Wellness Corner: Mastering Your Mornings

   Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Many college students do, and even the “morning people” start to struggle at the end of the semester. As we near the end of the school year and face multiple deadlines, it’s tempting to forego sleep, but staying rested is the key to staying healthy, focused, and energized.
   The good news is that as the days get longer and the weather turns warmer, it gets just a little easier to wake up and go about our routines. To add more joy, health, and energy to your days learn to prepare for and like mornings just a little bit better with the tips: Get some sunlight and movement during the day.
   Getting around 20 minutes of fresh air and natural sunlight per day gives you more energy, curbs stress, fights off depression, and yes, can help you sleep better. Look for opportunities to walk on or near campus or visit a green space like Melgaard Park, which is close to campus and perfect for a quick walk or quiet time, especially during the beautiful spring, summer, and fall seasons.
Picture22   In addition to fresh air, any kind of exercise in general helps to improve sleep quality. If you are someone who gets very warm or energetic after exercising, give yourself about three hours between your workout and bedtime to relax your body.
   Prep your next day the night before. Pack your mid-day snack, pick out what you will wear the next day, pack your books, and check your planner. Taking care of a few small tasks the night before instead of in the morning can help guard against forgotten items and appointments and generally make your days more comfortable and less stressful.
   Take notice of any projects or appointments you might have the next day and place key items like flash drives, books, or your water bottle exactly where you need them in order to leave quickly the next day, saving you time (and brain power) in the morning.
   Get enough rest at night. Whether you consider yourself a night or morning person, young adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Even getting just a small amount of extra rest per night could make a big difference in your overall health.
   Don’t go to bed hungry or thirsty. Stay hydrated throughout the daytime and evening and eat healthy meals and snacks. Going to bed hungry or thirsty can actually disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you dehydrated, lethargic, and overly hungry the next day.
   With a few routine tweaks, you can make your mornings a time you look forward to and help launch a great day!

Ashley Geist-Cusik

Photo courtesy Public Domain Pictures.