Believe it or not – most people spend too much time in bed.
And even more people make the mistake of thinking that more time in bed = more energy and feeling ready for the day.
Now I know getting out of bed can be tough.
The alarm goes off and for a moment and you just want to stay wrapped up in bed, warm and cosy, wishing you didn’t have to move, hitting the snooze button for ‘just 10 more minutes’.
Of course we get up after a while anyway, usually because we have to, but for many of us it’s a chore and sometimes it’s painful – but it’s a little known fact that spending more that 7-8 hours in bed isn’t good for us.
In fact, it’s unhealthy and a lack of knowledge on this topic is why most people lose the battle of the bedroom.
It’s a battle that nearly always gets worse this time of year (when Winter is creeping in and the clocks go back). And what should be the best part of the day can often be stressful.
Some days might be different, but doesn’t the day nearly always start off on a bad note? Especially when the last thing you want to do is get out from under the covers, and then spend the little time you have rushing around to get ready…
But here’s why most people struggle on a morning and lose the ‘bedroom battle’…
A lack of vitamin D (sunlight), eating a balanced diet + spending extra time on the sofa every evening, with a lack of exercise…
…Which leads to the big mistake of thinking that the answer to more energy, is spending more time asleep.
That’s rarely the case. Unless there’s an underlying medical condition, you’re a new mum, or suffer from extreme sleep deprivation.
The reality is that more sleep doesn’t = more energy. It actually makes you feel more tired!
And because that’s the opposite of what most people want to feel each day, and because a lot of us despise getting out of bed in the morning, here’s some natural ways which can help you wake up of a morning – and there’s no coffee in sight 😉
Find the light…
Melatonin is a hormone produced by your brain and regulates your sleep. When it’s dark your body produces more melatonin making you sleepy. When it’s light, the production of melatonin drops.
If you struggle to wake up, open your curtains to let the light in.
And if it’s winter when the clocks have gone back, so you wake up before the sun rises, give an illuminating alarm clock a go – you’ll be woken up naturally with light, and won’t be disturbed all of a sudden with a loud alarm noise!
Your body is made up of 60% water, but when you sleep you sweat, breathe and don’t drink for hour – which dehydrates you.
Dehydration reduces alertness, increases those tired feelings and affects mental concentration.
Before you go to bed place a glass of water beside you and down it as soon as you wake up.
I do this each morning, I have done for months, and I really feel the difference.
Start the day
with a healthy breakfast…
It’s been proven that people feel more alert after eating breakfast first thing in the morning.
If your breakfast is high in processed sugar, your energy will drop quickly.
But if you have a breakfast packed full of natural carbohydrates, fats and protein – alertness lasts longer throughout the morning.
(A favourite of mine is scrambled eggs on brown toast and a glass of orange juice)…
Listen to music…
Music has the ability to release feel-good chemicals throughout your body. Starting your day with your favourite up-beat tunes can get you moving, and is guaranteed to set your day off on a good note.
This one probably sounds obvious but getting up to do something active in the morning gets your blood pumping and releases your feel-good chemicals.
It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise like a gym class or a run, it can be something simple like going for a gentle walk, or doing some stretches in the comfort of your own home.
To sum it up – when it comes to sleep, less is more.
On average you need 6-7 hours sleep each night, if you’re currently getting 9 or more, granted, any attempt to switch to less will leave you feeling groggy. But only at first.
If you stick at it for about 30 days, it’ll eventually become a habit that leaves you feeling great with MORE energy.
And not only that, but you’ll also have MORE time in your life!…
Rising earlier could help you to exercise more and give you time to plan and enjoy your day ahead, and even get the housework done in peace if you wanted!
If you manage to make this a healthy habit by climibing out of bed just ONE hour earlier each morning you will find spare time equivalent to an entire week in your life. Every month.
For more help on ways to wake up early, and secrets to keeping active and live life free from painkillers, check out my book ‘The Healthy Habit’: www.thehealthyhabitbook.com
You might know Paul as an expert Columnist who writes weekly health articles for TWO of the North East's biggest daily Newspapers, The Northern Echo And The Hartlepool Mail, he is a regular Speaker at Industry Seminars around the globe and a Radio Personality, often heard on the BBC. Paul has been an expert guest on dozens of Radio shows and regularly interviewed in newspapers, magazines and trade journals all over the world, including the Guardian.
Paul’s background included working extensively in the Premier League with a Top Professional Football Team, and since quitting his job in Professional Football in 2007, his Physio Practice has become the fastest growing in the UK and biggest in the North East. So successful, that companies like BUPA, ASDA, The Vela Group And Coast & Country, repeatedly retain his Physio company's services to keep healthy their own staff and workforce. Paul Gough Physio Rooms is now a large multi-physio, multi clinic speciality practice in Darlington, Durham, Guisborough and Hartlepool.
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