Sleep Etiquette: Waking up the right way

January 30, 2011

Wake up the right way for a more productive and energized day ahead

I never knew that there was a right way in waking up – it seems like the most natural thing our bodies were designed to do. But I’ve discovered that there are clear-cut steps we can take to make our mornings the best thing to look forward to. In my previous post, we’ve covered simple ways on how to get well-rested sleep, but there are also remarkable changes we can make in our day to day to get us up and going in the mornings instead of waking up groggy and irritable. We need to be conscious and smart when it comes to awakening from our slumber as well.

Watch your diet – and not just the night before

One of the main reasons why we wake up feeling groggy or feeling like we didn’t get enough sleep (even though we’ve slept for 8 hours or more) is because of what we normally consume in our bodies. Our daily sleep does not only depend on what we’ve eaten the night before, but also largely depends on our regular diet. I’ve mentioned to not consume too much alcohol, caffeine, and foods high in sugar during evenings, but in my experience I’ve observed that when I eat less red meat and less fatty foods in general, I wake up more easily and feel lighter and recharged. Take note that I’m not a doctor, so you can experiment with this and see what helps and what doesn’t. 

Don’t be a couch potato

Yes, believe it or not, this is a great way to fall asleep more easily and wake up more efficiently.  Discipline your schedule and fit in a morning or evening run or gym time on a daily basis. What I mean by exercise is actually getting your heart rate up from normal – any cardio activity like running or taking a brisk walk will do wonders. You won’t even need your caffeine fix in the morning because the endorphins will keep you up the whole day. When you exercise regularly, you’ll find yourself needing less sleep and waking up rejuvenated. 

Snoozing is bad

Try setting your alarm differently. According to blogger Vincent Cheung in his articleAlarm clocks are bad. How to wake up and feel better.

 I use a very simple system that can be done by even the most frugal of people. I can’t remember when I first started doing this, but it’s been at least 7 years. Here’s what you do:

  1. Set an alarm to go off before the latest time you want to wake up.
    – Make the alarm really quiet radio or music.
  2. Set a second alarm to go off at the latest time you want to wake up.
    – This is your regular alarm that will wake you up no matter what.

The whole point is that the first alarm should be so quiet that it will only wake you up if you’re in “light” sleep, like a whisper in your ear. Waking up in “light” sleep should leave you feeling more refreshed than waking up in “deep” sleep. The second alarm is the back up to make sure that you wake up in time.

 Waking up fresh and energized every morning will do wonders to your alertness and overall well-being throughout the day. Discipline your sleep and your morning routine to maximize your day and feel great!