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write for the Counsellors Café Mag

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It's Time To Wake Up

Good quality sleep it seems, should be considered as valuable a part of all our wellbeing as emotional and physical fitness.

It is also pretty much universally recognised how important a good night sleep is for physical and mental wellbeing. Not only does sleep make you feel better in general, and there is of course the aesthetic benefit of making us look better, it also helps to positively boost mood and is essential for healthy organs and healthy internal body systems.

In general terms, good sleep has also been related to improved quality of life, personal performance and boosting creativity. Hence, the importance of a good nights sleep is not to be underestimated.

'As soon as you wake, make sure you literally embrace the light of the day as quickly as possible'

There is a range of good sleep information out there, from guides and information on adopting a bedtime routine/ritual that can encourage a better nights sleep, to apps that you can use to track and improve the quality of your sleep. there is also now a greater awareness of activities that can be detrimental to sleep such as caffeine or screen time use.

But what about waking up?

It seems that waking up well is also key to good wellbeing, particularly for people who feel that they are not functioning at their best in the morning, or that perhaps still feel fatigued upon waking and then may go on to experience the same level of fatigue throughout the day.

For some, it may be that they really struggle with waking up in general, no matter what they try in terms of improving the quality and length of their sleep.

I recently heard of the of the benefits of ‘waking with light’ – Wake up lights replicate sunrise and in doing so stimulate the production of hormones that help us to feel more awake in the morning, enabling the experience of that ‘get up and go ‘feeling.

A lot emphasis is put on how important a good start to the day is, and the impact that a good start can have upon the whole day both in terms of lifting mood and creating a more positive and productive feeling that lasts throughout the duration of the day.

With this in mind, The Counsellors Cafe have been working in conjunction with Lumie, the Bodyclock experts. We are currently giving away a Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500 as one of our competition prizes for our members and have also secured a member discount available on all Lumie products

The Bodyclock Iris 500 combines the light therapy benefits of a gradual sunset and sunrise with aromatherapy. By imitating a sunrise effect, it allows you to wake in a more natural way. Keeping your sleep cycle on track, boosting mood, increasing energy and productivity levels all day.

So, not only supporting better sleep, but also ensuring better waking.

What other ways can be used to improve how well we wake?

In the first instance, its a really good idea to gain an awareness of our sleep patterns/cycle. You can do this by not using an alarm clock to wake and taking note of your exact sleep and wake times. Doing this for around 7 days will probably give you a good indication of your natural sleep pattern.

If it is possible to wake without an alarm, then do as waking without an alarm is a less stressful way of waking. Alarms not only create a sense of stress, they also encourage use of the 'snooze' button - this may seem like your friend, however the extra sleep captured does not allow your body to relax, it can in fact increase tiredness.

As soon as you wake, make sure you literally embrace the light of the day as quickly as possible. Open the blinds or curtains, experience as much light as possible, as quickly as possible.

Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake, not only will it hydrate you, it will also make you feel more energised. Eat a nutritious breakfast as soon as you can, don't wait until later in the morning.

And finally stretch, dance and move around, welcome the day with movement, the positive feeling will not only add to better waking, the positive feeling you will induce, will stay with you throughout the day.

Enjoyed reading? ...the Counsellors Café magazine is free access, which means we depend on your support to sustain what we do. Every contribution, whether big or small, means we can continue sharing your experiences and your knowledge and in doing so keep the mental health conversation going.