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How to wake up with ENERGY in the morning.

Posted by Jim Smith on June 21, 2002 at 22:26:21:

-Jim's Guide to Waking Up in the Morning With ENERGY-

I noticed a lot of people complaining about having trouble waking up. I used to be REALLY bad at getting up. I could EASILY go 14 or 16 hours in bed if I wanted. It was bad. It got in the way of my social and educational commitments. However, through a lot of experimentation I have found something that works. And not just for me, but I've gotten a lot of my friends to try it as well with only positive results. Do it and report back to me :). If anyone else has additional imput I would love to hear it.

***The Night Before***

-Don't take a shower unless you feel too dirty to be comfortable (see morning section)

-Keep your room at or below 60 degrees farenheit. 50 seems to work well if possible. It sounds cold, but once you are under the blankets you will warm up pretty quickly. What is important is that you are breathing the cold air, and that your eyes will be exposed to them when you open them in the morning. This is the most important thing you can do to make waking up in the morning easier.

-Put your alarm clock at the opposite end of the room. The stupidest thing you can do is put it within reaching distance. Make sure it is as far away from your bed as possible. Now in the morning you will have to actually get out of bed to turn it off. It is helpfull if your alarm is very loud and doesn't automatically turn off after a while.

-Circulate the air. The quality of air you breath in your sleep is far more important than most people realize. Some headaches, stuffy noses, and more can be prevented by breathing cold clean air in your sleep. Make sure you have a fan (a window fan if possible). Electronic air filterers are very nice, but also very expensive, but if you already have one in your house, move it to the bedroom. That is where you probably spend the majority of your time at home anyway.

-"White noise" (such as that from a fan) will greatly help in drowning out sounds that might disturb you in your sleep. There may be all sorts of sounds in the night that you don't even know about, but they are there and they can decrease the deepness of sleep you are in.

-Your brain will make associations with different things and sleep. If you sleep watching tv, eventually your brain is going to connect that activity with sleep, and in the future you will get tired when watching it. The same goes for beds. Leave the bed for sleeping and sex (or better yet decrease your chances of falling asleep after sex AND be inventive by having sex somewhere more creative). If you use your bed for activities where you must stay awake- such as watching tv, reading, etc, then you may have a harder time falling asleep in it. This isn't true for everyone, some people can fall asleep in public, but for many of us it is a good guideline to follow.
And remember, if you are having trouble sleeping- do something VERY monotonous and uninteresting. Reading a college text book often has you crawling back in bed in minutes.

-Do not sleep with the tv on or a bright nightlight. Not only can tvs sometimes become distractions that also lessen the deepness of your sleep, but bright lights can also cause eye focus problems, especially in young children. If you need light at night get the small green glow ones, they don't get hot, wont screw up your eyes as much, and they don't consume as much electricity.

-Make sure your schedule is set up to get 8 full hours of sleep. Add some time if it takes you a little while to actually fall to sleep. A teenage body often needs an extra hour of sleep, so make the arrangements.

-Don't eat dinner right before bed, and keep a glass of water in your room to keep you hydrated before you fall to sleep. Remember the most important time to brush your teeth is before you sleep. You don't want a nasty tasting mouth in the morning.

-Make sure your mattress and pillow firmly keep your spine in alignment. You don't want back pain during the night and the next day hindering your general performance. Sleep on either your back or side, not your belly. Yes, some people actually sleep like that, and not only is it horrible posture, they make it difficult for their lungs to breathe properly, especially when they put their face into the pillow...

***The Morning After*** (no, not the pill)

-Make a habit of standing up as soon as you hear your alarm. Of course the moment it goes off is the worst time you want to stand up, but DEAL WITH IT! There were some mornings I woke up and I could just leap out of bed; My head was still a bit tired but the consistancy got my body awake fast whenever I heard the alarm. Your brain will make the association over time.

-Take your shower in the morning- NOT the night before. This is very important. Go to bed 20 minutes earlier and wake up 20 minutes earlier. If you have to take a shower before bed (lets say you were just at the gym) then do so, but still take one in the morning. Hot showers at night, cold (at least 80 degrees) in the morning. Anything warm or even luke warm will make you drowsy as your body doesn't have to do as much work to keep you warm.

-So many people don't eat breakfast, either because they don't have to the time, they don't feel hungry, or some other excuse. EAT BREAKFAST. Or at least an equivalent. A breakfast shake and a powerbar will do wonders. Caffeine is nice at first, but an hour later your body will actually be more tired than it was before, so avoid it. I find the Protein Powerbars ($2 at the gas station) give me LOTS of energy. Far more than caffein and it last much longer- it just doesn't start as fast. Eat a fruit. If you think you don't have time in the morning- MAKE TIME. It doesn't take more than 5 minutes to pour some juice and open a powerbar. Go to sleep earlier, wake up earlier. Try not to eat things that are both high in carbohydrates AND fat. If it has carbohydrates you will burn them off but the fat wont go anywhere, tieing you down. If it has high carbohydrates make sure it is low in fat, and vice versa. Just a general health tip for long term morning energy.

-Don't get too relaxed. Sitting for breakfast might be a bad idea. Eat it while doing other things. Instead of watching the news on tv, listen to it while driving to work. If not sitting gives you extra time, go outside for a quick morning walk. It doesn't have to be far. Heck just go down to the end of the street at least pick up the morning paper! Moving, the cold fresh air, and the natural light will help get you ready for a good day at work.

That is about it. Don't be a wimp and don't keep complaining. Try it. Take it seriously. Being rested at night and waking up with energy can really change your life, but it doesn't do it by itself so take the initiative. Good luck and tell me how it goes. Also remember I am very interested in what others do to (safely- not with the aid of drugs) start their days with energy.

Best wishes,
Jim Smith

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