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You Could Wake Up Naturally to a More Energized Day

7:00 a.m.: An infuriating alarm jolts you awake.
7:30 a.m.: After three snooze delays you finally turn it off and force yourself to jump out of bed.
8:15 a.m.: Two cups of coffee later, you're stuck in maddening morning traffic.
2:30 p.m.: You practically fall asleep at your desk.

"I got eight hours of sleep last night," you think hazily. "Why am I still tired?"

The answer may lie in your morning routine. Afternoon energy levels can be predicted by what you do when you first get up. A typical frantic start to the day can wake you up temporarily but leave you dragging later on. Low energy saps creativity, spontaneity, concentration and motivation. Not to mention the irritability and stress that it causes.

So why does the morning rush let you down? According to researchers at Duke University Medical Center, both sudden activity and caffeine kick-up your blood pressure and stress hormones, giving you a quick feeling of alertness and energy. But these adrenaline-producing tactics are short-lived. Once the mayhem is over, it's crash time.

It's much better to start the day by letting your body catch up to sleep-cycle cues that it collects. By coming out of "sleep" mode more naturally, you help your body get off to a more relaxing start to a more energized day.

Here are some ideas for how to set your body clock to "awake" without the shock of sudden activity that rattles the stress system: 
  1. Wake up to music rather than an alarm.
  2. Don't get up right away. While breathing deeply, loosen up and stretch your limbs out, from your fingers to your toes. Pretend you're a cat waking up from a nap.
  3. Think of the most positive thing you'll be doing that day.
  4. Get out of bed slowly. Ease into it.
  5. Turn on more and more lights as you go through your routine, until every light you see is on.
  6. If weather permits, step outside for a minute. Sunshine is one of the strongest ways to tell your body to wake up.
  7. Do 3-5 minutes of easy activity. Emphasis on easy.
  8. Eat breakfast! Foods low in fat and high in protein, fiber and carbs provide energy that lasts a long time. Try yogurt, fruit, whole wheat breads, and skim milk.
A key is not to oversleep or use the snooze button. It may be tough at first, but getting up at the same time every morning makes it easier to set a sleep cycle that won't make you feel tired in the middle of the day. 

P.S. When you're stuck in traffic, try listening to some classical music or jazz to calm you.
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Member Comments

I love mornings Report
thank you Report
Of course, if you have a cat, there's no need for an alarm, lol. Report
A former pro grump in morning, I put some fresh flowers by my bed and picture of my dog. Seeing that and smiling was easier than thinking anything positive. Do a few cat cow yoga moves and child pose while still in bed, and say a couple prayers. Now these are habits. Agree routine important. Report
Great points. Some of these I was doing, some not so much! Report
good article Report
Great ideas! Report
an excellent article
I love my morning stretch moments before I get out of bed... they make all the difference to my day! Report
Great article! Report
Good article! Report
I naturally (no alarm) wake up between 6 and 6:30 every morning and I get up, get dressed, and start walking. Report
I say to myself -- or sometimes yell, depending on the morning -- "Whew! I'm alive! I've got another day to work at being a better me!" Or something like that. It's a morning cheer. It may seem silly, but I swear that over time it affected my mood, which affects how I behaved, which affected how I handled everything life put in my way. So, woohoo! It's another day!! 😁 Report
Sounds helpful Report
I've been unknowingly doing this my entire life! Or maybe my parents knew it was good and set me up for success? I always wake up to a beautiful soft instrumental, snuggle with my husband for a minute, turn on almost no lights, use the restroom, and go outside to let the dog out/feed her, and then gently awaken my children for school. And then we all sit down and have breakfast after we're dressed for the day. It's smooth and enjoyable! I feel completely blessed to be able to work this routine into my life. :) Report
Walking Guide

About The Author

Mike Kramer
Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.