How to Become An Early Bird

How to Become An Early Bird

Envious of friends and family who can get up in the morning with relative ease? 

 

Don’t worry, everyone is wired differently, and your night owl tendencies exist because that’s how your body likes it.


However, that doesn’t mean you can’t try out a few techniques to make waking up each morning a breeze!

 

Set a Routine

For many, alarm clocks can be a constant source of pain.

Due to modern-day working hours, the majority of us need to wake up early. The only issue is that alarm clocks tend to go off during our sleep cycles.

The majority of us tend to wake groggy and grouchy, clutching our heads and squinting at the sunshine.

Fancy a great way to get around this?

Avoid alarm clocks! Set a nightly routine and head to bed at the same time each evening, this way, you’ll start waking at the same time each morning. For a 7 am get up, head to bed at 10 pm, you’ll head through all your sleep cycles, get your full nine hours, and wake rested and ready for the day…naturally!

Avoid Caffeine

Although this tip might not be for everyone, if you’re serious about sorting your sleep schedule and becoming an early bird, it could be a good idea to ditch the caffeine.

Studies have shown that even stopping caffeine consumption after your midday meal can still have a negative effect on your sleep pattern, and a poor sleep pattern means a rough wake up.

Ditching the caffeine could result in a deeper sleep and an easier getup, everyone is different, but it might be worth trialing no caffeine to see how your body reacts!

Turn off those electronics

Blue light can have a massively negative effect on your overall sleep health as it convinces your body that it is still daylight, leading to poor sleep and difficult wake-ups.

A great way to get around this is to ditch the technology at least one hour before bed, maybe grab a book or listen to an audiobook before you doze.

 

Sleep and Your Immunity

Sleep and Your Immunity

If you’ve ever felt more prone to sickness and feeling ill whilst traveling, stressed or experiencing sleep deprivation, then you’re not imagining it!

 

How sleep affects immunity

When we sleep, immune fighting hormones are released by our bodies, meaning that the longer we sleep for and the quality of sleep that we get, all affect the strength of our immune system.

Sleep doesn’t just affect our immunity when it comes to fighting disease, a lack of sleep can also mean that it can take our bodies longer to recover from illnesses such as the common cold, as our already weakened immune system struggles to fight back.

Although studies into sleep and immunity are still very much on-going, there is substantial evidence so far to prove that a lack of sleep, means a poor immune system.

Sleep is all about recovery, regeneration, and restoration, deprive our bodies of it, and we don’t get the chance to fight off disease.

By ensuring that we get an adequate amount of sleep, we are much more likely to be able to fight off disease, illness and even viruses like the flu. Sleep is all about strength and recovery, both physically and mentally – and there’s nothing like a good nights’ sleep to bolster immunity.

 

Immunity boosting tips:

 

So, aside from getting the adequate amount of sleep in, recommended to be around 7-9 hours, what else can we do in order to boost our immunity?

• Eating a balanced diet. We’ve all heard the saying that vitamin C can massively boost immunity, and it turns out there is substantial truth behind this claim. Ensuring that our diets are rich in fruit and vegetables can really help to bolster our immunity during cold and flu season.

• Minimizing stress. When stress gets chronic, it can definitely take a toll on our immune systems, releasing too much cortisol into our bodies which in turn can damage our immune system. Stress can also cause a reduction in white blood cells, which are essential to our bodies for fighting disease. Minimize stress and boost immunity by tackling the issue, practicing yoga or meditation and establishing a calm and relaxing evening routine.

• Regular exercise. Exercise can be a great way to naturally bolster our immune systems. Not only does it help to relieve stress, it’s also brilliant for effectively flushing bacteria out of our lungs and airways, reducing the risk of infection and possible colds or viruses!

How Well Do You Sleep?

How Well Do You Sleep?

When it comes to sleep, the general consensus is that if you’re in bed for eight hours each night, you’re getting enough. Unfortunately, there are many more factors that contribute to a healthy doze, other than just how many hours you get.

 

How Often Do You Wake In the Night?

There is a big link between waking during the night and a reduction in sleep quality, leading to an increase in tiredness the following day. If you find yourself waking multiple times throughout the night, then your sleep quality is probably low. Combat this by reducing alcohol intake and avoiding caffeine six hours before heading to bed, other techniques could also be to reduce stress, which can, in turn, reduce disruption during sleep.

What percentage of time spent in bed do you actually spend sleeping?

You might be spending eight hours in bed, but there is a high chance that you’re not asleep for that whole length of time. A great way to combat this is to only use your bed for sleep, and disassociate activities such as working and eating from the bedroom. Turn off the TV and electronic devices one hour before bed, and aim to be spending at least 85 percent of your time in bed, asleep, it will really help to improve sleep quality.

How long does it take for you to fall asleep?

Drifting off to slumber in thirty minutes or less tends to be a good indicator of great quality sleep if you’re struggling to sleep after one whole hour, then chances are that you’re suffering from insomnia and a poor quality of rest. Likewise, if you’re finding yourself dropping off to sleep within minutes, your sleep quality is probably low too as you might be experiencing sleep deprivation.

