One of the biggest barriers there is to true productivity for the self-employed is sleep inertia – feeling groggy in the morning when you wake up. If getting out of bed is a challenge and you struggle to do anything useful during your first wakeful hour, you are one of many who suffer with sleep inertia.
If you can learn to combat sleep inertia, you will gain at least an extra hour of productivity each day, and probably more. Just imagine what you can accomplish with 365 extra hours each year.
What Causes Sleep Inertia
Common reasons include:
Low Blood Sugar
This can make your mornings difficult. Try having a teaspoon of honey before bed and see if that helps!
Wikipedia defines sleep apnea as a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow breathing during sleep. Each pause, called apnea, can last for a few seconds to several minutes, which tends to wake you up.
This is not something that you can self-diagnose because the pauses can be extremely brief and you are not fully conscious.
If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. S/he may ask you to be tested. If the results are positive s/he may prescribe a splint or a CPAP (breathing) machine.
If you continuously wake up with a scratchy throat and headache, you may be breathing in pollen or dander during the night. The first step is to close the window. If it persists, you may want to be checked for allergies.
Some medications can make waking up difficult. Anti-histamines, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications often have this side-effect.
Breathing mold spores and other toxins during the night can cause you to wake up feeling rough and out of sorts.
If you have ever had a hangover, you know how bad you can feel in the morning. Common dehydration can give you some of the same feelings when you wake up. Try drinking a big glass of water before retiring for the night – adding chia seeds will slow down the release of the liquid and keep you hydrated longer. Another good practice is to have a big glass of water with juice of half a lemon to start your day.
Lack of Quality Sleep
If none of the above help, the problem may be that you not be getting the quantity and/or quality of sleep you need. Some ways to help with this are:
- Don’t eat after 7:00 in the evening (or no food for at least two hours before bedtime).
- Make sure your room is dark and quiet.
- Establish a routine – go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
- Have comfortable sleepwear (or none at all).
- Be sure your bed is clean and comfortable.
- Find and maintain a good room temperature for sleeping.
- The average person needs seven to nine hours a night – how much do you need? (Six or less is not good for anyone – you will be sleep deprived.)
My final word is to take a close look at your sleep habits and the quality/quantity of sleep you are getting and do what you need to do to change anything that may be contributing to sleep inertia.