Wake Up Like a Puppy Instead of a Bear
Before showing your sleepily scowling face to your family, turn it toward the sun for a half-hour or 45 minutes. Morning light is the cue for our brain and body that it's time to wake up, says Michael A. Grandner, PhD, a research associate at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Researchers believe that sun exposure inhibits the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, helping us rise and shine. Even a small amount of sunlight can help, but for the best effects, Grandner recommends 10,000 lux, or the amount you get from the unobstructed sun on a clear day. Most indoor lights only have a couple hundred lux, so if you often have trouble starting your day, Grandner suggests investing in a light box.