The sun struggles to rise in the east when a jarring beep-beep-beep splits the air.
You bury your head under your pillow and cling to the covers for dear life, trying to drown out both your alarm clock and reality itself: it’s time to get up.
Mornings. We’ve all deal with them. There are the 8:30 (or are we talking 7:30?) classes. And the work shifts that start in the wee hours of darkness. With true early birds accounting for about 10% of the world’s population, it’s no wonder most of us feel miserable at the start of the day. So is there any way to find the good in “good morning”?
If you’re sick of having to rush out the door every morning, or if you find that getting out of bed is agonizing, these tactics can help you conquer AM stress and sleepiness.
1) Turn your alarm clock back 5 minutes.
Or as many minutes as you need. The point is for you to get to hit the snooze button as many times as you like, and still get up on time (gotta love that snooze button).
2) On the topic of alarm clocks…
Jeannie, a student at the University of Alberta, suggests putting your clock far away from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off. Makes sense—after dragging yourself into an upright position and actually leaving your bed, it’s a lot harder to fall back into dreamland.
3) Fill up with H2O.
“I like to have a cup of water ready so I drink it first thing in the morning,” says Yuting from the University of Waterloo. Going for seven to nine hours without liquids equals a parched brain, which is made up of about 75% water. Downing a recommended amount of 16 ounces (almost 2 cups) when you wake up can reduce fatigue and mood swings.
4) Break the fast.
Well, that’s what breakfast is literally for: filling an empty stomach after going without food for hours. According to an article from the University of Alberta, eating a nutritious breakfast in the morning can lead to increased willpower and healthier food choices throughout the day. Choose items that are high in complex carbs (like whole-wheat toast). Mix it up with protein-rich toppings like peanut butter or yogurt.
5) Think ahead.
Preparing little things the night before makes everything run more smoothly the next day, as Cindy from Simon Fraser University will attest to. If you bring lunch, having it waiting for you to grab on your way out beats throwing a sandwich together through sleep-blurred eyes. And wardrobe crises are better fixed beforehand—you save yourself a lot of morning hassle with a pre-planned outfit. No more wasting 20 minutes looking for a good pair of shoes!
6) Let the sunshine in.
Make the most of sunny mornings by pushing your curtains apart first thing in the morning. Natural light releases hormones that can cheer you up, make you more alert, and even help you sleep better at night.
7) I smell a secret weapon.
Some scents can do wonders for your mood and energy level in the morning. Like peppermint, which improves concentration (and your grade on that early-morning test). Or cinnamon, which improves working memory and attention span. Or citrus, which can give you the energy boost to survive that break-of-day fitness class. You can bring these scents into your bedroom with potpourri, soaps, incense, and more.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.