As we head into the winter months and daylight hours fade away (wah), even the earliest birds among us might have a harder time crawling out of bed in the morning. But before you reach for that second (or third, we get it) cup of coffee, why not try a few natural ways to boost your energy and motivate you out of bed in the AM? Here are our best tips for starting your day on the right foot, even if you're not a morning person.
Wake yourself up with daylight
Quick science lesson here: your circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle, so your body learns to be awake when the sun is up and gets tired when it’s dark. But in winter days when sunlight is limited, you can feel a little sleepier than usual - not ideal, especially when you’re aspiring to be an early bird.
Enter: sunrise alarm clocks, our new favorite way to wake up in the morning. Instead of a blaring, robotic tune jangling suddenly from your cell phone, sunrise alarm clocks gradually light up to mimic a sunrise. They typically start brightening about thirty minutes before your alarm is set to go off, and if you manage to stay snoozing during the entire light-only alarm cycle, gentle nature noises go off when it’s really time to get up. It’s just about the most peaceful, relaxing way to get out of bed; plus, since the light increases gradually, you’re able to wake up during the right part of your sleep cycle instead of being interrupted right in the middle of an intense dream.
Once you’re up, move - right away
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you hop out of bed and immediately run a 5K (although if that’s your normal morning routine, consider us impressed). But a little bit of movement goes a long way in convincing your body it’s time to be upright and part of the waking world. After all, once your heart rate is up, it’s a lot harder to fall back asleep.
Try 20 jumping jacks or a quick burst of high knees the second your feet touch the floor. Want a more relaxing option? Flow through a few sun salutations: raise your arms to the sky, bend over in a forward fold, and then walk your hands out to a high plank position. From there, open your chest and dip your hips in upward-facing dog, then curl your toes under and pike your hips up in the air for downward facing dog, pedaling out your calves one leg at a time. Walk your hands back towards your feet until you’re standing, then repeat a few times until you’re fully awake.
Add energizing scents to your morning routine
News flash: your sense of smell can be a powerful ally in waking up your body and your brain. Mint and citrus scents have been shown to be especially energizing and refreshing, all the better to start your day off feeling focused, alert, and stimulated.
To make the most out of this tip, add mint- or citrus-scented products to your morning routine. Try a orange-scented face wash (pair with cold water for even more wake-up power!), or a peppermint body wash in the shower.
Or, for a scent that’ll stay with you longer, look for a mint or citrus deodorant to add to your beauty routine; not only will you get the immediately energizing property of those stimulating scents, but the pleasant aroma will also stay with you to help keep you alert during that two-hour department meeting that always drags on… and on… and on…
Ready to become the morning person you always dreamed of being? Then kick-start your day with some sunlight, a burst of exercise and our energizing non-toxic deodorant!
Start your winter mornings off on the right foot with our MerriMint two-pack consisting of our ocean mint and NEW, limited edition citrus mint scents.
Written by Kristen Geil