Here are four ways to wake up like a warrior so you can maintain peak performance every day of the year.
Eat lighter later. Many people believe eating a large meal will help them relax and fall asleep—the food coma notion, however this simply is not true. In fact, some studies have concluded that eating a big meal within two to three hours of bedtime can be detrimental to your path to a dreamy destination because food is processed differently at various times throughout the day. On the other hand, a hungry tummy can prevent you from falling—and sometimes staying, asleep. Eating a lighter dinner and allowing yourself to have a protein-rich snack before bed help ensure a solid night of sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed.
Ignore your phone before bedtime. It’s common to check phones, tablets and/or computers before bed, however the LED lighting emitted from these devices sends the wrong messages to our brains. Staring at a back-lit screen before bed commands the brain to stay awake and hold melatonin, the hormone which makes us tired, instead of releasing it according to the National Sleep Foundation. If you’re a worrier hoping to become a warrior, it is critical that you avoid checking these devices because often times you will encounter anxiety triggers. Learning that third quarter quotas were missed; someone was let go or a major client was lost, and other challenges right before bed is a surefire way to keep you up all night long.
Shed some light. Before bed, turn off all electronics to avoid staring at their bright lights, hence delaying sleep. Open drapes and/or blinds to maximize the morning sunlight. Allowing the sunshine to pour into your bedroom sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up. If it’s still dark outside or you’re a very early riser, consider purchasing an artificial sun lamp to mimic the benefits of sunshine. Some models can be connected to your alarm clock for a gradual light gradation so that the light slowly increases until it peaks when your alarm rings.
Work it out. Exercising in the morning or afternoon helps you fall asleep faster that evening and better yet, you’ll sleep more deeply than if you had not worked out according to the National Sleep Foundation. If the thought of exercise makes you cringe, give it a try a few days per week for a month before rejecting the idea. Rest-assured, exercising on a regular basis in the morning or afternoon pays out huge dividends—more energy; improved physique and deeper sleep are just a few. Remember that warriors are always ready regardless of the circumstance. Dale Carnegie said, “Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”