Picture this: You open your eyes as the sunrise pours into your window. Without a moment’s delay, you get out of bed and stretch. It’s an exciting day ahead and you can’t wait to get started.

You quickly get changed into your gym clothes and head outside for a nice jog in the quiet, peaceful morning. When you get home, you take a shower and come out refreshed. By the time you finish eating breakfast, it’s still early outside.

And yet you feel energized and fully awake, ready to take on the day.

I used to think that waking up early naturally was for the lucky. I was simply a night owl, and early mornings were a painful thing. But after I tried a few different strategies and changed up my routine, I realized that waking up energized was something that could be done.

It turns out how you approach your sleep and waking routine is largely a developed habit rather than a genetic trait. And if you’re like me, there may some lifestyle choices that you make which affect the quality of your sleep.

Here are 5 methods to get a good night’s sleep and wake up energized:

1. Exercise.

You might think that exercising leaves you tired, with little energy for anything else. But the opposite is true. Nothing gets your blood running and the endorphins going like exercising.

Exercise can mean a number of things. It doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym (unless you enjoy that). It could mean going for a jog or walking around outside. It could mean going out to tend your garden. Whichever way you decide to incorporate exercise into your day, do it with vigor and break out a sweat.

Exercise helps you sleep better at night and wake up energized. It also keeps you more alert throughout the day too.

2. Eat a light dinner.

There’s a saying that goes like this: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

It’s interesting how our society has developed a system of eating a light breakfast, a medium-sized lunch, and then a large evening meal. But if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, it could be because your dinner portions are too big, which takes longer for your system to digest.

Instead, make fruits and veggies the star attraction at dinnertime. They’re easy to digest, making it easier to have a good night’s sleep.

3. Eat a high amount of fruits and vegetables.

What you eat and the quality of your sleep are closely tied together. Having a quality diet precedes quality sleep, so don’t think about skipping this one.

Today, we’re surrounded by all sorts of processed food, sugar-laden snacks, artificial ingredients, and sodium. Unfortunately, these types of foods are taxing on the body, which leads to waking up groggy.

While fruits and vegetables might seem like they don’t add much of an energy boost, they help you stay consistently awake and productive. If you want to work and rest well, load up on the fruits and veggies. Raw is even better.

4. Have a morning routine.

I used to think routines were synonymous with boring. But not all routines are bad. Having a simple routine right after you wake up gives you a sense of direction and something to look forward to.

One routine might be that you get up, go exercise, shower and then eat breakfast. Maybe you like to start off calmly by doing a bit of reading or the daily crossword puzzle. Do whatever helps you warm up for the day.

5. Go to bed only when sleepy.

Have you ever gone to bed simply because you looked at the clock and saw that it was time to do so? If so, you might have been fully awake but tried to force yourself to sleep.

The end result? Tossing and turning, trying for who knows how long to get some rest. This creates the effect of associating your bed with being a place where you’re awake instead of resting.

Listen to your body. If you’re fully awake even though it’s “bedtime”, do something relaxing. Read a book. Listen to some soothing music. Calm yourself down until it’s time to shut off the lights.

Waking Up Energized Is Key to a Productive Day

Getting a good night’s rest is important to waking up energized and ready for the day. In turn, you become more productive during the day (and restful at night).

When you start incorporating these simple steps, you find yourself on a path to feeling better overall and ready to seize opportunities.

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Originally published on Medium.

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