How we wake up can set the tone for our entire day. If you wake up grumbling or stressed, it can be difficult to reclaim the day for more positive outlooks. But if you didn't sleep well or aren't a morning person, getting up with a glad heart can be harder than it sounds. Check out these tips for improving your morning wakeup to start your days off right.
Waking up well is easiest when your body has found its sleep rhythm. During your life as you raised a family or worked in a career, you may have had to force your body to stick with a sleep routine that worked for the world you lived in better than it worked for you. Older adults who are enjoying retirement have more leeway in their routine.
If you're having trouble sleeping or not waking rested, consider testing out some different sleeping patterns to find what works for you. Some people naturally do wake up at 5 or 6 a.m. Others find it more restful to sleep from around midnight to 8 a.m.
Once you find what works for you, it's important to stick with it. Your body rests best when you're consistent in the rhythms of your day. Go to bed at the same time every day that you can to support those routines.
Caffeine is a huge inhibitor of sleep for most people. You might know not to have a cup of coffee or a caffeinated tea or soda right before bed. But drinking caffeine at dinner time may also have an impact on your sleep.
To help support deep, restful sleep and the ability to fall asleep at bedtime, try cutting out caffeine after 3 p.m. daily. You might also want to reduce how much caffeine you take in on a daily basis to the equivalent of one or two cups of coffee max. Every person is different, so try out various caffeine routines for yourself. You might find that you do best when you stop caffeine by lunch time, for example, and some people end up cutting caffeine completely for best results.
Create a routine you can dive into first thing in the morning that you actually enjoy can help you be more likely to get out of bed each day when the alarm sounds or you first wake up. It doesn’t have to be something big or exciting. It can be something as simple as enjoying a cup of your favorite tea that you don't drink any other time of day.
Some other common practices for morning routines are listed below. Try incorporating a few into your morning or come up with something unique to you.
• Bible study or devotional time
• A brisk morning walk
• Reflective time sitting in the sun or in a comfy place in your home or assisted living apartment
• Engaging in a favorite craft
• Listening to special music
• Planning out the day or reviewing the plan from the night before
• Reading and answering correspondence
• Doing a specific tasks, such as putting clothing away or cleaning
Choose your morning routine based on what you enjoy, what gets you mentally ready for the day ahead and what sets you up for success with the rest of the day.
Avoid setting your alarm at an early time when you know you won't be ready to rise and then hitting snooze several (or many) times before you actually get up. Make a commitment to your alarm time and wake when it sounds. You can make this more likely by placing the clock or phone with the alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. If you're already up, you're less likely to go back to sleep.
People of all ages experience stiffness and aches and pains when they first wake, and that's more common as we age. While not all of these issues go away with movement, many do get better if we just push through them and move. Integrating a brisk walk, some mild yoga or even basic stretching into your morning routine can help you move past those first waking moments to a more vibrant and active day.
Sunlight helps your body make much-needed vitamin D, and it can also signal your body's natural rhythms that it's time to awaken. Sitting outdoors in the sun while you enjoy a morning beverage or just opening your blinds or curtains to let the sun into your rooms can be a good way to encourage wakefulness.
If you're struggling to wake up or aren't getting rest at night, talk to your medical provider. Underlying conditions, medications and even mental stress can all play a role in your sleep cycle, and your medical provider can help you find root causes and recommend the best treatment options.
Residents of ViewPointe assisted living community in Colorado Springs, CO, have access to plenty of activities, amenities and options for making a special morning routine. Whether you want to walk the grounds or get an early breakfast in the dining area, you can do it at ViewPointe.