1. Remember Your REM Cycle
Your rapid eye movement (REM) cycle — one of the main phases of your whole sleep cycle — is 90 minutes long, and ideally, you want to wake up at the end of one of those cycles rather than disrupt a deep sleep stage and wake up feeling groggy as a result.
I know it sounds kind of complicated, but planning your sleep so that it fits into a 90-minute cycle-based schedule is a lot easier than you think. For example, if you go to sleep at 10 p.m., and you want to get seven and a half hours of sleep (which is ideal), then set your alarm for 5:30 a.m. instead of 6 a.m and you’ll wake up at the right part of your REM cycle, and you’ll most likely feel better and more awake than you would if you slept an extra 30 minutes.
2. Eat A Nutritional Breakfast
It’s a highly disputed topic as to whether breakfast’s importance is overstated. There’s not enough evidence to prove either side right.
Common sense suggests that it’s your first meal for over eight hours. Breakfast is supposed to fuel you for the day, as opposed to dinner which fuels you for the evening. Others argue that they lack appetite first thing in the morning, or they’ve always skipped breakfast, and they’re “fine”.
But what if you could feel better than just “fine”? If you want to try to do breakfast right, aim for a slow-release bowl of something like porridge or muesli. If you have a little more time, make sure you eat as much protein in your breakfast as you can.
Protein contains amino acids which help your brain perform at its best, and means you release the energy you gain from food at a slower rate.
3. Put Your Alarm Clock In A Different Room
If you struggle to get out of bed after your alarm goes off, you could try placing an additional alarm in a different room that goes off a few minutes after your main one.
This is especially effective if you live with others who would be disturbed by the noise should it go off – it forces you to get out of bed, which will hopefully wake up your body enough that you can’t drift off again.
4. Establish A Routine
If you stick to a set time of waking up, your body will naturally drop into a routine meaning you’ll eventually wake up naturally at the time you need.
To fully commit and reap all the rewards a regular sleeping pattern provides, you will need to wake up at the same time on weekends (or at most, a one hour lie in).
A study of Korean teenagers found that, having not slept enough during the week, catch-up sleep at the weekend worked adversely to rejuvenate them, and their concentration was in fact worse because of the effect this had on their sleeping pattern.
5. Drink A Glass Of Cold Water
Drinking a glass of cold water in the morning will boost your metabolism and wake you right up so you feel ready for the day. Studies show that drinking water in the morning will actually make you feel better in the long-run — better than coffee will.
Your body is about 60 percent water as it is, so replenishing your system in the morning will increase your hydration, boost your energy, and help you feel ready as ever to tackle the day ahead.
6. Leave Your Bedroom
Ideally, your bedroom should be designed to support only a few activities, like sleeping, reading in bed and enjoying “quality time” with your significant other.
If you’re not doing any of those things, you don’t have a reason to hang around. That being the case, leave your bedroom as soon as you climb out of bed. Staying there will only tempt you to get back under the warm covers.