Mornings aren’t for everybody and it’s safe to say, you’re not alone. There are some mornings where the snooze button is just calling out to be pressed… multiple times! Though, there’s something to be said for getting up early, and with the right intentions and some small impactful changes, these early hours of the day can be a time to look forward to.
So, fret no more! Here are a few ideas to help inspire the early bird in you.
Set a bedtime.
First and foremost, the easiest way to get out of bed in the morning, is when you’ve had enough sleep. This means, establishing a reasonable bedtime, as it allows you to determine what time you should start winding down in the evening.
Given that most of us are at our best with 7-9 hours of sleep, you’ll want to figure out the time you wish to get up, and work back the appropriate amount of hours that suit you. Though keep in mind, we rarely fall asleep the moment our heads hit the pillow. More often than not, it takes us on average roughly thirty minutes to fall into slumber. So keep this in mind too, when you’re planning ahead!
There are many different ways to support the winding down process, and here are some of the most simple adjustments you can make:
1. Avoid any screen time within 1 hour of sleep. Subbing out your favourite Netflix show for a good book is a classic recommendation. But, have you ever thought about popping on an audiobook so you can rest your eyes as well?! Just make sure to turn on that night mode for a dimly lit screen, and tuck it away while you listen.
2. Keep as dimly lit an atmosphere as possible. Melatonin, a hormone produced within the body that controls our sleep/wake cycles, and a commonly known supplemental sleep aid, is produced mainly in response to darkness. So, why not turn off the lights, and light a candle or two? Rest assured the candle-lit mood will boost your melatonin production.
3. Have your last meal as far away from the time your head hits the pillow as possible – so your body can focus on resting instead of digesting. At least 2 hours before bed is a great place to start. Though if you do need to eat, grab a small bedtime snack that’s higher in protein and fibre than it is sugar. Given that our bodies begin to cool down (inviting in that yin energy) as we migrate to our beds, sugar will work in the opposite direction and begin to warm (the opposite – yang) the body up instead.
4. Avoid caffeine after 2pm. This means ditching the habit of an afternoon latte – sorry! Some afternoon and evening alternatives would be decaf coffee, caffeine free teas, dandy blend, or a nourishing reishi hot cocoa. Reishi has been known to enhance the body’s natural sleep cycles, so a dose of this medicinal mushroom before bed will do you good!
Have something to look forward to when you wake up.
This will look different for everybody, and rightly so!
Whether you’re the type that just wants to brew a warm beverage and cuddle up with a good book, go for a run or a long walk, do a gentle awakening yoga flow, sit down and meditate, journal, or jump into ecstatic dance – the options truly are endless.
There are so many ways you can take advantage of the extra time you’ve made for yourself, it’s just about finding what suits you. It may take a handful of mornings, where you try something new each day, but remember, this is your morning after all, and you have to enjoy it. Hopping on the bandwagon with something that doesn’t feel great for you, won’t help you love your mornings… or your entire day for that matter! So choose what works for you.
… and be grateful you did.
It’s safe to say that if you’re reading this, some part of you has the desire to rise earlier and more refreshed. This is something you can come back to in those early mornings where getting up feels harder than staying put. By honouring yourself and the intentions you’ve set for yourself the night before, it can give you a little extra encouragement to help get your day started.
Above all, we love our mornings because it gives us the opportunity to watch the world awaken. These early hours of the day when it feels like the world is quiet and still, have an innate way of touching the peaceful place we all have within us. Bringing us back to the natural rhythm of the larger life that we are all intrinsically a part of.
Plus, who doesn’t love a good sunrise, for it is called the magic hour for a reason...