Not all of us are bursting with energy when we rise in the morning. This is not a problem unless it continues throughout the day. For some people, feeling tired and drained every morning is a chronic problem. It can affect every part of life, lead to depression and even contribute to overall poor health. While it takes a little while to “get started” after waking, you should be the most energetic in the morning after having rested properly and the least energetic at night when it approaches bedtime. It is a culmination of several factors from physiological changes in the body to food that you eat and the level of physical activity.
There are several reasons for morning fatigue, some common and not considered to be abnormal while others are actually a sign of some underlying problem. It is important to realize that during sleep your body was in a low metabolic state for several hours without any food or water. Even your heart rate and breathing was significantly depressed compared to when you are awake and active. Your body has to shift from this deep state of rest to now “power” you through the day. The transition is not going to be instantaneous. It will take some time. But there are a few things that you can do to get the process started.
Get Out Of Bed Immediately
Once you awaken, try not to lay in bed for too long. Chances are you will fall asleep again. If you force yourself to get out of bed, your body will have to increase your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate to cater for the change in position and activity levels.Your metabolism will rise accordingly. Start off slowly. Just sitting up on the side of the bed with your feet on the floor for a minute or two is a good start. Take a few deep breaths and then stand up. Ensure that you are stable and then start walking around. By this point your metabolism would have already started increasing significantly.
Seek a Bright Light Source
Once of the main sleep hormones in your body, melatonin, is affected by bright light. The levels go lower with bright light and higher in the dark. Get yourself to a window and part the curtains. There is no need to stare at the sun but even 5 to 10 seconds of sunlight can lower your melatonin levels faster although it does drop as you approach the end of your sleep cycle. If you have to wake up while the sun is still down then fit bright lights in your bedroom or bathroom. Fluorescent lighting is better.
Start With Breathing Exercises
You may not feel energetic enough to exercise in the morning but a few simple breathing exercises can do the trick. Breathe in deeply, hold your breath till the count of 3 and exhale slowly. By increasing the oxygen levels in your blood, your metabolism will rise a bit faster. Physical activity will also increase your breathing rate and metabolism and if you are up to it, then do a few stretching exercises or slowly jog on the spot. No need for any strenuous activity immediately.
Eat A Good Breakfast
You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal in the day. But all too often many of us skip breakfast because we are in a rush or do not feel hungry in the morning. However, your body has emerged from an 8 hour fast and is about to undertake a full day of activity. Your blood glucose levels are in the lower range and instead of sequestering glucose from its stores, you should be providing your body with food. Select your breakfast wisely. You need carbohydrates, protein and fat. A little refined carbs like sugar is not going to mess up your diet but can provide the fuel you need to get started.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is not always the beverage of choice in a world of instant drinks and soda. But it is the primary medium in the body for all essential processes – from the tiniest to the largest. It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Mild dehydration may not be obvious but you will feel less energetic even if not overtly tired. Remember that you also lose water while you sleep – through water vapor in the air you exhale and perspiration. Avoid the caffeinated beverages – it may perk you up for a while but will only cause you to lose more water.
Snacking is often thought of as a bad dietary habit. But it can give you the boost that you need to beat the mid-morning slump. Once you get started with your day then you are going to be constantly active. Isolating your nutritional intake to to just 3 meals in a day spaced out over long gaps does not help with maintaining a constant supply of energy. Your body needs “fuel” and a snack or even two between the major meals can sustain you. But choose wisely. Opt for low calorie and low GI (glycemic index) snacks so as not to exceed your daily calorie intake but still have a constant supply of energy.
Keep A Positive Attitude
Ever felt energetic to undertake a task you did not enjoy? The same applies to your daily activities. If you are going to have a negative mindset about the tasks ahead then you will undoubtedly feel less energetic. The body’s metabolic rate is just as much influenced by food and exercise as it is by the mental state. By maintaining the right attitude and looking ahead positively to the activities of the day, you will find that you are less likely to feel tired and unenthusiastic about getting moving in the morning.
It is not only about a healthy attitude in life. Your body also needs to be healthy. Exercising regularly and keeping your body in peak condition will ensure that you have the energy that you need to get going in the morning. Your energy levels are a reflection of your overall state of health. While we often focus on eating right, we do not always treat our body right by exercising it as we should. A modern life is relatively sedentary which means that we have to make the effort to get the physical exercise that we need since it is not usually a part of our daily tasks. Set out an exercise program – you need at least 150 minutes of exercise spread out over 3 to 4 days in a week. This is above and beyond the usual physical activities of the day.