Last year I shared some tips for getting a good nights sleep.  Developing a healthier routine for waking up and getting going with the day can play an important role in forming good sleeping patterns. Below are some tips for improving your morning routine and waking earlier.

1. Buy and Use an Alarm Clock
This is going to sound a little obvious, but investing in a good alarm clock and using it daily will really help you to establish a new waking routine.  Decide on an end goal wake up time, ideally between 7am and 9am.  If you are usually waking up much later than this then start by setting your alarm for 1 - 2 hours before your natural waking time.  Give yourself a week to adjust to this and then gradually move closer to your goal in 30 minute steps.  Allow yourself a few days for you to adjust to each new stage and in time you will reach your goal.  Continue to use your alarm at least five days a week as this will help you to maintain this new habit.

2. Get Washed and Dressed
To reduce the risk of dozing off again after waking, try to get out of bed and get washed and dressed for the day.  Try to move to another room in your house and avoid using your bed during the day.  This will also help with your sleep routine too as your brain learns to associate your bed with sleep. 

3. Eat Breakfast
Breakfast takes in name from the act of breaking a fast.  When we sleep at night it is likely that we will sleep at least 5 hours.  Over those hours the body is continuing to use energy and blood sugar levels are likely to drop.  Although you may not feel like eating first thing, eating breakfast can really help to boost your energy levels and help you to feel more awake.

4. Get Health Checked
If you find you are feeling sluggish and lacking in energy during the days then it may be worth booking an appointment with your GP and getting your health checked out.  Low energy levels and tiredness can be a symptom of a number of physical health conditions such as anaemia, an underactive thyroid and asthma.  If there is an underlying health issue causing the waking problems then getting it diagnosed and treated will help out.

5. Medication
Some medications can cause drowsiness so if you are taking prescribed medication then check with your pharmacist or doctor and find out if this could be contributing to the issue.  It's important that you speak to the professionals involved in your care and don't make any changes to medication without a proper consultation.  It may be that there is another medication your doctor could try you on or they may suggest altering the time that you take it so as to limit it's effect on your energy levels.

6. Stay Hydrated
One of the symptoms of being dehydrated is tiredness so increasing your fluid intake by an extra glass or two of water could really help boost your energy levels.  Try to avoid too many caffienated drinks or alcohol as both have a diuretic affect causing you to need to use the toilet more frequently and become more dehydrated. 

7. Plan Enjoyable Activities into Your Morning
Planning in activities during the day will help to motivate you and act as a positive reward for waking earlier.  If you are not working then making morning plans, such as meeting a friend for coffee, doing some voluntary work, studying or an enjoyable fitness activity will act as an incentive and help to get you rising earlier.

8. Sunlight
Sunlight can play an extremely important role in helping us to feel more awake and energised.  Once you have woken, washed and dressed open curtains and blinds and let the sunlight into your home.  If you can, try and get out of the house for at least an hour a day.  The body absorbs Vitamin D from the sunlight and this can help regulate energy levels and mood.