Although we'd all like to be able to program ourselves to go to bed on time, wake up at the exact right moment, sleep in the best positions for optimal rest and – generally – control everything about our sleep, we simply can't. Because, you know, we're asleep. But there are ways you can prepare yourself during your evening routine and in the morning for a good night's rest and a pleasurable morning rise.
Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night. That's the general rule of thumb. Sure, some people can function with as little as 6 hours, but not getting enough sleep
- is linked to serious health problems like high blood pressure and heart failure
- increases the likelihood of depression in adults
- kills sex drive
- contributes to weight gain
- and a multitude of other negative issues.
Forgo the nightcap. While having a drink before bed can help you fall asleep faster, your body will still be processing the alcohol while you're snoozing, causing a decrease in time spent in REM sleep.
Sleep on your left side. Research has shown that sleeping on your side vs your back or stomach is better for your overall sleep health, but laying on your left side has added benefits. It improves circulation and increases blood flow to the heart; takes pressure off the back in pregnant women; and is shown to help with the symptoms of heart burn.
Keep fresh flowers on your nightstand. Studies show that keeping flowers in the home helps people feel more compassion to others; decreases depression, anxiety and worry; and gives people an instant mood boost. So waking up to a bouquet every day incites positive feelings that can last all day.
Banish the snooze button. You're smarter than you think, at least subconsciously. Your brain is completely aware that “snoozing” in the morning is fleeting, and that your alarm is going to go off again in a few minutes. So instead of going back into a deep and restful sleep, you'll simply lay there and get up feeling groggier than you would have if you'd gotten up with your initial alarm.
Take a morning walk. Before you get ready for your day, take a brisk walk around the block. Sunlight triggers your brain to stop secreting melatonin, and physical activity in the morning enhances mental acuity and helps jump start your energy levels.
Drink water to replenish fluids lost through the night and to get yourself into the habit of drinking water throughout the day.
With a few tweaks to your routine, waking up energized and happy is definitely doable! You could also get a new mattress... a nice one made with graphite-gel infused memory foam to help you sleep cooler and sounder. And a cover made with Sleep Recovery Technology to increase oxygen levels and blood flow. Then you'd wake up really happy and refreshed every day.