Have to drag yourself out of bed each morning? Me too. That’s why I enlisted the help of wellbeing-guru, trainer and TV star Sam Wood, who has kindly explained the five reasons you can’t get out of bed each morning and more importantly, how to change the daily dredge.
Sam, who has recently launched his super successful 28 by Sam Wood program, designed to get you fit and healthy in just 28 minutes a day, says putting a spring in your morning step is easy if you understand the causes behind morning lethargy. Here’s what you need to know and the simple tweaks to make …
What Happens To Your Body Overnight …
“Our bodies are in the resting and recovering phase overnight,” he says. “While you sleep, your body releases hormones. A good example is the growth hormone, which is essential for growth and development of your body and muscles. Muscle repair (tissue growth and repair) occurs in the deepest stage of NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep, before the next cycle of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep occurs, which is when you dream!” Sam says another important function of resting and recovery overnight is memory consolidation. “Your brain is very active at night and a thorough sorting of the day’s information takes place from your bed!” So a poor night sleep can have repercussions on your clarity of mind the next day.
Culprit #1 Poor Sleep Hygiene
Sam says one of the biggest culprits behind morning lethargy is poor sleep hygiene. “Staring at your screen before bed acts as a stimulant,” he explains. “It tells your body it is daytime (due to the blue light emitting from your computer or mobile). To work around this, try installing f.lux on your computer and ensure you have a good bedtime routine with adequate winding down time. It’s best to keep your mobile phone out of the bedroom and use an alternate alarm clock to wake.”
Another problem is a room that is too light or warm. “This is detrimental to us,” he says. “Partially because your body temperature naturally drops overnight and partially because the light affects our quality of sleep.
Solution: “Two simple strategies are to install blackout curtains and avoid overheating the bedroom.” And loading up on blankets.
Culprit #2 Too Much Caffeine
Yep, caffeine is both a blessing and a curse. “As a stimulant, caffeine can interfere with sleep quality,” explains Sam. “Particularly if consumed late in the day!”
Solution: “Aim to cap your intake at two cups a day and eat or drink all forms of caffeine before 3pm. Great alternatives are caffeine-free herbal teas like peppermint, which is great for digestion, or ginger, which is the perfect natural anti-inflammatory.”
Culprit #3 Dehydration
The old H2O. So easy to forget, until you look in the mirror and see the effects of poor sleep and dehydration in your face. “Interestingly, dehydration can lead to a lack of our key sleep hormone, melatonin,” explains Sam.
Solution: “Ensure you consume around two litres of water per day,” Sam suggests. “To avoid waking during the night for a toilet stop, sip water from dinnertime.”
Culprit #4 Eating Too Late
There’s a good reason dinner time should be at 6pm. “Digestion is a high-energy process, so keeps your body in an active state,” explains Sam. And this, my friend, means your body is expecting to work it off – not rest. And it will attempt to work it off whether you like it or not.
Solution: “Try to eat one or two hours before bed and follow your sleep hygiene tips above.”
Related: How To Turn Bingo Wings Into Muscle
Culprit #5 Poor Routine
“A consistent alarm time is a great way to teach your body to wake naturally at the same time each morning,” suggests Sam.
Solution: “Do your best to avoid hitting the snooze button – even if you DO fall back to sleep there is not enough time for a full sleep cycle. Often you’ll feel worse than if you had gotten up immediately!
Related: 5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Immunity
Do This The Second You Get Out Of Bed
It’s important to kick start your metabolism as soon as you wake up, says Sam. “Sleeping is an overnight fast; your body slows down and enters ‘preservation’ mode, conserving energy to focus on hormonal release, muscle repair and consolidation of memory. It is vital to our survival but it does require a metabolic kick start before consuming food. Here’s what you need to do:
- “Exercise. Moving first thing is a fantastic habit and acts to start your digestion, priming it for the breakfast that follows.
- “Drink hot water and lemon prior to breakfast – this will stimulate your digestion to ensure you are in the optimal state for making the most of your food.
- “Eat a healthy breakfast, rich in protein and good fats. Eating early is not essential but the quality of the food is! Avoid refined carbs and focus on real food – our favourite 28 breakfast is Snez’s Kickstarter Smoothie!