How long do you lie there after waking in the night??

If you’re lying there for more than twenty minutes after waking up in the middle of the night, then chances are that your quality of sleep is pretty poor indeed. Again, seek to make improvements to this by avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed. Another great way to sort this is to reduce fluid intake before falling asleep, this means you’ll be less likely to wake in the night and you’ll probably wake to feel much more rested and content.

Late Night Eating

Late Night Eating

Does the food we eat really affect the way we sleep?

Does it matter how late we eat? Do our bodies need food to sleep?

There have always been questions floating around concerning food and rest, from not eating carbohydrates before bed to avoiding chocolate and heavy meals.  Take a look below as we sort through the myths and get to the truth of which foods can affect sleep, and which foods cannot.

Food contains more calories at night.

FALSE. Day time calories are the same as night time calories, and food is just as beneficial in the evening as it is in the day. As usual, you only gain weight if you are eating more calories than you are actually burning, leading to an increase in fat distribution.
Remember, the time you eat is not as important as the quantity you eat, yet overeating can be avoided with good nights’ sleep.

 

It is advised to finish eating three hours before sleep.

TRUE. If you grow hungry again later into the evening, then opt for a light, carbohydrate-rich snack like a banana or some whole-grain crackers and peanut butter.

 

Skipping breakfast means you eat less in the evening.

FALSE. Skipping the most important meal of the day means that you often experience more hunger than usual in the evening, leading to an over-reliance on sugary food and an increase in food quantity. Ensure that you are getting the sleep you need in order to feel rested and ready for the morning and for preparing breakfast. A good breakfast of slow release carbs can be the best way to avoid an over-reliance on sugar come the evening.

Food gives you nightmares.

TRUE. If you eat just before heading to bed then your body is busy digesting your meal all night long, leading to discomfort and wakefulness throughout the night and often a bloated feeling come the morning. Opt for finishing your meal a few hours before heading to bed to wake in the morning bloat-free and rested.

 

 

 

Alternatives to Coffee

Alternatives to Coffee

 

 

Caffeine getting you down? or maybe too up? Here are some alternatives to your coffee, from hot water and lemon, through to chicory root!

 

Chicory Root

Similar to coffee, chicory root can also be roasted and ground. It’s also pretty high in insulin and can be great for promoting digestion. Simply brew chicory like normal ground coffee, even adding milk and sugar if you feel like it.

Hot Water and Lemon

Simple, yet effective, hot water and lemon rehydrates your body more than cold water in the morning and has been hailed as an energy-boosting drink. Packed full of vitamin C, it’s perfect to consume in the winter as a great defense against coughs and sniffles.

Green Tea

Green tea can be great to consume in the morning as it’s cheap, accessible and has been known to boost your metabolism massively. Try dropping a little bit of honey into the drink if you find it too bitter at first.

Mushroom Coffee (Chaga)

Known to boost brain power and provide all the benefits of a cup of coffee whilst leaving out the insomnia, shakes, and anxiety, mushroom coffee is really taking the health world by storm. Made by drying and crushing a variety of mushrooms, the result looks like coffee, but with an earthier tone.

Matcha

Matcha is a type of green tea created by drying the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant.  It has all the benefits and more of green tea as the whole plant is brewed into the drink, making it rich in antioxidants and perfect for boosting your metabolism, resulting in a great start to the day.

Coconut Water

Coconut water has been growing massively in popularity for the past couple of years. Whilst it resembles and tastes nothing like beloved coffee, it can be great to consume in the morning because of how hydrating it can be. Packed full of electrolytes, it rehydrates your body quickly- waking you up fast.

Sleep and Creativity

Sleep and Creativity

Boosted Mood

A regular sleep pattern can definitely lead to a healthy lifestyle and a boosted mood.
Studies have shown that when our mood is high, our creative juices tend to flow, therefore leading to an increase in motivation, enthusiasm, and creativity!

REM

A great sleep routine leads to an increase in REM sleep quality. REM sleep is our deepest form of sleep, and by increasing this, our brains can link together ideas with ease. We can wake full of fresh ideas, or, with a brain ready to get developing old ones.

Dreams

Believe it or not, sleep can be a great resource for inspiration!
Deep sleep, REM dreams are extremely vivid, they can be the perfect inspiration for creative ideas during the day. Simply jot down your ideas before you forget them each morning, and your work will be teaming with creative zeal.

Embrace Lie Ins

Having a lie-in at the weekend can actually be good for creativity!
As we gently wake up without an alarm we flit between a dreamlike and conscience state, meaning that we can experience a range of colors and clear images, perfect for inspiring our creativity improving our work.

Solving Problems

Stuck on a creative problem? Sleep on it.
In actual fact, the phrase ‘sleep on it’ does have a strong foothold in truth. As we sleep, our bodies link ideas together and consolidate information, meaning that we tend to wake with a decisive attitude and a clear head.

Improved memory

Sleep is brilliant for consolidating ideas and improving memory, and an increase in memory capacity is brilliant for storing ideas for later and for coming up with new ones!.

 

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