Picture this: you open your eyes as you wake up to a sunrise. Without a moment’s delay, you get out of bed and stretch. It’s an exciting day ahead and you can’t wait to get started.
You quickly get changed into your gym clothes and head outside for a nice jog in the quiet, peaceful morning. When you get home, you take a shower and come out refreshed. By the time you finish eating breakfast, it’s still early outside. Yet you feel energized and fully awake, ready to take on the day.
I used to think that waking up early naturally was for the lucky. I was simply a night owl, and early mornings were a painful thing. But after I tried a few different strategies and changed up my routine, I realized that waking up energized was something that could be done.
It turns out how you approach your sleep and waking routine is largely a developed habit rather than a genetic trait. And if you’re like me, there may some lifestyle choices that you make which affect the quality of your sleep.
So let’s take a look at 5 things that you should do to get a good night’s sleep and wake up energized:
1. Eat a high amount of fruits and vegetables.
What you eat and the quality of your sleep are closely tied together. Having a quality diet precedes quality sleep, so don’t think about skipping this one.
Today, we’re surrounded by all sorts of processed food, sugar-laden snacks, artificial ingredients, and sodium. Unfortunately, these types of foods are taxing on the body, which leads to waking up groggy.
If you want to rest well, load up on the fruits and veggies. Raw is even better.
2. Eat a light dinner.
There’s a saying that goes like this: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
It’s interesting how our society has developed a system of eating a light breakfast, a medium-sized lunch, and then a large evening meal. But if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, it could be because your dinner portions are too big, which takes longer for your system to digest.
Instead, make fruits and veggies the star attraction at dinnertime. They’re easy to digest, making it easier to have a good night’s sleep.
3. Have a morning routine.
I used to think routines were synonymous with boring. But not all routines are bad. Having a simple routine right after you wake up gives you a sense of direction and something to look forward to.
One routine might be that you get up, go exercise, shower and then eat breakfast. Maybe you like to start off calmly by doing a bit of reading or the daily crossword puzzle. Do whatever helps you warm up for the day.
Exercise can mean a number of things. It doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym, unless you enjoy that. It could mean going for a jog or a nice walk outside. It could mean going out to tend your garden. Whichever way you decide to incorporate exercise into your day, do it with vigor and break out a sweat.
Exercise helps you sleep better at night and wake up energized. It also keeps you more alert throughout the day too.
5. Go to bed only when you’re sleepy.
Have you ever gone to bed simply because you looked at the clock and saw that it was time to do so? If so, you might have been fully awake but tried to force yourself to sleep. The end result? Tossing and turning, trying for who knows how long to get some rest.
Listen to your body instead. If you’re fully awake even though it’s “bedtime”, do something relaxing. Read a book. Listen to some soothing music.
Getting a good night’s rest is important to waking up energized and ready for the day, which in turn keeps you more productive during the day. If you start incorporating these steps, you’ll find yourself on a pathway to feeling happier and ready to seize opportunities.
Originally published on Medium.
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