The following article is compiled from a purely unscientific investigation into the most effective and successful ways to game the odds of waking up refreshed, invigorated and ready to tackle the world. Keep in mind that these tips and suggestions are based entirely on personal and individual anecdotes supplied to me by a number of people of different ages, states of health and psychological character. What works for others may not work for you. But the important thing to remember is that each of these suggestions did work for somebody.
The key to waking up in the morning with the energy and eagerness required to attack the daily stress of life lies in the purpose of going to bed. If you are not actually getting the rest your body needs during the night, then it doesn’t really matter if you are spending five hours or eights hours in bed. Perhaps your lack of a good night’s sleep is the result of trying to go to bed while still all jacked up. Get into the habit of meditation, or listening to soothing music or reading a boring novel. Personal note: I have found that there is something particularly relaxing about watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 before going to sleep. Despite the fact that this beloved TV series produces laughter, it also seems to have a strange narcotic effect. At least for me. Try it.
Morning Wake-Up Call
Maybe the problem waking up ready to punch the world in its ugly mug has less to do with sleep than with the mood of the morning. Retire the clock radio and the influence of corporate radio on your morning mood and take matters into your own hands. Everybody who has ever listened to enough music knows that some songs have something about them that stimulate the desire to get things done. Find out which songs have this effect on your and put them on your smart phone and use the mysterious motivation magical property of music to kickstart your morning.
Eat Breakfast Outside
Instead of sitting down in a room with artificial light and possibly a slightly toxic environment…head outdoors for your coffee and pancakes. Fresh air, the vitamin D supplied by the sun and perhaps the crisp chill of fall day or the fragrant aroma of spring flowers blooming may be what you need to get your motor running. Turn off the promotional material masquerading as news on the network “news shows” and read something that inspires you or even something that ticks you off enough to rev up your outrage and turn what may be a boring day into a day of activism. Personal note: living in the South where summer lingers on for 11.5 months, I find that getting that blast of chilly fall/winter air produces the exact opposite of all those days when it’s hot and humid enough inside to drink air through a straw. This suggestion is perhaps less useful for those who live in climates that experience serious winter weather.
Change That Breakfast
If you find that you are just one of those people who can’t really get it going until afternoon, the problem may be less one of being a “type” than the type of food you eat. Get rid of the breakfast that is high in sweet food or fatty foods and switch to a more nutritionally energizing breakfast that pumps you up with protein that flips your “on” switch earlier than normal.