In the winter waking up in the morning can be more difficult, especially when it’s so dark outside, the temperature drops and kicking off those blankets when you are so cozy and warm is definitely not inviting.
The biggest reason it’s harder to feel awake and refreshed in the winter mornings is because it’s likely still dark when we have to get out of bed. Natural bright light is the strongest cue that influences our circadian rhythm. When our eyes and then our brain senses bright light it begins to suppress our sleep hormone, melatonin, allowing our body to naturally wake up. During the winter months our days get shorter and we lose that morning-light cue.
Why getting up early is good:
- Our days can get busy fast. Waking up early means more time to allow for personal care. When you don’t allow that time to yourself in the morning it can mean that personal time to exercise, meditate, or even just read a book gets erased from the list, but it’s these activities that can decrease stress and improve your mood.
- The old saying the early bird gets the worm. Studies show early morning risers are more proactive, anticipate problems and minimize them efficiently. They are more organized and planned for the days ahead.
- Waking up earlier helps your body build more of a drive to sleep to throughout the day, making falling asleep easier at night.
Get prepared for the morning
Simple tasks like preparing work and school lunches at night, choosing outfits to wear, and packing up school bags and work bags before you go to sleep can save you time in the morning and even allow you some extra sleep time.
With three young kids the thing I dreaded the most about the morning was the outfit battles. It would bring so much stress to our mornings and none of us were starting off the day right because of it. So, I found a solution. I bought a bin with a drawer for each day of the week and every Sunday I would pick out outfits for each day and place them in the bins – everything down to underwear and socks. Then they are able to just go and get their outfit for that day and change, while I get breakfast on the table. No fights, no fuss, no searching for that sweater, and happy smiles on the way to school.
How to ensure we get the best sleep:
Create the perfect sleep environment by appealing to your 5 senses. Create a sleep toolkit. Include earplugs, eye masks, sound machines, or aroma therapy to help you sleep soundly throughout the night and wake up well-rested in the morning.
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