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All too often we get out of bed just as tired as we were when we went to bed. How is that fair? While we feel like there’s nothing we can do about it in the moment, there are changes you can make to your morning routine to ensure you don’t have to rely on your next cup of coffee to get you through the next few hours.
Here are 10 top tips to help you feel more energized (and positive!) for the day ahead:
10 Ways to Feel More Energized in the Morning
1. Get Enough Rest
Let’s start with the obvious – if you’re feeling tired often, you may not be getting enough sleep.
Most advice will tell you to get 8 hours, but the truth is some people need more while others only need 6 to wake up feeling energized. Experiment with giving yourself more or less time in bed to see what works for you.
If you have insomnia or find falling asleep stressful, don’t panic! Lying still and letting your body and mind rest is almost as good as sleep, so just give your body down-time.
2. Start Your Day With a Workout
Dragging yourself up out of bed in the morning to do a workout probably isn’t on your wishlist for the perfect morning, but morning workouts are great for getting your blood pumping and setting the tone for the day.
You’re more likely to eat better, and you don’t need to worry about whether you have enough time to fit it in later.
You may also be surprised to learn that studies have found that working out in the morning can actually help you sleep better at night.
Numerous studies have found that morning workouts can help better manage your insulin levels, blood pressure, and result in longer periods of deep sleep (REM) at night!
3. Don’t Reach for the Coffee
If the first thing you do in the morning is get up and make yourself a cup of coffee – don’t! That first cup of coffee may help you “wake up”, but it may also start the caffeine-crash cycle for the day. Some caffeine (especially in black coffee or teas) is good for you, but if you drink too much or consume a lot of it when you’re tired, you’re likely to experience a caffeine crash about 5 hours after you drink it. Wake up first and start your day before you drink your first cup.
4. Drink Water Instead
When you wake up, your body is feeling dehydrated after not drinking for 6+ hours. If you don’t start rehydrating quickly, you’ll start to feel tired and lethargic.
Studies have found that even mild dehydration (such as that experienced when you first wake up) can impair brain function and lead to negative moods. If your last drink before bed was alcoholic, you’re even more likely to feel a little lackluster.
Start your morning with a large cup of water instead (feel free to flavor it with lemon or another fruit!).
5. Nourish Your Body
There’s no way around it – junk food gives us a carb-loaded high, and then drops us with a crash. If you’re stuck in a cycle of eating junk because you feel tired, break the cycle and eat a nutritious meal. Whole foods are much better for your energy levels, and wholegrain foods will sustain you for longer. This largely happens because their high-fiber content helps balance your body’s insulin response to the food you eat, so you don’t experience the same energy rush and crash that you do with junk foods.
6. Consider Reducing Your Dairy Consumption
It’s common to develop some kind of lactose intolerance as we age, though it’s often so minor that we don’t notice the symptoms.
One of the symptoms of lactose intolerance is chronic fatigue, so if you notice you feel tired in the morning on some days, consider if you ate dairy the night before. If so, try not eating cheese before bed so your body doesn’t have to digest it overnight. (They do say cheese gives you nightmares!)
7. Wind Down in the Evenings
An hour before you typically go to sleep, where can you be found? If the answer is working or watching a stressful movie, it’s probably time to rethink how you wind down.
You likely already know that blue light can damage your sleep quality, so consider turning on different modes on the screens you’re using, or purchase blue-light blocking glasses (you can find them for just a few bucks).
If you find yourself still checking emails, consider installing an app blocker on your phone so you can break the habit.
8. Practice Mindfulness and Reduce Stress
To build on the point above, if you’re stressing about work late at night or first thing in the morning, consider making some big changes. These things may seem all-important now, but your work is never worth your health. If your stress is coming from work, think about putting better boundaries in place or looking for a new position. If it’s coming from a situation you can’t change right now, such as a sick family member, try meditation and mindfulness to help you better manage your feelings of anxiety. Make sure you don’t wake up and check your work emails first thing in the morning – again, an app blocker can help here.
9. Stretch Regularly
Whether you plan to start implementing a morning workout routine or not, you should definitely consider adding a morning stretch routine.
Whether you simply want to spend 5 minutes stretching or start your morning with some yoga, pull on those yoga dance pants and spend some time breathing and stretching.
This is a great way to get your blood flowing, stretch out stiff muscles, and prepare yourself mentally for the day ahead. (Don’t you feel more relaxed just thinking about it?)
10. Avoid Social Media and the News for the First Hour
This sounds simple yet is almost impossible to do – but if you can avoid looking at social media and the news for the first hour, you can avoid that world-weariness that can easily set in if we allow the world’s concerns (or other people’s “better” lives) to sap our enthusiasm and energy for the day.
Instead, follow the tips we’ve discussed and if you like to watch, read, or listen to something in the morning, carefully curate what you choose so it helps you find the right energy for the day.
These 10 tips will help you feel less tired and more energized each day, so make sure you give them a try even if you don’t think they sound like fun! You’d be surprised how much better you can feel with just a few tweaks to your morning (and night) routine!