How to Wake Up Energized and Feeling Refreshed Every Day
The Main Point (How to Wake Up Energized):
Waking up energized is not just about getting enough sleep but also about the quality of sleep (aka, "deep sleep"), as well as how we prepare ourselves for the day ahead.
By understanding our body's natural circadian rhythm and optimizing our sleep schedule, we can combat sleep inertia, feel energized, and start our day on a positive note first thing in the morning.
Why Getting Enough Sleep Matters for YOU:
Feeling refreshed every morning is integral to our physical health and well-being. It sets a positive tone for the entire day, boosts our energy levels, and enhances our productivity. By getting better sleep and avoiding hitting the snooze button — which may negatively affect your waking up process — and establishing a morning routine, including a healthy breakfast, we can wake up and get out of bed feeling energized and ready to tackle the day without feeling tired (a cup of coffee can help a bit too!).
Sleep Cycle Stat Line:
A study from the University of California, Berkeley, revealed that attending to just 3 things can help individuals wake up without feeling sluggish. Those three important life factors are sleep, exercise, and breakfast (shocker, we know!).
“Many of us think that morning sleepiness is a benign annoyance. However, it costs developed nations billions of dollars every year through loss of productivity, increased health care utilization, work absenteeism. More impactful, however, is that it costs lives — it is deadly,” said senior author Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the university. “From car crashes to work-related accidents, the cost of sleepiness is deadly. As scientists, we must understand how to help society wake up better and help reduce the mortal cost to society’s current struggle to wake up effectively each day.”
According to UC Berkeley, the "researchers found that the secret to alertness is a three-part prescription requiring substantial exercise the previous day, sleeping longer and later into the morning, and eating a breakfast high in complex carbohydrates, with limited sugar."
What you do throughout the day can affect your sleeping and waking in real ways. Start with a balanced breakfast and morning workout (or evening if that suits you better), limit blue light and nighttime caffeine intake, and check with your doctor regarding any potential sleep disorders. These changes in lifestyle can make an enormous difference for your sleeping and waking life, reduce morning grogginess, get your blood flowing, and encourage you not to give in to that "hit snooze button feeling" we know all too well.
Sleep Inertia Analogy:
What we are all trying to avoid is that awful sleep inertia effect, which the Sleep Foundation defines as a "groggy feeling upon waking, caused by abrupt disruption of sleep." You probably know exactly what that feels like! But here's why it feels that way: think of sleep as parking your car in a cold garage overnight. The next morning, it takes time to warm up the engine, especially on a chilly morning. This warm-up period is like sleep inertia. Just like your car needs some time to warm up and be road-ready, your brain and body need time to become fully alert when transitioning to wakefulness after a good night's sleep. If you get fragmented sleep or don't have a comfortable sleeping environment (aka, the cold garage in our analogy), it can affect your body's internal clock and your ability to wake up. Once the engine (your brain) is warmed up, you're finally ready to get going and speed along through your day.
Adopting a consistent sleep schedule, optimizing the sleep environment, and establishing a positive morning routine are pivotal for waking up energized and feeling refreshed every day.
Case in Point:
A group of night owls transformed their waking hours by gradually adjusting their sleep schedules, reducing screen time at night, and increasing exposure to morning light, proving that with the right steps, anyone can become a morning person.
For the skeptics:
While individual sleep needs vary, the universal truth is that quality sleep and a positive morning routine are integral for waking up energized, and these are attainable adjustments for most people.
What to do (after setting your alarm clock):
First, set your alarm clock — and make a mental note to avoid hitting snooze button over and over — for the right time for your own sleep inertia and deep sleep goals. Then, consider these steps:
Evaluate your REM sleep quality and consider your sleep environment, so that you don't wake up feeling sleep deprived; this is important for both the night owl and the early bird to wake up feeling refreshed.
Take steps to align your sleep with your natural circadian rhythm to get between seven and nine hours every night (although a few more minutes won't hurt!).
Incorporate a nourishing morning ritual that includes at least one task that contributes to your well-being and energy levels to get that blood flow you need to kickstart your day. Sometimes, this is as simple as taking a moment to sit quietly before eating breakfast, or even taking a warm bath first thing in the morning.
Visit our wellness hub for tailored advice, resources, and tools to enhance your sleep quality, fall asleep faster, mindfulness and yoga ideas you can use in your morning exercise routine, and much more. It's all about finding balance for more energy and a fulfilled life each and every day. You can also check out more information at our site.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a replacement for the advice of a medical professional. Consult your physician for personalized advice tailored to your individual health and sleep needs.