Waking up tired is no fun. And you’re not alone if you’ve been left wondering how to shake off the sluggishness. So what’s the secret? Get moving. Curiously, exercising in the morning can help you to feel more energised throughout the day and you’re more likely to get a good night’s kip, too.
Don’t worry if you’re not the morning type, though. We’ve got some easy peasy energy boosters right here (no burpees, we promise). Go on, give them a read.
ditch that dozy feeling
When you first wake up, do you struggle to peel open your eyes even if you’ve had plenty of zzz’s? You might have something called sleep inertia. We’ll let our sleep expert, Dave Gibson, explain: “If your alarm goes off when you are in a period of deep sleep, you will wake up temporarily groggy or tired and that’s called sleep inertia.”
The good news is that it’s completely normal and there are easy ways to combat that groggy feeling. Dave says: “If you have a set time that you have to be up for work, try tweaking your bedtime so that it’s slightly earlier every night, in 10 minute steps, until you start waking up feeling fresh and alert at the end of a sleep cycle.”
What we eat can also play a part. Don’t hate us, but too many carbs can be the culprit of a tired morning after (like those midnight bagels). By eating a varied diet that’s packed with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, you’ll get all of the nutrients you need for a deep and restful slumber. And you don’t have to give up the carbs, we promise. Check out our best snooze-worthy foods if you fancy getting clued up.
start the day right
Moving your body in the morning can set you up for the day and help you get a good night’s sleep, too. How? To get into the more technical stuff, getting physical helps to take the focus from our minds to our bodies which reduces stress.
And that’s not all. Dave says: “Your body will benefit from morning exercise as you’re increasing your blood flow and this brings oxygen and nutrients to your joints, muscles and organs. If it becomes a regular habit, it can also encourage you to wake up at the same time everyday – great for your body clock and sleep.”
Prefer to exercise in the evening? No sweat. A stress-buster exercise after dinner can still help you sleep, but don’t leave it too late if you can help it. Late night exercise increases body temperature and releases adrenaline, leading to a less than satisfying snooze.
top notch energy boosters
Try these 3 simple exercises to help you kick-start your day.
1. get stretchy
A morning stretch is a great way to get your body going. According to Dave, “I recommend not looking at work emails or texts first thing. Instead, open the curtains or blinds and get light in as soon as possible. Then do your stretches, have your breakfast and ease into the day.“
Since we spend so much time sitting down, it’s important to stretch out each part of the spine, starting with knee hugs. Do this by laying on your back, with your head relaxed, and bring your knees to the chest. Hold them for about 5 seconds and do 5 reps on each leg (or together, if you like).
For seated twists, sit on a chair with your hips and knees facing forward. Twist your body to one side for 5 seconds, and then back to the middle. Repeat this for 5 reps on each side.
To stretch out your neck, gently bring your ear down to touch your shoulder. Do this 5 times on each side, coming slowly back to the middle between each stretch.
2. work your core
A strong core (those muscles around your tummy) is key for good posture. And one exercise that’s great for strengthening the core is the dreaded plank.
Hear us out, though. It’s got loads of benefits. Not only is it one of the most effective core exercises you can do, it can be done anytime and anywhere because you don’t need fancy gym equipment.
To start planking, get into a press-up type of position with your elbows on the ground underneath your shoulders. Make sure your back is flat and your head and neck are level. As you start the plank, drive your elbows into the floor and squeeze your bum muscles and core muscles. Hold this position for 30, 60 or 90 seconds.
3. go for a morning run
Runs aren’t for everyone, but we dare you to give one a go. Fresh air, vitamin D and a healthily raised heart rate. What’s not to love? In fact, running is proven to help you get better zzz’s so it’s win-win if you ask us. Even a few minutes could leave you feeling pumped for the day and sleeping like a baby come nighttime.