Ditch the Alarm Clock

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Is dragging yourself out of bed every morning a challenge? Do you find yourself hitting the snooze button time and again then rushing to get yourself off to work? There’s a much better way. Tap into your circadian rhythms and you might soon find you’re welcoming the sunrise with a smile and far more energy. Here are five ways to greet the day with a grin.

 

Make it a routine

Since most people who are tired all the time are night owls, this is going to seem like a huge ask: you need to go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Ideally, if you need to get up at 6am, you’ll be tucked up and asleep at 10pm. It might take some time to get used to it, but it’s worth it.

 

Don’t rush in the morning

Easing into the day is paramount. Some people have getting out the door in 20 minutes down to a fine art, but it doesn’t pay off in the long term. Ideally, you want to get up, have a big glass of water then get outside for 10 minutes. You might go for a walk, do a quick tai chi routine, throw the ball to your dog or just sit on the balcony with your glass of water. The sunshine on your skin turns off the production of melatonin, which aids with sleep. Do this every morning and it also improves the production of melatonin at night. Don’t forget to factor in time for a good, nutritious breakfast, which is an essential start to the day.

 

Get rid of electronics

It’s not the excitement of a new Justin Timberlake release or the rage that’s fuelled by another politician being a numpty that prevents sleep, although these psychological elements don’t help. The blue light emitted by your smartphone or tablet suppresses the production of melatonin, which induces sleep. Most experts think you should keep them out of the room altogether and use an old-fashioned alarm clock. Setting a two-hour electronics curfew before bedtime is also beneficial.

 

Ease back on stimulants

Make it a rule not to have coffee (or other caffeine-fuelled drinks) after lunchtime. In the early stages of your new routine, you may feel as though you need them to get through the afternoon, but beg off and it will all become easier sooner. And while a nightcap (or three) can send you into the land of nod earlier, the quality of sleep is nowhere near as good, so you’re likely to wake up tired and perhaps a little hung over. A nice cup of chamomile tea 90 minutes before bedtime is a much better option.

 

Don’t hit snooze

Once you’ve reached across to turn off that infernal racket you’re awake. So that 15 minutes you spend smacking it down isn’t restful or helpful – any sleep you think you’re getting is actually fitful and light. Instead of setting your alarm for 5.45 and finally getting out of bed at 6am, just set your alarm for six and get straight up.

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