Health & Wellness Articles

You Could Wake Up Naturally to a More Energized Day

Small Changes Can Mean BIG Energy

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.

Here are some ideas for how to set your body clock to "awake" without the shock of sudden activity that rattles the stress system: 
  1. Wake up to music rather than an alarm.
  2. Don't get up right away. While breathing deeply, loosen up and stretch your limbs out, from your fingers to your toes. Pretend you're a cat waking up from a nap.
  3. Think of the most positive thing you'll be doing that day.
  4. Get out of bed slowly. Ease into it.
  5. Turn on more and more lights as you go through your routine, until every light you see is on.
  6. If weather permits, step outside for a minute. Sunshine is one of the strongest ways to tell your body to wake up.
  7. Do 3-5 minutes of easy activity. Emphasis on easy.
  8. Eat breakfast! Foods low in fat and high in protein, fiber and carbs provide energy that lasts a long time. Try yogurt, fruit, whole wheat breads, and skim milk.
A key is not to oversleep or use the snooze button. It may be tough at first, but getting up at the same time every morning makes it easier to set a sleep cycle that won't make you feel tired in the middle of the day. 

P.S. When you're stuck in traffic, try listening to some classical music or jazz to calm you.

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Member Comments

  • Getting more sleep is one of my top three goals. I can do this.
  • All very good ideas.
  • Lots of good ideas.
  • Ironically once I stopped working mornings start earlier! No alarm and I wake up around 6:30 most days....stretch in bed before getting up, then walk around the house getting my body moving. After tea I take our dog out for a walk and that is wonderful.....Mak
    es the day much more relaxing.
  • On the days I don't have morning appointments I can manage most of these suggestions. Otherwise my routine is quite different, in short different starts for different days. If I have a day planned that allied a trip to the gym I do some gentle stretches and have a very light breakfast. I save half my oatmeal and fruit for post workout munch.
  • Good information
  • I stopped using an alert and it has been awesome. I also always eat breakfast. I like the other suggestions to making my morning better. Thanks!
  • oat cereal and 1/2% milk, mozz stick every morning or oatmeal.Yum!
  • Great ideas! Thank You!
  • Make yourself (and your health) a priority in your life.
  • I enjoy listening to John Legend when stuck in traffic.
  • I've never been a morning person, but mornings are definitely lot easier now that I've got a routine!
    I'm on day 49 of my streak, exercising first thing in the morning.
    I get up early to walk inside or out, depending on the weather. Eat a good breakfast & head to work with 1/3 of my daily steps in. This also helps me make better choices throughout the day!
    Have a fabulous day!
  • Ha ha, woke up to sunshine. The only way I could wake up at 5 AM or earlier (3:45 on gym day) is the loudest alarm on my phone which forced me to walk 5 ft to turn it off. I used my phone instead of a clock was because power went off once and I over slept 2 hours. I still used the clock for backup alarm set 10 minutes later. I tried to sleep before 8 PM when the sun didn't set until 10 PM sometime. The best thing to help me wake up was to do 3 sets of pull up on my tower. Then I would have my high protein breakfast; eggs, lean meat, coffee, water and sometime oatmeal with meat.. Forget about yogurt, milk, fruit, and other soft stuff. I do't have stomach for that. Most of you didn't understand that lots people couldn't tolerate lactose. I also tried to nap 20 minutes after lunch. This is the only way I could work 10 - 12 hours day.

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.