Mornings. Unless you’re team Cinderella and love waking up at sunrise *cue singing birds*, you probably find rolling out of bed in the wee hours of the day as hard as most of us do.
Some mornings can be harder than others, and if you find yourself downright grumpy as soon as you open your eyes, trust us, it’s perfectly normal and you’re not the only one.
On the other hand, if you wake up grumpy every single day and identify yourself as a ‘not a morning person’, there might be a deeper problem to your morning grouchiness. Keep reading to find out the five most common reasons why some of us tend to regard daybreak with utter repulsion, plus tips on how you can avoid it!
1. Sleep inertia, it’s a thing
At last, a legitimate medical term that you can use to tell your boss when you’re late in the morning. Wikipedia defines sleep inertia as “a physiological state of impaired cognitive and sensory-motor performance that is present immediately after awakening”. In plain words, it’s that feeling of grogginess and heaviness you get when you wake up and your brain feels like it’s still half asleep.
Before you panic and go on a frantic Google search for the best cure for sleep inertia, know that it is very common and just about everyone experience it daily. For most people, the morning grogginess and that general feeling of bleh fade away within the first 5 to 20 minutes of waking up as you get on with your morning routine.
However, some of you may experience particularly bad cases of sleep inertia, finding it hard to stay awake and experience what many refer to as ‘foggy brain’ hoursss after waking up.
It sounds pretty bad, but its root cause is quite simple - you just didn’t get enough sleep. Make sure you get between 7.5 hours to 9 hours of sleep every night and avoid spicy foods as well as caffeine at night to make sure you get enough quality, deep sleep to wake up fresh and energised every morning.
2. You don’t exercise enough… If at all
Our body is not made for a sedentary lifestyle. If your daily life involves a lot of sitting and then straight to bed at the end of a long day, your body can’t get the exercise it needs to stay healthy.
A lack of physical activity can send your systems into chaos and cause all kinds of damage to your body, such as fatigue and low-level of energy. This also explains why you wake up already feeling tired and grumpy.
No matter how busy your schedule is, try to slot in a short 15 - 20 minutes of exercise in the mornings or if you prefer, in the evenings after work. Do this at least 3 times a week and you’ll start to feel more energised, happier (exercise helps boost endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormone), and sleep so much better.
3. The stress is real
Stress can get to the best and happiest of us, and sometimes we can’t even explain why we’re stressed out. We just… wake up stressed. Of course, for most of us, stress is a part of daily life; whether it’s because of work, our relationship, our family, the dreaded financial to-pay-for deadlines, the long morning commute to work, even something as trivial as the ending to a TV series *stares meaningfully at GOT fans*.
Regardless of the why, waking up feeling stressed is not something that any of us enjoy, particularly when it begins to affect your overall mood the second you open your eyes. It’s important to remember that stress can be managed and overcome, whether by doing some morning exercises, morning meditation, or even listening to your favorite playlist.
There are various ways to relieve and manage your stress; the good news is, you can personalise your brand of stress-relief routine. Do whatever that feels most natural and calming to you. You can also consider setting daily goals or to-do list to help you focus on your tasks and keep you from that feeling of being overwhelmed.
4. You’re eating or drinking wrong
We’ve touched this point very briefly earlier (see point 1.), but too much caffeine and spicy foods at night aren’t the only things that can cause your morning grouch. Foods and drinks that are high in sugar and fat can wreak havoc to your internal systems and cause your energy levels to spike up and down - much like your mood-swings. Incorporate a balanced diet of greens, protein, complex carbs and fibre in your meals to help you chase the morning blues away.
Alcohol is another culprit to morning moodiness. Try to limit your alcohol intake, and if you’re heading for a night out with friends, remember to keep yourself hydrated throughout the night and drink in moderation.
Also, no matter how late you are, try to have breakfast before you get on with your day. A hungry person is a grumpy person, it’s true. Skipping meals can cause your blood sugar levels to drop and make you irritable, so do yourself (and everyone) a favor and have your breakfast. We hear it makes you feel like a champion.
5. You’re sleeping on an old or wrong mattress
Waking up in pain can put anyone in a bad mood, so it's no surprise that a bad mattress is among the lead causes for morning grumpiness. We spend a good 7 - 8 hours (if not longer) in bed each night, which makes up about ⅓ of our life.
Spending that amount of time on a mattress that is not suitable for you will cause back, hip, shoulders, and neck pain, so it’s important to opt for a mattress that offers good spinal and back support to help you sleep better and incidentally, wake up in a better mood.
Now, you might be wondering as to what type of mattress is best for you. If you’re a side sleeper, get a mattress that is medium soft and can mould to the shape of your body as you sleep. Sleeping on your side puts extra pressure on your hip joint, which can cause lower back pain over time. The right mattress for you should be soft enough so you can sleep comfortably yet firm enough help support your spine alignment and minimise the dreaded morning aches and back pain.
For those of you who prefer to sleep on your back, choose a mattress that is within medium to firm range. Try to avoid mattresses that are too firm as the hard surface can push your spine into an awkward position when you sleep at night. The key is a healthy balance between comfort and good spinal support - not too soft and not too firm.
Of course, it can be hard to tell which mattress is the right one for you when most mattress stores only let you try it for 15 - 20 minutes. Why don’t you try Sonno mattress?
On top of offering a just-right medium-firm mattress firmness for basically all types of sleepers, Sonno also gives you 100 nights trial period so you can try sleeping on it in the comfort of your own home without worries. If you don’t think it’s for you, just let us know and we’ll pick it up from you for free and give you your money back!