The One Habit That’s Killing our Mornings

In a recent Interview, Sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley told me that  every time we hear an alarm go off while we’re sleeping, it triggers our body’s “fight or flight response,” which means the next thing that happens is that our body is flooded with cortisol – the stress hormone. 

Dr. Stanley says usually that’s not a big deal if you actually wake up and start your day–but he says if we hit “snooze,” and drift back to sleep, then what happens is that we guarantee ANOTHER jolt of cortisol in 9 minutes! And then after a while, when we keep doing this over and over again, there’s so much of that stress hormone that it ends up increasing our risk for depression! All of this from the snooze alarm? You bet.

So, this is why sleep experts pretty much all agree that you and I need to set our  alarm for the exact time we want to wake up, and then always get up at that time. 
And yes, I know it’s easy to say. But it’s harder to pull off every morning. Just so you know, I get up at 5am each morning, even on the weekends. But I also have to set my watch’s vibrating-alarm, plus an alarm clock that I put all the way across the room to get me out of the bed.  I used to get up at 8 but I always felt like I was playing catchup for the rest of the day. 

One of the things that really helps me get going in the morning is preparing everything that I need to start the day. So I lay out my clothes right beside the bed. I put my sneakers at the bedroom door. I even prepare the coffee machine the night before so I just have to flip the switch. My goal is to eliminate any barriers to my 5 o’clock morning.

One more thing?  I try very hard not to scroll through the news headlines on my phone until I’ve read 10 pages in one of the self help books that’s on my phone. I just randomly pick one. This morning it was from the book Winning by fitness trainer Tim Grover. I wish you God Speed in your battle against the SNOOZE! 

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