For many of us, waking up early for work or the morning school run can leave in a state of sleep inertia (or ‘morning grogginess’). I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at least once throughout our life.
As soon as we awake, morning grogginess can instantly be felt, with a noticeable decline in our motor dexterity and mental alertness. This feeling doesn’t bode well with people who have to drive their car in the morning, that’s for sure.
Modern life has certainly played it’s part in ensuring that many of us feel this state of morning grogginess on a regular basis.
But as with most lifestyle choices, there are ways to help combat morning grogginess and make you feel more awake. The infographic below outlines 16 ways to help combat sleep inertia and make you feel like a ‘new you’ in the mornings.
Infographic Transcript: 16 Ways to Combat That 'Groggy Morning' Feeling
What is sleep inertia?
Have you ever woken up and felt particularly groggy? So much so that you struggle to perform even simple tasks? The proper term for this feeling is “sleep inertia”, and it happens when we are forced awake during REM sleep (or in other words, when we’re jolted awake by the alarm clock). The feeling can last up to 4 hours, so here’s 16 tips on how to combat it.
1. Quit Watching TV Before Bed
The quality of your sleep is essential to you waking up bright and early. The bright light from your TV will affect the overall sleep quality you have that night.
2. Get Enough Sleep
It sound obvious, but the majority of us fail to get enough sleep each night. Experiment with different lengths of sleep. Everyone is different!
3. Wake Up At the Same Time Every Morning
Maintaining a schedule is important for the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle. Keep this in check to avoid sleep disturbances.
4. There’s An App For That
The ‘Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock’ app monitors your movement during sleep and finds the optimal time to wake up during a 30 minute window.
5. Take A Morning Shower
Alternating between hot and cold can help relieve our grogginess very quickly. Do this every morning to combat fatigue and increase mental alertness.
6. Expose Yourself To Light Quickly
Sunlight reduces our melatonin levels which will result in feeling more alert and awake. A natural burst of energy!
Whether it’s a simple stretching exercise, jumping jacks or a full on jog around your local park, starting off your day like this will give you that required boost of energy to release yourself from sleep.
8. Drink Coffee (But Sparingly)
Coffee has a high amount of caffeine that will make us feel more awake quickly. However try not to reply too much on the stuff.
9. Drink Water
You’ve just woken up and have gone several hours without water leading to mild dehydration. Rehydrate yourself by drinking a glass of gold water, which will also help to energise you.
10. Keep Your Sleep Schedule Over The Weekends
Any sudden change to your natural body clock/wake cycle can wreak havoc on our sleep. Aim to wake up at the same times on weekends as you do during the weekends.
11. Change Your Alarm To Happy Songs
Many of us currently dread our alarm clock sound. Change up your tune every so often with your new favourite song.
12. Make Your Mornings Easier
Ease your stress levels by completing tasks the night before. Anything from making your lunch to picking out your work clothes.
13. Incentivise Yourself
Getting up for something we’re looking forward to makes it a lot easier. Whether it’s a freshly brewed coffee, a warm bagel or a quick bike ride, do something you enjoy.
14. Downsize Your Dinner
Eating late at night can hinder our ability to sleep properly due to our body busy digesting our food. If you eat late, downsize your portions.
15. Stay Off The Alcohol
While a nightcap may seem like it helps you drift off to sleep quicker, studies have shown that alcohol will disrupt your sleep leading to poor quality rest.
16. Don’t Skip Breakfast
While you may be tempted, skipping breakfast won’t do you any good. Start your day with some energy boosting foods to kick-start you into gear.