We all had bad mornings. Something annoying wakes you up and ruins your day. But why does this happen? Why can some outer stimulant have such a strong influence on our mood?
Well, it’s because our brain is in a special, delicate, sensitive state during the wake-up process. During these moments we are actually more sensitive to sounds, smells or even imagery. The consequences of stressful experience during waking up can “stick” with us hours through the day. So, let’s see what makes waking up unpleasant!
Leaving less than 6 hours of sleep can lead to waking up during the “wrong” cycle. When you wake up during deep sleep cycles you can feel groggy, drowsy and moody. So, if you go to bed later than you should, you can actually time your alarm to buzz just right in the middle of the deep sleep cycle.
Now, this is one of the most stressful things for a sleeping brain. Loud sounds can really deeply startle you when you are in your sleeping state, especially if you are in your deep sleep cycles. When we are asleep we are much more sensitive to stressful stimulants. But you don’t always need loud sound in order to reach this unpleasant state. Whispers actually have a strong unpleasant effect on our sleeping brain.
When you are in your delicate state of waking up you are more sensitive to imagery, not just sound. Witnessing something upsetting just upon waking up can be a really stressful experience. We can deal with stimulants when we are still half awake in the same way as when we are fully awake.
Worries don’t trouble us just when we are awake. They trouble us in our dreams and in those precious moments on waking up when we need a smooth and gentle way to slide into the new day. Waking up with worries or stressful thoughts can affect not just our mood, but the way we transit into full consciousness.
So, humans really love two things: sense of purpose and sense of being in control. One of the most annoying ways to start the day is by realizing that you just woke up to something that is pointless to you and plus, not by your own will! It’s in our nature to have a joy in feeling that we control certain aspects of our lives. So, if we realise that someone else woke us up when we didn’t want to, and even worse, for something that doesn’t have any meaning to us, we can get into a really bad mood.
Since we talked about the theory of what things make us wake up in a terrible way, let’s talk about practice. What are the real-life occasions that bring those awful stimulants that make our morning terrible? Let’s count down 10 worst ways to begin your day!
This can be really a bad and deeply annoying way to wake up. Opening your eyes to the feeling of flu, running nose, dry mouth, sore throat and all of the other ‘nice’ things that cold has to offer, certainly is a terrible way to start your day.
When you are woken up by a strong headache, your day is pretty much ruined already. Unfortunately, many people are quite familiar with this feeling.
This can be a really irritating experience, and, unfortunately it can happen quite often. So, it’s Saturday at last, you went to bed happy because you are going to sleep in, but, your annoying alarm goes of at the crack of dawn. This can be one of those moments when you are sincerely and deeply angry with yourself.
So, this is one of the profoundly unpleasant ways to wake up. Opening your eyes, the morning after a party can be followed by so many unpleasant things. The list can be very long… From feeling nauseous or having a headache to panicky looking for your phone or wallet just to make sure that they survived the night can be a very unpleasant way to start the day. But, as wise men of the Ancient Greek said, the joy must be balanced out with equal suffer.
This is very familiar sound for many pet parents. Waking up to the sound of your dog viciously attacking the trash can or starting the epic battle with their archenemy (the couch) can be quite irritating. But, we guess that is the price for all of the great moments that dogs give us in life.
You know that beautiful sound when your neighbor’s car alarm goes off with the first rays of sunlight, and it just wont stop? And when you just think to yourself: “Oh, thank heavens, it’s finally over,” but it starts again? This situation really does deserve a special place on our list. And, don’t forget that when your fire alarm just decides to go off with no apparent reason.
This can be one of those situations when you start questioning your love for that person. It can get even worse if your roommate is just coming back from a night out, slightly tipsy, ringing the bell at 3 AM on a workday.
So, someone is buzzing, you get up, get decent, fix your hair, wondering who it could be. You open the door just to see some folks promoting the thing you couldn’t be less interested in. Really a great way to have your morning ruined. And, of course, let’s not forget friends who like to call at the crack of dawn just to say: “Hey, are you sleeping?”
“No, Susan, I’m practicing juggling on a Saturday morning.”
We all probably had at some point in life this neighbour. It’s the guy who likes to practice his drums or guitar on early weekend days. But, we should give these guys some credit… They maybe don’t have a talent for music but they sure have a talent for ruining someone’s day.
Now, this deserves the top place on our list. The morning when your neighbour decides to smash the kitchen tiles and do some drilling is an absolute winner on the list of the annoying mornings. So, the sound of a drill wakes you up, then follows you to the bathroom just to ruin your shower and doesn’t stop while you desperately try to enjoy your morning coffee. Of course, it usually stops when you are already leaving your place to get away from it.
So, we discussed terrible ways to wake up, and now is the time to talk about the pleasant ones! What does waking up make a nice experience? First of all, this has to do with the way the sleeping cycle is interrupted. Also, it has to do with that which sleeping cycle is interrupted. People don’t wake up easily from every sleeping cycle.
