The first in a 3-part SLEEP series! This month: how to transform yourself from night owl to cheery morning riser.
Beauty sleep is not just a catchphrase. Good sleep means better health and more youthful vitality, so over the next three months, The Scoop will run a series focused on the health and beauty benefits of a good night’s sleep… and how to get it.
The Rise & Fall of a Consistent Bedtime
Becoming a morning person rests with getting a better night’s sleep. Listening to your internal clock is a great place to start. To reset your internal clock and rise earlier, it’s important to be consistent and go to bed and wake at the same time every day. Yes, even on weekends. Sleeping in may sound divine, but it can backfire, making you feel even more groggy. Pay attention to your optimal sleep window, when your body starts to slow and you begin to feel sleepy. Miss it and you risk a sleepless night trying to get back to your sleepy state.
Time & Temperature
Temperature plays a key role in our ability to fall and stay asleep, then easily wake up. Our core body temperature rises and falls with our circadian rhythm over a 24-hour period. A cooler core will ensure you get into a deeper sleep more quickly, and stay there, making it easier to get up. Room temperatures between 60-67˚ are optimal to slip into the deepest sleep. Drop the temperature in your house an hour before bedtime to make sure the house is refreshingly cool. Then set your thermostat to start warming the house an hour before you need to rise, to start your gradual warm-up and wake-up.
Establish a good bedtime routine. Make your bed plush and inviting with a good supportive mattress, fluffy pillows and soft, cozy bedding. Luxuriate in a warm, relaxing bath with soothing lavender essential oil. Many women find reading before bed relaxes them. Avoid these known sleep saboteurs right before bed: eating or drinking too much, the bright lights of tv and personal electronics and even mental clutter. Jot down your to-dos well ahead of bedtime so they don’t preoccupy your sweet slumber.
Banish the Morning Mayhem
If you know your day will be hectic before you’ve even climbed out of bed, it’s probably time to rethink and simplify your morning routine. Prepare as much as you can the night before. Choose your clothes, pack up whatever you need for the day… if you don’t have a long list of things to do the moment your eyes open, you might be more eager to wake. Streamline your beauty regimen with a 5-minute makeup plan or try multi-tasking products like BB Creams which can be a total time saver.
On the Bright Side
Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to get out of bed in the summer, when the sun rises earlier? Why not let the power of the sun help you wake up? Frame your bedroom windows with lovely sheers that let the sun shine in. The filtered light of the gradual sunrise as it peers into your bedroom is a gracious, easy way to slowly wake. Need to rise earlier than the sun? Try a mood-boosting bedside lamp that mimics natural daylight.
Beyond the sun, another way to wake bright-eyed is to stimulate your senses first thing in the a.m. Set your coffee pot to start brewing 45 minutes before you wake so the inviting scent wafts through the house. A citrus-scented body wash is a great perk-me-up. Try a strong mint toothpaste to energize your palate. Crack the windows and let the sounds of nature wake you. Maybe try a sound machine alarm clock with chirping bird sounds. Or create your own nature sounds. Start feeding the backyard birds and their early morning revelry at the feeders is sure to get your stirring.
Please Please Me
Don’t forget the power of anticipation as a great motivator for rising on the early side. Establish a pleasing ritual in the morning that has you looking forward to starting the day with a little smile. Maybe it’s that special cup of coffee or time to read the paper on the patio. Or how about a walk with your ever-cheery furry friend? Don’t worry, he’ll give you a wake-up nudge to remind you it’s time to get up and go. Yogic stretches in the a.m. charge your muscles and fuel energy for the whole day. Plus, the mind-opening calm just starts your day on the right note.