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Sharp Health News

5 tips for waking up when it’s dark outside

March 13, 2017

5 tips for waking up when it’s dark outside

For many of us, “spring forward” is the more popular of the two annual time changes, as it provides more daylight in the later afternoon. However, for some of us, that means waking up in the dark — at least for a few weeks.

Dr. Victoria Sharma, medical director of the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, shares these five do’s and don’ts for waking up before sunrise.

  1. Don’t alter your sleep schedule.
    Dr. Sharma recommends keeping to a consistent sleep routine, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day — even on weekends. Be sure to maintain at least 30 minutes of “no device time” before bed for restful sleep.

  2. Don’t hit the snooze button.
    You are only delaying the inevitable, she says. If you need 10 extra minutes of sleep, set the alarm for 10 minutes later and enjoy uninterrupted rest.

  3. Do turn on the lights.
    Opening up window shades and turning on lamps and overhead lights will give your body the signal that it is time to be awake, so resist the temptation to dress in the dark. Set a lighting timer, if needed.

  4. Do drink a glass of water.
    Starting the day with a tall glass of water helps get your blood and body moving, making it easier to stay awake.

  5. Do get active.
    Exercise, stretching or a brisk walk are all great ways to start the day and help boost your natural energy. Morning workouts, especially if done on an empty stomach, can burn up to 20 percent more body fat than during other times of the day.

Although sleeping pills can help if you are having trouble with temporary insomnia, they are not recommended for long-term use. If you consistently have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your doctor.

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