The key to feeling energised in the morning begins with understanding how the mind and body works.
We each have an internal sleep-wake cycle, known as our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is important because it ensures that our body’s processes are optimised at certain times of the day.
The optimal sleep-wake cycle is to rise with the sun and sleep when night falls. Rising with the sun stimulates our brains and sends signals to our body to produce serotonin, often referred to as the happy hormone.
This happy hormone is what makes us feel energised and optimistic for the day ahead.
To achieve more restful sleep and inherently wake up feeling energised, there are a few changes you can make to your routine.
Avoid artificial light before bed
Historically, the only light humans were exposed to at night was the moon, the stars and fire. Nowadays, we’re exposed to artificial light throughout the day and night.
Exposure to artificial light (television, mobile phones, computer screens) before bed disrupts our natural sleep patterns and confuses our internal systems, which can impact our mental and physical health.
This is why it’s essential that we manage our artificial light usage and ensure we put down our devices at least one hour before bed.
Go to bed earlier and stick to a nighttime routine
The secret to feeling more energised in the mornings is a good night’s sleep.
Our melatonin (sleep hormone) production begins at sunset and is best supported by soft light, taking four hours to complete.
In this time, you can start preparing your mind and body for a good quality sleep by sticking to a calming nighttime routine. Reading a book or enjoying a lavender bath is a great way to do so.
By implementing a calming nighttime routine and going to bed within those four hours, we’re less likely to disrupt our melatonin production process and enjoy a more restful sleep.
Immerse yourself in nature
Taking the time to immerse yourself in nature is a great way to start each day.
Studies have found that spending time in nature can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, which can reduce feelings of anxiety and positively impact our mood.
At Gwinganna, we encourage our guests to rise with the sun and start each morning by participating in outdoor activities.
Practice meditation and mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness practice helps to prepare the mind and body for the day ahead.
Calming your mind with meditation each morning helps to focus on the present moment before we seize the day.
At Gwinganna, we like to practice mindfulness and movement together. We wake with the rising sun and begin each day by connecting our mind and body through Qi Gong. Qi Gong encourages mindful diaphragmatic breathing and sets the flow for the day ahead.
Similarly to Qi Gong, yoga is an excellent option as it utilises both mindfulness and meditation. Practising yoga in the morning helps to relax the mind and body, as well as enhancing our ability to manage stress.
Because our metabolic rate is highest in the morning, incorporating a more intensive activity can also enhance your morning routine. After your mindfulness practice, you might like to set aside time to do some interval training like walking and running.
Energise your mornings
By implementing these few steps into your daily routine, you’ll notice improvements in the quality of your sleep and wake up feeling more energised.
If you liked this article, you might also like to read these helpful tips for healthy brain and body function from Gwinganna’s Senior Naturopath.