You’ve just woken up, and you’re grumpy. And, that bad mood is rubbing off on everyone and everything around you. It’s affecting your productivity, your relationship with your family, friends, and co-workers. It just sets you up for feeling like the whole day has started off wrong. We usually refer to it as “getting up on the wrong side of the bed.” And, it’s usually one of those phrases that we throw at each other, when we’re annoyed, hurt, or offended.
(Photo credit: stokpic/Pixabay)
Of course, there may be factors that are beyond our control: hormonal imbalance, staying up with a sick child, or even the unavoidable side-effects of stress at work. But, there are also things we can do to help prevent and improve the collateral damage of your wrong-side-of-the-bed blues.
Here are a few ways that should help you wake up on the right side of the bed for a change.
1. Ditch the phone.
Turn it off or at least put it far enough from the bed, so that you won’t be tempted to check emails, texts or other social-media interactions as you’re trying to fall asleep. That practice should still continue into your morning routine.
Chris Morton, Lyst CEO, told Fast Company about how much more productive he’s been since he stopped making his cellphone the first thing he checked in the morning.
2. Relax without the digital.
If you like to read before falling asleep, use a “real” book (hardback, paperback, or other tangible reading materials) instead of the digital version. A recent Harvard study demonstrates that when you use a “light-emitting device” like a tablet, you’ll have a more difficult time in falling asleep — it suppresses melatonin and delays your circadian clock — and your REM sleep is also adversely affected. Beyond the more general implications for health and safety, the ramifications of these altered sleep patterns are directly linked to reduced alertness the next morning.
3. Early to bed and/or early to rise?
You’ve probably heard the old adage about “early to bed” making you healthy, wealthy, and wise. While there’s a whole lot more to success than sleep patterns, there’s something to be said for getting enough sleep, and attacking your morning with a vengeance — fully alert and awake. Interestingly enough, some of the most famous leaders are able to figure out ways to capture the clarity of early-morning thinking.
4. Watch the caffeine.
Most of us don’t feel that we can survive without caffeine in our lives — both for enjoyment and keeping ourselves alert and productive. A cup of coffee can reduce stress, along with increasing creativity and improving productivity. But, if you love caffeine, and drink it regularly, you also know how it affects your sleep patterns. While many of us probably see coffee as an essential part of every morning’s routine, it’s important to be aware of how it’s affecting our behavior. If you find that you’re drinking a lot of caffeine, and you’re also waking up on the wrong side of the bed, consider limiting your coffee intake. You may even consider a caffeine holiday.
5. Consider exercise.
When we’re busy and stressed, it may seem like there’s no time to exercise. Beyond the invigorating effects, studies demonstrate a slowing in neurogenesis, the “normal” dying off of brain cells, and an increase in “mental output.” Exercise also immediately helps to improve your mood. Of course, we all want to be happy and healthy, but from a workplace point-of-view, happiness also directly correlates to productivity.
So, waking up on the right side of the bed might actually be easier (and more important) than you ever imagined.
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