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Health psychologist shares top tips to wake up feeling refreshed

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Dr Sue Peacock, a consultant health psychologist, shared the easily modifiable mistake you could be doing that causes tiredness after waking up. “When forced to wake up by an alarm going off, our brains are essentially in an in-between state of not being fully awake, nor fully asleep,” Dr Peacock began. “This results in a feeling of grogginess and fatigue that can last from a few minutes to several hours (it’s known as sleep inertia).”

Dr Peacock added: “Pressing the snooze button in between alarms can further intensify our tiredness levels.”

To help minimise the risk of grogginess in the mornings, Dr Peacock advises against the snooze button.

“Avoid putting your alarm on ‘snooze’ and get out of bed as soon as you wake up,” she recommended.

“Eventually, you’ll train yourself to get out of bed straight away.”

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Dr Peacock also recommends letting “light in” first thing in the morning, if possible.

“Dark, dim rooms are inviting for sleeping, but are a problem if you’re struggling to get out of bed in the dark,” she said.

“Once you’re awake, turn on lamps or open the curtains to invite bright light into your room. This can help you feel more alert and awake.”

Dr Peacock has three other useful tips to feel refreshed when waking up for the day.

One of her tips is to keep on top of daily vitamin D supplements, which can help to maintain your energy levels.

It could also be beneficial to “stick to an exercise routine”, which could include taking a walk outside, which may “improve sleep quality”.

By having better quality sleep, the likelihood of waking up feeling refreshed is enhanced.

Dr Peacock’s last tip is to “reduce screen time before bed”, as the “blue light emitted from our phones and laptops can affect our sleep/wake cycle”.

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She added: “It’s important to try to avoid using your devices for at least an hour before going to bed.

“This will help you sleep better for longer and you’ll feel more refreshed in the mornings.”

Dr Peacock’s five tips

  1. Avoid the snooze button
  2. Let light in
  3. Increase vitamin D levels
  4. Stick to an exercise routine
  5. Reduce screen time before bed.

Waking up alert and refreshed

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, recommend paying attention to three areas: sleep, exercise, and breakfast.

Analysing the behaviour of 833 people, over a two-week period, the researchers found that the secret to alertness is sleeping longer and later into the morning.

The other two important factors are eating a breakfast high in complex carbohydrates and exercising the previous day.

These research findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Dr Sue Peacock is a consultant health psychologist who has partnered with the life insurance team at Comparethemarket.

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