“Get up every morning at the same time, even if you got very little or no sleep the night before.” John L. Eickholt, MD
This is the dreaded sleep tip, but it really is important! When you sleep in, it throws off your internal clock.
Have you ever heard of jetlag? It can bring about feelings of being physically ill, such as headache, nausea, indigestion, poor focus and concentration, and more. Well, sleeping in has the same effect as jetlag. If you were to sleep in three hours on a Saturday morning, that would be like flying from New York to California, which is not too bad. You stay up a little later on Saturday night, then sleep in three hours on Sunday as well. Your body and mind begin to adjust. You have to get up at your normal time, three hours earlier, on Monday. Uh oh, that’s like flying from California to New York. Jetlag!!
How many Monday mornings do you wake up feeling great? Consider how productive your week could be if you were able to start out strong on Monday.
So, what should you do first thing in the morning to help wake up?
Do something enjoyable to reward yourself for being disciplined enough to get out of bed at the scheduled time. Expose yourself to as much bright light, preferably sunlight, as soon as possible. Exercising outdoors, even if it is just a walk, is optimal. When natural sunlight is not an option, many people find it beneficial to use a blue therapy light. This helps to decrease levels of melatonin in the body, and increase serotonin levels. For more information on light exposure, check back for future sleep tips!