Is Your Morning Wake-up Routine Impacting Your Health?
Does this sound familiar: you hit the snooze button 4 times before you are able to drag yourself out of bed every morning? “The biggest problem with the snooze button is that it creates a lot of inconsistency in your wakeup time,” says W. Christopher Winter, M.D., medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The snooze button habit also impacts the quality of your sleep so it can be counter-productive. “Waking up and falling back asleep several times each morning fractures your sleep so there’s not enough time to achieve a deep, restorative rhythm again,” Winter says. “You’re better off sleeping until the time you need to get up versus waking up early and going back to sleep several times, which may leave you feeling more tired,” Winter says.
Here are two practical ideas to kick the snooze button habit:
1. Set a Routine
If you have a hard time getting going in the morning, the best cure is to start your day at the same time every day. A 6 am alarm, 7:30 am panic and sleeping in till 10 am on the weekends does not allow your body the opportunity to adjust to any kind of routine. After a late night, plan to wake up at your usual time to keep yourself on a set schedule, even if it means a nap later in the day.
The goal is to create a situation where your body begins to anticipate wakening up at a set time, says Winter. As a result, you become one of those annoying people who actually wake up a few minutes before your alarm clock buzzes (yes, it could happen to you).
2. Lighten Up
Seamlessly start your day by turning on a light or opening your curtains as soon as your alarm goes off, Winter says. “The light tells your brain to stop making melatonin, a neurotransmitter that has a sedating effect, so you feel more awake.” Starting your day with light every morning means that your body will eventually start to anticipate it—and begin to suppress melatonin around the same time every morning making you more alert faster.
Information for this article comes from Shape Magazine: http://ow.ly/AlaLV