October 7, 2013 1:03 am
Most people train themselves to leap out of bed when the alarm clock sounds in the morning or at the call of a crying baby – but many have never learned to embrace the early-morning wake-up.
“Morning people are rarely understood by those who prefer to sleep in,” noted a San Francisco psychologist. “They seem to start the day with a cheerful energy their opposites can’t seem to fathom.”
But there are ways to ‘trick’ the subconscious into getting more in tune with natural circadian rhythms, so that you get to sleep earlier and more easily and wake more rested and ready to tackle the day.
From a recent panel of behavioral therapists, here are five tips to help it happen:
Open the curtains – Natural light helps regulate your body clock. Before you go to sleep, open the curtains or blinds in your room so that you are awakened by natural sunlight. Then open the curtains in other rooms so you have as much natural light in your house as you can get.
Eat a good breakfast - Fueling your day with something healthy and tasty will give you the energy boost you need after having fasted through the night. It can also make getting out of bed less of a chore and more of a reward. Play around with quick and easy granola or muffin recipes that you really can look forward to.
Get outside early - Now that you're awake, it's time to soak up as much sun as you can. Walk or bike to work if you can, or make some time early to increase your exposure to natural light and increase your energy level.
Dim the lights at night – Less exposure to artificial light allows your body to power down and sync with the sun. After sunset, turning off as many lights as possible will help you relax into bedtime.
Power down early – Not only does the exposure to light keep your body awake, but the movement and activity on screens can keep your mind busy when it needs to be quieting down for bed. Turn off your electronic devices once the sun has gone to bed – and resist the urge to watch TV in the bedroom.
Published with permission from RISMedia.