Your alarm goes off and you dread getting out of bed because you’ve slept so poorly the night the before. What can you do that morning to make sure your sleepless night does not ruin your day?
People experience insomnia for so many reasons. Most adults experience it at some point in their lifetime. Sometimes it’s because of stress, health issues, problems at work. Sometimes it’s because of anxiety, racing thoughts or feeling overwhelmed. I’ve found that a lot of the time people have NO idea why they are experiencing insomnia, they just know they can’t sleep. Life is great but for some reason they keep waking up every few hours or take 2-3 hours to actually fall asleep. Whatever the reason may be, here are some thing to help you the morning after.
- Acceptance. Take a big gulp and realize that you cannot change last night. Acceptance is key here. You did not sleep well last night, and THAT’S OKAY! In therapy I use the word “catastrophize” a lot. It means don’t turn it into a catastrophe, don’t make it worse than it is. You probably will start thinking “Today will be horrible because I’m so tired, I’m going to bomb my meeting at work, my kids are going to drive me crazy today, etc.” You did not sleep well last night but you can still be productive at work, be patient with your kids and have a great day! Poor sleep last night does NOT mean today is ruined.
- Don’t press snooze: Get up when the alarm goes off, regardless of how tired you are. When you press snooze and actually start to fall back asleep your body enters starts another sleep cycle and you will feel more tired in 10 minutes than you do now. Also, your body is used to waking up at that time (if it’s your regular wake time) so cortisol levels will start to spike at the time automatically. You’ll use that extra 10 minutes to set yourself up for a more productive day.
- Gratitude:Think of one thing you are grateful for BEFORE you get out of bed. This will help change your mindset before your feet even hit the floor. This is hard to do when you are anrgy off about last night’s tossing and turning but force yourself to think of one thing.
Out of Bed:
- Hydrate:Now you’re physically up and out of bed- Drink at least 2 glasses of water before you reach for the coffee. Hydrate to help increase your energy for the day. I cannot stress how important water is first thing in the morning. Do room temperature or warm water, add lemon or lime if you’d like. You’re dehydrated from not drinking for the past 8-10 hours and coffee or caffeinate tea will not help with hydration. Hydrating will help improve your mood and energy.
- Sunlight:Get some sunlight if possible. Drink your coffee outside. Use a lightbox if your up before the sun. Sunlight decreases melatonin production, which will help your energy and mood. By having the sun entire the eye it will help directly impact the amount of neurotransmitter production.
- What to do for breakfast: Eat or prep your favorite breakfast. Don’t skip meals, a nourishing breakfast will provide you the energy you need to last throughout the day.
- Breathing:Lastly, breathe. Use 10 minutes to take a few deep “belly breaths” and visualize yourself having a great day, being upbeat and positive. Do this outside if possible and have some quiet time. Don’t use this time to critize yourself for not going to bed on time, or thinking about how frustrated you are. Now, go have a great day!
About Danielle Swimm, LCPC: Danielle is a therapist in Annapolis, MD. She enjoys helping other work through their anxiety and find rest and relaxation while still achieving their goals. Her areas of concentration include eating disorders, anxiety, and body image improvement for adults and adolescents. She offers both in office and online counseling.
Disclaimer: This is in no way a replacement for a therapeutic relationship or mental health services. This is for educational purposes only and should be in used only in conjunction in working with a licensed mental health professional. If you are looking for a local professional feel free to use the contact tab to request an appointment or search Psychology Today for local therapists in your area.