How to Wake Up Early and Not Feel Tired. 15 Fatigue-Fighting Techniques

We’re living fast-paced lives and one of the main casualties of this lifestyle is our sleep. We’ve all had those days when we’ve woken up feeling tired. It’s more common than we think!. While a one-off bout of sluggishness after a difficult/ long night (for physical, emotional or social reasons) is understandable, chronically waking up tired is something we need to address. And no, resorting to huge amounts of caffeine is not a solution!

So, how to wake up early in the morning without feeling sleepy? This article looks at 15 simple lifestyle changes that we can do, in order to fight morning fatigue.

  • 1. Get seven to nine hours of sleep (as often as you can)
  • 2. Your dinner matters
  • 3. Create a bedtime routine
  • 4. Don’t hit the snooze button
  • 5. Have a morning routine
  • 6. Choose your breakfast wisely.
  • 7. Reduce your caffeine intake
  • 8. Find your motivation
  • 9. Stay hydrated
  • 10. Stretch out with yoga
  • 11. Address your stress
  • 12. Track your physical and mental health
  • 13. Skip the nightcap
  • 14. Do not take a nap during the day
  • 15. Let the light in

1. Seven to nine hours of sleep.

Let us begin with the logical solution. You are asking how not to wake up tired?, then ensure your body is getting the rest that it deserves with enough sleep.. It is a gross misconception that rest is a “waste of time”.

Each of us, as adults, have a ‘sleep need’ that is typically around 8 and a half hours. The more you deny yourself that, you build a ‘sleep debt’ or a ‘sleep deficit’. You will be forcing your body and your organs to work overtime, without giving the time for cells to regenerate. Sleep deprivation is one of the main reasons why you might be waking up tired the next day. “When one sleeps, the brain reorganizes and recharges itself, and removes toxic waste byproducts which have accumulated throughout the day” (Source: National Library of American Medicine).

2. Your dinner matters

Ideally, your dinner must be the lightest meal of the day. More importantly, going to bed with a full stomach will result in you waking up groggy and bloated the next day. The best thing to do is to finish your meal 2 – 3 hours before you hit the hay.

3. Create a bedtime routine

7 – 9 hours sound great in theory, but what if you are the kind who struggles to fall asleep? Then, what can you do? Here are a few simple steps to create a sleep schedule.

  • Be consistent. Your sleep and wake times should be consistent so that your body gets used to your routine, and this will let your brain know when to switch off and when to normally wake up.Lack of consistency is one of the key reasons why many suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, hypersomnia or restless leg syndrome.
  • Turn off all screens at least an hour before going to bed. This might be difficult since many of us resort to doom scrolling to help us fall asleep. However, avoiding devices that emit blue light at least an hour before can significantly improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Practise good sleep hygiene, that which works best for you. It might include taking a warm bath every night, using comfortable and clean bedding, turning off the lights, and putting away devices.Create for yourself a calm sleep environment.

Ultimately, it is about respecting the body’s Circadian rhythm or cycle. This is our bodies’ internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. So try and go to bed at a particular time every day for better sleep.

4. Don't hit the snooze button.

When you get up and go to bed at the same time every day, your body’s internal clock will be in sync, and that will automatically help you wake up fresh in the morning. So pressing the snooze button on your alarm clock will have a negative effect on our sleep and body, as these short periods of snooze don’t allow the body enough time to fall back into restorative sleep. It increases sleep inertia (the groggy feeling) since you cannot get into a fully restorative sleep habit while snoozing.

Try the 90-minute sleep cycle trick by setting two alarms, the first one for 90 minutes before you want to wake up and the next one for the actual time that you want to wake up. It works for most people because the average sleep cycle is around 90 minutes. By doing this, you are tricking your body into believing that you have had an additional sleep cycle, resulting in you waking up feeling fresh.

5. Have a morning routine

While it can be challenging to establish, the beauty of a routine is that, once it is set, it comes together organically. It stops feeling like chores that require specialised attention or energy. Here are a few things you can do to be less tired in the morning, even if you are not a morning person!

  • Cold showers or at least splashing cold water on your face and the back of your neck.
  • Drink an entire glass of water.
  • Step outside for a brisk walk or at least a stroll to take in the sun and the fresh air.
  • Ensure you have time for breakfast.
  • Include a quick workout or any form of regular exercise.

6. Choose your breakfast wisely

A balanced breakfast should include protein, fibre and carbohydrates to sustain you through the day. Avoid having sugar until lunch. Of course natural sugars in fruits can be a great addition!
However, having too many sweet food items or sugar in the early morning, even though they are pre-processed and quicker, can leave you feeling drained as items like coffee drinks, pastries, and cereals can spike blood sugar and leave you drained after.

More importantly, do not skip breakfast. It is the fuel your body requires to function through the day.

7. Reduce your caffeine intake

Like sugar, caffeine also has the ability to give you quick highs, followed by a period of low, along with headaches, dehydration or even bouts of anxiety. Reducing the amount of coffee intake will help you stay active, as chugging a big mug of coffee early in the morning will contribute directly to morning fatigue.

8. Find your motivation

Schedule one thing that excites you in the morning so that you can look forward to waking up. Whether it is a walk with your dog, watering your plants, or cooking a nice breakfast, doing that one thing you enjoy will make your morning feel less like a chore, and more enjoyable.

9. Stay hydrated

Starting with a glass of water soon after you wake up, ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the day. One of the common symptoms of dehydration is fatigue and water will help you keep it away. Warm water with lemon or cinnamon first thing in the morning can further help in kick starting your day.

10. Stretch out with yoga

The body has interesting ways of protecting itself. For example, when you are actively dreaming in your REM cycle, your other muscles are in sleep paralysis. This is a safety mechanism so that you do not physically act out whatever it is that you are dreaming.

So, in the morning, when we wake up, they are all ready to reactivate. That is why it feels really nice to stretch in the morning. So if you have even 30 minutes, doing yoga will actually help you get rid of the tiredness.

11. Address your stress

Sometimes, morning fatigue does not have a physical reason but is an emotional response to something that is worrying you or something you do not want to deal with. It is a defence mechanism. While you might be able to fix the situation overnight, it does help to narrow it or break it down into manageable parts.

12. Track your physical and mental health

If you find yourself chronically tired in the morning, take some time to monitor your physical and mental health and seek help from healthcare professionals.

13. Skip the nightcap

That alcohol can help you sleep is a misconception.It can alter your sleep patterns. Alcohol does have some sedative properties that might help you fall asleep sooner. However, as it gets processed and the blood alcohol content reduces, it will result in poor quality of sleep or even waking up. Moreover, most of them also cause dehydration, making you feel fatigued or nauseated when waking up. It is better not to drink alcohol at night before going to bed or at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.

14. Do not nap during the day

Day naps have an adverse impact on night’s sleep, resulting in you waking up tired in the morning. If you absolutely have to nap, try limiting it to a power nap of not more than 20 minutes and not after 2 p.m.

15. Let the light in

As soon as you wake up, open the windows and curtains. Natural light will help your body clock accept the wake-up time, signalling to your circadian rhythm that sleep time is over. Exposing yourself to early morning light also boosts the release of serotonin by the brain. Allow natural light (or bright light) and fresh air in and your body will automatically wake up at that particular time all fresh.

So, do practise all these techniques to feel all fresh in the morning and to kill the morning fatigue. You won’t be tired of feeling tired anymore if you start to practise all the 15 things, and this will also help you optimise energy levels throughout the day.

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