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Health & Wellness Articles  ›  Rest & Relaxation

Wake Up Naturally to a More Energized Day

Small Changes, Real BIG Energy

-- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer
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7:00 a.m.: An infuriating alarm jolts you awake.
7:30 a.m.: After three snooze delays you finally turn it off and force yourself to jump out of bed.
8:15 a.m.: Two cups of coffee later, you're stuck in maddening morning traffic.
2:30 p.m.: You practically fall asleep at your desk.

"I got eight hours of sleep last night," you think hazily. "Why am I still tired?"

The answer may lie in your morning routine. Afternoon energy levels can be predicted by what you do when you first get up. A typical frantic start to the day can wake you up temporarily but leave you dragging later on. Low energy saps creativity, spontaneity, concentration and motivation. Not to mention the irritability and stress that it causes.

So why does the morning rush let you down? According to researchers at Duke University Medical Center, both sudden activity and caffeine kick-up your blood pressure and stress hormones, giving you a quick feeling of alertness and energy. But these adrenaline-producing tactics are short-lived. Once the mayhem is over, it's crash time.

It's much better to start the day by letting your body catch up to sleep-cycle cues that it collects. By coming out of "sleep" mode more naturally, you help your body get off to a more relaxing start to a more energized day.
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About The Author

Mike Kramer Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.

Member Comments

  • Alarm goes off at 7 AM?! HA! Try 4:15 AM! - 7/9/2014 5:49:52 PM
  • Good tips, hopefully I can trick body into getting up by at least one of them working. - 10/22/2013 1:01:05 PM
  • Great article. I get up. Not a person to lay. I get up do my things in the bathroom. Make my bed and then head for the kitchen for breakfast and offf for a walk if the hip is with me. - 8/3/2013 9:27:37 AM
  • Ha ha - the tip about stepping outside into the sunlight is funny. Half my problem is having to get up when it's still quite dark and often cold. If I get the chance to sleep until the sun in shining in my windows it's much, much, easier to hop right out of bed. I like Sylvialynn2's suggestion about using timers to turn on lights in progression. I'm going to have to try that one. - 3/7/2012 8:45:06 AM
  • I'm finding that my problem, like most, is getting to bed at night. There is ALWAYS one more thing to do. I'm up early, by alarm-5:30 AM, but I snooze (I've learned to beat the 9 minute increments before they happen) for another hour, then I'm late, can't get breakfast, can't pack a correct/healthy lunch and tired. EXHAUSTED is NOT the way to start the day. . . but it happens and then I'm too tired to exercise. It's a VICIOUS CYCLE. - 2/14/2012 9:00:14 PM
  • Does the time change bother anyone else? I enjoy sleeping between 10:30 PM and 6:30 AM, but when the time changes I can never make that adjustment. So all summer I go to bed almost an hour later and sleep later. I love early morning and get so much more done when arising earlier. - 8/11/2011 9:59:46 PM
  • Since my DH is in the bed and doesn't always have to get up at the same time, most of the ideas aren't realistic. Also, I leave at 6:30am, daylight is just a thought unless it's summer! But a great article, as always! - 4/28/2011 9:41:04 PM
  • I caught myself staying up way too late every night. It seems like that was the only time I could have to myself. But I was waking up exhausted. I've made an earlier bedtime a SparkGoal. Now that I'm tracking it, I'm waking up earlier and easier. - 4/28/2011 8:10:51 AM
  • RUNESHADOW
    Nice article. I'm one who wouldn't wake up for light or music. I sleep through alarms but try to set myself up when I go to bed by repeatedly reminding myself "I will wake up at 6:30" or whatever. I have a heckuva time getting out of bed; when I do hear the alarm, I use the Snooze. One factor for me seems to be finishing my evening tasks early enough.

    I do have a morning routine that works for me once I get my body out of bed. My life is challenging (depressing) and I just don't like getting up to face another day right now. I'm working on issues with a new counselor but it's rough going right now. Thanks for the suggestions. - 4/25/2011 3:36:38 PM
  • AVERYSILLYGIRL
    I like these ideas but they're hard to put into practice because there are always so many chores and activities that have to get done in the morning before work (in addition to those that get done in the evening). Argh. Thanks for the article, though. - 4/25/2011 9:20:01 AM
  • I love your articles, Mike! You are my favorite author here at Spark People. - 1/16/2011 10:53:49 PM
  • I purchased three of those timers you can put on lamps when you are out of town. I set them to turn on my lamps at 30 minute intervals with the last one coming on 15 minutes before I need to get out of bed. No harsh alarms. The slow progression of light brings my body awake. I also go to bed early enough to ensure 8 hours of sleep. - 1/1/2011 9:31:36 AM
  • I'm working on my sleep habit, and this article has some simple, common sense points of wisdom that will make sleep and waking up more beneficial. Thanks! - 12/20/2010 10:06:51 AM
  • KERINA1969
    I used to struggle to get up in the morning, hitting the snooze button on my radio alarm 4 or 5 times until I jumped out of bed at the last possible minute. It was especially difficult to get out of bed in the winter. This was until I came across a "sunshine alarm". There are many sunshine alarms out there that cost over $100 and aren't that bright. The device I have purchased at sunraintime.com called the "sunshine simulator" for around $40 allows me to plug a timer (model 308) into my own lamp. I use a 100 watt "daylight" light bulb that starts out dim and gradually brightens within a half hour or hour long period (depending on what I set it for) until it is at full brightness by the time I am supposed to get out of bed. I'm now up in plenty of time to exercise, eat, and get ready for work. I have never felt better since using this "alarm" clock! The Sunrise Simulator is a lifesaver! - 12/15/2010 8:40:32 AM
  • NINJA_SMOO
    Hahaha! Getting daylight in the morning? Please. The only time I could possibly get outside in the morning before work and actually see daylight is in June - the height of summer. Music doens't work for me either. I'll just sleep through it. - 12/2/2010 11:18:26 AM