How I Became a Morning Person
For several years, the fatigue that often comes with endometriosis has effected my mornings. Four years ago, I was so tired in the mornings I’d wake up crying, and that was after snoozing the alarm multiple times. My boyfriend had to coax me out of bed, again and again, until I finally gave in. I used to wake wondering how I was going to make it through the day
I knew life couldn’t go on in that way, and over the years I’ve been working on my sleep and my energy upon waking. I now get up at 6.30am pretty much every day, and I feel more energized in the mornings than I’ve ever felt. So, what are the key changes that I’ve made?
I changed my night time routine
I discovered a while ago that I simply need more sleep than other people – I have a chronic disease, so for me, my optimum is nine hours of sleep. I’ve had insomnia over the years, and I still wake a lot at night due to interstitial cystitis, but that hasn’t prevented me from working on my nighttime routine.
Whilst I don’t always achieve it, I now aim to be winding down from 7pm. I turn the over head lights off and switch to low lighting, I attempt to stop working and get off my laptop, and I either stop using my phone or switch it to night mode. Light naturally lets our body know it’s time to wake up, and darkness tells it it’s time to sleep – so if we’re using blue light and bright lights right up until bed, our body hasn’t done what it needs to get us ready to fall asleep and to actually have a restful sleep.
I got big on light
So, in the evenings I get big on the dark, in the mornings I get big on the light. I swapped my shrill alarm clock on phone to a light alarm clock, which wakes you up with gradually increasing ‘day light’. This has been one of the best game changers yet, and my body really responds to it. Once the sun is up, I step outside and let the natural day light to my eyes and this helps to trigger the rising cortisol levels that we should expect from our circadian rhythm.
I started moving
I’ve also added movement to my morning routine, again to get my body awake and following the natural circadian rhythm of having elevated cortisol levels in the morning that gradually reduce until the end of the day. By getting our for a walk, or doing a 30 minute workout, I’m raising my heart rate, raising my cortisol levels, and helping my body to make energy.
I optimized my hormones
Pretty much all of the above is geared around creating balanced hormones. Hormones aren’t just to do with periods – they control essential functions in your body. I actively balance my blood sugar through diet to help keep my insulin and cortisol levels in check, I try to stay on top of my stress levels, and I try to do my exercise in the first half of the day as it elevates cortisol for a few hours.
Instead of waking up to a pounding alarm, I now wake up to my radio, playing classical music. It might make me sound old before my time, but firstly it keeps me awake and prevents me from snoozing back off, I have to get up to turn the radio off, and finally, it’s just a calming way to start the day!
Do you know someone that has made a difference with endometriosis advocacy?