It’s February, the days are slowly getting longer and the snow drops are out! We’re on our way to Spring, yet the mornings are still dark and when that alarm sounds, well….we all struggle a bit don’t we? So why is that?
One word. Melatonin.
We all produce a hormone called Melatonin which tells our bodies to sleep. We don’t produce the same amount every day or even year round. How much we produce is dictated by how much exposure to light we have, and our circadian rhythm. The less exposure to light, the more melatonin we produce. So it makes perfect sense that in Winter, when we have less exposure to daylight, we have an increase in the melatonin hormone which means we generally feel as though we have less energy because the hormone is telling our bodies we are sleepy. So when we’re cosied up in our beds and that alarm sounds, of course it’s going to be hard to get up.
But what can we do to make it a little less tortuous on ourselves?
Here are some top tips gleaned from our sleep experts here at London & Avalon:
- Make sure you’re actually getting enough sleep hours. The average adult should be aiming for 7-9 hours. There’s a difference between feeling sleepy and being sleep-deprived. If you’ve had enough good quality sleep but feel groggy in the morning, you can usually shake this off once you’re up and about.
- Don’t hit the snooze button. As soon as the alarm goes, get up or sit up. Giving yourself ‘ten more minutes’ will just ensure you go back into a deep sleep only to be woken up again by the alarm which is even worse the second time around. If you get up straight away (or at least sit up), you’ll get into a habit quickly and it won’t be a problem after a while, it will just be your routine.
- Give yourself a nice reason to get up straight away. Maybe it’s a hot cup of tea or coffee to look forward to once you’re up and getting ready for the day ahead. The caffeine hit will help, for sure. But just the feeling of warmth in these winter months will make you feel nurtured.
- Try to get organised the night before. This goes back to ensuring you have good quality sleep so that getting up is easier. If you’ve got a big day ahead, make sure you’re organised the night before, so you don’t keep waking up in the night worrying about it. Work out what you’re wearing the night before, pack your bags, make your lunch. Get everything out of the way so your morning routine is a simple as possible.
- Routine and motivation. As human beings, we thrive on routine. Planning the same rituals or routine once you’re up will make getting up a whole lot less stressful. Add something into your routine that you can look forward to each day. Perhaps it’s having a great book you can read on your commute, or an audio book in the car so you’re actually looking forward to being up and about. Sticking to the same routine day in, day out will make it a whole lot easier.
- Get warm and get clean. We all need an immediate energy boost once we’re up and in the winter, we need to keep warm. Get in a hot shower and get that blood pumping and your metabolism working for the day ahead.
- Turn the lights on. Yes, this is a hard one. You’ve been rudely awoken by your alarm and now you’re suggesting flooding your room with light? But it will slowly wake up your brain, which will slowly wake up your body. It works.
Some of these tips may seem hard to even contemplate, but they do bear fruit eventually, we promise! And yes, we’re biased, but having fantastic bed linen will absolutely help to ensure your sleep hours are good quality, even if you aren’t hitting the 7-9 hours.