Attention sleepyheads: Here's how to start the day off right

 10 Apr 2016 - 18:17

Attention sleepyheads: Here's how to start the day off right
Waking up ready for a new day: Some people are full of energy on waking, whereas others take time to start. Hormones and rhythms explain the difference. (file photo / Jens Kalaene / dpa)


What is the best way to ensure a good start in the mornings? A consistent routine. Here are some expert tips.

Erkelenz, Germany: Not everyone wakes up with boundless energy. But fear not, night owls, there is hope. Experts believe your hormones are to blame and they have a handful of tricks to help you wake up on the right side of the bed.

Hormones fluctuate naturally throughout the day and at night.

"These hormonal fluctuations are different for each person," said Heribert Brueck, a cardiologist in Germany. People who experience stark changes in their hormone concentrations might find it harder to start their day.

According to Brueck, there are ways to train yourself to start the morning off cheerfully. Below are his tips:

Cold showers: Cold showers are one of the most tried and true methods for kick-starting the day. For those who want to step it up a notch, try alternating between warm and cold water, starting further out and moving inwards.

"First do your hands and feet," Brueck said. "Then move on to the middle of your body." Switching between the two temperatures stimulates circulation.

Exercising: Getting the heart pumping through exercise is a great way to boot up before starting your day.

It is important not to over-do it though, because "you still have the entire day in front of you," said Brueck. Brueck recommends beginners do small, frequent repetitions. For example, instead of doing one set of 30 pushups, try three sets of 10.

More experienced athletes should choose exercises appropriate for their fitness level. And whether you should have breakfast before or after your workout? It is personal preference, he said.

Coffee: For many, a morning without coffee is unthinkable. Whether it is a latte or an espresso in a cafe or a cup brewed at home, the caffeine in coffee is stimulating. People who drink coffee less often experience the effects most strongly.

"Just one cup of coffee can have a significant impact on blood pressure," Brueck said. The effects can last up to three hours. Black tea also has the same effect.

Bedtime: Going to bed late and waking up early is a common cause of morning crankiness. By simply going to bed earlier, you provide your body with important regularity and ensure feeling well-rested.

"Following a schedule is how you adjust your internal clock," he said.

Morning Stress: A hectic early morning works for some, but Brueck recommends de-stressing your morning routine. If you start the day with stress, it can be challenging to maintain your body's reserves when you experience stress throughout the day, he said.

Regardless of how you choose to start your morning, it is critical to maintain a routine.

"The body has to adjust to the schedule," said Brueck.