The second thing that influences first moments after waking up has to do with, let’s say, psychological well-being. So, if you have a great motivation to wake up, if you know that something you like, want, enjoy is waiting for you that day, your morning is certainly going to be more pleasant. Let’s make a short overview of things that make waking up a pleasant experience!
So, if you leave between 6 and 8 hours for sleep, chances are that you are going to wake up during the lighter sleeping cycles, thus have a great morning!
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be waking up naturally, because you had enough rest, in order to have a nice morning. Pleasing, quiet, gentle sounds can wake us up in the very smooth way and wouldn’t feel any stress. So, a gentle sound of birds singing or a smooth melody of a song we like can also wake us up sans stress and unpleasant experience.
Another thing that can make your morning a great one is to open your eyes to an image that would please you. Our brain spends few seconds to few minutes to work its way from sleep to full awareness. During this transition, our brain is very subjective to various stimulants, such as audio, visual or tactile stimulants. So, if in those first few moments you experience a pleasant imagery, it would be less stressful for your mind to reach a state of full alertness.
So, if with waking up comes remembrance that this day is bringing something positive to you, your mind is immediately set in a positive mode! Realizing or remembering that that day has to offer something pleasing to you can boost your energy and motivation for the day.
This is maybe the most positive and powerful feeling that can bring you into the new day. The feeling of some kind of success is one of the most positive feelings that humans can experience in general. So, if the day that you are waking up into is bringing you some reward for previous effort or hard work is one of the biggest motivations you can get. Meaning and purpose light our whole lives, and same goes for our first moments of full consciousness in the morning.
Now that we know what makes our mind to fully wake up in a pleasing way, let’s see what some of the situations are that can make this happen.
How many positive things can happen in the morning? The answer is infinite! It’s important to keep a positive outlook on things and appreciate the small pleasures in life. That way every morning can be the best morning ever.
Really cute and romantic way to wake up is to the smell of coffee that your partner just brought you. Try to do the same for him/her sometimes.
Certainly one of the most beautiful things for all parents is to be pleasantly surprised by their children.
So, you are on vacation and the first thing that you hear in the morning is a pleasing sound of the ocean. Real paradise! Or, you can even bring the ocean to you with a white noise machine!
Starting your weekend well rested is one of those small pleasures in life! Jump out of bed, freshen up, and grab that cup of coffee.
You are waking up with the idea to start with getting ready for work… When all of a sudden, you remember it’s the first way of your well-earned vacation! Yes, you’re allowed to sleep in. 5 more minutes. Make the most of your free time, though!
This situation can leave you feeling quite lucky and victorious. You had a fun night and now you have a great morning! Certainly, a nice way to begin the rest of your day feeling grateful. To do that you must stay hydrated at all times – so don’t forget to take a glass of water immediately after waking up.
Waking up to the sound of music isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can be an awesome way to start your day if the music is pleasant, beautiful and not loud. Being woken up by gentle sound of Chopin certainly can’t be a negative thing!
There are two types of beauty in this world: the manmade beauty, meaning art, and the beauties of the nature. Waking up on your vacation to the sound of birds’ song and pleasing smells of pure nature is really a fairytale-like way to begin your day. It’s like something from a Disney movie. Except, there aren’t any birds and mice to help you shower and get dressed up.
This pleasant surprise can really boost your mood for the rest of the day. Waking up on Sunday thinking about the chores you need to do, and then remembering that they are already done, well, that sounds like the beginning of a great Sunday!
So, this is definitely a winner on this list. The morning of your important, beautiful, special day is certainly the one you will enjoy and remember. It can be the day of your graduation, your exhibit, your special concert or game, your last exam or some important speech you are going to give. Maybe it’s a day when you have an important presentation at your firm, big performance or long waited trip to a very special place. It’s the morning of a day that you worked hard for to make it happen. Whatever this day may be for you, its morning is something that you will surely enjoy and appreciate your whole being.
Pick the sound that won’t give you a heart attack. Go for some pleasant song that you like. Don’t overdo it though – you don’t need it to lull you back to sleep.
Don’t stay up too late and do something really nice for yourself before going to bed. Take a soothing bath, drink some chamomile tea, choose some silky sheets and read a book you love. This way you will drift off to the dream realm while in the most pleasant state.
Avoid high-calorie dinners before sleep. Instead, eat something light and healthy. You will thank yourself in the morning. Of course, avoid or limit alcoholic drinks.
So, the best way to wake up is by natural sunlight. It’s just in our nature to be pleased when seeing the sun in the morning. This helps us to wake up, it benefits our mood and positively influences the biological processes in our body, such as hormone production. You can even boost this pleasant way of waking up by beautifying your sleeping environment. Keep your bedroom well decorated, clean, without unnecessary stuff and just let the sunrays to dance around your pleasant lebensraum.
In order to have a great day, you need to have a great morning, right? Maybe some days in our lives are too important and beautiful to be ruined by the neighbour’s drill, but the most of our days are under the influence of the way we woke up. So, don’t leave the way you wake up to chance! Take it under control! Make your evening pleasant, go to bed on time with positive thought and welcome the new day with your blackout curtains wide open and your mind ready for new accomplishments!