Schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Consistency can help regulate your body's internal clock.
12. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Ensure your bedroom is conducive to restful sleep by keeping it dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature.
13. Limit Caffeine and Heavy Meals: Avoid consuming caffeine or heavy meals close to bedtime, as they can disrupt your sleep quality and make it harder to wake up in the morning.
14. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene: Establish healthy sleep habits, such as winding down before bedtime, and minimising disturbances in your sleep environment.
It can take time to adjust to waking up in the dark, but with a consistent routine and these strategies, you can make the process more manageable.
Remember that everyone's sleep patterns and needs are different, so it may take some experimentation to find what works best for you.