If “morning” means stumbling onto the train to work while spilling coffee down your top or waking up at midday feeling groggy (oh HEY job-hunters, freelancers and the self-employed), it’s time to makeover your AM. We show you how to transform your mornings into an unrecognisable Wallace and Gromit style world of smiles and joy powered by fun alarm clocks and toast. The Anti-Lie-In-O-Matic, if you will.
Studies have shown that abrupt, rude awakenings increases fatigue and irritability- in other words, if your alarm clock sounds like a robot crying, you’re not likely to start the day ready to rock. Or any other slightly dated phrases, for that matter. Problem is, tweeting bird/babbling brook noises are not going to stir you at all, so what’s the solution? Use your mobile phone and wake up to your favourite, day-affirming song (or Bonnie Tyler Total Eclipse Of The Heart. There’s no science behind this, it’d just be quite fun to wake up to). You could also download the Radio Alarm and wake up to your favourite station, provided it involves gentle music and silky voices. This app is especially brill because you can record your own message - there’s nothing more bizarre (and oddly motivating) than being woken up by the sound of your own voice telling you to get the hell out of bed.
Leaving Dream Towers at roughly the same time every day will ensure you don’t wake up feeling shattered and grumpy. “The body loves rhythm and predictability,” says Dr Neil Stanley, “Most tiredness happens because we are very bad at sticking to regular bedtimes - going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.” While lie-ins are tempting, they often just knock your bodyclock out of whack, making you feel sleepier- especially at weekends. Experts agree that weekend lie-ins are bad for your health, making it difficult to sleep on Sunday night and even more difficult to wake up come Monday.
Aine O’Connor from the British Nutrition Foundation [http://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving] has got it covered, guys: “By breakfast time, blood sugar will be low which can make you feel lethargic,” she says, “people who eat breakfast have been found to be more alert and perform better at a range of tasks than those who skip it.” Recommended foods for power-breakfasts include wholegrain cereals with no added sugar, porridge oats and egg on toast; you’ll get protein, vitamins and minerals from the egg, and much needed carbohydrate from the toast. Also, it’s best to eat breakfast early in the morning, rather than later in the day in order to keep your brain working; so if you’re working/job hunting from home, shovel in some cornflakes in the early AM and you’ll be less likely to miss the day by falling back asleep.
Why not combine your journey to work with a spot of exercise? Cheap and environmentally friendly, cycling is the ideal way to get to work while developing thighs like an ox (motorbikes and sidecars don't count, sorry Wallace/Gromit). On top of that, studies have shown that cycling, or indeed any exercise, before breakfast can also help you lose weight - if that’s something you’re interested in.
It's also good for alertness; if you’re not within walking or cycling distance try getting off a stop early on the bus or parking further away than normal and you'll be a lot more bouncy. It's proven that as little as five minutes of light physical activity in the morning leaves you alert, as opposed to suffering from Rush Hour Train Syndrome. Symptoms of which include drooling, fatigue and near-crippling irritability.