Wouldn’t it be great if you could magically transform yourself into a morning person? It doesn’t have to be just a dream: a group of sleep researchers have developed a method that could very well transform the way you feel in the wee hours of the morning – or at least help you feel a little less sluggish. the morning.
The science-backed process – called the RISE-UP Method – was created a few years ago, but it’s especially useful now. The pandemic has made sleep inertia – the state of transition between sleep and wakefulness marked by groggy, impaired performance and the desire to go back to sleep – more frequent – said Kate Kaplan, sleep researcher , clinical instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine. Adjusting your morning habits using the technique can help reverse some of these effects.
“I think we have some very unique times from a sleep standpoint,” she said, adding that as our schedules drift later, our sleep inertia might get stronger. Getting to school or work, making lunch, and getting dressed – all of these are helpful in “decreasing sleep inertia and helping to reset our biological rhythm,” Kaplan explained. For many of us, these routines have been interrupted or wiped out entirely, so it makes sense that we are feeling more tired than we were before the pandemic.
Kaplan and his colleagues designed the RISE-UP Method in 2018 to help people get up in the morning. After cycles of research and testing, they finally developed the strategy to fight against sleep inertia. With the new (slower) pace of our working home mornings, the technique can prove to be more useful than ever. The RISE-UP Method consists of six principles that can help minimize the experience of drowsiness. Here’s what each letter means:
R – Resist the urge to hit the snooze button
I – Increase your activity during the first hour
S – Shower (or wash your face and hands with cold water)
E – Expose yourself to the sun
Each principle of the RISE-UP Method is a little more nuanced than prescriptive, so let’s go through all six individually.
A: Resist the urge to hit the snooze button
This one doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room: stop relying on repetition. When you do, you are constantly interrupting your REM sleep, which is the restorative part of your sleep cycle, according to the Cleveland Clinic. When restful sleep fails to be restful, you end up feeling dizzy and unfazed. While at the time you may feel that a few more minutes to close your eyes will help you feel rested, repeating the repetition actually does the opposite.
In addition to setting a single alarm clock and sticking to it, Kaplan strongly suggests waking up at the same time every day – and, sadly, that also goes for weekends.
“Try to have consistency in the time you get out of bed,” she says. “It helps keep our body clock in the same time zone. When we vary our sleep hours from weekdays to weekends, this type of chronic jet lag can be quite confusing for the body. “
And, if you go to bed late one night, you should always try to wake up at the same time rather than trying to make up for lost hours in the morning. “It would be better to wake up at the same time and take a nap rather than sleeping,” Kaplan said.
I: Increase your activity for the first hour
Getting physical in your morning routine doesn’t have to be complicated – take the dog out for a walk, walk to the cafe, or take a few laps around the block if an early sweating session isn’t your cup Some tea.
A small movement circulates your blood and signals to the body that a new day has begun. You may see a serious improvement in your health if you’ve ever been to the office (even halfway) or started your day at the gym religiously. Pandemic life may have altered these routines, but there is no reason not to resume physical activity in your morning.
A practical aspect of the RISE-UP method is that you can combine some of the elements and still benefit from them. So you don’t need to be physically active, then sunbathe, then listen to the radio. You can do all three at the same time.
“It’s the cold that we think is the key,” Kaplan said of a morning shower. “Some trials have shown that our alertness levels are related to different temperature parameters,” she continued, adding that when our extremities (like our hands and feet) are cold, we tend to feel more alert. .
The opposite is also true – having warm hands and feet can help fall asleep, Kaplan said, which is why taking a hot bath before bed or putting on comfortable socks can help you fall asleep.
Morning showers aren’t for everyone – especially if it’s not your hair wash day or if you plan on working out later – but you can still take advantage of this step by splashing in some cool water. on your face. While there isn’t a huge body of research to support this, a clinical trial showed that study participants who splashed water on their faces after napping reported decreased drowsiness compared to their dry-faced counterparts.
E: Expose yourself to the sun
“It is very important to expose yourself to the sun in the morning, especially if you do not leave the house [otherwise]Kaplan said. “Morning sunlight is the most powerful anchor around which our internal rhythms can align.”
This one is pretty straightforward when the weather is nice, and as mentioned before, can and should be combined with some of the method’s other principles to get your money’s worth.
When it’s not a sunny day or you’re struggling with sleep inertia during the winter months, you can use artificial light to achieve the same benefits. “Lightboxes are a great hack – and they’re getting cheaper and cheaper,” Kaplan said. A full spectrum lamp is another option.
If you’re feeling the midday crunch, sun exposure can also help, Kaplan said. In fact, most of the principles of the RISE-UP Method can help combat feelings of fatigue beyond the morning, so consider them as part of your anti-groggy arsenal.
U: Upbeat music
Listening to music is a great way to step out of the semi-awakened dimension and come true. To benefit from this step, you don’t need to log into the Top 100 Leaderboards.
“Any noise of moderate intensity” can induce arousal, Kaplan said, adding that a podcast, audiobook, or even the news will work just fine. “Just make sure you [listen] while standing and moving without sitting and still, if possible, ”she said.
Maybe you will consider catching up on the morning headlines on your walk in the sun for the best results.
P: Call a friend
“Any type of social contact you may have has been shown to promote alertness,” Kaplan said. You can definitely call a buddy (maybe you and an anti-sleep-inertia friend hold each other accountable?), Or you can also cross out this item while chatting with the barista, your porter, or even the people in your house. A little chatter can wake up your brain and prepare you for the day ahead.
If you want to try this routine, try it for at least a week or so before deciding if it works for you. And don’t drive yourself crazy: you don’t have to cross every letter of RISE-UP to conquer sleep inertia.
“If you only manage three or four, that’s great,” Kaplan said. Besides feeling exhausted in the morning, what have you got to lose?