If you're not a morning person, having to get up for work or to get the kids ready for school can be difficult. Getting out of bed is a challenge, and you don't feel alert until it's time for lunch! But most people have to follow a timetable that suits their job, rather than their natural tendencies. So here are some ways to help you feel more awake if you're not a morning person …
1. Go to Sleep Earlier
I'm sorry to sound like your mom nagging you, but if you need to get up for work, as most people do, then get to bed early. That way you're more likely to get enough sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. However much you want to stay up late, start winding down and preparing for bed earlier. Gradually you'll reset yourself and sleeping early will start to feel more natural.
2. Wake up Alarm Clock
Yes, all alarm clocks wake you up (unless you're one of those people that sleeps through earthquakes). But happily for the 'not a morning person', you can now get alarm clocks that simulate the increase of natural daylight. This allows you to wake up gradually and is a more natural approach than being startled awake as the alarm shrieks (and then going back to sleep).
A quick blast under a cold shower is guaranteed to wake you up, even if it's not very pleasant! If you really can't face the cold tap, then look for a shower gel that's designed to help you feel more alert. There are plenty on the market, and most have a lovely scent that will be pleasant to use.
4. Same Time Every Day
However much you love sleeping late at the weekend, try to resist the temptation. It's better to have consistent sleep patterns if you want to feel alert in the mornings. At the weekend, wake up at your usual weekday time; the bonus is that you'll get a lot more done during your day, rather than not getting started until lunchtime.
5. Resist the Snooze Button
However much you want to hit the snooze button when your alarm goes off, resist the urge. You may well go back to sleep, but these snatched minutes won't be good-quality sleep. You'll do better getting out of bed and starting to wake up. If you're really finding it hard to wake up, you know that you should really get more sleep.
6. Morning Workout
If you're not a morning person, the last thing you want to do (aside from get out of bed) is go to the gym. But a morning workout will help energise you and make you feel more alert. Try to fit in a visit to the gym before work at least a couple of times a week; a swim would be a particularly good way of waking yourself up.
7. Protein Breakfast
Carbohydrates will make you feel more sluggish than you already do, so opt for a breakfast that's high in protein. Ditch the bagels or toast in favor of eggs, yogurt or a high-protein smoothie. And don't even think of skipping breakfast; you need the energy to keep you going until lunchtime. If you can't face a solid breakfast, make a smoothie.
So here's how to get over the fact that you're not a morning person! How would you like to wake up in the morning?