I used to be a night owl. But after waking up groggy for three decades, I learned in my 30s to embrace sleep, if not be selfish with it—i.e. I rarely if stay up past 10 or 11 now, even on weekends.
Since then, I’ve accomplished signficantly more, especially on mornings and weekends, which I used to let slip by. How do I do it?
These are the rules that I live by, according to science:
- Sleep in a cool dark room. My house is cold, especially at night. I don’t have a TV in my bedroom. And I only bring my phone to bed no more than a half a dozen times per year on special occasions (and even then I keep the lamp on while doing so). In other words, if you want to wake up with more energy, get a good nights rest in the cold darkness.
Always arise at the same time. To find your sleeping rhythm and wake up with more energy, you must stick to a routine, even on weekends and vacation. In my case, I retire at 10 or 11 every night and wake up at 6 or 7. In rare cases I stay up til midnight, I will “sleep in” until 8, but I rarely go past then. It helps.
Drink water when you first get up. For instance, I drink a liter and a half of water in the first few minutes of waking up. This forces my body to wake up equally fast (“Digestive tract, we need to process this liquid STAT!”) while rehydrating the water I lost during the night. For an extra kick, you can even add a splash of lemon to your water.
Open windows or sit outside. The sooner you expose yourself to the sun, the more energy you’ll find. In addition to opening our blinds, I like to sit outside for a few minutes before starting my day.
Wake up your lungs with exercise. It seems counterproductive to think that early morning exercise can give you more energy, but it works. Like inundating the body with water, this forces the body to awaken all of its senses, especially the lungs. When that happens, you are more alert, aware, and energetic.