BEEP…! BEEP…! BEEP…! What do you do when that alarm clock buzzes in the morning? Do you groan and moan, hit snooze a few times? Or do you pop out of bed, ready to seize all that the day has to offer? The choices you make to start your morning may affect your behavior, attitude, and energy throughout the rest of the day.
But first, let's take a step backward. How many hours of sleep did you get last night? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends for adults aged 18 years or older 7-8 hours of sleep a day. I know what you're thinking. Who has time to get 7 hours of sleep in a night? We all lead busy lives, but by optimizing and planning out your day you'll find accomplishing things throughout to be more efficient, and in turn, have more available time.
In addition, if you are getting the recommended number of hours of sleep you'll have more energy, more motivation, and more focus to get those things done. By missing out on crucial sleep hours, you can end up in a vicious cycle, and your "sleep-debt" just gets deeper.
LOSE THE SNOOZE
If you're of the "snooze" variety you would do well to know what most scientists agree that hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock is bad for your health. "If you fall asleep after hitting the snooze button, then you're setting yourself up for another sleep cycle that you have no chance of finishing," says Robert S. Rosenberg, the medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona.
By doing this your brain hormones are put out of alignment and you'll actually end up more tired than if you had woken up when your alarm first went off.
GET A ROUTINE
As hard as it can sometimes be with our crazy lives, having good sleep hygiene is an important part of overall health. Having a regular sleep schedule (even on weekends), no TV or reading in bed, limiting naps to under 30 minutes, regular exercise, and avoiding stimulants close to bedtime, the list goes on.
By integrating a solid routine into our lives our brain learns when we wake up, when to get fired up, and when to go to bed. I often find myself waking up a minute or so before my 5:15 AM alarm, and when I naturally wake up I feel more energized and excited for the day. When I wake up refreshed, I'm in a better mood, more energized throughout the day, and my brain is firing on all cylinders – leading ultimately to more productivity and most importantly more RESULTS!