Most of us struggle to feel energized now and then. But if you feel like you’re constantly hitting snooze and dragging yourself throughout your day, that’s a problem. Whether you aren’t getting enough sleep, or you’re just not getting enough quality sleep, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you out.
The team at Hug Sleep specializes in helping you rest. We understand that life sometimes gets in the way of getting good sleep. We’ll help you understand how your body prepares for sleep, and how to make sure you can get enough sleep and wake up feeling ready to conquer the world.
The Two Important Parts of Sleep
There are two important functions in your body that govern your sleep: your circadian rhythm and your sleep drive.
The circadian rhythm, also known as your internal clock, is what tells your body when it should be awake and when it should be asleep. Using bright light as a guide, your circadian rhythm keeps you awake during daylight hours and begins triggering the release of melatonin as the sun begins to set.
It’s easy for your circadian rhythm to get a little unsynchronized. If you work nights, your body can convince you it’s time to be awake when you should really be hitting the sack. Thankfully, the second part of your sleep function works alongside your circadian rhythm to keep you on track with sleep.
Your sleep drive is like an internal tank that needs to be filled by sleep at the end of each day. When you wake up, your sleep drive is essentially full. As you expend energy and stay awake for hours, the sleep drive tank empties, and your need for sleep increases.
Your sleep drive signals your body that it’s time for sleep by making you tired, especially at the end of the day when it’s time for bed.
Despite these two functions, sometimes we just can’t get the deep sleep we need, and we wake up feeling groggy and sleepy. Here, we’ll cover ten ways you can help to prevent the lack of motivation you have in the mornings.
How To Wake Up Early and Energized: 10 Ways
No one is ever going to accuse you of being a morning person, but with a little effort, you can soar with the eagles — or at least feel energized to start your day.
1. Skip the Snooze Button
Does anyone really sleep that well after hitting the snooze button? In that 15 minutes of REM sleep, your body doesn’t actually get any benefits. Hitting snooze again will only make it worse. In fact, researchers say that hitting snooze does not equate to quality sleep.
By getting what’s called “fragmented sleep,” you set yourself up for daytime drowsiness and lower energy levels than if you got up right when the alarm clock went off. Even if you still feel sleepy, getting up as soon as you hear the alarm is key to functioning better for the rest of the day.
2. Let the Light Shine In
Ask any travel expert: jet lag hates sunlight and movement. Natural light helps encourage higher serotonin levels. While serotonin might not wake you up, it will at least make you feel better about being up so early and potentially help you feel like more of a morning person.
Sunlight plays a major role in our sleep, affecting how our circadian rhythm operates. Blue light emitted from devices also plays a major role, as it affects the circadian rhythm much like sunlight.
If you can’t get in direct sunlight in the morning, try switching your device from night to day mode before you check your email or scroll through social media. The extra bit of blue light can stimulate your body into waking up.
3. Get Moving
Sure, the last thing you may feel like doing is hopping out of bed and onto the treadmill, but research suggests that consistent cardiovascular exercise is key in reducing fatigue and keeping you energized.
Increased blood flow not only sustains your energy levels; it also keeps endorphins flowing, helping you feel even better about leaving the comfort of your covers.
After hours of sleep, you naturally wake a little dehydrated. Being tired is one of the earliest symptoms of dehydration. Before you brew your coffee, down a glass of water to ward off morning grogginess and give your hydration levels a boost.
Fun fact: Even though coffee is made with water, the caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, which means it can dehydrate you faster than if you drink water by itself.
5. Stick to One Cup of Coffee
We would never tell you to forgo your morning joe — but if you want to stay energized throughout your day, you might want to limit the amount you drink.
The more caffeine you drink, the less energy you’ll have. That doesn’t mean you should skip coffee altogether. Just drink a limited amount. A small cup in the morning should help you start your day off with a nice energy boost, but drinking too much during the day is linked to being more tired.
6. Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Day
If you have trouble getting enough sleep, try front-loading it. Getting more sleep on the front end of your evening is an easier way to make sure you get better sleep. You can do this by going to bed at the same time every evening.
