Question. Does your morning look more like the photo on the left, or the photo on the right. Be honest….
Trust me, as someone who starts the day anywhere between 4:30am and 5am, you’d think mornings are rough (especially since Im usually not in bed until 11 or 11:30) but not true. I maximize my sleep time, and create routine so that even if its 6 hours, its a GOOD six hours. When I hit that pillow, I am out cold in minutes.
According to a recent article in SHAPE Magazine, if you’re pressing the snooze button a dozen times or pre-setting six different alarms on your smartphone, getting out of bed may be even more of a drag.“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.
A snooze-happy 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. He likens repetitive snoozing to patients with sleep apnea who fall asleep, stop breathing, wake up to catch their breath, and fall asleep again. Even if they spend eight hours in bed each night, they never feel well rested. “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. How else can you improve your snooze?
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.
Now, when I wake up, the sun is usually not even out yet – but even still, I only always sleep with nothing but the white sheers on my bedroom windows, so in the summer I get to see the sun peeking out.
For fitness fanatics, quality sleep is just as important to your training as the actual training, so don’t skimp. Poor sleeping habits can not only increase cortisol levels, but can sabotage your gains.
BONUS – Can you guess what song my alarm clock plays every morning?