11 December 2018

An early start in the Swiss mountains - Lawrence Jones MBE - sleep and motivation

An early start in the Swiss Alps.

Why do some people spring out of bed at 5am, full of energy, whilst others struggle to surface for a 9am start?

There are so many benefits to starting the day earlier. You have more time, which takes the pressure of any morning rush. It’s also the perfect opportunity to fit in a workout or some time for yourself.
So how can you switch from being a night owl to an early bird?

Get enough sleep

Everyone needs a different amount of sleep but on average, The National Sleep Foundation says that adults need between seven and nine hours’ sleep a night. If you’re planning to get up earlier in the morning, go to bed earlier at night.

Equally, switch off from screens at least an hour before bedtime. Not only does the constant stream of new information from social media or scrolling keep your brain active, the tech itself is scientifically shown to keep you awake. The blue light from smartphone screens actually suppresses the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle, melatonin. This makes it harder to fall asleep.

Plan ahead

Get your morning organised so that when you wake up and get out of bed, you have the easiest start to the day. Write down your to-do list for the next day to get it out of your head. I find that the best way to stop my mind wandering and replaying all of the things that I need to do the next day is to write everything down. I even keep a notebook next to my bed for those inevitable moments when my brain quietens down and I suddenly remember something I really need to do!

Take preparation to the next level. Plan your clothing, your workout, your breakfast; every aspect of your morning. When you have everything ready, there are no barriers to starting your day well.

Change your state

Stand up tall, stretch, feel good! Instead of slumping out of bed, hunched and unenthusiastic, change your physical situation. When you change your physical state, you quickly change your mental state too.
Take a few deep breaths, stretch and stand tall. When you stand tall, chest up, you naturally feel more confident.

What are your tips for starting the day well? Ignoring the snooze button or lemon water first thing? Share your tips in the comments.

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