Not everyone is a morning person. Some of us prefer midnight over dawn, sunset over sunrise. But if you never feel refreshed when you wake up or if you hit the snooze button at least 5 times every morning, you might want to take a look at your sleep routine.
Here are 8 reasons you have trouble getting started in the morning (that aren’t as basic as coffee):
- You aren’t going to bed early enough.
This one seems obvious but it’s a big factor when it comes to getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night. You can’t expect to feel well rested if you’re going to bed at midnight and waking up at 5:45. It can be tough turning out the lights earlier than normal but try cutting off 15 minutes a week to ease yourself into a new bedtime.
- You don’t like your job (or your life).
Depression and anxiety have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. Stressing out about the million things you have to do tomorrow makes it tough to fall asleep and dreading another day at the office makes it tough to wake up. We all have bad weeks but if this seems to be your normal, you may want to consider making some life changes.
- You have a sleep disorder you don’t know about.
Sometimes fatigue can be a sign of a more serious issue like sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, your body wakes up frequently throughout the night for periods so brief you don’t even notice. However, it can be dangerous and can leave you feeling exhausted in the morning. Set up an appointment with your physician to run a sleep study so you can get the proper treatment.
- You don’t have an evening routine.
No, scrolling through Instagram on your phone for 2 hours in bed before trying to catch some Z’s does not count as an evening routine. For the best sleep, you should shut off your electronics (even the TV!) at least 30 minutes before bed and take some time to decompress from your day. Do what relaxes you, whether it’s grabbing a snack, reading a good book or doing some quiet meditation. Giving your body a chance to unwind will help you fall asleep quicker and easier.
- You try to catch up on sleep on the weekends.
By the time Saturday rolls around, you’re more than ready to turn off the alarm clock and enjoy a nice long snooze. But rolling out of bed at 11 a.m. on your days off can seriously screw up your sleep schedule. Your circadian rhythm gets out of whack making it more difficult for you to get to sleep during the week so it’s important to maintain your routine even on the weekends.
6. You take your vitamins in the evening.
Multi-vitamins are a great way to keep your body running right but they can be disruptive to your sleep if you take them too close to bedtime. B vitamins in particular have been known to have negative effects. Have your vitamins with breakfast or lunch instead to ensure a better night of sleep.
7. You use your bed for more than just sleeping.
Your bed has become where you do your freelance writing in the evenings, where you eat your cup of noodles for dinner and where you put the finishing touches on that craft project you saw on Pinterest. Sure, doing all the above in bed is super comfortable but it also causes your brain disassociate bed with sleeping, making it tougher to fall asleep at night.
8. You drink one too many glasses of wine after dinner.
Yes, a glass of pinot noir in the evenings can make you drowsy. But when that glass turns into 2 or 3 or even 4, you risk lowering the quality of your sleep. Alcohol messes with your REM (rapid eye movement) cycles and reduces the time your body is in deep sleep. While it may help you fall asleep, it won’t get you the refreshing rest you are craving.
Sleep is the time our bodies use to restore and heal. Unfortunately, it’s usually what gets sacrificed when life gets busy or stressful. If you’re struggling to crawl out of the blankets in the morning every single day, try making some of the above adjustments to improve the quality of your sleep. Your body, mind (and probably your friends) will thank you for it.