How do we wake up from Sleep? Answering this can help give you better benefits from sleeping and recovery.
Episode Audio Transcript Below
How do we wake up? I know that seems like a silly question. But when you wake up well, you have more energy throughout the day, you have less stress. And it can be a domino effect that determines whether you do good habits or unhealthy habits. So let’s dive in. Let’s figure out how do we wake up.
Here with Health REBELs, we are charting a new path to health, one that’s dedicated the focus to wellness, not athletics. Here we break free from common standards and redefine healthy living by following the REBELs Oath.
The REBELs oath says
- Reject extremes
- Energize ourselves through healthy habits
- Break free from common standards
- Excite ourselves about our potential, and finally,
- Love ourselves and act accordingly.
Anyway, let’s dive into today’s episode….
Every winter, I find myself falling into bad habits, especially around sleep. I drag myself slowly out of bed in the mornings, groggy in the morning, lethargic, and low energy. And worse, this starts to create stress as I fall behind in my schedule from the snoozing, Has that ever happened to you? hit the snooze button too many times? And now you’re trying to run around like a chicken with your head cut off.
I’ve fallen behind on my schedule because of snoozing. That makes that makes me cut my workouts a little bit shorter. I might not get the best breakfast and like, in my first couple of work tests in the day there. They’re foggy, they’re hazy and low quality. Right now waking up correctly can be a domino that cascades in the mist good habits, adding an extra bad habits, increasing your stress and lowering your energy.
So as stupid as it sounds to talk about “how do we wake up?” As silly as that question seems you can see it really is important to consider.
And wouldn’t you know it with Health REBELs? You know, I’m going to point out that, like everything else in our lives, the socially engineered common standards that we’ve adopted during the 20th century really, turns out to be holding us back unconsciously.
it’s holding us back unconsciously.
And today, we’re going to talk about how to improve your waking up habits so that you can break free from common standards, have more energy, have more confidence, and live your best life without feeling like you’re held back.
And how often do we feel held back Because we wake up with low energy?
So let’s break it down. Let’s talk about how do we actually wake up? What’s the best wake up strategies we can implement? So that we can be at our best from the get go. Right? So the first thing that we need to talk about is to really understand and improve waking up. We have to know, how do we actually wake up like biologically? How do we wake up?
And it just so happens It is the exact opposite of how we fall asleep! I know I know, I know. That’s a stunner, you can nominate me for the Nobel science prize. But, you know, we might hold off on that a couple more years.
But it’s true! How we wake up is the exact opposite of how we go to sleep. Luckily, the last episode of the Health REBELs podcast went in depth on the three mechanisms or the three systems that regulate our sleep, so we should have a pretty good understanding of how to fall asleep. But as a quick recap, we talked about a few different things. Right? We talked about the melatonin cortisol balance. To go to sleep, the body will start to release more melatonin and it’ll inhibit cortisol. To fall asleep, your core body temperature will decrease. Right things will get a little bit cooler, light. If we think about the circadian rhythm, usually we’re waking up when the sun comes up when there’s more light, and we’re going to sleep at nighttime when there’s less light. And then finally, we also talked about the autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic, rest and digest state versus the sympathetic the fight or flight state.
We also talked about sleep pressure, but sleep pressure is not really going to be a thing here when we talk about waking up Although you know what, actually not 1,000% True, very minimal, very minimal impact here. But sleep pressure we talked about Adenosine build up in the brain. As you sleep, that adenosine gets diminished, so take some of that away. So as long as you’re sleeping is sufficient amount, you shouldn’t have sleep pressure in the morning, right?
So we know how melatonin and cortisol, how temperature, how light and the ANS, the autonomic nervous system, how those facilitate falling asleep. Now, let’s reverse it, just like Mary J. Blige, we’re going to put that down, flip it and reverse it so that we can wake up.
What we’re going to do is, let’s first talk about, let’s talk about the easy ones. Let’s talk about light. Obviously, we know we all want to be in a dark environment to facilitate the circadian rhythm to help us fall asleep. Darkness is good for sleep, it would rational, it would rationally explain that the opposite is true for waking up. Right? We want some light when we wake up. I know it’s uncomfortable, especially with that sudden change.
But one of the best things you can do for waking up is immediately getting some light in your sleeping area. It’s really hard to fall back asleep. When someone throws open the curtains. How many times have we seen that in movies and TV shows? someone doing a wake up call throwing why the curtains blasting the person in the face with light and then you know they wake up? They don’t go right back to sleep? Of course you can if you really try, but it’s not likely. Right? So when we’re waking up, is there a lamp you can have nearby on your on your nightstand? Something that you can quickly turn on? Is there can you turn a light switch on and get the light going so that we have that circadian rhythm telling us it’s wakeup time? Right? How can you add light into your morning to help you wake up quicker.
This is a big problem, especially for me. As I mentioned in the introduction to this in the winter, I tend to wake up my alarm clock goes off early. And even this time of year in the early fall, my alarm clock is going up before the sun does. Right, so I’m waking up before sunrise and it’s getting a little bit harder, because the room is dark. And so I’m going to have to be intentional about adding in some quick access some easy to reach lights, maybe a lamp at the nightstand just to get something going quicker, so that I can wake up easier.
