In the dead of winter, it’s easy to forget that the days are actually starting to get longer. While it can be painfully difficult to pull yourself out of bed when it’s still dark in the morning, learning to appreciate the wee hours of the day certainly has its benefits. Whether you use that extra hour to squeeze in a workout or to get some chores done before you leave the house, waking up a little earlier can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
Not sure where to start? Try these tips.
Don’t hit the snooze button. Sure, you might set your alarm for 6:00 AM every morning. But then you hit the snooze button again and again. By the time you actually haul your groggy self out of bed at 6:30, you’ve given up breaking a sweat or doing a load of laundry in exchange for a half-hour of restless drowsing. Instead, set your alarm for when you need to get up and place it out of your reach the night before.
Wash up. When it comes to waking up in the morning, there’s something to be said for tried-and-true methods like splashing cold water on your face. You’ll feel more alert almost immediately, if you can brave the initial chill.
Drink up. Cold water is good for more than just an energizing rinse. Hydrating after 6-8 hours without water will help your body get into gear and ready to face the day ahead.
Track your sleep cycle. Activity trackers are a great way to encourage more movement throughout the day, but their benefits don’t stop when the sun goes down. Most trackers can monitor your sleep at night through your movements and can wake you up at the lightest part of your sleep cycle to minimize grogginess.
Schedule it. Love sleeping in on Saturdays? You may not want to indulge. Straying too far from your typical routine will re-set your internal clock, making it harder for you to wake up during the week.
There are many simple habits that can help you rise and shine just a little earlier. With a little extra time for meditation, organization or exercise plus a healthy meal to start the day, you’re well on your way to a healthier you.