tips for a more productive morning

Photo: Thinkstock

2 of 6
If You Usually Stumble Around Like a Zombie (Even After a Full Night of Sleep)
What to do: Shift your sleep schedule to match your circadian rhythms. It sounds like your alarm is currently jerking you out of low-wave sleep, putting you in a state of "sleep-drunkenness," Pelayo says. He recommends locking in a wake-up time (use an app like Sleep Cycle to find out when you sleep the lightest) and going to bed at least 7 hours earlier. If you're having trouble drifting off, he says, it's better for your brain if you make up for lost time by taking an afternoon catnap rather than sleeping late in the morning. (Implementing your routine may require a conversation with your boss.)

What it does: While we're all generally on the same time schedule (i.e., asleep in the dark, and bustling around in the light of day), our internal clocks vary by minutes to hours. For example, you might feel more energized after waking up at 6:15 a.m. than at 6:30 a.m.

How it makes you more productive: You'll do your best work when you're naturally more alert. When schools pushed back start times from 7:15 to 8:40 a.m. to partially accommodate the circadian rhythms of teenagers (who tend to be three hours behind), they found that students' grades and test scores drastically improved.