I believe sleep is like a therapy session when we get in a loop to unbuckle all the days' frustrations and trauma. Time to check out from the activity of the day. Just like a restart button to prepare us for tomorrow. When I wake up the following day, I expect to be both mentally and physically awakened. This will give me the right attitude to go through the rest of my day. In meditation, they usually say how one wakes up is a significant factor in deciding how one goes through the day. A famous Indian author also shared some wisdom on waking up in the morning feeling fresh and energized. His enlightenment was that it's not really about the hours of sleep or the sleep quality. It is our quality of living that determines how peaceful we're feeling each morning rise. He advised that we focus more on enhancing our quality of life than increasing the quantity of sleep we have. When we work hard and take care of our health, we sleep better at night. Appreciating life, exercising, and creating good pre-bedtime routines also affect how peacefully we'll feel waking up in the morning.
So often, we tend to take life for granted. We start living as if the next day is guaranteed to us. But it is not. Life itself is a gift. The more we get to understand it, we start appreciating it more. Now when we appreciate life, we look at each morning with a different lens of understanding. In such a perspective, we learn to smile with gratitude as we open our eyes to each new day. We're not waking up to stress or lack, but living in the moment with gratitude to what's already there. We should appreciate life more for us to have more peaceful mornings.
Monitor your nighttime routines
Everything we do before bedtime determines the quality of sleep we'll have. Drinking too much water before bed will give us many trips to the bathroom during the night. This will affect our sleep cycle and have us feeling not well-rested in the morning. Certain foods take more time to digest. To avoid feeling bloated and suffering from heartburn, it is advised to eat 4-5 hours before bed. Drinking caffeinated drinks before bed increases our brain activity. This will keep us tossing and turning for hours after turning the lights off. Smoking is also to be avoided due to the effect of nicotine which increases heart alertness.
Moreover, taking a shower before bed helps increase our quality of sleep. The bedroom's atmosphere or environment can induce better sleep. Sleeping in a cool, quiet, dark room and a comfortable bed is ideal. Even the color of the bedroom walls is crucial. An hour before bedtime, we should try to do something relaxing. Toxic habits such as falling asleep on the phone or in front of the Tv triggers insomniac behavior. This can alter ones' sleep patterns.
Stop hitting the snooze
Waking up gradually to natural light could be a preferred alternative to using an alarm clock. Most people would undoubtedly struggle to do without this tool. However, it has been found that the device has its shortcomings. In some cases, waking up to an alarm clock inflicts sleep anxiety, a rise in blood pressure, heart rate, and even stress levels. The anticipation and worry not to miss a '5am alarm' could promote insomnia. Now instead of having a good nights' sleep and waking up on time, you'll wake up with an adrenaline rush and panic attack. Don't hit the snooze button. The longer we stay in bed, falling in and out of sleep, the more exhausted we'll feel once we get up. Imagine a scenario where you decide to hit the snooze button a couple of times in the morning. Five days later, you then decide you need to wake up on that first alarm sound. In this case, the brain gets confused because you've already disrupted your sleep cycle. You're jumping in and out of your sleep cycle. You could drift off into the first stage of sleep, which is the worst time to wake up, leaving the body in shock. This is known as 'sleep inertia,' which causes that familiar feeling of drowsiness after you wake up. Instead, we should try and wake up at the same time every day naturally.
Exercise and Stretch regularly
Exercising and stretching in the morning is a great way to get us rejuvenated and awake. Regular exercise impacts the release of certain chemicals in our bodies. An increase in Serotonin levels stimulates the brain, activates our vitals, and improves our appetite. When we exercise, our bodies release dopamine and endorphins in our brains that make us feel happy. Stretching too loosens the muscles.
Comprehensively to keep having more peaceful mornings, let us first attain inner peace. In Viggo Mortensen's words, "One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast." I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren't enough hours in the day, but we will get it done quicker and with much less stress if we do each thing calmly.
It is not stress that kills us. It is our reaction to it. - Hans Selye