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hammer and alarm clock

Ugh. It’s the morning again, and you need to do things. Whether you dislike mornings, people, or all of the above, waking up early doesn’t have to be miserable.

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I get it: You and the morning aren’t friends. And neither are those smug keeners who rise at the crack of dawn, powered by self-righteousness and kale. I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather sleep an extra few than kayak a lake at 6:00 a.m.

But, alas, sometimes you need to get stuff done before 7:00 a.m. (Sigh.) There’s no need to choke down a raw-egg smoothie, and you can forget tackling every morning task with a disgusting level of enthusiasm. (This is about sheer survival, folks.)

Here’s how to get through the morning (relatively) unscathed:

1. Give yourself a few minutes

With a level of peppiness that rivals a cheering squad, some people shoot right out of bed, ready to tackle the day. To those people, I say, “Eww. Go away.”

Many of us wake up feeling tired or crabby in the morning, and there may be a scientific explanation behind this: sleep inertia. According to the Huffington Post and Allison G. Harvey, PhD, Director of the Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic:

“Sleep inertia is a transitional state of lowered arousal occurring immediately after awakening from sleep and producing a temporary decrement in subsequent performance. Although most studies have focused on sleep inertia after short naps, its effects can be shown after a normal eight-hour sleep period.”

Apparently, sleep inertia can last anywhere from one minute to four hours. (Yikes.) And these feelings don’t necessarily indicate a poor night’s sleep. So the next time someone questions your morning-induced grumpiness, show them this blog post. Because: science!

2. Step away from the donut—slowly

By now, it’s safe to say that your brain doesn’t like mornings. But, alas, the things that need doing. When you feel like a pile of tired, facing the day on an empty stomach does nothing for your energy levels. Body, suit up! (Brain, you’re on the bench.)

healthy breakfast

(image: with wind)

 

To pull yourself out of a sleep-induced stupor, choose your first meal wisely. I’m not a nutritionist (or your mom), but I do know that processed, sugary foods aren’t a great choice for breakfast.

If you’re looking for an energy boost, maybe it’s best to turn down that delicious office donut and opt for a real meal instead. Personally, I eat a bowl of oatmeal with sliced-up bananas, and that usually keeps me going until lunch.

3. Buy yourself some time

In a perfect world, we’d all have a magical DeLorean that would transport us back in time. Newsflash: it’s not 1985, and those lunches ain’t gonna make themselves. When you’re still waking up, handling a multitude of tasks can make for a hectic (and annoying) morning.

Instead of scrambling, come 7:00 am, give preparation a chance. To make the whole process a bit smoother, take some time the night before to make lunches and set aside your outfit for the next day.

Over to you

So, you hate waking up early. (Join the club.) With these tips, you may just outsmart the mornings after all. If all else fails, there’s always the snooze button.

Otherwise, what methods do you use to get yourself in gear in the morning?

Tell us all about it in the comments section!

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Tanya Roberts

Tanya Roberts is a writer and marketer who loves to spin stories about interior design and home decor. She is principle strategist at Bluefinch.ca