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.
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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

    When I stopped smoking 20 years ago, I had to change a bunch of routines to be successful. One I had to change was my morning routine. Before, I would smoke a cigarette and drink a cup of coffee in bed while watching tv before I got up. After I quit, and even now. I go to bed sometime between 9 and 10pm and wake up on my own at 5-6am. As soon as I wake up, I get up, go stand on the back step and stretch for a few minutes, get dressed and get a coffee, then do whatever workout I'm doing that day. We are all creatures of habit. Create the ones you want. - 10/7/2015 1:03:11 PM
  • I hate the snooze alarm. My husband will use it and I don't have to get up at 3 a.m. but he will keep hitting it. When I can go back to sleep after one alarm after 3 or 4 then I'm up. I try to convince him if he needs a extra half hour of sleep then just sleep the extra half hour and get up when the alarm first goes off. - 7/31/2015 8:42:22 AM
  • These are wonderful suggestions, unless you have a 3 am wake up on work days. No way I am keeping that alarm on the weekends. I would never get any sleep at all then. - 1/31/2015 9:30:45 PM
  • I've always had the hardest time waking up in the morning. My brain stays asleep while my body turns off the alarm. I then wind up back in bed asleep for another forever. Yeah, that works well. Ha!

    Just got my 1st smartphone, though, and found an app that presents mental tasks the user has to complete before it will shut off. You can choose the sounds - either from alarm-like sounds or more pleasant ones - and choose/adjust the tasks presented. I am presented each morning now with, among 3 or 4 other tasks, math problems. And not ones that are easy when still asleep. This app is forcing me to wake up mentally to turn off the alarm. By the time I'm awake mentally, I WANT to get up. It works like a charm! :) - 9/3/2014 9:24:15 AM
  • 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
  • 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
    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

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