Now that Spring is approaching and the sun is rising earlier in the morning again, it is a great time to practice getting up early. Getting up early (and having an hour or two of personal care time before getting dressed and out the door) is my favorite wellness practice. There are many reasons why it’s great for our health.
Rising early gives you time to:
- mentally prepare for the day
- get ready in a relaxed manner and spare your adrenals unnecessary stress
- enjoy a balanced breakfast
(instead of grabbing a coffee shop item while on the run)
- have a bowel movement (a hard thing to achieve when rushing!)
- do something for yourself (before the demands and to-do lists of daily life take over)
Rising early also means going to bed earlier, another great practice for overall health because sleeping earlier is better for our Circadian rhythms. We’ll feel more awake and energetic and less likely to grab for caffeine and sugary items. A well-rested brain doesn’t crave sugar or stimulants as much as a tired one.
Here are some ways to get into the habit of getting up early:
- Go to bed early: this may go without saying, but if you’d like to get up with ease, you’ll need the proper amount of sleep to do so! Aim to be in bed every night by 9:30 or 10:00 pm depending on what time you’d like to get up in the morning. This includes going to bed early on weekends, too. The routine has to be consistent in order to be successful.
- Eat an early dinner and drink enough water: It’s harder to open our eyes when our bodies are extra fatigued from a heavy meal the night before. Try eating dinner before 7 pm and having a light bedtime snack if need be. Great options are:
- raw nuts and berries
- a small piece of toast and nut butter
Also, drink plenty of water but not around bedtime to avoid disrupting your sleep with a visit to the bathroom!
- Write down your next day’s to-do list before going to bed: This can help to reduce brain activity at night. When your thoughts are written down, the brain doesn’t have to worry about losing this information and memorizing some sort of plan. It’s easier to go to bed earlier if there’s nothing keeping you awake.
- Plan a morning ritual that you’ll look forward to: If you have something you’re excited about doing in the morning, it is easier to spring out of bed. Meditate over it before closing your eyes as it may be just the thing you remember first thing in the morning! Some ritual ideas are:
- enjoying a cup of tea
- practicing a yoga routine or meditation
- reading a chapter of a book or magazine
- enjoying breakfast
- going on an early morning walk
- practicing a hobby or journaling
- watching a documentary or tv show
One final note: When you rise in the morning, remember to hydrate yourself with a glass of water (and a squeeze of lemon with a straw if you’re working on improving your digestion). This may be all you need to give yourself a boost of energy rather than springing for a cup of coffee, or two.