Contributed by Patrick C.

I used to think I wasn’t a morning person.  Most of the time I woke up groggy and this feeling continued through the day and even affected my productivity. So I decided to do some research about what I might be able to do to feel more energized in the mornings and improve my overall vitality. Here are some simple solutions I discovered in my search. I have even begun incorporating a few and I have already noticed a boost in my energy level.

Get more sleep. Obvious yes, but how many of actually get, with any regularity, the optimal hours of sleep we need each night? If you are unsure about how many hours you need, go to bed for a few nights without turning on your alarm clock. When you wake up, see how long you slept. If you notice a consistent pattern, this should be a good indicator of what is right for you.

Keep to a schedule. If you go to sleep at all different times each night, you will tend to wake up at varying times and this erratic sleep pattern will decrease your sleep quality.  If you train your body to go to sleep at (or around) the same time each night, you are more likely to get the rest you need.

See the light. Open up the curtains and allow the light in. Natural light helps you to wake up, reduces melatonin levels and makes you more alert.

Do warm-up exercises. Doing some stretches first thing in the morning will get your get your heart pumping and your blood flowing and will perk you up.

Drink water. When you first wake up you are dehydrated and this makes you tired. Drink a full glass of water with lemon before your coffee or tea to hydrate yourself.

Eat breakfast. If there’s one thing to remember, never skip breakfast.  You may not feel hungry but having something to eat is important for you to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Limit caffeine and energy drinks. While they make you feel more alert initially, they can affect your sleep patterns in the long run.

Eat a light dinner. If you eat a big meal late at night, it may upset your stomach and that can interfere with the quality of your sleep. Instead, eat a small portion so you can avoid restless, interrupted sleep or waking up with a tummy ache.

Don’t drink before bedtime. Alcohol makes you sleepy but it also causes you to wake up throughout the night. It is also a good idea not to drink too much of anything before bed so you don’t wake up to go to the bathroom and end up sleep-deprived in the morning.

Shut down the electronics. As tempting as it is to check your Facebook timeline one more time, the light from electronic devices messes with your circadian rhythm and can affect your sleep. So, be sure to turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before bed.

What do you do to up your energy level in the morning? We invite you to comment in the box below.