We all desire more energy during the day and high-quality restful sleep at night. It's much easier said than done, though, since there are so many factors that come into play, including your routine, exercise, stress-level, diet, and caffeine intake. Believe us, we know the struggle. We're not immune to ordering a grande coffee from Starbucks during a 3 p.m. slump and then becoming jittery and unfocused soon thereafter. This leads to a 7 p.m. nap, which leads to being wide awake at bedtime, which leads to being tired in the morning. Basically, we're saying we know how easy it is to throw your circadian rhythm off kilter.
Taking care of your mind and body is the first step to accomplishing your daily productivity (and nightly sleep) goals. But according to an article from Inc., there's a simple trick you can do each morning to help balance your day. Keep reading to learn what it is.
It turns out that balancing your circadian rhythm, or your natural wake and sleep cycle, can be as easy as opening your bedroom shades. Seriously, according to Inc., exposing yourself to sunlight as soon as possible upon waking up in the morning, sends beneficial signals to your body.
This all goes back to the naturally occurring hormones found in your body. Melatonin is supposed to peak at night since it's the hormone that encourages sleep. Cortisol, on the other hand, is supposed to reach peak levels in the morning since it's the hormone that makes your body and brain alert. Apparently, the issue with your energy, productivity, and sleep happens when these hormones become present at the wrong times. Thankfully, it can be easy to fix this through exposing yourself to light and dark environments.
Bright light decreases melatonin. So if you're staring at your phone or computer up until you lie down at night, you're effectively discouraging your brain from sleeping. (So be sure to shut off electronics before bedtime, and read a good book or do a calming yoga flow instead). If you expose yourself to bright light in the morning, though, it encourages cortisol production, which makes you alert. (They note that cortisol is given a bad rep, due to its link to stress, but low amounts of cortisol in the morning are helpful, not harmful).
So there you have it. When you wake up in the morning, open up your shades, go for a quick walk, or sit outside. The sunlight will make you more alert and productive during the day, discouraging tired slumps. Plus it increases serotonin, another hormone, which is a precursor to the melatonin you need for sleep, later.
Head over to Inc. to read the full article. Now that you know how to fall asleep easier, read up on how to stop from waking up in the middle of the night.