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