How can you get up early without feeling tired?

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Getting up early is believed to bring energy and well-being. So how do you wake up without falling asleep all day?

On social media, it's full of selfie posts in sportswear at 6am. This trend came from America with the publication of Hal Elrod's bestseller, Miracle morning, in the early 2010s. Those who get up at dawn, if possible before dawn, even have a name: morningophiles.

Each one has its own biological clock and that must be respected, it is not a question here of becoming a follower of the dawn at all costs, but of setting your usual alarm clock forward one hour. The goal of waking up first thing in the morning is not to be more productive, but to free up time to do good.

Set your morning alarm the night before

The motivation to get up early is cultivated the night before, preparing you for new activities in the morning. People who are used to getting up very early always start by doing what they are passionate about. If you like sports, you can enjoy an hour of jogging or yoga. If you want to have a moment of solitude, you can take the opportunity to have your coffee in peace, before the other members of the family wake up.

Once you have chosen your activity, you prepare in advance before going to bed everything you will need in the morning: sportswear, cup of coffee, book. You also let your spouse know that he or she is likely to give us a push to get out of bed.

All of these create a form of engagement that can be reinforced through a reward system. We offer, for example, the best brioche in the neighborhood for breakfast or a new scented shower gel in the bathroom.

The evening's preparations end at bedtime with a visualization of the next day's awakening. Lying down, with our eyes closed, we can imagine all the details and we are looking forward to having a good time soon. A form of self-hypnosis that conditions the brain, "effective as long as you are not in a state of nervousness or excitement that interferes with falling asleep," specifies Dr. Eric Charles, a psychiatrist.

Respect your sleep pattern

We repeat it loud and clear: it is not about getting out of bed systematically at 5:30 am, but about getting up a little earlier than usual, about an hour, taking into account your sleep pattern. "Most people fall asleep around 11pm or midnight, and wake up around 7am," says Dr. Joëlle Adrien, a neurobiologist and researcher. Approximately 10-15% of the population wake up naturally earlier, and the same proportion are night owls / early risers. "

If you normally wake up around 7 a.m., you set your alarm for 6 a.m.

If we leave around 9 o'clock, it will be 8 o'clock.

To keep up, it is important to gradually go to bed a little earlier, changing shifts for 15-20 minutes each day, without straining if you are not sleepy at all. It is fatigue that will change the biological clock after a few days. We stay attentive to our body: When the body indicates that it is tired and we start to yawn, we prepare for bed instead of struggling to keep our eyes open.

Don't wake up anyway

A soft wake-up call is better than a loud ringing, which is all too often the first stressful part of the day. When the time is right, we wake up suddenly if we are wide awake.

Otherwise, it is better to take the time to stretch. "This helps restart blood circulation throughout the body," says Dr. Sylvie Royant-Parola, a psychiatrist. Body temperature is lower when sleeping: moving slowly helps raise it and promotes wakefulness. "

We then sit on the edge of the bed to drink a glass of water to rehydrate ourselves, and we may end up opening the window and taking several deep breaths. It is also advisable not to fall asleep again, not even for 10 minutes. "Then we deprive ourselves of the cortisol that the body naturally secretes for the first awakening, and the second will be more painful," says Dr. Royant-Parola.

If the gentle method is not suitable, we can try more muscular techniques by placing the alarm clock away from you. This period should not last more than fifteen days. By continuing the experiment at a regular pace, the biological clock will adjust and one will be able to wake up calmer.

Establish a morning ritual

First of all, it represents a decompression chamber for people who experience the negative effects of stress in the morning.

"Taking a wellness break in the morning can change the way we approach the day," says Dr. Charles. Doing an activity that you like for 20 or 30 minutes is very beneficial. "

This ritual, of course, must be personalized. Among the activities on offer, the benefits of meditation or sport are well established. "These practices have a positive effect on stress and mood, even if it is only practiced 10 minutes a day," says Dr. Charles, "because it is the regularity that has the greatest impact. You can also dedicate part of this time to practice your passion, reading or writing. Establishing a positive routine that makes sense allows you to start the day with confidence.

Dr. Charles insists on the moment of introspection: "It is important to think about yourself, your priorities and your goals. The morning ritual offers a parenthesis that we never usually find. You can also take advantage of this moment to organize your day in order to stay ahead of events and not run anymore. "

Waking up earlier reduces the risk of depression

A study published in May 2021 on the JAMA Psychiatry site with 840,000 people, provides evidence that chronotype (a person's propensity to sleep at a certain time) influences the risk of depression. In 2018, the team published a study showing that "early risers" were 27% less likely to suffer from depressive disorders within four years. More than 340 common genetic variants, including variants of the PER2 "watch gene," are known to influence a person's chronotype.

About a third of the participants identified themselves as larks (early risers), 9% were night owls, while the rest were in the middle. The goal: to find out if people whose genetic variants predispose them to be early risers also have a lower risk of depression. The answer is yes, because it turns out that each hour gained from the midpoint of sleep corresponds to a 23% lower risk of depressive disorder.

So if a person who normally goes to bed at 1 a.m. if you go to bed at midnight and sleep the same amount of time, you could reduce your risk of it by 23%. The reason is simple: increased exposure to light during the day results in a hormonal mechanism that positively influences mood.

Can't get up early?

Quiet! If you feel really bad when you wake up and during the day, don't insist for more than a week. Not everyone can change their biological clock. This is especially true for people at night who often get up too early for their natural rhythm.

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