Going to bed at a consistent time is also a way to practice good sleep hygiene — a.k.a. the practices and habits that encourage sleep. Establishing good sleep habits is one way to wake up refreshed, and a consistent sleep schedule may be all you need to wake up supercharged.
7. Rock Out With Music
If you’re a music junkie, cranking out a morning playlist with your favorite tunes is an ideal way to wake up and get moving.
Rocking out a little too noisy for your morning routine? Try listening to a good book or catching up on your favorite podcast instead. Anything that engages your brain and captivates your mind will help you feel alert and ready to head out the door.
8. Use Cold Water
Some people can slide into a cold shower without their hearts jumping into their throats. For the rest of us, a simple splash of cold water on the face can liven up the senses and stimulate your body to wake up.
Since you probably already wash your face in the morning, try using cold water and switching up your face wash to one that contains essential oils. Peppermint and citrus are considered great choices for potentially helping you feel energized and overcoming sleepiness.
9. Deal With Stress
Stress, worry, and nervousness can make sleeping hard. It can feel impossible to relax when you are worried about a deadline at work or how a major life event will play out. Too much stress, and you could end up missing valuable hours of sleep your body needs.
Another important part of stress is feeling tired even when you get enough sleep. For instance, if you have negative feelings about your job, it can make you feel unmotivated to go to work in the morning — which means you might wake up feeling drained and tired no matter how much you sleep.
To deal with stress, try yoga, mediation, or talk therapy. There are numerous resources available to help you feel better, release tense feelings, and relax.
10. Use a Better Blanket
Your old blanket might not be the best for promoting healthy sleep. If it’s hot, itchy, or even too lightweight, it’s probably not helping you rest.
Instead, you might opt for a blanket that uses the science of deep touch pressure therapy (aka, DTPT) to help soothe your mind and relax your body. Weighted blankets are one popular choice, though some people find them uncomfortable, too heavy, or restricting. Regular blankets, on the other hand, don’t provide the level of sensory therapy you need to feel relaxed.
How Deep Touch Pressure Therapy Works
Ever spent an entire night trying to turn your brain off? Stress, worry, and even negative feelings about sleep can turn a wannabe morning person into a reluctant night owl.
The reason? Your central nervous system. Although the nervous system is almost endlessly complex, there are two parts in particular that relate to our sleep/wake cycles.
- SNS. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our wake cycles. The SNS keeps us in fight or flight mode, helps us react, and keeps us ready for action. Our SNS should start slowing down by the end of the day, making room for the PSNS to come on shift.
- PSNS. The parasympathetic nervous system is what settles our mind at night, slows our heart rates, and even helps relax our muscles. It triggers the release of hormones like dopamine and serotonin, helping us ease into a peaceful sleep.
We need the PSNS to switch places with the SNS at the end of the day to help us relax into sleep, but sometimes that “switch” is broken or hindered by stressful feelings. DTPT is a workaround.
DTPT utilizes sensory receptors in your skin to help activate your PSNS and cause you to relax. By applying gentle pressure to your body, it’s possible to hack your central nervous system and destress — even on days when it seems like winding down will be impossible.
All this in a blanket? You bet.
The Hug Sleep Sleep Pod
Built with the science of DTPT, the Hug Sleep Sleep Pod is a wearable blanket that hugs you back. Made with ultra-breathable, four-way stretch fabric, the Sleep Pod allows for maximum mobility (and even complete freedom for your feet with the Sleep Pod Move).
The gentle compression of our Sleep Pod offers a sensory experience most people enjoy. You’ll get the benefits of DTPT and feel more rested when you wake up.
Sleep Better To Wake Up Better
Sometimes, mornings are rough. You can experience less morning grogginess and feel better about getting out of bed by making a few simple adjustments and practicing good sleep hygiene.
When you need to relax, trust the Hug Sleep Sleep Pod to give you the gentle compression required to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and help you relax for the night.