10 tips from healthy sleep experts to follow
For many people, the morning is one of the most productive times of the day, making the day more efficient when woken up properly. A cup of coffee, a five-minute stretch, a favourite song, a walk with the dog – ELLE has compiled 10 top principles of proper morning awakening that will help you be awake all day.
1. Sleep with a window open
Oxford scientists have found that an important benefit to a healthy sleep and wakefulness is a decrease in room temperature: with open windows, the body cools down, which contributes to better health. This hardens the body, reduces stress levels and therefore increases the quality of sleep. By the way, it is much easier to wake up in a slightly cooler, oxygen-rich room. This is invigorating and sets the body up for productivity.
2. Go to bed and get up at the same time
Biologist and University of Notre Dame (USA) professor Giles Duffield recently proved that following a daily schedule for sleep and wakefulness helps maintain the health of all systems and organs – for example the brain, heart and liver. They regulate the processes in the cells to ensure that the body as a whole works in harmony. If we disrupt our sleep schedule, for example due to an irregular schedule, it can lead to mental problems and cause depression. Make it a rule to go to bed and get up at the same time. Experts say that after a week of following this routine, you’ll start to feel much more alert and productive.
3. Breakfast made in the evening
Nothing wakes you up in the morning more than knowing your favourite meal is already cooked and waiting for you. Even if you’re a fan of freshly boiled oatmeal or a hot omelette, try making yourself breakfast in advance on weekdays. In summer it could be chocolate rice flour pancakes and a cold smoothie, while in autumn or winter you might like cheesecakes and durum wheat pizza, which can be heated up and served with your favourite coffee.
4. Think of a favourite morning tradition
Waking up immediately brings a swarm of ideas about what needs to get done during the day, but sleep experts say it’s best to start the morning by relaxing. Make a tradition that makes you feel good every morning. It could be taking the dog for a walk, playing with the cat, watching your favourite TV show or video clip or calling someone close to you.
5. Set your alarm clock to your favorite song
Nothing feels better than waking up in the morning to a song from your favourite movie. Waking up this way puts you in touch with yourself as it’s like sending yourself a greeting from the past. “Yes, yes, I remember our favourite movie, wake up, all the best is ahead!” By the way, it’s better to change your alarm clock ringtone once every week or two, so it doesn’t get boring and is just as effective as your wake-up call.
6. An invigorating shower and scented shower gel
Scents in the morning are just as important as the volume of your alarm clock. Make it a habit to shower every morning with an invigorating body product. A coffee-scented scrub, citrus gel or pine-scented shampoo would lift your spirits and make you feel sleepy.
7. Get in the habit of doing at least five minutes of exerciSE
“The Chinese say, ‘nimble fingers equals quick wit’ – rightly stressing the direct link between fine motor skills and speed of thinking – body and mind. A few minutes of morning stretching can help restore flexibility to your body, as well as set your mind up for flexibility.
8. Drink a glass of water
The good habit of drinking water in the morning will quickly wake you up, fight sleepiness and put you in a good mood in no time. In addition, drinking water in the morning activates the circulatory, lymphatic and urinary systems, strengthens immunity and increases resistance to various infectious diseases.
9. Plan your day in the evening
Waking up in the morning will be more invigorating if you know you have your day planned out. Make it a rule to make a list of important things to do and keep in mind any potential difficulties that may arise. Maybe you need to make five phone calls and stop by a few places, take your clothes to the dry cleaner, attend a wedding cake tasting, and wish your friend a happy birthday by the end of the day? Write down all these items from the evening and think through all your moves and the logistics of the day beforehand.
10. Start your morning with a beauty routine
The ultimate secret to Hollywood beauties is silk pyjamas and linens that eliminate the appearance of wrinkles or facial clumps. Sleep experts also recommend a morning facial massage with ice cubes. This promotes a quick awakening by boosting blood flow and a refreshingly invigorating effect.