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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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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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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