We all know the feeling… The alarm clock is going off, it’s only 6.am and you could do with more sleep.
But whether you want more sleep or not, somehow you have to wake yourself, get yourself up and get ready for work.
You’re thinking about the night before and wishing you’d gone to bed quite a bit earlier.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Now you’re at work after downing a few coffees, perhaps still not woken up properly and still stifling a few yawns.
Throughout the day, your concentration levels are not at their sharpest, resulting in you making hasty decisions with your work and personal life.
Stress levels are at a high and you feel unable to control them, apart from thinking ahead to a few glasses of wine after work and that elusive earlier night.
Then you work you finish work, collapse on the sofa, get engrossed in the latest episode of a soap, then a movie. Suddenly its 2am and you only have a few hours sleep before you wake up and repeat the whole routine again.
Does this ring a bell for you?
– If so, what steps have you taken to prevent this and get yourself to bed early to feel better the next day?
– If this is an ongoing familiar situation, have you ever considered implementing some changes into your life to prevent this from happening?
Here are my 8 steps to help you wake up refreshed:
1. Could you be eating the wrong foods?
Your diet plays an important role in your life.
Eating sugary stuff like chocolates and sweets will give you a burst of energy for short periods of time then lower your energy levels, tricking you into making you think you need more.
Make sure in the morning you have a good breakfast and avoid fried foods.
Opt for a bowl of porridge and some fruit to accompany it. This will slowly release your energy levels in the morning. And avoid downing endless amounts of coffee to wake you up first thing.
Include vegetables, fruit and change your rice and pasta for brown helps in the process of slowly releasing insulin levels into the bloodstream as opposed to white pasta/rice.
Eat less red meat and opt for chicken and fish instead, as white meat is easier to process than red. Lower your red meat intake to 1-2 times a week.
Most importantly cut down on eating sweets and chocolates full stop. As well as making you put on weight, if constantly consumed all it does is send messages to the brain telling it you need more, especially when your energy levels are low. All you will gain is weight!
2. Are you drinking enough water?
Dehydration can cause fatigue making you fell tired and sluggish.
Make sure you drink at least 1-2 litres of water a day. In the mornings have 2 glasses of water and at night before you go to sleep have a cup of warm water with a slice of lemon. It is nature’s most powerful home remedy and minimizes digestive problems.
Sipping warm water stimulates good digestion and circulation and cleanses the bowels. It also encourages sweating, which cleanses the lymphatic system and improves complexion. Warm water flushes the urinary tract, ridding the body of unwanted toxins.
3. Are you body brushing in the morning & night?
Body brushing stimulates the blood circulation and promotes better circulation in the body.
By brushing from the ankles up towards the outer and inner thigh and buttock area and from your wrist brushing upwards to your shoulders, makes it easier for unwanted toxins to be flushed out. It also lowers the risk of catching a cold.
4. Are you meditating before you go to sleep and wake up?
When you hear the word meditation, do monks and hippies spring to mind? They used to with me!
Then I took a step back and realised that both monks and hippies were relaxed and content with themselves, so I decided to give it a go.
Through just closing my eyes and listening to my mind, I also learnt to breath better. Meditating 10 mins in the morning and at night before I slept, I felt the benefits quite quickly in terms of thinking clearer and getting a good nights sleep and keeping stress levels at bay.
Close your eyes and practise breathing through the nose and out through the mouth ensuring the breath, especially when inhaling, goes to your stomach not your shoulders. Also applying this method if you’re having a stressful day will help you function better mentally.
The best thing is you don’t have to be in a yoga position when meditating. This can be done either laying down, sitting at a chair or even on your way home if you walk drive a car or commute on public transport.
5. Are you stretching enough?
Stretching can help in eliminating stiffness, especially for the individual who is less active and has a job that requires hours of sitting at a desk. Stiffness in the body can build up tension levels, making one feel more agitated.
Stretching promotes the longer muscle, as opposed to short, making you feel looser and lessening the risks of back and other areas of the body that might suffer from pains and stiffness which can impair sleep.
Stretching 10-15 minutes before you go to sleep will help assist a good nights sleep and lessen the risk of waking up stiff.
6. Are you exercising enough?
Often people will use an excuse that they don’t have enough time to go to the gym. Stop right there! You don’t need the gym at all. Invest in a mat, skipping rope, some free weights and resistance bands, (all are cost effective).
There are numerous outlets offering great priced products for working out so there really are no excuses! So make it your priority to wake up 30 mins earlier and do a mini circuit workout at home. This will boost your energy levels and gear you up for the day.
If you’re stuck for routines check out YouTube, there’s thousands of circuit videos to give you an idea of individual exercises and combinations.
7. Do you prepare a to do list for the next day, are you organised?
By creating a To Do list for the next day, this will help assist in keeping your schedule in check and prepare you for other situations that might arise. A To Do list can help you evaluate what needs your urgent attention and what doesn’t.
The list will also help sift and organise the kinds of thoughts that can rattle round your head and cost you the price of sleep because you couldn’t stop thinking about what you should of done that day but didn’t.
Organising yourself also promotes a sense of direction and helps you learn the art of goal-setting.
8. Do you show enough gratitude for your life?
If you are blessed enough to wake up next day, you have been given another chance to build that life you want, to doing something exciting that day. Think about that next time you wake up feeling negative.
The question now is are you wasting that day or living your dream? Gratitude in ones life places less expectations on oneself and at the same time draws positivity and stimulates your creativity receptors and your true needs.
Before going to sleep place notes, perhaps on your door or your dressing table with positive thoughts.
Example: Today I am blessed to wake up and have a chance to build my dreams, or Today I am grateful for having my legs and arms and being able to walk and train’.
Place these in visible parts of your room so as you can see the messages first thing when you wake up.
Remember that old saying – ‘What won’t kill you will make you stronger’. Now take action to that new refreshed you!