The other thing that we can talk about the easy environmental change we can make is temperature. We talked about, you know to fall asleep, you want that cool environment. Likewise, to wake up the body’s core temperature slowly start to increase. This is actually why coffee is such an effective tool for helping people wake up in the mornings, you can test this caffeine really shouldn’t start to take effect for 30 minutes for about half an hour after you consume your cup of coffee. You should not feel caffeine within that time period. But if you’re waking up as you’re drinking that coffee, it’s more likely, it’s more likely to be the warm beverage, the increased temperature that is actually waking you up. Right and we can do this in a couple of different ways.
Obviously a warm beverage, warm water, warm shower, these are all great ways to get some temperature on us quickly. But we can also think about clothing in this situation. Especially as I mentioned winters, tough on me to wake up. I historically have troubles waking up in the winter, because part of it is the room is so darn cold when it’s freezing outside. Right. It’s hard to be in that environment and it kind of shuts you down. So can you have some warm clothing nearby? Maybe a oversized sweater that you throw on or or or really cozy bathrobe right what kind of temperature increases can you do to help yourself wake up in the mornings?
And then we talked about the autonomic nervous system right? For falling asleep. We want to be in that parasympathetic nervous state, right that we want to be in that we want to be in that rest and digest mode. But to wake up We want to start to be a little bit of alert, we want to add some alerts, we want to add a little bit of stimuli, right. So that’s going to be moving, you got to get out of bed, right? You cannot hit that snooze button over and over again. Because that allows you to go back in the bed word safe, where there’s no, no no interactions, no stimulus, and you get to go back into that parasympathetic state, you got to get up, you got to move, you got to get out of bed. And that’s going to help facilitate more interactions with your environment, which is going to put you in a more sympathetic state. Typically, when we talk about stress management, we do typically want to downplay how often you’re in a sympathetic state. But to get the ball going in the day, we do want to be there.
Similar, talking about stress management, we also want to get a little bit of cortisol release. Now, cortisol, you’re probably familiar with people often refer to this as the stress hormone or the stress chemical. And it might sound weird to say you want to add a little bit of stress in the morning, but you want to add a little bit of stress. And there’s two kinds, we can add stress that’s actually beneficial for us, don’t worry, I’m not trying to run you ragged. But there’s two kinds, we’re gonna have physical stress, or we’re going to have mental stress, right? Those, the mental, the cognitive, and the physical stress can help wake us up with that slight, very small trickle of cortisol. Right? So physical stress, could be, you know, some type of movement, do you maybe do a couple stretch routines, when you, when you get up, wake up, hit off the alarm, turn on the light, try to touch your toes, you know, maybe do a maybe do a quad stretch, or do some arm circles, or some type of little movement, that’s gonna get you going, that’s going to fire the sympathetic nervous state and get a little cortisol, going to get some light, maybe even increase the core temperature as you get increased circulation, that’s really going to help facilitate things right. We can also get cognitive stress.
Maybe you do some journaling, when you wake up. Maybe you read something when you wake up, maybe you do a random trivia question of the day. I don’t know. I know. I know my sister has a lot of those Alexa smart speakers, I think they’re bad ideas to have in your home. But whatever. That’s not my call. But you can do Hey, Alexa, question of the day. And that can get the cognitive stress going, as it asks you some random trivia question that will help you wake up and get the systems running. So all in all, you know, we know we that we need to wake up healthier, we need to wake up in a better state, because when we wake up correctly, we give space for good habits, we decrease our default to bad habits, we decrease our stress in the day, but you’re not running behind schedule. And we also increase our energy by getting that circadian rhythm on our side and waking up and not being lethargic and dragging out the the morning for too long. So we know that waking up is very important. And the best ways to wake up or to take advantage of the melatonin and cortisol balance right get a little cortisol is from some cognitive or physical movement. We know we want to increase the core temperature, we can do that with clothing, we can do that with external beverages we can do that with with warm water. But we want to increase the body’s temperature. We want to expose ourselves to light
and finally want to get a little bit of action going in the morning so that we can go into a sympathetic state so that we can be a little alert in waking up. And I I know we don’t often talk about waking up. All we really talked about waking up and culture is all the memes about setting 37 alarms on your iPhone and then hitting them all off every three to five minutes and not actually waking up. That is not good for your sleep cycle that will totally eff with your circadian rhythm should only have one alarm clock wake up and get going. But all the stuff that we talk about waking up in culture, not really productive towards that actual conversation. And so I hope today’s conversation today’s podcast gave you some really good actionable steps. And if you’re like me, the person that falls into the winter traps when it’s dark when it’s cold, of not waking up effectively because we’re not controlling those environmental factors. I hope today we got you some strategies, something that you can do to implement and overcome so that you can continue to wake up your best, even in the wintertime. So, that is today’s episode. That’s what we’re gonna leave you on. And until I see you again tomorrow for another episode of the Health REBELs podcast. You know what to do REBEL, keep the oath
I hope that episode helps give you some steps you can take to break free from common standards so that you can live a happier, healthier life. I’d love to continue to support you on that path to redefining healthy living. So I want to invite you to join my free Facebook group, the Health REBELs community. There we post daily content to redefine what healthy living means. By following the holistic wheel and the REBEL oath. You will also get community support with like minded Health REBELs. If you’re not already a member, search for the Health REBELs community on Facebook or go to facebook.com/groups/health REBELs. I look forward to seeing you in there REBEL