Sometimes, waking up is hard. When the alarm goes off at 6am on any given Monday morning, it can require a feat of strength to get out from under your cozy covers. Luckily, there are tricks to help your mornings go a little more smoothly. Wake up happy and alert with these 6 morning hacks.
Find the right alarm clock.
Traditional alarm clocks don’t always do the trick. The snooze button feature often means trouble for the notoriously nocturnal folk. Instead, try a non-traditional alarm, like a light alarm, or — on the other side of the spectrum — the Shape Up clock. Whatever works for you, invest in it, and never miss out on your day because of that pesky snooze button again. (One helpful tip: make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Otherwise, waking up will remain a struggle you won’t win.)
Un-batten the hatches.
Open those shades, sailor! Let the sunlight shine through! The sun’s rays inhibit the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. Letting the sun hit your skin means you’ll wake up faster and more completely than if you were to spend your mornings in vampiric darkness.
Drink a glass of room temperature water the moment you open your eyes. One, it will rehydrate you after a long night of snoozing, which in itself will revitalize your sleepy lids. But equally importantly, drinking a bedside glass of water can prevent you from hitting the snooze button too many times by converting your bladder into an alarm clock fail-safe.
Step outside for a minute.
Weather permitting, of course. In the winter, I find the best way to wake up is to stick my head out the door and take 10 big gulps of fresh, crisp oxygen. It’s actually rather pleasant and can lift the dream fog from your mind. If you want to double the benefits, try fitting in some exercise to get your lymph and blood flowing. While your coffee maker is percolating, strap on the nearest pair of sneakers and take a quick stroll outside. Whether it is a shuffle to the end of your driveway, a walk with your dog around the block, or, if you’re lucky, a good jog at the local park, exposing yourself to the morning sunlight and invigorating air can wipe away all signs of sleepiness. Getting some movement in piles on clarity and endorphin-related happiness, meaning those pre-coffee hours don’t have to be spent in groggy misery!
Pre-prep a healthy breakfast.
If you’re not a morning person, you may be tempted to grab a sugary pastry in lieu of a more nutritious mouthful. Spiking your body with sugar will only lead to more fatigue and cravings when you crash in a few hours. Instead, stick with a light, nutritious breakfast, while still challenging the ease of a drive-thru pastry. Just as you would organize your clothes and belongings the night before an important day, try prepping your breakfast the night before. Scramble some raw eggs and store them in the fridge in a container; chop up some veggies; get out the pan. That way, in the morning, all you have to do is toss it all in a skillet , and you’ve got a tummy-pleasing veggie omelet in the blink of one of your bleary eyes!
Set a goal.
Even if your goal is to watch old re-runs of Friends when you’ve finished your day, give yourself something to look forward to in your schedule every day. It might be a cooking class, a lunchtime yoga class, a special salmon dinner, a nature walk, or drinks with a friend. Having something to look forward to will make it much easier to wake up in the morning, and will even invigorate the rest of your life. Talk about a win-win!
Mornings don’t need to be a struggle. With just a few simple tweaks, those wee hours can be a meditative and relaxing experience. And who knows, with any luck, mornings might even become your favorite part of the day!